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Bible Insights

What Does the Bible Say About Easter?

Happy Easter! And happy Resurrection Day!

Today is the time when we remember—and celebrate—Jesus overcoming death and rising from the dead.

Each account of Jesus in the Bible records this event:

Matthew

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. 

“Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him’’ (Matthew 28:5-7).

Mark

“Don’t be alarmed,” [the angel] said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6).

Luke

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again’” (Luke 24:5-6).

John

Simply confirms that the tomb where Jesus’ body lay was found to be empty; recording that he then appeared to Mary Magdalene, ten of the disciples, and lastly to Thomas (John 20).

Have a Happy Easter!

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Spirit, Soul, and Body

The Bible says that our being—our entity—is comprised of spirit, soul, and body. That is something to contemplate.

At first glance, I’d be inclined to reverse the order, from the most tangible (body) to the least (spirit).

However, considering that Godwho is spiritmade us in his image, it is appropriate to list spirit first, thereby making it foremost. Seemingly, it is our spiritnot our bodywhere our primary essence exists.

My friend Nate explains it this way: We are a spirit, we have a soul (comprising of mind, will, and emotion), and we live in a body.

Our body, where our spirit and soul currently resides, is both temporal and temporary; it is finite and will one day end.

Our spirit, however, is not likewise restricted. That is another thing to contemplate.

Could there be a spiritual realm that is more real than the physical realm in which we live? I hope so; I think so.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Thessalonians 4-5, and today’s post is on 1 Thessalonians 5:23.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Personal Posts

Happy Easter

We’ve had a beautiful week here in southwest Michigan, with record highs in the low 80s for the past two days. As a consequence, I’ve been hit hard with a case of spring fever.

The last remaining pile of snow has melted—it was a huge pile, which only succumbed a couple of days ago—and spring flowers are displaying their colors. The grass is greening up and soon it will be time to mow lawn.

The high temps, however, will wane a bit today, as a cool front is arriving.  That should drive the temperatures down about 20 degrees to where they should be for this time of year.

Although it would be great to enjoy 80-degree sunshine tomorrow on Easter, I can accept the prediction of partly cloudy and 60. At least there won’t be any snow, which does happen for some Easters in our clime.

Where ever you may be, and whatever weather might be sent your way, have a Happy Easter!

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Personal Posts

April Fool’s Day

I Wasn’t Fooled

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day, and I was subjected to nary a foolish prank. I think that might be a first.

When I worked in an office environment—the kind with other people around—someone would always try to prank me, providing a momentary pause, before reality and common sense resumed control.

When I retreated to the confines of a solo office, the pranks would arrive via email in the form of a clever, too-good-to-be-true press release. They would often have a humorous aspect to them as well, giving me reason to chuckle or smile—or sometimes groan.

I was not so fortunate this year. What press releases I did receive on day one of April were of the serious and on-the-level variety.

One year, someone kept sending me emails, building up the anticipation for a big announcement on April first. I assumed it was merely a well-planned joke that would be sprung on April Fool’s Day. 

Alas, it was not. It was a real announcement.

Hence the first rule of press releases—never time one to occur on April Fool’s Day. You don’t want your carefully edited news item to be summarily discarded into the recycle bin of Tom Foolery.

The meanest April Fool’s joke I ever witnessed was a co-worker calling his mother, informing her that he and his wife were expecting; it would be the first grandchild.  Her initial excitement was dashed, however, when her son exclaimed, “April Fool’s.”

I’m sure he won’t try that one again—or will he?

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Reviews of Books & Movies

Movie Review: The Other Side of Heaven

Reviewed by Peter DeHaan

The Other Side of Heaven is a wonderfully inspiring real-life saga that is a part love story (on two levels) and part adventure, with a touch of spirituality mixed in for a pleasing result.

In the 1950s, fresh out of college, young John Groberg (Christopher Gorham) agrees to a three-year missionary stint and is assigned to the faraway island of Tonga.

Though he is willing, he is quite unprepared for the culture shock and the many dangers that await him.

In going, he leaves behind a budding relationship with Jean Sabin (Anne Hathaway). With letters being their only source of communication, their relationship blooms as they are passionately and steadfastly drawn to each other.

At the same time, John’s love for the Tongan people also emerges, forming deep and significant relationships in the process.

Although John does not escape his share of humorous—and at times life-threatening—blunders, his hard work is ultimately rewarded as he lovingly and patiently wins over the hearts and minds of the native peoples.

[Read more reviews by Peter DeHaan of other faith-friendly videos and movies.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Bogged Down Reading the Bible?

10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

​Enter your info and receive the free Bible Reading Tip Sheet and be added to Peter’s email list.

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Bible Insights

Creation or Evolution?

If we were created, as the Bible says, how did it really happen?

I have heard different views on the subject:

  • Creation occurred in seven literal 24 hour days.
  • Creation occurred in seven increments of time, paralleling the evolutionary time-line.
  • Creation occurred when God made all of the requisite ingredients, setting the stage for evolution to transpire. He then sat back and joyfully watched things happen.

One of these is probably true—or perhaps there is a completely different understanding. It is easy to fixate on the details and lose site of the critical unifying element: that God was instrumental in creation.

The rest doesn’t matter—not really.

[See my prior posts on this subject: In the Beginning… and The Time-Space Continuum.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

The Time-Space Continuum

My prior post, “In the Beginning…”, may lead some to quip, “Well, where did God come from?”

If there is the assumption that God’s existence is like that of our own, then a creation view has the same limitation as an evolution view: something had to come from nothing.

However, in considering the creation account in the book of Genesis, we see that God made the heavens (space), lights—the sun, moon, and stars (space), and the sky (space). Clearly, God made space.

Physicists tell us that space and time exist on a continuum. That is, space and time are co-existent. Ergo, if God created space, then he also created time.

If God created time and space, then he has to exist outside of the space-time continuum; he is timeless and therefore eternal, with no origin and no beginning.

To accept creation, one must have faith that God always existed, whereas to accept evolution, one must accept that something came from nothing.

For me, the former perspective is less of a stretch.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Genesis 1-2, and today’s post is on Genesis 1:1.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Reviews of Books & Movies

Video Review: Everything is Spiritual

Reviewed by Peter DeHaan

A unique educator with the flair of the entertainer, Rob Bell, from Mars Hill Bible Church, gives a powerful and compelling discourse on the spiritual reality of man’s existence in his inspiring and awe-filled video, Everything is Spiritual.

Beginning at the beginning with the Genesis narrative of creation, Bell, quickly segues into a confident and rapid-fire recitation of scientific facts and mind-boggling concepts.

He reminds us of the vast complexity, grandeur—and strange behavior—of stars and the universe.

Then equally he adeptly dives into the minuteness, intricacies—and strange behavior—of quarks and matter at the sub-atomic level.

Rather it is interstellar astronomy or quantum physics, the physical reality in which we find ourselves is both amazingly unexplainable and confoundedly complex—and only part of the picture.

Factor in other dimensions and the idea that time need not be linear or unidirectional and the certainty arises that there is more to reality than mere physical existence.

At the intersection of these grand convergences of the huge and minute, of the physical and non-corporeal, stands man. Seemingly, everything is spiritual.

[Read more reviews by Peter DeHaan of other faith-friendly videos and movies.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Bogged Down Reading the Bible?

10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

​Enter your info and receive the free Bible Reading Tip Sheet and be added to Peter’s email list.

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Personal Posts

Spring is in the Air

Sort Of

Most of the people that I talk to here in SW Michigan are anxious for winter to be over and for spring to arrive.

While there is still snow on the ground, it is mostly relegated to shaded areas and snow banks, courtesy of the snowplows.

Yesterday, with the temperature topping out at an unseasonably warm 59 degrees F and sixth straight day of sunshine, some eager beavers apparently decided to rush things and were spotted wearing shorts.

Even though I, too, am anxious to put winter behind me and march into spring, wearing shorts when it is 59 degrees seems a bit optimistic.

Personally, I’d wait until it is at least 70.  Does that mean that I’d be rushing things as well?

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

The Implications of Omnipresence

The entry “Omni God” mentioned that, among other things, God is “omnipresent.” This means that God is present everywhere or that he exists in all places, at all times.

This is a grand and awesome concept, to realize that God simultaneously exists everywhere. It is huge, immense, and at times a bit overwhelming.  Sometimes this reality makes me feel small and insignificant.

However, if God is everywhere, then he is also here, right now. His omnipresent reality allows him to be here with me and to be with you—wherever you may be and whenever you may be there.

Yes, God’s omnipresence is big and grand and all-encompassing; it also means that he is intimate and personal and readily accessible.

God may be big, but he’s also here, right now, for each of us.

[Also see “The Implications of Omniscience” and “The Implications of Omnipotence”]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.