What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here.  I’ve been working 60-70 hours a week (at 2 jobs) and still am…but I ended up doing some writing tonight that I’ll toss on here since it’s both a) long enough to be a post and b) of possible interest to some.  Because I’m already past my bedtime by 2 hours, there’s no pictures or editting tonight; just some quick Bible study that’s a horribly rough draft.

I won’t bother with the story of why I’m writing this, but I’m going to answer a single question.  What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?

Let’s look at every single instance that the Greek verb Baptizo (“baptize”) and the term Pneuma (“Spirit”) appear together in the Scripture. For those that don’t trust me, look at the results here:

So, here’s the verses: Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 11:2-16 – An interactive Bible Study

A few years ago, I was teaching a class on hermeneutics while I was struggling through my antiviral therapy for Hepatitis C.  In that class, we would spend part of the class going through the hermeneutical rules we had learned and attempt to apply them to difficult texts.  It was a very enjoyable exercise for most, and one of the difficult texts we tackled was 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.  I’ve recently been asked about 1 Corinthians 11 and the issue of head covering, and that question comes up regularly for me.  Knowing that convictions on an issue come through personally working through the Scripture instead of having someone spoon-feed you an answer, I wanted to provide my bible study on 1 Corinthians 11 for the benefit of a few readers.

I’ve modified it a slight to incorporate a little more interpretive helps, seeing that I’m not there personally with you to help answer questions.  Also, you may want to refresh yourself on the basic rules of Bible study here.  Also, here’s some basic rules that are part of every Bible study I write:

  1. The text upon which the study is based is ESV.
  2. No flippies.  Scripture interprets Scripture, sure, but the main focus of the way I study the Bible is to draw meaning from the text at hand.  That means no flipping to other chapters, unless you’re told otherwise.  Most Christians love to toss out the “Scripture interprets Scripture” line, but in practice it becomes an excuse for what I call “concordant exegesis”: using a concordance to interpret the text rather than the nouns and verbs in their various ascending circles of context (sentence, paragraph, pericope, logical argument, book, testament, theology, history, geography).  One should never use one verse to “interpret” another just because they share a common term in an English translation.  Dragging the meaning of terms from one passage, in an entirely different context, into another, is a guaranteed way to misunderstand whatever text is  currently in front of your eyes.  It’s a horrible interpretive habit that has become sanctified simply because it’s common.
  3. Dig here.  Most of the questions are actually as simple as they seem.  In my Bible studies, I try to “go deep”, which means I go deep into what the author wrote in this text.  That means getting the surface reading right: the terms, the grammar, and the argument/example/principle being put forward.  If you miss that but find a whole bunch of cool speculative intertextual or typological connections, you’ve ultimately missed the meaning of the text.  When that happens, your Bible Study becomes the exegetical equivalent of all icing and no cake.  It might sound great at first, but around 4 pounds into a 9 pound pail of chocolate buttercreme icing, you’ll have an involuntary change of heart (and stomach).chocolate-buttercreme
    Believe me, I’ve tried…and painfully lost a bet in the process.
  4. Harder questions are marked.  An asterisk (*) question is a “think a little more about this” question.  That’s my indication that the question is not a surface level question.

With that small foundation laid, let’s dig through it! Continue reading

Generational Curses Part 6: The Finale

In the previous post, we looked at some of the secondary supporting texts for the idea of Generational Curses from categories 2 & 3.  Those texts are utilized to argue that Children indirectly suffer for the sins of their fathers and Generational Curses are broken by “calling out” to the Lord.  We worked through each text in the list and showed how they don’t teach Generational Curse theology at all.  Now, it’s time to finish off the list of secondary text with the three remaining categories of texts.

For those of you who have endured this series, I applaud your persistence.  This series is not meant to be a “read through to the end” sort of series, but rather a “resource you can use in the future” that will deal with a bunch of texts that cover all the main beliefs that make up generational curse theology.  So even if someone tosses a bunch of verses at you that I haven’t dealt with specifically, I’ll have dealt with the concept and will hopefully provide you with a bit of help in sorting through the concept.

The whole concept of Generational Curses is a theology that is the sort of “doctrines of demons” that Paul warned Timothy about in 1 Timothy 4:1.  So, let’s tear down what remains of this paper house and close off this series.

paper-house Continue reading

A Ray of Hope…

Ah, the American Election.  Watching from Canada, it’s been a bit of entertainment that may bode trouble for Canada, though it’s far too early to tell. I’m not too apathetic toward American politics, though I definitely don’t make a habit of following them.  My wife is from the US, and I have many close friends south of the 49th, so it’s not of no consequence to me.

Still, the election is over now and the aftermath is already being forgotten.  Apparently now that Trump has become the president-elect, mobs of previously-restrained racists and homophobes are free to run around and beat people in the streets…except all of the claimed “Trump instigated violence” stories that I’ve seen in the media are fabricated.  Sadly, lying is how the political (and theological) left has always rolled.  Reason and truth are secondary to the desired agenda.

trump-protest-missouri

Those signs should say “I obviously shouldn’t be here,” “I don’t understand how naturalization works” and “This protest shouldn’t be effective”…

That’s all nothing new…but also not terribly encouraging.

So what’s with the title of the blog post? Continue reading

A Brief Look at Heaven

In this day, there is no shortage of confusion about Heaven: it’s one of the topics of Christian theology that innumerable unbalanced and unregenerate people love to focus on (that and angels, which is highly related).  There is no shortage of fools and frauds that claim to have insight into Heaven; what it’s like, the nature of it, who goes there, etc.  Also, the last twenty years or so has produced a gaggle of I Went To Heaven books where some clown claimed to go to Heaven and get the inside scoop (every single one of those people is lying, and I explain why here).   There’s no shortage of claims about Heaven out there, and it gets pretty crazy.  Try and survive a few minutes of this barking-mad insanity, which is shockingly peddled by the New Apostolic Reformation crowd (Just kidding…I’m not shocked for a second).

So in an effort to help sort through the mess of misinformation,  I took my youth group through a brief exploration of the topic of Heaven.

Here’s the notes I gave them, for your encouragement and edification! Continue reading