This ministry’s content focus: going where the Bible leads
To put things simply, this ministry tries to focus on explaining what the Bible says and means, even if that means going against tradition and popular opinion.
This ministry’s methodology
Focused and to-the-point
While this site too will have its share of longform writings, as much as possible, the content on this site will highly prioritize conciseness, focus, and clarity. The idea is to take away some of the barrier of entry for people who can’t handle hundreds of pages of complicated exegesis, hopefully without jeopardizing the integrity of the truth in the process. (The goal is essentially to take away everything that can be taken away, but no more; or, to use a quote oft attributed to Einstein: “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”).
“Short and simple” is probably a bit misleading as the contents of this site may be neither short nor simple according to certain canons of evaluation, but the idea is to make teaching “shorter and simpler” — as much as practically possible without compromising on the truth.
All materials on this site are focused on the Biblical text. I mean this in a more or less literal sense: things that the Bible doesn’t address I do not either, unless there is relevant indirect reasoning relating to the subject. Bible teaching without biblical support is in truth no such thing!
The only real exception to this otherwise absolute principle is discussion of application, which always depends upon personal circumstances. Since application isn’t black-and-white like normal Bible teaching, discussion of application inherently includes more in the way of reasoning and observations that are not ultimately traceable to scripture, and this isn’t problematic in this specific context.
This ministry’s scripture-focused approach means that writing on this site will pull in information that is necessary to accurately determine and explain the meaning of the biblical text while avoiding essentially everything else. Among other things, this means that Bible teaching on the site contains discussions relating to:
- Greek and Hebrew
- Textual criticism
- Ancient history and culture
- Opinion and conjecture
- Arguments appealing to things other than scripture, like those appealing to famous people, scholarly consensus, centralized church authority, tradition, and so forth.
This site attempts to structure its content to make application straightforward. Sometimes a lot of the challenge in the Christian life has less to do with intellectual understanding of the truth, and more to do with figuring out how to apply to it to the hugely varied, intensely messy, and inevitably complicated circumstances of life down in the trenches of the spiritual battlefield.
What this means in practice is that the writings of this site will spend time examining variables to consider in given matters of application instead of glossing over application questions without any comment at all. Rather than coming up with dogmatic sets of recommendations for given matters of application, this exercise is supposed to jumpstart the personal process that all individual Christians must go through to apply the truth to their own lives.
Discussion of application shows up in specially marked out sections, which you can read about here.
This site offers different levels of writing on two different measurement scales:
- There are three content levels (basic, intermediate, and advanced) that are a function of spiritual difficulty (compare Hebrews 5:12-14): some things are for new believers, and some things are for advanced Christians.
- There are two writing levels (higher and lower) that are a function of overall writing difficulty: the lower writing level uses a Bible version written at a lower level (the NIrV) in quoting scripture, and also omits complicated technical discussion. All writing on this site (regardless of writing level) strives to be as accessible as possible by avoiding unnecessary complexity.
The goal in offering multiple levels of materials is for the site to be useful to as wide a range of people as possible; by intentionally tailoring the materials I offer to different groups of readers, it is my hope that all will be able to find some things on this site that are a good fit for their present level.