Tag Archives: New Testament

"The Case for Christmas" by Lee Strobel.

The best part of the books were

1) the interview with the historian that made the case for an early writing of the Gospels, and the book of Acts and

2) the interview with the Jewish man who set out to read the Old Testament, looking for prophesies of the Messiah, and found them fulfilled in the Jesus of the New Testament.

Other than that, a lot of the book was telling Christians what they already know.  It's a good book to know and have, because it lays "what we believe and why" out so clearly.

From "The Parables of Jesus: Entering, Growing, Living, and Finishing in God's Kingdom" by Terry Johnson.

We know that Jesus taught with parables (not the only way He taught, but (Johnson says) that whenever it is recorded that Jesus taught, He included parables.

He gives 5 related by slightly different definitions of "parable".

(1) "wise sayings of a pictorial kind" (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, 354)
(2) "A story taken from real life (or a real-life situation) from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn" (J.M.Boice)
(3) "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning" (an old Sunday School definition)
(4)"examples of popular story-telling that are meant to evoke a response and to strike a verdict" (A.M.Hunter, Interpreting the Parables")
(5) " a comparison, a putting of one thing beside another to make a point" (Robert F. Capon, The Parables of the Kingdom)

The parables are interesting because they sometimes turn what we "know" upside down.

"bad people are commended, good people are scolded and unanticipated pople are rewarded and punished" (p.16

The parables illuminate those with the key, but obscure it for those who do not. The disciples had to ask about the parable of the sower.

Johnson says,

Jesus' answer is that parables are uniquely suited to the central principles of redemption in that they in fact both reveal the truth and veil it. They are illuminating for some and at the same time obscuring for others.

  • do the definitions make sense?
  • why would Jesus use a confusing method of teaching?

"Our Father"

Community here on earth.  The same Father who is Father to me is the Father to a believer on the other side of the planet.


My blood brother has the same physical father as I do.  We (Dave and I) are very different, but our dad is the same dad.  He treats us differently, because we are different people...but he is the same.

Right now, I'm angry and frustrated with Dave...but he's still my brother and I love him.  Don't like him much, but I love him.

We have the same father.


the One who gives us life.  Who nurtures us, feeds us.  the only one who will be there always.

Everybody else will leave, only God is the constant.  Trust no one but God.

"Abba" - Father...a term of intimacy, kinship and surety.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17, NRSV; cf. Gal. 4:5-6)