Eighth Century Woodchipper 🌳🪓 Profile picture
Triumph over CHRIST'S enemies. Conquer the world with MIRTH. Be enchanted by the very words of ALMIGHTY GOD.
13 Jul
Most people have this idea that the church is simply this random gathering of religious consumers.

They obviously wouldn't put it in those words, but that is how most view what the church is.
It is a weekly meeting for random individuals who "have a relationship with Jesus" to consume religious entertainment, such as a saccharine pop music about Jesus and a lecture (often vaguely) about the Bible, with nice programs to keep the kids busy.
That is not how Jesus describes the church.
Read 13 tweets
7 Jul
A lot of bad New Testament exegesis is driven by ignorance of the Old Testament.

And not just not knowing about stuff in the Old Testament, but having no idea what the point of the Old Testament even is.
E.g. no one pays much attention at all to Leviticus, because it "doesn't seem to be that relevant to anything now."

If that is how you view a portion of the finite amount of verbal revelation the God who spoke the universe into existence gave you, you don't get the "why."
(Access to God's presence is a HUGE deal in the Bible and how we approach that presence is a HUGE deal, then and now. You cannot understand Christian worship without understanding Leviticus).
Read 15 tweets
30 Jun
I want to revisit one of the all-time worst tweets for a moment.

The story of Jesus and the Canaanite/Syro-Phoenician woman isn't just misunderstood by Pride-month celebrating Jesuits.

Even conservative, Bible-believing types teach that it is merely an example of strong faith.
Yes, it is true that the Canaanite woman had extremely strong faith.

That is not why this story appears in Matthew's Gospel.
Back before the religion of "new atheism" hadn't been swallowed up by wokeness, you'd often be asked by Hitchens-types "why did the Son of God appear in the backwater of Near East and not in the center of the world like Rome or China?"

As though this was a big "gotcha."
Read 15 tweets
23 Jun
I've been told a million times Mt. 15:1-20 is about Jesus condemning dead, mindless tradition—like a well-ordered liturgy—therefore [new traditions]—like a sappy rock concert with a "inspiring" TedTalk in the middle— should be done instead.

Jesus is ministering in Galilee, which is the flyover country, or MIDBEST of ancient Palestine.

The Scribes and Pharisees, who are the Seminary Presidents and Influential Urban Megachurch Pastors come down to hillbilly country to see what is going on.
These guys know the Bible, including Daniel, and they can do math, and they (and all of Israel) know Daniel's 70 weeks is right at its end. The Messiah should be here any minute now.

They thought it might be John, but he's dead. The last thing they want is for it to be Jesus.
Read 15 tweets
10 Jun
Most people have heard of the Parable of the Treasure in the Field and Pearl of Great Price.

You've probably heard sermons about how you should be like the guy who goes and sells all he has.

Not a bad application of the text at all.

But it is not Jesus's point.
For all of Matthew 13, Jesus has been preaching parables that are condemnations of Israel's unbelief. Matthew explicitly tells us this is why He began preaching in parables.


It was not to give cute illustrations for pop evangelicals to sell books.
So when he gets to these parables He not giving a cute illustration about how you should be like the man who finds the field or the merchant who finds the pearl.

You should be like them, to be sure, but that isn't what it is about.
Read 9 tweets
24 May
Most people have the perception that Jesus's parables were these cute, little anecdotes that help illustrate whatever point He was making.

I'm sorry.

That is wrong.

It is very wrong.

It could not possibly be more wrong.
In Matthew 13, Jesus starts to tell the people parables. Because we grow up hearing these our whole lives, we don't realize the point of a parable is not to illustrate something to make it more clear.

The point of a parable is to make it LESS clear.

It is to conceal.
In Matthew 12, Jesus gets in a huge, public fight with the scribes and Pharisees.

The seminary provosts and denominational presidents show up to verbally brawl with Him.

And He drops condemnation after condemnation upon Israel for their unbelief.
Read 20 tweets
20 May
It is shocking how badly people mangle the story of Jonah.

It is not about a guy terrified of the scary Assyrians flaying or boiling him alive.

It is also not primarily a story of an ethnocentrist angry that God would show kindness to people other than Israelites.
Some of it is from that stupid vegetable cartoon. But that just comes from terrible exegesis more broadly.

I say this all the time because I have to:

Bad OT exegesis comes from treating the Bible like a random collection of fables rather than an organic, cohesive narrative.
That is the problem with most children's storybook Bibles btw, (beyond how sappy and sentimental and moralistic they are).

Children grow up having no idea how these stories are deeply interwoven with each other. They have no idea how they are all connected.
Read 15 tweets
8 Mar
In American evangelicalism "the gospel" centers entirely around are you going to heaven or hell when you die.

When you read the gospels carefully, that does not seem to be the case at all. "The gospel" in the gospels is not really about where you are going when you die.
Obviously, salvation from hell is something that Jesus accomplishes for His people. That is not in dispute.

But that phrase "the gospel" is used in the gospels in a way we are completely not used to.
When Jesus & His disciples preach "the gospel" in the gospels they don't show up & say "here is your free ticket out of Hell."

They are announcing that the kingdom of God has arrived.

American evangelicals reduce that to shorthand for "ask Jesus into your heart & go to heaven."
Read 19 tweets
3 Mar
The fact I can find multiple illustrated versions of The Illiad that look like this but the “best” illustrated Bibles are barely any better than Precious Moments has far more explanatory power regarding contemporary Christianity than anything I can articulate.
What exactly *would* an artist’s rendition of Abimelech’s head getting crushed by a millstone look like?
Read 4 tweets
2 Mar
A common theme that I constantly return to is that the age we live in is one of profound loneliness, isolation, atomization, alienation, and despair.

I don't think I can emphasize this enough.
You would have to be EXTREMELY naive to believe these circumstances exist by accident.

All of this has been socially engineered since the early 20th C.

I am not gonna footnote it all here, but these people wrote about their designs right out in the open.
This tweet is funny; and this is because it is barely an exaggeration.

Human beings were not designed to live this way.

Read 19 tweets
12 Jan
I say this without a shred of hyperbole: nearly all the problems of contemporary Christendom can be traced back to a defective view of worship.

Even most of the best churches, that otherwise seriously believe the Bible, don't pay attention to what it says about worship.
What the contemporary church believes worship is for:

TEDtalks w/Bible verses
Theology lectures
Impressive rock concerts
What the Bible says worship is for:

God's people gathering before His presence
God renewing His covenant relationship with His people
God's people receiving grace from Him
God's people responding with praise
God's people returning a portion of the grace He has given
Read 13 tweets
11 Jan
The problem with pastoral ministry is that it often selects for men who are both not very good leaders and conflict averse.
What I mean is:

Start out with early-20-something men who have an interest in theological studies.

That already is a very narrow pool, and already the overwhelming majority of them would be described as “bookish” if we are being unbelievably charitable.

Load them down with tens of thousands of dollars of debt for skills and a degree that limit their career prospects to a singular vocation and almost literally nothing else.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
I preached last Sunday about going the extra mile (which is about foreign occupiers humiliating you).

I said we do not know what it is like to live under occupation.

Well, you had now better start getting used to it.

Jesus's command is very applicable to our situation.
We want to remove our enemies by force. Sometimes there is a time for that.

But you saw how well that worked out on Wednesday.

Our battles are fought by different means but they are no less battles.
My main point was that Jesus was expressly *not* commanding pacifism.

He is the Word-Made-Flesh, including "A time to kill…" (Ecc. 3:3) made flesh.

Our battle now is to bear the humiliation that is coming for us, that our enemies deserve.
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec 20
lol nearly every instance of newsworthy “racism” is either totally made up by the “victim” (Smollett, Alethia Bernstein) or a misunderstanding brought on by those pathologized by antiracism into being terrified of things like garage door pulls and overhead projector covers.
Meanwhile, antiracists burned down billions of dollars worth of cities and attacked and murdered people because a man overdosed on fentanyl in police custody and a female drug dealer got in a shootout with police.
Even more ironically is we are chastised by Evangelilibs for believing “conspiracy theories” like elite child sex abuse or an election we witnessed get stolen in real time, “because God cares about truth,” but they won’t bother to challenge the shaky Floyd or Taylor narratives 🤔
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec 20
An excellent article by @SolomonsaysN. I respect both him and @douglaswils immensely. The question is what if Trump crosses the Rubicon? What if the legislatures fail to grant him the electors that were stolen from him & he takes what is his by force?

He is an animal backed into a corner. They have already telegraphed they will dismantle his financial holdings & will try to put him & his family in prison for challenging the global liberal capital empire. What if he calls his 70M very enthusiastic supporters to arms?
It is not without precedent, as Mark points out in his article. History is replete with rulers taking power by force. Would it be a sin to support a ruler and even fight for him taking what is rightfully his extrajudicially?
Read 4 tweets
1 Dec 20
lol the point of the Jerusalem Council was not “eliminating obstacles” as though they were arbitrary but reckoning with a new creation in which Gentiles and Jews together are given the same access to the sanctuary as priests.
Retconning the end of the Old Covenant into “here’s how we deal with America’s racial problems” is both a terrible application of scripture and really stupid.
White people are not Jews & black people are not gentiles. Honestly demeaning to both to assert this.

It would be far better to reform worship where people actually understand they come into the very same presence the priests (& Gentiles further away!) did when they worshipped.
Read 6 tweets
1 Dec 20
But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.

Luke 19:27
The Parable of the Minas is about a failed coup d’etat. The servant who hides the Mina is unfaithful because he does not believe his master will return. He is condemned because he refused to publicly identify with his master because he believed the coup would succeed.
It is not about merely being “a good steward.”

It is about betting it all when things are not at all certain your guy is gonna win & might lose everything if you are wrong.

The immediate application, like so much of the NT is 70 AD. His enemies are brought out and slaughtered.
Read 5 tweets
27 Jun 20
Regular reminder: Until the right learns to become impervious to the left’s most powerful weapon, the accusation of racism, we will continue to be dominated by these people politically, economically, culturally, and spiritually.
Until the instinctual response to the accusation of racism by everyone of even moderate rightwing sympathy is “You think syrup is racist. So what?” they will continue to own us on all fronts.
The point is not to defend yourself afainst the accusation “I have black friends” to them might as well be a H*tler salute. It is a Kafkatrap. Defending yourself is admission of guilt.

Instead, you need to go on the offensive and point out their idea of racism is insane.
Read 8 tweets
9 Jun 20
The single-greatest factor determining whether you will grow up in poverty or not is not race, ethnicity, country-of-origin, or urban, suburban, or rural environment.

It is whether your mother is married to your father.
It is far easier to loudly proclaim the condition of black communities is entirely the responsibility of an implicit conspiracy of white people while the collective self-destructive choices of many individuals (if acknowledged at all) are caused by said conspiracy.
It would take courage to say “sexual revolution is a means of political control. They want your children to be fatherless. Don’t give that to them. Get married and stay married. Do not fornicate. Do not commit adultery.”
Read 4 tweets
1 Jun 20
The question that conservative evangelicals should be asking is if 40+ years of neoliberal anti-racism has only made the situation worse for both race relations and the lives of black people.
This a question you are not allowed to ask. The only allowable question is if the current antiracism efforts are enough or if we must double down.
You are not allowed to even question the narrative presented. Black people today are horribly oppressed, end of story. Multibillion dollar media orgs have spent millions of dollars meming the public into believing the masses into believing this (e.g. the NYT’s 1619 project).
Read 13 tweets
31 Dec 19
Decided to change up my Bible reading plans for 2020.

Had been doing One Year Bible but it is far too easy to fall behind. I am going to read one chapter a day (a couple times throughout the day) and post about it on this thread. You can join me if you like.
Genesis 1.

I could dwell on this chapter for a month. Bible is a cumulative book. Everything built on top of previous foundations. This chapter is the foundation of foundations. All the symbolism, types, patterns, etc. are found here.
The entire symbolic universe of the Bible is built in Genesis 1.

God could have described all the mysteries of physics, biology, etc.

He described the details (firmament, sea creatures, winged birds, things that creep, birds) of how he made the world exactly as He intended.
Read 658 tweets