Question: When Doctrine Is No Longer Relevant

Two anonymous questions:

– I am blessed by your blog and willingness to be real about your thoughts and feelings. Any insight on why the teen years of our Messiah aren’t discussed in the New Testament? Most common answer I hear is, “Apparently the Holy Spirit didn’t ordain it necessary to the big picture of his ministry and mission.” Thanks.

– Hello, one of these questions came up at a retreat in our small group, and none of us knew the answer. So wondering if you could help out a bit? Did Jesus have a sinful nature or was he tempted less severely then us? (Matthew 4:1-11). For instance, when Satan offered him the world, was it an easy or hard choice? Did he find it as appealing as we would or did he know that the Kingdom of God was much better so it really wasn’t that hard of a decision? Thanks!


I have to say first: I very much appreciate the tone of these questions and their genuine curiosity.  There are WAY too many people who play dumb about doctrine but are actually baiting me into a troll-debate with no interest in actual discussion. 

This, dear friends, is how you ask questions about theology.

I’m totally going to answer your questions, but I just want to counter-ask as graciously as possible:

Where are these questions leading us? 

If God Himself answered them, what would it do for you? 

Would a greater intellect make us greater Christians? 

Can we disagree on these matters and still serve together in peace?

Please hear me that I’m not accusing you of any wrong motives at all.  But I know how much head-knowledge can hurt us (knowledge puffs up, says Paul) — and it almost always leads to losing sight of the mission, namely loving people.  I was one of those intellectual seminary goons that ended up caring too much about textbooks instead of THE book (Jesus Juke!) and I became intolerable.

That’s how Christians end up emphasizing politics, doctrinal camps, church programs, denominations, and celebrity pastors more than Jesus.  It’s how Satan gets to dividing hearts and the body.

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Quote: Left A Throne

God meets you where you are to run this race with you. He was unwilling to leave you on your own and he left a throne to serve us. Satan is always dangling some fading promise a step ahead of you, but he is clearly at a disadvantage since he will never know what it’s like to be one of us. All he has is a throne that rules a sad kingdom of self. Jesus offers a kingdom where we run side-by-side, together, his promises unfolding each day.

— J.S.