Monthly Archives: March 2015

Krista is a student and friend of mine in the Czech Republic. She told her story in “A Synagogue on the Czech Republic” (read it here). This month she explains what it is like to lead Jewish services for an interfaith community in Ceske Krumlov. Jews in formerly communist nations have a different kind of…

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I think you will see from the very first question why I picked this title for a blog today. And it’s nice sometimes for me to hear from you. There are a lot of people who come and read here. Some are three to five time a week regular visitors. Some subscribe via wordpress (although…

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In Part 1 I said that faith is not a condition of God’s love and acceptance but rather a result of God’s love and acceptance. I introduced an idea that will be new for some, that Paul’s “we have been justified by faith” is likely better translated “by faithfulness.” And the faithfulness being referred to…

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The light of a person’s faith sometimes grows dim. Faintly burning wicks are all around us, people let down by religious groups, whose questions aren’t answered, who feel left out, and others who fear the love of Messiah cannot be real for them. I wrote yesterday suggesting a way for non-Jews to look at the…

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I can imagine how this article’s title appears to some people. “You mean I need some special permission or something?” But some people get it. There are at least two issues here. Most of the readers of the Bible are not descendants of Abraham. Most are not from the people who stood at the foot…

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Sometimes I try to see past this world to the one to come. Nature is one of the ways I catch a glimpse. And I use my imagination. I find a desire in myself for an unspoiled place. I picture a beguiling forest, a deep carpet of brown leaves beneath my feet and a green…

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The following is part of a larger document which I will soon be sending out to MJ Musings email list members: “Paul’s Guide to World Transformation.” It will also be part of the final section of my upcoming book, Paul: The Jewish Teacher of Gentiles. I post it today as a bit of a preview…

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To be clear, it is not that Yeshua never said anything to or about individuals. He did not, however, address in a clear manner personal salvation, minimum requirements, or specific advice about final destinies. He offered individual hope and also warnings, but there were often about the exacting demands of discipleship rather than the lowest…

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Instead of trying to fit the round peg of Messiah into the square hole of Paul, wouldn’t it be better if we asked, “Are Paul’s ideas true to what Yeshua had to say?” That is, instead of re-reading Yeshua’s messages based on what people think Paul meant, what if we sought to understand Yeshua first…

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The Torah cycle is now in Leviticus. I’ve spent a great deal of time in Leviticus and written on it extensively. People write to me often having grasped the idea, new for them, that atonement in Leviticus was primarily to keep the Temple clean so God would remain there in the midst of the people.…

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When there’s kryptonite around, even Superman has limitations. Sometimes those larger than life figures seem invulnerable, and almost omnipotent. Like Moses. He could do anything. He could raise his hands and the power of his prayer defeated Amalekites and the urgency of Israel’s need could turn sea waters into walls beside Israel’s path. Moses could…

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Is it really believable that in some way Jesus is divine? That question looms even in the minds of those who give credence to the Bible and to faith in Jesus. Is it something we should look deeply into or might we risk finding out the faith in which we stand is a fragile web of…

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Tearing things down sometimes has to happen. When it does, people look at the vacant spot and say, “Should that have been demolished?” Many wonder what will be built in place of the flattened tower that once was. According to one theory, the one I have been knocking down, people need to do some things…

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A reader emailed yesterday in response to “Our Faith; Messiah’s Faithfulness.” I have been unfolding for readers a theology of God, faith, and Messiah that differs from a common way of seeing it (justification theory). My assault on the conditional understanding of the Gospel (“God accepts faith, instead of moral perfection, as an easier condition…

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Sometimes the things we think we know turn out not to be true. Before we get into the topic, I want to clarify what I am not saying. I am not saying that our faith (belief, trust) in God and Messiah is irrelevant or unimportant. To be clear, I am saying that our faith (belief,…

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This is a list I made some time ago, but which I updated this morning and added short explanations to. Some of the points touch on current events, such as my recent post on the unfortunate decision of a good leader (Andy Stanley) to use “the Temple” (which represents the Old Testament and Judaism) as…

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Right now it’s quite possible that you are paralyzed in your relationship with God and feel stuck. I want to persuade you that some rather common views of God and life and meaning are wrong. It starts with getting rid of a demotivating view of God and his stance toward you and everyone else. Using…

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For some people this thing I am calling the big lie is synonymous with “the faith” or “the Gospel” or “what Jesus is all about.” It’s an argument that seems tight, maybe airtight to some people. A lot of people see some problems with it, but think they have to believe it. It seems certain,…

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In a few weeks I’ll be sharing a manifesto with people who follow my writing and are on my email list: “Paul’s Guide to World Transformation: How to Recognize and Collaborate with Messiah’s Work.” The idea came to me from Chris Guillebeau’s “Brief Guide to World Domination,” a PDF he shared that was downloaded by…

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Confusing the New Covenant with the New Testament is a lazy habit of interpretation. Many people see the words “New Testament” whenever their eyes scan over the words “New Covenant.” Unfortunately this is not helped by the tradition in early Messianic Judaism, which many MJ congregations still follow, of calling the New Testament the B’rit…

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To the Galatians. When we read it now in the standard English translations, we sometimes yawn. We’ve heard it, many of us, many times. Worse, the phrases often sound like empty religious jargon. Who talks like that anymore? And since we don’t know Paul as, well, one of the guys, his words don’t sound personal…

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