Is Covid 19 God’s doing?

There’s not always an explanation for our suffering

Humans love patterns. This has led to both crazy superstitions along with many useful discoveries. Pestilence is not a new thing. Sometimes it is a direct punishment of God (eg Num 25, 1 Chron 21). Other times it was a sign of significant events – like AD 70 in Luke 21:11. But are such events always sent by God for a purpose?

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7 Strange Citations in the Scriptures

Sometimes scripture doesn’t work the way we expect it to. A great example of this can be found in seeing what scripture cites, and how it cites it. If we follow up some of the citations we come across in the pages of the bible we sometimes find ourselves in unexpected places, reading unexpected things.

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Bat soup crazy

On the applicability of Kosher law

Looking at social media in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic can often be a thankless task, particularly reading things written by other Christians. One thing that crops up a lot is the reference to bats within the Kosher laws in Leviticus 11.13-19:

These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, and the kite and the falcon in its kind, every raven in its kind, and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat.

Leviticus 11.13-19

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that these verses get quoted when rumours frequently circulate that the source of SARS-CoV-2 is from bat soup. It’s well known that cultures in the far East are much more relaxed about eating animals that we in the West wouldn’t want to eat. Add to that many rumours that eating a bat started this whole thing off, potentially killing hundreds of thousands of people, and it seems to be fair game to quote verses from the law of Moses that forbid eating such creatures. It’s surely game, set and match.

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Tin from Tarshish

You can’t have your radiometric dating and reject it too

When the news broke of new research that showed a British origin for Late Bronze age tin ingots found off Israel’s Mediterranean coast there was great excitement across our community. It was brought up in lectures, written up in ecclesial newsletters, and splashed all over Christadelphian YouTube.

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Disharmony in the gospels

Not a problem to be fixed

Regular readers of the New Testament are likely to notice differences between the four gospel narratives of Jesus’ life and teaching. While John’s account varies considerably from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it is these three synoptic1 gospels where, by virtue of their similarity, the narrative contrasts appear sharpest.

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Caesar’s empire? Or God’s?

Mark, Jesus, the empire, and us

As we engage in reading the Bible, we cannot avoid speaking of kingdoms or empires. Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Greeks, not to mention the Israelite monarchy itself. Although we may happen to live in democratic countries, not within powerful empires of old, we may still be governed in many ways by some sort of imperial power, for instance that of capitalist economics.1

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Echoes of the Baal Cycle in Scripture

“You crushed the heads of Leviathan”

It is axiomatic that the timeless message of Scripture had a special relationship to the challenges of the specific age in which God’s word first entered the world.  For much of the Old Testament until the exile, the main religious “competitor” to Yahweh was the pagan deity Baal.  Understanding something of Baal is useful background to both events and written material.

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Carpe Diem

The parable of the banquet in Luke 14

Discipleship means accepting an ongoing challenge. It means a continuous choice around our priorities. We have to be more guests of Jesus and less self interested and entitled. Prioritisation is required to make good on the invitation made to us. Repetition, familiarity, and the regular pattern of religious life can cause us to forget the urgency of opportunity. The gospel is about a choice, to choose life over death, but we have to keep making this choice, we cannot enter the kingdom of God based on membership in any group.

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