Revelation 12:7-12 — How Might This War Be Won?

September 6, 2013

Then a war broke out in heaven! That does not seem a likely place for a war. How can there be a war in heaven? Part of the answer is the two signs that appeared “in heaven” (Revelation 12:1-4). One sign represented the faithful people of God and the other Satan. One represented Israel and […]


Revelation 12:1-6 — Two Signs in Heaven

September 5, 2013

The drama of the second (Revelation 4:1-16:20) has not yet ended. We are yet in the middle of it. Heaven has opened the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-8:5) and sounded the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:6-11:19) but we have not yet seen the final, climatic bowls of wrath (Revelation 15-16).  sandwiched between the trumpets and the bowls is the dramatic […]


Revelation 11:15-19 — A Climactic Announcement

August 31, 2013

The drama of Revelation’s second vision (Revelation 4:1-16:21) comes to a climactic moment when the seventh trumpet sounds. The whole of heaven–the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders, myriads of angels and the great multitude–have seen the seven seals opened and all seven trumpets sounded. Heaven anticipates something dramatic. The seventh horn is trumpeted and […]


Revelation 10: John’s Prophetic Call

August 16, 2013

After the fourth trumpet an eagle soared across the sky to announce the first of three woes (Revelation 8:13). The second woe followed the fifth trumpet (Revelation 9:12). As readers we expect to hear the third woe after the sixth trumpet in order to  transition to the seventh trumpet. Instead, the third woe does not […]


Psalm 2 – God Reigns Over the Nations

August 14, 2013

Psalm 1 counseled wisdom. Worshippers, as they pray, mediate and sing the Psalms, align themselves with the way of righteousness. Psalm 2 assures these worshippers that Yahweh reigns and even the nations must ultimately submit to the God of Israel. Psalm 2, then, as a further introduction to the Psalter, grounds the worship of and […]


Revelation 6 – Divine Judgments on Empires

July 20, 2013

The Lamb, having taken the book of prophetic judgment from the hand of God, now begins to open it by breaking the seals. Systematically, the Lamb breaks one seal after another–six in Revelation 6. As each seal is opened John hears and sees a variety of images that evidence divine judgment or are related in […]


Luke 13:10-17 — Who are we most like in this story?

January 28, 2013

At least two theological themes emerge from this pericope. On the one hand, the kingdom of God breaks into the life of a woman who had been bound by her disability for eighteen years. She is healed and experiences redemption. On the other hand, opposition to the kingdom of God arises in response to her […]


Mark 16:1-8 — The Ministry of Jesus Begins Anew

August 20, 2012

The ending of Mark has long been a controversial subject among scholars even though the present general consensus is that the long ending (Mark 16:9-20) is not original to the Gospel. I will not rehearse that evidence here except to say that 9-20 is absent from the earliest manuscripts, patristic evidence is scanty and confirms […]


Mark 15:39-47 — The Powers Recognize the Reality of the Kingdom of God in Jesus

August 15, 2012

Six hours on the cross are followed by an assortment of events which bridge Mark’s story from  the cross to the empty tomb. The body of Jesus is moved from the cross to a tomb. The Romans permit it, a Sanhedrin member does it, and some female disciples witness it. But is this text simply […]


Lipscomb on the Urban Poor I

May 25, 2012

In the April 24 1873 issue of the Gospel Advocate, Lipscomb reprinted a piece from the Apostolic Times under the title “Preaching to the Poor” (p. 390). Here is the article as reproduced by Lipscomb: In these days of mails, and printing, the newspapers, which go forth from the great cities with their well laden columns of local […]