Question: The Down-Low on The Old Testament Commands

image thegentleway asked:

How does one make sense of some of the outlandishly strange laws given to Israelites in the Old Testaments? In other words, what does it mean when someone says that the Bible is authoritative? Does it mean that one must take everything to be literal truth and follow it word for word? If the former is the case then what about passages like: Exodus 21:7, Exodus 35:2, and laws in Leviticus that commands people to kill someone for what seems to be minor technicalities? Any answer will be a of help.


Thanks for the challenge, but first things first: please do NOT under any circumstance pick up rocks to stone someone to death.  Please don’t do that.

But jokes aside, this is actually one of the easier theological questions that always pops up when someone reads their Bible, and it’s totally sensible to ask. 

It revolves around two mini-questions:

1) What is up with these crazy Old Testament commands?

2) How do any of them apply to us Christians today?

Let’s tackle these both, and please allow me the grace to outline some of the finer theology.  Also feel free to skip around.

Continue reading “Question: The Down-Low on The Old Testament Commands”

Quote: Dating and Faith

Dating, like faith, is an exercise in strategic uncertainty. Andre Comte-Sponville notes that it is precisely the experience of uncertainty that makes possible the euphoria of what we call falling in love. We go through intense questioning, wondering, hoping, and doubting. Does she really care? And when that is followed by evidence that she does care, we have an endorphin tidal wave. It is precisely this roller-coaster ride of the agony of uncertainty and the ecstasy of relief that gives the early stages of love their emotional TNT. It is also why, as love matures, as commitment becomes sure, the roller coaster must inevitably settle down.

[At this point] we all think we want certainty. But we don’t. What we really want is trust, wisely placed. Trust is better than certainty because it honors the freedom of persons and makes possible growth and intimacy that certainty alone could never produce. … I would rather trust, because when you trust someone, you give him or her a gift, and you enter into a kind of dance. When I trust, I take a risk. I choose to be vulnerable.

— John Ortberg, comparing faith to dating