Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


My Old Testament professor says that I’m supposed to understand that a lot of what shocks me in the Old Testament (massive animal sacrifices, hand to hand combat to take the land and demolish people groups, polygamy, etc) was all “fairly normal” in the greater ANE or Ancient Near East Culture they lived in. Even if I buy this argument, it still begs a bigger question for me. Like this one:

If it was “normal” and permissible for the Old Testament Kings to have a harem of personal hookers and wives because it was the norm of the A.N.E. culture, but none-the-less was not God’s design for them, what is the parallel to that in my Western American culture today?

  • Is it how I spend money?
  • Is it how I treat people?
  • Is it what I believe about the church?
  • Is it the way I treat or don’t treat the environment?
  • Is it what I believe about personal or collective freedom?
  • Is it how I let certain groups and individuals influence me?
  • Is it the habits I permit and even feed in my own life?

These questions keep me up at night…


  1. Hey Brian,

    Good posts. I read a blog regularly on economics and other topics called The Big Picture and saw the I-phone. Not generally one to go wild for new tech suff, I too went – well not quite Yippee, but wow – I want that. To your post on Dawkins, in teaching my worldviews class, we are dealing squarely with the real issue – that of naturalism, and I gave out the Time article debate to my students today between Collins (Genome guru – and Christian) and Dawkins. They actually get to the issue, the philosophical commitments at the heart of the divide between modern evolutionary, naturalisitc science and any faith in God. Quite good.

    To your most recent – it is a perplexing concept that God ‘allowed’ – and even endorsed – things in the past that we abhor today. Perhaps it does say something about how we understand what authentic Christian practice is, and how shaped by cultutral forces outside of the explicitly Christian realm we really are. An example I like to use, though one not directly touching this point, is “what do you suppose the OT priests would say to a Jew who came up and said that he was not going to slaughter an animal for the sacrifice because it wasn’t working for him; that he just wasn’t encounterng God in that way?” I’m guessing he would have been greeted with a lot of laughs or perhaps a look of fascinted absurdity along the lines of Jim on “The Office”. Perhaps the things that God wants from us are not quite as specific, and our acts of disciplehsip not nearly as universal, as we want to make them out to be?

    Good posting. I like to read it. I pray all is well in CA – especially since we’ve got another El nino coming!

    Go Chargers.

  2. thanks Nick. Glad you enjoy reading. Glad teaching is going well. Say hi to the family.


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