Pursuing Biblical God Blog

Pursuing Biblical God: reflecting on God, the Bible, his church, and us

Peter DeHaan

Satan Is Not on a Par with God

Satan Is Not on a Par with God In the Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil, the Winner Is Clear For the first part of my life I assumed God and Satan were equal yet opposite forces. I picked up this inaccurate image from culture, starting with the old cartoons of the devil sitting on […]

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Who Needs a Church Building? (Visiting Church #25)

Who Needs a Church Building? (Visiting Church #25) The church for this Sunday meets in a school, just like church #16. They don’t have their own church building. Their service time is later than most, starting at eleven, likely to allow time for setup. We arrive at the school and see a temporary church sign […]

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Discover the Comeback of John Mark

Discover the Comeback of John Mark A person who keeps resurfacing in the Bible is a man with two names. Sometimes he is Mark, and sometimes he is John. For clarity, Luke often refers to him as “John, also called Mark”; John Mark for short. Let’s explore the failure and the comeback of John Mark. […]

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How Can We Help the Poor?

How Can We Help the Poor? Deuteronomy Instructs Us to Help Foreigners, Orphans, and Widows In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds God’s people that when they’re harvesting a field to not pick it clean, to leave some of the produce for others. This includes foreigners, orphans, and widows (Deuteronomy 24:19). Help Foreigners Orphans and […]

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Do You Say Bold Prayers or Safe Prayers?

Do You Say Bold Prayers or Safe Prayers? God Often Wants to Delight Us, If Only We’ll Ask Too many people say safe prayers, such as, “God, please guide . . .” These are safe because no matter what happens, our confidence in God remains unchallenged. These timid prayers accomplish little. Instead we should make bold prayers. Pray […]

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A Time of Pure Worship (Visiting Church #24)

A Time of Pure Worship (Visiting Church #24) The church we visited on Sunday is a mostly older congregation. The worship team, however, is comprised of teens. What a pleasant surprise. Three play guitars, with one on percussion. Offstage is a pianist, the church’s worship leader and the only non-teen of the ensemble. There are […]

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Paul the Reconciler

Paul the Reconciler While Philemon is the recipient of the letter that bears his name, Paul is the author. We know a great deal about Paul, as he is mentioned over 250 times in the Bible, mostly in the book of Acts, but also in the letters that he wrote, as well as once by […]

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Moses Blames the People for His Mistake

Moses Blames the People for His Mistake Not Taking Responsibility for Our Actions Goes Way Back We often shake our heads in dismay over people who refuse to admit when they have done something wrong. Instead they want to blame others. They refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes. This is not a new development. […]

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Is Our Faith About Talk or About Power?

Is Our Faith About Talk or About Power? The Kingdom of God Is About Power, Not Words When Paul writes to his friends in the city of Corinth, he encourages them to change their behavior. In the middle of this, he slips in a curious line about the kingdom of God. He says that God’s […]

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A Time of Transition (Visiting Church #23)

A Time of Transition (Visiting Church #23) We attend a contemporary service at a Presbyterian church. Their interim minister gives a message on “Listening to God”; today is his first official day on the job. Their former minister of twelve years left a few weeks ago and they are in a time of transition. This […]

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Women in the Bible: Peninnah

Peninnah is an unfamiliar Bible character. Hare you ever heard of her? She’s a co-wife with Hannah (the mother of Samuel). Their husband is Elkanah. Having two wives is never a good idea. Conflict ensues. In a tale reminiscent of Jacob and his two wives, Rebecca and Leah, we have the story of Elkanah and […]

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Do Our Meetings Do More Harm Than Good?

Do Our Meetings Do More Harm Than Good? We Must Examine Our Church Meetings to Make Sure They Are Truly Beneficial In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, he talks about worshiping God and then he talks about celebrating the Lord’s Supper. In between these two topics he slips in a condemning one-liner. […]

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Do We Have an Inward Focus or an Outward Focus?

Do We Have an Inward Focus or an Outward Focus? Focusing on Ourselves Is Selfish While Focusing on Others Is Selfless There was a time when I headed up our church’s small group initiative. One of the things I learned was that small groups with an inward focus lasted about eighteen months and fizzled out. […]

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Experiencing True Community (Visiting Church #22)

Experiencing True Community (Visiting Church #22) We arrive at the church to a bustle of activity. Only a few people are sitting; most mill about, socializing. Many make a point of introducing themselves, genuinely interested in meeting us. Names are important to them. They repeat ours, deliberate and intentional. When they share theirs, they pause, […]

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The Apostle John and the Chosen Lady

The Apostle John and the Chosen Lady In John’s second letter he writes to the chosen lady and her kids. Some people assume John is employing an intimate metaphor to reference the church (the chosen lady) and its members (her children). But this interpretation falls apart because the New Testament considers the people as the […]

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God Speaks to the Prophet Amos through a Vision

God Speaks to the Prophet Amos through a Vision Regardless of How God Speaks to Us, We Should Listen to What He Says The words of the Old Testament prophet Amos appear in the book of the Bible that bears his name. The words come to him in a vision. But the Bible doesn’t tell […]

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God Blesses Us So That We Can Bless Others

God Blesses Us So That We Can Bless Others God Told Abraham That He Would Bless Him and Through Him Bless All Nations How often do we ask God to bless us? It’s a request I make most every day. Sometimes more than once. I suspect you may often ask for God’s blessings too. What […]

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A Fresh Experience At Church (Visiting Church #21)

A Fresh Experience At Church (Visiting Church #21) If you view church in a tradition manner, then we didn’t go this Sunday. However, if church is two or more people gathering in God’s presence, then we had a most significant time. The pastors begin by sounding the shofar (a trumpet made from an animal horn, […]

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Women in the Bible: Jael

Women in the Bible: Jael When Barak and the Israelite army routes Sisera’s army, Sisera escapes and takes refuge with Jael. He seeks her because her clan has a favorable history with his country. Pretending to protect him, Jael takes him in, attends to his needs, and then slays him by bashing in his scull […]

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What is the Error of Balaam?

What is the Error of Balaam? We Will Do Well to Consider Balance Error So We Can Avoid It As mentioned in the book of Jude (Jude 1:11), we’ve covered Cain’s path and Korah’s rebellion. Now we’ll address the error of Balaam. Frankly, I’m perplexed as to what Balaam’s error was. In reading his story […]

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