Christian Life

The Census in the time of Quirinius

Sat, 21/12/2019 - 10:00 -- James Oakley

I often hear it said that Luke got his history wrong in Luke 2:1-6. He refers to "the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria". It is said that there was no such census; it never took place.

This is a serious charge to levy against a gospel writer who is historically impeccable when he records any fact for which we have independent records, and who says (Luke 1:1-4) that he worked hard to check everything out with primary eye witnesses.

Much ink has been spilled on this. However, the commentary on Luke by Darrell Bock is thorough and contains a helpful excursus examining this question at length. For my own future reference, and for the benefit of others, here's a summary of his argument.

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The Americans: Sacrifice Everything

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Elizabeth and Paige Jennings

I sometimes note illustrations here that may be useful for me to find later, and that may be useful for others as well.

Here's the teaching of Christ:

Give up everything to follow Christ

This is a familiar part of what Jesus taught: It costs to follow him.

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The stench of death

Mon, 30/09/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

2 Corinthians 2:15-17 says this:

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

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Christians and the Stock Market

Wed, 25/09/2019 - 12:10 -- James Oakley

The other day I was asked, certainly not for the first time, whether Christians may invest in the stock market.

Part of my job is to help Christians think through how biblical teaching applies in the nuts and bolts of daily life, so this is a very good question indeed. I've never written down my thoughts on this, and as the question recurs from time to time I thought it would be a help to jot things down.

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Psalm 2 and 2 Peter 1

Tue, 17/09/2019 - 15:55 -- James Oakley

So often, when you read a commentary on part of the Bible you're studying, you have pages and pages of material but the commentator doesn't seem to be puzzling over the same details of the passage as you are.

How refreshing when the commentator asks exactly the questions you were asking, and has some very sensible things to say.

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