Articles by Klaus D. Issler



  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    Does the Old Testament (OT) teach that charging interest on a loan is sinful? Until about the 1500s, most Church leaders agreed that it was sinful,...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    For most of the history of the church, church leaders understood that the Old Testament taught a complete ban on any interest on loans. As noted in Part 1, the subject of this study is the matter of loans to fellow Israelites who had the potential for paying the loan back, not the topic of charity to the poor. Three important passages in the Pentateuch or Torah guide the main teaching on loans and interest in the Old Testament ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    For much of church history, pastoral leaders believed the Old Testament taught that no interest should be charged on any loans. The care and protection for the Israelite working poor was the main rationale for such a prohibition that no interest should be charged on such loans. “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him” (Exod 22:25). Before we go too much further, let me state the obvious. What we are discussing here is the matter of loans that were offered to fellow Israelites who had the potential for paying the loan back. One doesn’t offer a loan to someone who has no means of paying it back; in that case one offers charity. The subject of charity is a different one with which the Old Testament makes provision through other means (e.g., gleaning [Lev. 19:9-10], sabbatical year [Exod 23:10-11], and triennial tithes [Deut 14:28-29]). The topic of this blog series is about lending, not charity ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    One early evening at six, my wife Beth’s brief comment—"Remember, I'll be needing the car at seven tonight"—suddenly stirred up my inner parts and brought about an energized outburst. I yelled, "You didn't bring this up when we were coordinating our schedules last Saturday!" Where is all that unexpected display of energy and irritation coming from? Why would I react so strongly to that comment? Various factors contributed to this surprising flare-up. I would have to rearrange my schedule and thus not make progress on an important project I was working on. Coupled with a few other similar setbacks earlier in the week unrelated to Beth's involvement, this schedule change had finally set me off ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    Dallas Willard (1936-2013) has been one of the key evangelical interpreters and provocateurs regarding the important doctrine of formation into Christlikeness. Willard was professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California and a former Southern Baptist pastor. Sometimes due to Willard's spearheading the importance of spiritual practices among Protestants, he is viewed as having said little else on the topic of Christian formation (Richard Foster claimed that Willard was his mentor on that particular subject, in the acknowledgement section of Foster’s classic book, Celebration of Discipline, HarperSan Francisco, 1978). But there is much more. ... Four pervading themes in Willard’s writings on Christian formation are briefly developed below, mainly with quotations from Willard.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    Christians desire guidance for how to integrate their God life with their work life—especially those in the business sector. “Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31, NIV). Listed below are three insightful perspectives on this issue. The first two frameworks overlap in some ways, but they also bring out distinctive contributions, and offer particular guidance to help close the Sunday-Monday gap. Some may tend to compartmentalize work life as a second class necessity, and that the real action of Christian living takes place within the church facilities. We want to bring our whole life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, on Sunday and the rest of the week.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    The Christmas story is about Jesus being born into the family of Mary and Joseph. Have you ever considered what other options there were for which type of family Jesus could have been born into? We could explore these possibilities by asking, “What early life experiences do we think could best prepare Jesus for his later public ministry?” Let me suggest a context for this kind of musing. Imagine you were invited to observe that special planning session in eternity past when the Godhead considered creating this world and mapping out a plan for our redemption. Of course this couldn’t happen, but pretend this divine session was like one of our committee meetings. The topic on “today’s” agenda is “What is the best early life experience preparation for Jesus to be formed for his distinctive divine-human role as Messiah and Savior of the world?”

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus D. Issler — 

    Cinematic portrayals of Biblical stories can be a helpful means to encourage our Christian walk. Especially is this the case for me when I watch a movie about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Of course, not everything in a film will be theologically accurate—but no film can accomplish that task. A movie is the director’s and actors’ interpretation of the Gospel events. I have appreciated the following six movies about Jesus. There are sections in each film that touch me deeply and nurture deeper appreciation and love for our Lord. Perhaps one or more of these films will benefit you in the same way.