Bible

Circumcision Bible Study

These are my Bible study notes on the topic of circumcision.

Circumcision began with Abraham as a physical act, and continued for the nation of Israel. But even in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, there are numerous indications that circumcision was symbolic of a spiritual state. The Israelites were exhorted to be "circumcised in heart".

In the New Testament, the spiritual symbolism of circumcision is emphasised, and transcends the physical. Circumcision was an important and contentious doctrinal issue in the early New Testament church, as the early Jewish Christians contended with the question of how non-Jewish (or non-Israelite) people could come to salvation through Jesus Christ.

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Church Authority

Over the years in church I have seen a great deal of debate over the topic of church authority. Is it right for people to have authority over other people in the church context? Is a paid priest/minister Biblically sound? What Biblical instruction is given on this topic? These are my personal Bible study notes on the topic.

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Trials Bible Study

Trials are a challenge to our faith. It is difficult for us to accept that God would allow us to suffer, and not heal when we pray for healing. What does the Bible say about suffering, and the basis for our trust in God in the face of human suffering?

These are my personal Bible study notes.

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Law and Grace Personal Notes

These are my personal notes on the topic of law and grace.

There is a wide variety of thoughts going around in Christianity about the status of "law" since the inception of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Some say that since we're saved by faith alone, then seeking to "keep the law" in any way amounts to legalism and denying God's grace. Others say that a life of faith in Christ demands a fundamental change in the way we live our lives. Some atheists criticise Christians for not being distinguishable morally from a secular person (e.g. divorce rate among Christians being much the same as that for atheists).

It's a big topic to figure out exactly what apostle Paul meant about justification through faith and grace (especially in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians), in light of the many Biblical exhortations to a life of pure living and commandment-keeping.

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God, Christianity and Damnation

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Hell, the Troubling Doctrine

I’m a Christian, but not cut to the traditional Catholic or Protestant cloth, but part of a much smaller group of people of who differ in some crucial ways from some “traditional” Christian doctrine. In particular, I sympathise with people who are troubled by the the ancient doctrine of hell. Specifically, the doctrine of hell defined as the eternal, conscious punishment of the wicked (refer to Wikipedia article for an overview of Christian hell doctrine). Over the years I’ve heard a number of atheists challenge the goodness of God over the hell doctrine. But, is the problem with the message that we can find in the Bible, or is the problem with the message that has traditionally been given by the churches?

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