Many news outlets have reported that Pope Francis wants to change the translation of the Lord’s Prayer. Specifically, he objects that “lead us not into temptation” (Matt. 6:13) makes it seem like the Lord leads us to sin.
First of all, this is not an endorsement or condemnation of Donald Trump or the U.S. government’s immigration policies in general. This article is simply addressing biblical interpretation errors and other fallacies in a Washington Post article written by a Yale Divinity School professor which takes issue with Franklin Graham’s insistence that immigration is not a Bible issue. Here is the article:
This is not the first article I have read this week on this subject. All of them have a common theme: Christians should let anyone immigrate to the United States because of how “strangers” are treated in the Bible. Here’s my take:
1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Peter addresses his first epistle to the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. There is a long debate over the relationship with God’s sovereign election and mankind’s free will. A related discussion is the aspect of “foreknowledge” as helping reconcile the two. The argument goes like this: God looked into the future and saw who would believe on Jesus as savior. He then elected those persons to salvation. This is an valiant attempt to bring election and free will together, but it fails under closer scrutiny. Here’s why. Continue reading →
At the pinnacle of God’s creation is mankind. Humans are exclusive among all other creatures in that they are created in the image and likeness of God.
Genesis 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
There has been much debate over what the “image” and “likeness” of God are. Image has to do with resemblance and likeness has to do with similar traits. Neither should be understood as relating to physical characteristics because God in His essence is spirit. (John 4:24) Rather, mental and spiritual attributes are likely the meaning. Continue reading →
Genesis 1:2-5 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
God created the basic physical existence of the universe in Genesis 1:1. Now He sets His focus on the Earth.
First, although created, it was not completed. That’s why it was formless and void, meaning incomplete and empty. Continue reading →