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Musings are non-fiction writings focusing on the interaction of the Christian faith with the world, divided into four categories. The Academic Papers section presents papers written to academic standards dealing with various topics, both recent and past. Bible Study contains materials to help study the Bible better. Currents and Culture presents longer articles that deal with daily life and current events. Devotionals and Sermons contains the text to some devotionals and sermons that J.M. Diener has written or preached. Lastly, 

Some items are available in PDF format. While the items can be easily read in the web format, the writer highly recommends printing the PDF files rather than the documents themselves. 

Academic Papers

bts.pdf (298.91 KB)

The greatest divisive force in Christianity are the various theological systems that exist among her adherents. An examination of the fundamental features of all theological systems that cause these divisions, “Beating the Systems” challenges the reader to hold the Bible as the greatest authority, to take a new view of their personal system and to display a biblical attitude towards those whose systems differ from theirs.

dbdr.pdf (255.1 KB)

One of the most controversial parts of the Deliverance Ministries' practices is their questioning of demons to be able to receive information they believe is pertinent to casting them out. This paper takes a look at Deuteronomy 18:10-11 and Isaiah 8:19-20, two of the most clear passages dealing with various forms of procuring special knowledge pertaining to the spiritual world, and compares them to some of the practices of the Deliverance Ministries' primary leaders. Appendices are attached, quoting extended passages from the books written by the people in question.

imoh.pdf (135.39 KB)

This paper takes a careful look at the presuppositions and hermeneutics of renowned feminist theologian Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and then presents an Evangelical response to her writings.

rtmom.pdf (246.23 KB)

A response to Kurt Woetzel's article "An Important Question for Our Times - Is Music Moral?", this is a careful look at that view as presented in his article. This looks at the topic from Biblical, linguistic, communicative, and anthropological points of view, offering an alternative solution to the dilemma using a communication model and suggesting guidelines for dealing with the situation.

Bible Study

Ezekiel is one of the most fascinating books of the Old Testament, its unusual language and imagery having puzzled and inspired Jewish and Christian exegetes alike. This study gives you an overview of the book as well as looking at some of its key passages. Designed as a Sunday School curriculum for sixteen or seventeen weeks, this can also be used as a small-group study guide or for personal enrichment.

Two tables containing a chronological list of when the books of the Bible were written, one for the Old Testament and one for the New. This can be printed and kept in the front of the Bible for easy reference.

Currents and Culture

As the Church faces increasing pressure to accept homosexual marriage, which she has traditionally seen as a gross sin, this brief treatise looks at the cultural reasons for the rise of the forced acceptance of homosexuality in the light of Paul's Epistle to the Romans.

Should people judge one another? And what exactly does it mean to "judge" another person? How does the famous passage in Matthew 7, “Do not judge, so that you won't be judged,” play into this and what is the biblical view of the whole topic? This essay explores these questions and highlights the ultimate goal of any form of speaking to one another about a sibling's failings.

Devotionals and Sermons

Written for Resurrection Sunday 2014, ponder the account and the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and then consider the proper response to give, whether as one who believes in the Resurrection, or as one who does not.

Arising from the author's personal struggles with faith, this devotional takes a careful look at how both the Old and New Testaments define and describe faith. It also includes an excursus on the differences between Hebrew and Greek thought patterns.

Fear is the one thing that weakens the strongest of human beings, making them unable to do what must be done. But there is one thing that can break fear once and for all and this is found in Isaiah 8:11-18. Learn more about this great liberator through this sermon.

This sermon provides an overview of what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit, with a special emphasis on what the marks of a Spirit-filled person are.

God is King of the earth. That is a given which most Christians will agree with, but what exactly does it mean, for God to be King? Here is a sermon on the idea that God is King — not like the king of a modern parliamentary monarchy, but like an ancient middle-eastern autocrat. It also takes a look at how such a view of God impacts the lives of His children.

A short poem contemplating the meaning of the crucifixion on Friday, in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the following Sunday.

How can one get to know God? The answer is surprisingly simple. Take a look at this brief treatise to find out more.

How should a Christian, who is after all, primarily a citizen of heaven act in this world? Paul gives six clear, concise directives in Philippians 4:1-9.

Much has been said and written about how there must be unity in the church of Jesus Christ, but especially since the Protestant Reformation, we see more division than unity. What does the Bible say about these two topics in regards to the local church? In this first part, J.M. Diener looks at what biblical unity in the local church means by studying John 17:20-23 and Ephesians 4:1-15.

Much has been said and written about how there must be unity in the church of Jesus Christ, but especially since the Protestant Reformation, we see more division than unity. What does the Bible say about these two topics in regards to the local church? In this second part, J.M. Diener looks at what the Bible says about division among believers, individually anc collectively, by looking at Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, Revelation 2:14-15 and Acts 15:26-41. He also discusses what makes up the core of the Gospel as the touchstone for what makes good theology.