My first Bible was given to me by Pastor Damian Zamfir in the winter of 1972. Pastor Zamfir, the man who led my first steps on the path to Christ, invited me to visit him in the parish house of the Adventist church on Rodnei Street in Targoviste.
During the COVID-19 lockdown last year, I lived with some messy people. I’d moved into a house that I shared with a wonderful couple of brothers. They were almost everything you could ask for in a set of housemates. Friendly, funny, respectful of your privacy . . . genuinely great people in almost every respect.
Christian author Beth Moore once called the book of Leviticus the graveyard of good intentions for those trying to read the Bible from start to finish. Surely, there are Christians who can point to many monotonous, bland passages and biblical chapters, confessing that they bypass them or read them out of obligation. What should we do with the “boring” Bible passages?
It is estimated that over 100 million Bibles are printed annually, which means over 11 000 per hour, or about 3 every second. These numbers show the huge impact the Bible has on people’s lives.
Western society has a fascination with cults. The word itself conjures up imagery of a seedy leader sporting dark aviator sunglasses and captivating a group of conservatively dressed people with his every syllable. The word brings a subtext of utter devotion but also absolute brainwashing or mind control.
Christianity is either historical or not. It claims that “God acted decisively in history, revealing Himself in external, specific events attested in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.” The most important of these events was the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, the saving Christ.
Contrary to one's initial impression, vigilance is not the main theme of Jesus' parables of "absence and expectation." Absence is central to these stories, because it is absence which enriches them, rather than impoverishing them. Absence is not a shortage, a gap, or a sign of non-existence—it is a catalyst.
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
As intimidating as the Bible may sometimes be, especially because of its size and its sometimes difficult passages, many who have read it from cover to cover say that it has changed their lives for the better—the spiritual resources the whole Bible can provide are not found elsewhere.