Kyle is a pastor at the People of Mars Hill in Mobile, AL where he lives with his beautiful wife.
Posted 4/11/14 at 10:20 PM | Kyle Beshears |
This morning, as I made my daily ritual of checking various news sites, I saw a consistent theme.
Apparently, Jesus was married. Again.
Last fall, the world was introduced to an ancient document called the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, but it was quickly dismissed as a forgery. The announcment came from Harvard Divinity School professor Karen L. King who had published her research of the ancient Coptic papyrus, which indicates that Jesus was married.
As quickly as the news came, it went. But, this time it's back with all the sensationalism one would expect. After further study, it appears that the document is not a forgery, despite reservations from notable scholars, among them Dr. Leo Depuyt of Brown University, who still maintain belief that the document is a forgery. FULL POST
Posted 3/29/14 at 9:04 AM | Kyle Beshears
Everyone else is doing it, so why not chime in? Here’s my pros and cons from just seeing Noah.
It was raw, bloody, violent, and not something you would want to decorate your nursery with – just like it should be. Noah’s story is not a bedtime tale, it’s a campfire sermon. Themes of humanity’s fallenness, God’s judgement, and covenantal mercy are key. Sometimes, we lose that message while painting smiley giraffes next to a plump, happy Noah in the kid’s room.
Noah told his family the creation narrative over campfire, just like the oral tradition of Genesis was passed down from generation to generation. Not only this, but the cinematography was great. It showed God creating the universe in the exact order that science and the Bible tell us. But, was that scene showing a literal six day creation or a figurative six day creation? The movie leaves that up to you to decide. FULL POST
Posted 3/26/14 at 6:48 PM | Kyle Beshears |
Mormon history is the fascinating story of America's most successful modern indigenous religion. It is filled with 19th century frontier religion, angelic visitations, the notorious golden plates, and rugged pioneers. But there is one small part to this story that many people are unaware of – the Deseret Alphabet.
The Deseret Alphabet was an alternate to the Latin alphabet of English that was formed by the University of Deseret (now University of Utah) under the direction of Brigham Young. Theoretically, it would have replaced Latin character in English in favor of the phonetically uniformed characters of Deseret.
If that sounds strange, it really shouldn't. Forming a phonetic alphabet was not an uncommon endeavor in the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, Benjamin Franklin proposed an alphabet to alleviate mispronunciation and standardize an American version of English. (Which, in my opinion, would have been pretty awesome.) FULL POST
Posted 3/18/14 at 6:00 PM | Kyle Beshears |
John Piper is famous for saying, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Christian hedonism, it’s called. The more we delight and enjoy in God, the more God is glorified and we are joyful.
For most of us, this seems easier said than done.
A lot of us Christians hold to the idea that we should not be purposefully seeking joy in our life. That, in all ways, the Christian life is supposed a hard one, and to deny that is to deny the faith. We cling to the notion that our treasures and joy are stored up in Heaven, but until then, God is telling us to have "fun" living a dull, meaningless, joyless, hard life.
I think this is total garbage.
Yes, the Christian life filled with hardship. Yes, we are called to a life of denial. But are we called to a life without joy? Absolutely not.
Just because we seek after and desire joy – and an abundance of it – does not mean joy is wrong. It just depends where the source of that joy comes from. If our joy comes from God, and in aligning our rhythm of life to the beat of God's drum, then let the joy come! FULL POST
Posted 3/4/14 at 9:18 AM | Kyle Beshears |
"We can't trust the Bible because it was corrupted through years of translation."
We've all heard this line before. Recently, I've heard it a lot. It's an argument for why people should not or cannot trust the Bible.
The theory goes that through the ages people copied and recopied the Bible, each time changing it just a bit so as to reflect what they wanted it to say.
It's a bit like a massive game of Chinese Telephone or Chinese Whispers for my British friends. (Either way, what's with the name? Are the Chinese known for a consistent breakdown in long-distance communication or something? What's the deal?)
Usually, people who question whether the Bible is reliable come from a wide array of backgrounds. Anyone from staunch atheists to devote Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses have questioned why we should trust the modern Bible.
For atheists, it is a book of myths passed down from generation to generation, suffering severe alterations due to translator bias or Christian agendas. For Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, it is a damaged scripture missing theological points restored only by their scripture. FULL POST
Posted 2/7/14 at 11:33 AM | Kyle Beshears |
If you’re like me, I’m sure you woke up this morning to a barrage of news articles claiming that the discovery of domesticated camel bones have definitively disproved the Bible.
Alarming? Yes. True? Mmmm not exactly.
Unfortunately, the article titles are a bit misleading because they draw conclusions that the researchers, Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef, do not draw. It is a bit frightening to see how irresponsibly the various media outlets have spun Sapir-Hen and Ben-Yosef’s research. Here is just a gleaming of some popular outlets and their article titles.
“Major discrepancy in the Bible” – Huffington Post
A major discrepancy in the Bible would being finding Jesus’ remains, not a camel’s.
Posted 1/21/14 at 11:29 AM | Kyle Beshears |
Among the many unique theological differences between Mormonism and Christian orthodoxy, one stands out among the rest – the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression.
According to this doctrine, part of our salvation process is the potential of evolving past a limited existence as a created human in order to become a creator god. Joseph Smith, the first Mormon apostle, recounts this 'revelation' in Doctrine & Covenants.
"Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them." – D&C 132:20 FULL POST
Posted 1/10/14 at 11:40 AM | Kyle Beshears |
Everyone knows Jesus’ teaching, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” This teaching is so famous that it has its own title – the Golden Rule.
While is is widely acknowledge that Jesus taught it, some believe that this is not unique to him. In fact, critics claim that Jesus actually plagiarized the Golden Rule from those who taught before him. They point out that other religious teachers and philosophers had been teaching the rule to their students long before Jesus ever delivered his famous Sermon on the Mount.
One such critic, the popular blogger Friendly Atheist, posted a cartoon poking fun at the fact that Jesus did not come up with the Golden Rule. Rather, it was around long before Jesus (although the cartoon mistakenly references the Hadiths, which came hundreds of years after Jesus.) FULL POST
Posted 1/2/14 at 12:43 PM | Kyle Beshears
Every Sunday across the globe, most Christians gather together in order to worship Jesus. That is, most Christians. A small group of Christians known as the Seventh-day Adventists maintain that all Christians should worship on Saturday in order to keep the Sabbath day on Sunday.
Adventism, a term from which the group derives its name, began in the 19th century America under the leadership of William Miller who taught the imminent return of Christ (or advent). Like most religious movements in the young American republic, Millerites sought to restore primitive, simple Christianity in response to centuries of European doctrine and dogma they viewed as an intrusion on true Christianity.
As a result, many Christians focused on what they believed was a plain reading of scripture in exchange for whole systems of theology derived from scripture. One of the unique ideas from this religious experiment was a return to observing the sabbath, since it was clearly given as a commandment in Exodus. FULL POST
Posted 12/31/13 at 11:14 AM | Kyle Beshears |
One of the most popular, perhaps most scathing, objections towards Christians today is that we're too "judgy." We hypocritically judge those outside of the church by flying in the face of Jesus' teaching that "Thou shalt not judge." (Yes, always quoted in the KJV language, for some reason...)
In fact, this one verse, Matthew 7:1, is perhaps the most widely known among non-Christians. It is also, I believe, one of the most misunderstood among non-Christians and least practiced among Christians.
Both sides of the fence tend to miss this one. On the non-Christian side, people believe Jesus is telling his followers to never make a judgement about anyone and to just mind their own business. On the Christian side, people believe Jesus is telling his followers to never judge one another but to reserve all judgement for non-Christians.
These two interpretations both fall short of what Jesus was getting at. As a result, it has led to much confusion and heartache for both Christian and non-Christian alike. For that reason, let's revisit Jesus' teaching on judging to find a better way to understand it in three Thou shalt's...
1. Thou shalt not judge! (with a wrong judgment) FULL POST