Scripture doesn’t promise wealth or health or even life. What, then, does it promise? My grandfather was a preacher at Beaverdam, a black Baptist church in Alabama. Periodically, when his ministry would take him from the pulpit, the associate pastor would step in. The joke around my family was that every time the associate preached, he chose the same text: Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones (Ezek. 37:1–14). In the passage, the Spirit takes the prophet to a place where the remains of the dead are strewn about. God commands Ezekiel to preach to them, and when he does,…

Letters to the editor for the March 9, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss anthropogenic climate change and Melinda Gates.

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!… I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:17–18). The “gates of hell”? Why did Jesus respond to Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” in this way? (16:16) The Gates of Hell in Cosmic Geography When we read “hell,” we naturally think of the realm of the unbelieving dead. But the Greek word translated “hell” (ᾅδης, hadēs) is also the name for the Underworld—Hades, the realm of all the dead, not…

The Bible speaks about the New Jerusalem having 12 gates, so why 12 gates? Does this relate to the old city of Jerusalem that originally had 12 gates? A New Heaven and Earth Looking at this present… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]