The Holy Spirit is not a “He”

Holy Spirit Gender

I cringed as I sat there listening to the preacher. The preacher declared, “The Spirit is a ‘him’, and ‘he’ lives in you.” And on account of this he boldly proclaimed to the congregation, “The Holy Spirit is a ‘he,’ not an ‘it.’ Therefore the Holy Spirit is personal.” The preacher was both right and wrong […]

What it Really Means to be BAPTIZED IN FIRE

what baptism in fire means and symbolizes

I’m not talking about “fire tunnels,” where people walk in between two lines of people who place their hands on them and pray for them. Instead, I’m talking about when John the Baptist says Jesus “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16). What does this mean?

The Fourth Blood Moon Happens this Sunday (Sept 27, 2015)!

If you run in charismatic circles to any extent, you’ve probably heard that something “big” is going to happen this fall, because the last of the “four blood moons” will take place. And I’m here to tell you, something BIG will take place. First, a few important observations about the “prophecy” and the Bible: What […]

Pentecost: More than Acts 1:8

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). For some Christians, this text is all that defines Pentecost. However, Pentecost was a fulfillment of numerous Old Testament prophecies. Hence, to properly understand the significance of Pentecost, one must begin with the Old Testament expectations of the future coming of the […]

God, Violence, and War in the Old Testament

The majority of Christians have no problem with most of the Old Testament—Psalm 23 is a favorite for many—but the violence in the Old Testament (=OT) causes concern for both Christians and non-Christians who read the Bible. The problem is not just that violence and war are prominent in some OT books, but that God is often […]

There is No Such Thing as Spiritual Gifts (Kind of)

Have you ever read a book or heard a sermon on the so-called “spiritual gifts.” There is actually no such thing. Go ahead. Search your Bible. You won’t find the phrase “spiritual gifts” anywhere. Okay. You found it? But it isn’t in the original Greek language (the language that the New Testament was first written […]

What if Jesus WAS Married with Children?

For a number of reasons some people have wondered if perhaps Jesus was married and if Jesus had children: “Jesus’s Family Tomb“— Was Jesus buried with his wife and kids? The tomb was found in 1980, but a 2007 movie and book made a big deal about it. The so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”—Discovered in […]

My New Book Publication: Johannine Writings and Apocalyptic

My second published book arrived today: Johannine Writings and Apocalyptic: An Annotated Bibliography, co-authored with Stanley Porter, Johannine Studies 1 (Leiden: Brill, 2013). For more info see the Brill web page. It’s so expensive that I don’t expect you to buy it (see here!), but you can view much of the contents on googlebooks here. […]

5 Ways Husbands Can Love as Christ Loved the Church

husbands love wives

Ephesians 5:24-25 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Usually verse 24 gets all the attention, but I pondered recently what it might mean for me to […]