q & a: the devil hurled out

Nick is meeting with us at Takanini Community Church in Auckland every week, and together we are watching the “Long Story Short” video series which introduces the story of the Bible. Last Friday, Nick texted me this question: “Is there anywhere in the Bible where the devil is hurled out of heaven by God(?)” Some […]

q&a: the ascension of Christ

Gary, from Bloomington, Illinois asks this question: When Jesus said to Mary, “I have not yet ascended to the Father,” doesn’t that mean he couldn’t have gone to paradise when he died? Why don’t more commentators deal with this? In my 2013 article “debugging Luke 23:43” I suggest a different translation of Jesus’ promise to […]

the collector reflects on aging

In Solomon’s final chapter, he gives us a blow-by-blow description of the golden years.  Only he does not describe the aging process in such a euphemistic way. In this painfully accurate allegory, Solomon describes old age – something he has become quite familiar with.  Ecclesiastes 12: 1 But you should remember your Creator in those […]

the collector reflects on control

The glue that seems to hold Ecclesiastes 11 together is that Solomon is talking about things that we cannot entirely control.  The impermanence of life should lead us to be careful about expecting our plans and projects to work out just the way we predict.  Knowing this, we can all benefit by making certain choices, […]

From Death to Life Issue 68

The latest issue of our magazine, From Death to Life Issue 68 March 2016 is available online now. You can read it below or by downloading the full pdf linked: From Death to Life Issue 68 March 2016           Related posts: CIANZ Conference 2016: How Conditional Immortality Succeeds From Death to Life Issue 67 From […]

the collector reflects on success

Solomon, the collector, spent a great deal of his time collecting sayings about becoming successful in life.  He discovered a few, and most of them turned out to be warnings about not doing stupid things.  In chapter 10 of Ecclesiastes, he shared a few of his success tips.  Ecclesiastes 10: 1 Dead flies make even […]


A gracEmail subscriber has heard the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) used to teach that when the wicked die they immediately begin to suffer conscious torment, and that after the Resurrection they will suffer that conscious torment forever. Why do I not teach these two things? * * * Some argue […]

This hope will not disappoint

In today’s world, it is often thought that hope is merely a wishy-washy feeling, and mere desire fulfilment, an irrationally grounded hope. Many explanations of Christianity appeal to such desire fulfilment to explain Christianity’s origin- Feuerbach declared Christianity to be a psychological crutch; Marx declared religion to be the opiate for the masses. And yet […]

the collector reflects on a mystery

In chapter eight of Ecclesiastes, Solomon reflects on the consequences that can result from the choices we make in life.  He evaluates our motives in making wise choices, and also suggests that wise choices are better than foolish ones, even if we do not get what we desire as a reward for those wise choices.  […]

the collector reflects on human mortality

In chapter nine of Ecclesiastes, Solomon continues to reflect on the issues which he had previously introduced, but then he throws the monkey wrench into the works by pointing out the ugly fact of human mortality.  Ecclesiastes 9 1 Because all this I gave to my heart, trying to figure it all out, how the […]