No part of the New Testament is more puzzling to modern readers than Peter’s enigmatic reference to the ‘spirits in prison’. Tony Payne is the latest in a long line of interpreters claiming to have the answer. Read on and see if you agree …
My friends think that people are fundamentally good and that society is to blame for evil. What can I say to them?
All we card-carrying evangelicals know the doctrine—suffering is good for us! We don’t go looking for it, but we know it will happen, and we know that when it does happen God gives us peace and perseverance in the midst of it. We hang in there, read Job a few more times and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel. We also know that the gospel of health and wealth promoted by people such as Benny Hinn and his mob is right off the deep end of delusion. What looked like a healing of back pain was really a warm fuzzy glow which came from turning down the air conditioning in the Sydney Entertainment Centre. (I sat through five hours of the rubbish, so you can trust me here).
Few people enjoy being poor. Even fewer people choose it. Many people in the world are born to it. And while we Christians may not seek poverty, in a material sense, following Jesus is costly and may require us to become poorer.
Money figures largely in our thoughts. We occupy a lot of time thinking about it, about how much we have got, how much we need, how much we earn, how much we spend. The New Testament also has a lot to say about money, and what it says is quite remarkable because it is the opposite to what we normally think about money.