Mark Lamprecht

Thinking theologically about faith, culture, and politics.

Authorized Writings vs. Authoritative Writings

Many years ago when I began substitute teaching Sunday School, I had an interesting discussion with the regular teacher. For about 30 years, almost as long as he taught, he believed the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible was deemed “authorized” because King James was from the line of King David. Therefore, not only was the KJV authorized but authoritative because of this Davidic

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Would Jesus Be Comfortable In Your Home?

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him,
“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.

(Luke 19:5 ESV)

I was at a men’s Bible study recently where the question was brought about whether or not God would be comfortable visiting our homes. Our homes may be clean and tidy on the outside, → Keep reading

Why Joseph and Not His Brothers?

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 

(Genesis 50:20 ESV)

The biblical story of Joseph and his brothers from Genesis 50 is well-known. The story is often rightly referred to for helping people get through difficult times, especially, verse 20. This verse shows → Keep reading

Protecting Mary

And her husband Joseph, being a just man
and unwilling to put her to shame,

resolved to divorce her quietly.
(Matthew 1:19 ESV)

When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant with Jesus, he did not make the issue public which would have brought shame upon Mary. They were not technically married yet but betrothed, or promised to one another. They were still considered husband and → Keep reading

Seek to Show Hospitality

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
(Romans 12:13 ESV)

One of the marks of a true Christian the Apostle Paul writes about in Romans 12 is that of showing hospitality. Showing hospitality was done by providing strangers with food and lodging. Unlike today, the early church in Paul’s time did not have an abundance of hotels. Even so, many → Keep reading

Two People Went to Church to Pray

Two men went up into the temple to pray,
one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

Luke 18:10 (ESV)

Jesus shows two different ways of approaching God in the story about the Pharisee and tax collector. The Pharisee, a religious leader, declares his own alleged self-righteousness. The tax collector understands the vast chasm between God and humanity expressing his own unworthiness to even → Keep reading

It Is Okay to Be Angry

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger
(Ephesians 4:26 ESV)

Christians are often perceived as people who are supposed to live perfect lives. We are supposed to be emotionally detached from the world only responding to situations with pure love, absolute forgiveness, and no hint of judgement. Any other response, such as anger, and we are → Keep reading

Restore the Sinner with Gentleness

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression,
you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

(Galatians 6:1 ESV)

Today in the church there is a lot of imbalance in the way someone caught in sin is treated. In some camps, Christians will not say anything about sin, but will instead simply → Keep reading

Which Thief Are You?

The gospel of Luke (23:33–43) records an exchange between Jesus and two thieves hanging on crosses on either side of him. One thief criticized Jesus while the other defended and sought him. Jesus’ defender, often called “the thief on the cross” found salvation that day; the other did not.

These men were criminals, evil-doers. The authorities punished them justly for their sins. In a few → Keep reading

Contingently Acceptable Sins

In the landscape of American Christendom, there is an argument whose basic position is that some sins are acceptable contingent upon others sins being ignored. Such contingently acceptable sins are often argued for in light of Christian divorce and the acceptability of a “Christian” homosexual lifestyle, namely, same-sex marriage. While the church body in general may not be as careful with divorce as she → Keep reading