Showing posts from March, 2015

Beware the Social Gospel

The following is a chapter of the book 40 of the Most Popular Bible Verses (and What They Really Mean!), which goes on sale March 31. You can find a link to purchase a copy on the website for When We Understand the Text.

Matthew 25:40
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" (NIV)

A popular pastor of a large church stood before his congregation and said, "Imagine a world where people were critical of us because of what we believed, but envious of us because of how we treated one another and people outside our circles? That is why Christianity survived the first 300 years. That is what we've been called to do. And I believe it could happen again."

Then the pastor sat down—still on his stage—to respond to his critics. The message he had been preaching over the past several weeks was all about how we needed to be more concerned with our horizontal relationships with one an…

The Most Controversial Verse In the Bible

This is the first chapter of the book, 40 of the Most Popular Bible Verses (and What They REALLY Mean!). Order a copy by clicking here!

Genesis 1:1
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

Is there any question that Genesis 1:1 is the most popular verse in the Bible? Stop any man or woman on the street and ask them to quote you a Bible verse and this is likely the one you will hear. Not only is it the most famous chapter-and-verse reference, it's also a contender for the most controversial.

Okay, sure, Genesis 1:1 may not be the first verse that comes to mind when you think of controversy in the Bible. You're probably not going to incite a riot if you went out on the street and shouted it through a bullhorn (though you might get a ticket for violating a noise ordinance). There are plenty of other topics that would cause way more offense than Genesis 1:1. For example:

A man laying with another man as one would lay with a woman is an abomination to the L…