Welcome to Thesis, the BibleMesh Blog

On behalf of the BibleMesh team, welcome to the new blog of BibleMesh. BibleMesh is the online discipleship tool designed to teach Scripture as a single, Christ-centered narrative and help people from all backgrounds grow in their knowledge of the Bible.  We’re calling this blog Thesis.

We have started Thesis to help people understand that the Bible applies to all of life. The Bible is not merely a collection of dramatic stories and moral examples. While cinematic in its scope and deeply instructive in matters of piety, it is a message of salvation, a true story about a God who saves sinners and enables them to be “salt” and “light” in a decaying, darkened order (Matthew 5:13-16). This blog is our attempt to equip Christians to be just that: salt and light. We can best do so by helping you to think carefully and thoughtfully about our culture and society from a robustly Christian standpoint.

We will address a plethora of topics on this blog. We will look directly at scriptural passages and their application for our modern lives. We will peer into Church and world history and derive strength and wisdom from the past. We’ll range over a host of topics that draw our interest and require a word of insight, whether Enlightenment philosophy, bioethical practices, or the pleasure of reading. Fueling all of these forays is a restless curiosity about this strange and beautiful world God has made and a desire to think well about it. Among our regular contributors will be expert theologians and BibleMesh editors Mark Coppenger, Michael McClenahan, C. Ben Mitchell, and Greg Thornbury, in addition to other provocative and faithful voices.

We have already posted a number of entries to get you started, but please take note of our first series on the blog, one that tackles an issue that is at the center of our mission: Christian cultural engagement. In the blogs that follow, our editors address how Christians are to carry out this duty within crucial disciplines—ethics, philosophical theology, historical theology, and bioethics. This series, as with the content of this blog in general, will help stimulate your own reflection in these areas.

Enough telling. We’re glad you’re here. We trust that in reading you will have as much fun, and as much spiritual profit, as we have in writing.

–Owen Strachan for BibleMesh

No Mere Legal Code: The Harshness of Shari‘a Law

Today, the expression, “shari‘a” – as in “shari‘a law” and “shari‘a finance” – is heard with increasing frequency. It is important to get clear on just what shari‘a is, particularly since some Muslims wish to bring it to prominence and even dominance around the world.

The great Western scholar of Islamic law, Joseph Schacht, once described the shari‘a as “the core and kernel of Islam itself.” The concept appears obliquely in the Qur’an at verse 45:18: “Then We put thee on the (right) Way of Religion [shari‘a]: so follow thou that (Way), and follow not the desires of those who know not.” This passage underpins the common Muslim claim that shari‘a law is divinely sourced, fixed and immutable, a gift to humanity from Allah, designed to show Muslims how to live and govern correctly. Continue reading

More than Knickers and Goatees: Toward Understanding Our World

Francis Schaeffer, twentieth-century pastor, theologian, and author, is best known for founding the L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland in 1955. His many books and lectures sought to educate Christian leaders toward a creation-affirming and culture-challenging message. In this excerpt, taken from his book The God Who Is There, Schaeffer speaks to a fundamental problem in the modern Church—the lack of understanding of the world in which it lives. Continue reading

Biblical Insight: Let No One Take You Captive

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, …

Colossians 2:8-9 (ESV)

Deservedly notorious are university professors who delight in stripping their students of admiration for “the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” luring them instead toward secular “isms,” such as atheistic existentialism, Marxism, naturalism, hedonism, relativism, and pantheism. So it is common for a parent, pastor, or youth leader to implore the departing freshman to keep his Christian wits about him—even using the exact words of Colossians 2:8-9. Continue reading