Someone Buy James MacDonald a Bible; He Doesn’t Own One, or Has Never Read It

Pastor James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel filed a lawsuit this month against two ex-members and former Moody Radio host Julie Roys, accusing them of spreading false information about the Chicago-area megachurch’s financial health and leadership.  The main targets of the church’s defamation complaint are Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant, who together run the blog The Elephant’s Debt. The site has culled stories of alleged mismanagement at Harvest since 2012, including claims of as much as $70 million in mortgage debt and a lack of accountability from its elder board. Harvest has addressed some of the criticisms. MacDonald, its founder and senior pastor, apologized in 2014 to a trio of former elders who were disciplined for speaking out about a “culture of fear and intimidation.”

Get that guy a Bible, that way he can read this:

Is one of you with a complaint against another so brazen as to seek judgement from sinners and not from God’s holy people? Do you not realise that the holy people of God are to be the judges of the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent for petty cases? Do you not realise that we shall be the judges of angels? – then quite certainly over matters of this life. But when you have matters of this life to be judged, you bring them before those who are of no account in the Church!  

I say this to make you ashamed of yourselves. Can it really be that it is impossible to find in the community one sensible person capable of deciding questions between brothers, and that this is why brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? No; it is a fault in you, by itself, that one of you should go to law against another at all: why do you not prefer to suffer injustice, why not prefer to be defrauded? And here you are, doing the injustice and the defrauding, and to your own brothers. Do you not realise that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Cor. 6:1-9)

The Church and Politics

Einen Monat vor der Abstimmung über die „Selbstbestimmungsinitiative“ und die „Überwachung von Versicherten“ und während der Kampagne „Kirche für KOVI“, positionieren sich viele Kirchenvertreter*innen, kirchliche Organisationen und Kirchgemeinden für die Menschenrechte, für die Privatssphäre von Versicherten und für die Wahrnehmung der Verantwortung schweizerischer Konzerne. Damit erregen sie oft den Unmut Andersdenkender. Dieser Unmut bezieht sich aber weniger auf die vertretene Position, sondern viel mehr darauf, dass eine Religionsgemeinschaft oder deren Vertreter*innen sich überhaupt politisch einbringen. Dahinter steckt ein Missverständnis, das den säkularen Rechtsstaat im Verhältnis zu den Religionsgemeinschaften betrifft und die Religionen auf den Bereich des Privaten begrenzen will.


Still True

When Jesus had finished these parables he left the district; and, coming to his home town, he taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?’ And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is despised only in his own country and in his own house,’ and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matt. 13:53-58)

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We Are All Tribal

We are all tribal. We invariably care more about the people in America than somewhere else. We all care more about the murder of 11 neighbors than we do the murder of a million Yemenis.

My Brief Blurb on Philip’s Final Book

Some time before he passed, whilst we were discussing his book and whilst I was lending a tiny hand in proofing it, Philip asked me to offer a blurb.  I did.  Equinox has tweeted it:

@EQUINOXPUB — ‘This is the book I would have written had I the intelligence and skill-of-pen that Professor Davies possesses. I will require it for all of my undergraduate courses in both Old and New Testament.’ — Jim West

Pre-order here:

I wouldn’t change a word.  I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did while working through it.

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This is Why I Just Can’t Even, Even, with Politicians And their Theological Dilettantism

She has no idea what the Bible means, what Christianity teaches, or what Christian theology is about.  Dilettante.

Politicians need to stay in their lane and do their little political silly things and keep their defiled hands off of Scripture.

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Joan and Helen

St Paul’s tweets

*Tomorrow!* Hear the evidence for Jesus’ female disciples and women’s ministry in the early church. Professors Helen Bond and @profjoantaylor speak @StPaulsLondon Free, 6.30pm. More info and free tickets here