by Bil Aulenbach

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Biblical interpretation

Who Was the World’s Most Famous Oenologist?

I suspect some of my readers aren’t quite so sure about the word oenologist.

How does one say an o and an e together? Is it pronounced o, then enologist? Do folks just forget the o sound and simply say or write enologist? I do the latter. It’s easier! Anyway, an enologist studies and masters the very sophisticated art of making wine.… Read more >

Are Christians Cannibals?

In the early church, when the Followers of Jesus had diverged from Judaism (about 88 CE), they gained the reputation of being cannibals. They were a mysterious group. They met in secret places like catacombs and had strange signs and signals such as a fish—in Greek, ichthus. If two people met on a road, one might innocently doodle a fish in the dirt.… Read more >

Today I Went to Heaven. It Was Hell Getting There!

In March 2017, Annie and I were in China cruising on the Yangtze River. Every day we disembarked and saw fascinating things. The day before we left the river for the city of Xi’an and the terracotta warriors, we took a short bus ride to a four-century-old Buddhist pagoda. It was next to very high rock that was too steep to navigate on foot.… Read more >

I’m Falling in Love—with John

I have been terrified of John for some fifty-five years. He’s complicated, threatening, outrageous at times, secretive, and almost unintelligible. I wanted to have nothing to do with him. He was poison.

Then a strange thing happened. My wife and I had been working with inmates at the local jail on Tuesday afternoons, but the jail changed leadership and didn’t need our services anymore.… Read more >

I Found Noah’s Ark!

i-found-noahs-arkThe story of the flood and Noah’s Ark is found in the book of Genesis, chapters 6–9. As a child I always loved that story, but for some reason I had never heard the ending until I went to seminary. It’s sad!

About five years ago my wife and I went to Turkey and spent a couple of weeks in the northern and eastern sections before we drove into Istanbul.… Read more >

What’s the Difference between History-History and Religious History?

whats-the-difference-between-history-history-and-religious-historyI was a history major in college. I really wanted to be a psychology major, but those students had lab classes in the afternoon, and I played soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the late winter and spring. As a psych major I would have to go to Columbus, Ohio, once a week and work with patients in a state mental hospital.… Read more >

I Found a Great Word!

i-found-a-great-wordI’ve been loath to use the word “God” since November 1958. It represents so many different meanings, ideas, and concepts, and it carries unbelievable baggage. One of those gods killed my friend Brad. Maybe it was the same one or perhaps a different one who “blessed” our middle daughter so that she is deaf, legally blind, and epileptic; has cerebral palsy; and had nystagmuses in her eyes, for starters.… Read more >