Gates to Hell, Fiery Sermons, and the Book of Revelation

I have pointed out earlier in this blog and now in my recent commentary (Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible) that many Graeco-Roman pagans also believed in postmortem punishment in the afterlife.  You might not be aware, however, that they actually believed they had discovered some of the entrance portals to Hell, Hades, and the … Continue reading Gates to Hell, Fiery Sermons, and the Book of Revelation

TobyMac and Luke’s and John’s Churchy Jesus

A disclaimer is in order: First, I don’t think TobyMac is the Antichrist, a member of the Illuminati, or guilty of any other nefarious associations or behavior, and I think it is clearly helpful to the Christian movement worldwide that he won the Best Contemporary Christian Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.  I also find … Continue reading TobyMac and Luke’s and John’s Churchy Jesus


I suppose that this question has more than one answer.  It is clear that John the prophet embraces the conviction that the Messiah Jesus is worthy. One of the best known and favorite perspectives on this topic is given in Revelation 5:12 where John relates Jesus’ worthiness to the fact that he was slain to … Continue reading WHY IS JESUS WORTHY?


The 19th century Danish author Hans Christian Andersen tells a story entitled the Ugly Duckling, where a scruffy, barnyard duckling grows into a beautiful swan. Almost everyone loves the story of a come from behind person, or in this case an animal, who turns into a winner.  But those are popular stories of ugly becoming … Continue reading WHEN BEAUTIFUL IS UGLY

When Outrage Trumps Civility (Part 01)

With good reason many culture-watchers have repeatedly pointed out that our civilization is in a downward spiral characterized by decreasing civility. The lack of civility is manifesting itself in the popular media of talk radio and cable TV, in the halls of Academe, in the rhetoric of different political parties and their (un)official PACs, in … Continue reading When Outrage Trumps Civility (Part 01)


Emperor Hadrian Forget what you learned in elementary school, what Hollywood has depicted, and perhaps what your Bible Professor might have implied about “flat earth” theories in antiquity.  Folks living at the time of the New Testament did not believe the world was flat and had four corners.  The prophet John and his contemporaries knew … Continue reading GEOPOLITICAL JESUS