Pursuing Biblical God Blog

Pursuing Biblical God: Reflecting on God, the Bible, His Church, and Us

Peter DeHaan

What Do We Do When God’s Commands No Longer Make Sense?

What Do We Do When God’s Commands No Longer Make Sense? Contrary to the Law of Moses King David Reassigns the Duties of the Levites In the book of Numbers, Moses details the assignments and responsibilities of the tribe of Levi, mentioning them over fifty times. Though the priests, descendants of Aaron, are from this […]

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The Seven Transformations of Peter DeHaan

The Seven Transformations of Peter DeHaan A Personal Story of Growing in Faith and Action [This personal essay first appeared in The Transformation Project: A West Michigan Word Weavers Anthology.] A caterpillar turns into a butterfly; a tadpole becomes a frog. People can change too. Here’s my story. One: The Bible Matters We moved between […]

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Reflecting on Church #32: Overcoming Past Mistakes

Reflecting on Church #32: Overcoming Past Mistakes With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #32. Our experience at this church was positive, and I’m excited for their future. There is more to it, however. Here is their backstory […]

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Obey God Regardless: Paul Speaks to the Elders in Ephesus

Obey God Regardless: Paul Speaks to the Elders in Ephesus The seventh sermon in the book of Acts: Acts 20:16-37 (specifically Acts 20:18-35). Setting: Miletus Speaker: Paul Audience: Elders from the church of Ephesus Preceding Events: Paul, compelled by the Holy Spirit, is steadfastly traveling to Jerusalem. Overall Theme: Paul gives his personal testimony (he […]

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My Favorite Verse in the Bible

My Favorite Verse in the Bible My favorite verse in the Bible is about an honorable man. His name is Jabez. What did he do? He prayed. That’s it. Does that sound boring? It could be, except for the outcome. The result is profound. After Jabez prays, the Bible says that “God granted his request.” […]

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Make Disciples Not Converts

Make Disciples Not Converts We Should Do What Jesus Commands and Push Secondary Pursuits Aside Jesus wants us to be his disciples. Each of the biographies of Jesus mention this. To be his disciple means to set all else aside and follow him (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, and Luke 14:26–33). As his disciples […]

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Reflecting on Church #31: They Must Not Care About Visitors

Reflecting on Church #31: They Must Not Care About Visitors With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #31. This church pursued excellence in their service, with the effective use of technology and the professionalism of those who led […]

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Paul Talks about Resurrection from the Dead

Paul Talks about Resurrection from the Dead The ninth sermon in the book of Acts: Acts 24:1-27 (specifically Acts 24:10-21). Paul gives his testimony and talks about his belief in the resurrection from the dead. Setting: A hearing before Felix in Caesarea Speaker: Paul Audience: Felix (the governor and judge), Jews, and Ananias and Tertullus, […]

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Our Present and Future Hope

Our Present and Future Hope God Will Answer When We Pray After Zechariah’s discouraging implication that God is weary of his people and will no longer be their Shepherd, Zechariah has some good news. He concludes his prophetic writings with an optimistic prophecy of a better tomorrow, a future hope. This is a hope that […]

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Love God and Love Others: A Call to Christian Unity

Love God and Love Others: A Call to Christian Unity Shun Division, Disunity, and Denominations in the Name of Jesus Just as church member status divides the church body into two groups, so does our doctrine. Instead of obeying Jesus’s instruction to love God and love others, we make a lengthy list of what we […]

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Reflecting on Church #30: The Bait and Switch

Reflecting on Church #30: The Bait and Switch With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #30. We also attended Sunday school at this church, the only time we did so on our sojourn. The problem was that we […]

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Martin Luther Supported the Sacrament of Penance

Martin Luther Supported the Sacrament of Penance But Luther believed the Pope had no power over purgatory Martin Luther’s second group of ninety-five theses addressed the pope’s authority over purgatory, or to be more correct, the pope’s lack of authority. Martin asserted that the pope had no power when it came to remitting sins and […]

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The Warning Signs of a Preacher Gone Bad

The Warning Signs of a Preacher Gone Bad Peter writes to caution the early church about false teachers, leaders who misguide, doing more harm to the church of Jesus than good. We need to watch out for them. Here are some of the characteristics of a preacher gone bad. False Teachers Scoff at what they […]

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We Must Rethink Sunday School

We Must Rethink Sunday School Reform Sunday School as an Education Service to Your Community It may be strange to see Sunday school on this list of things we must change for our churches, but we should carefully reexamine it. Do you know the original mission of this Sunday program? It was to teach poor […]

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52 Churches Books 1 – 4: Discover How to Make Church Matter

52 Churches Books 1 – 4: Discover How to Make Church Matter Visit fifty-two churches in a year? No way! Peter DeHaan and his wife did just that. They spent a year visiting a different Christian church every Sunday: Protestant mainline, evangelical, and charismatic; Roman Catholic too. He visited a congregation just like yours. Count […]

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Reflecting on Church #29: Let’s Pursue a New Testament Model for Church

Reflecting on Church #29: Let’s Pursue a New Testament Model for Church With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #29. With their minister gone, church members lead us in the service, the entire service. They don’t need paid […]

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There’s No Shortcut to Heaven: Buying Full Indulgences Won’t Help

There’s No Shortcut to Heaven: Buying Full Indulgences Won’t Help Martin Luther worried that buying full indulgences served to hinder salvation What most raised the ire of the Church against Martin Luther and his ninety-five theses, however, was not his claim of salvation through Jesus alone or the pope having no power over purgatory, but […]

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3 Unusual Examples of God’s Healing Power

3 Unusual Examples of God’s Healing Power God Uses His People to Heal the Hurting Elisha dies, but his influence lives on. Yes, Elisha continues to teach us today, thousands of years after his death, through the words recorded about him in the Bible. However, he also has a practical effect on someone postmortem. It’s […]

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How Important Is Seminary for Today’s Church Leaders?

How Important Is Seminary for Today’s Church Leaders? Knowing Jesus and Hearing the Holy Spirit Is Better Than Formal Education Most all churches expect their clergy to have undergone formal, academic education. Many insist on a seminary degree, especially for their ordained ministers. From a worldly standpoint this makes sense. But from God’s perspective I […]

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Reflecting on Church #28: The Allure of Christian Mystic

Reflecting on Church #28: The Allure of Christian Mystic With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #28. Steeped in ritual resulting from centuries of carefully protected tradition, the spiritual mystery of this tiny liturgical church presented me with […]

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