Should Christians be Zionists?

israel-flagAccording to the Encyclopedia Britannica Zionism is the Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews (“the Land of Israel”).

Should Christians, for theological and religious reasons, be supporting Israel and Jerusalem?

I would argue no. Christians may support Israel but,  it should not be for theological or biblical reasons.


When God doesn’t heal

pastor chrisAt a recent Minister’s conference, a Zambian pastor was telling us about the huge increase in the number of super-pastors in Zambia. It’s very easy to spot them. They call themselves apostles or prophets or bishops and they normally have the words “ministries international” at the end of their names. If you want them to speak at your church you need to know that they charge a huge fee, must fly first class, must stay at a 5-star hotel and their must be at least 300 people in the audience. When they enter a church they always have an official Bible carrier and the entrance is accompanied by a great fanfare.

Perhaps these “pastors” don’t realise that Jesus had no job, no home and very little money.


Jesus, Satan, and the Apostle Paul (Jesus and the victory of God in Paul’s thought)

Defeat of SatanIn recent years scholars have taken more seriously the influence of Jesus of Nazareth on the apostle Paul’s thinking. You might think this connection was obvious, but in the world of “biblical” scholarship nothing is obvious. Evangelical scholars contend that the greatest change in Paul’s thinking was brought about as a consequence of Paul’s vision of Christ on the road to Damascus. Paul’s conversion took place after he saw Jesus who “appeared” to him on the road to Damascus (1 Corinthians 9:1, 15:8). Paul describes his conversion as a revelation of Jesus the Messiah (Galatians 1:12). The risen and exalted one appeared to Paul accompanied by the radiance of his glory. Paul was convinced that Christ Jesus was YHWH’s (LORD’s) promised Messiah who would inaugurate the long-awaited kingdom of God. Paul did not abandon his monotheism when he became a follower of Jesus; rather Paul’s monotheism was “recast to include Jesus within the divine identity”. Paul resolutely maintained that the one God had revealed himself in Jesus.


Should Christians ask God for forgiveness?

Roman nailsLet me complete the question, “Should Christians ask God for forgiveness knowing that all their sins, past, present and future, have already been forgiven by God when they were justified by their faith in Christ?”

 Justification by Faith

The Bible teaches that when we put our faith in Christ God justifies us and we are declared not guilty before him. All our sin is counted to Jesus – who died for our sins in our stead – who thereby bore God’s punishment that should have been ours. All Jesus’ right standing before God is then counted to us. We are justified before God, counted righteous in his sight, and our sin (all of it) forgiven. As Paul says in Romans 8 there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ (v1) and nothing can separate us from his love (v38-39) – ever. God himself gave himself to save us from himself.

Context Ephesus

In search of an author

An eighth century mosaic of the apostle Paul
An eighth century mosaic of the apostle Paul

The authorship of Ephesians has been much disputed in recent years.  New Testament scholarship, however, is not unanimous.  In the years 1991 – 2001 fifty percent of published scholars argued for Pauline authorship and fifty percent against Pauline authorship.