Welcome to the website! (A post office box is at the end of this post, if you wish to contribute to this teaching ministry)
My personal mission statement is:
Teaching God’s Word to His People and the World
In the context of going into all the world, my website’s theme is taken from Matthew 28:20 (my translation):
Teaching them to observe everything that I commanded you
Jesus has already given us his mission statement. I don’t need to put myself under pressure to come up with my own slogan for the website which potentially reaches the world (my personal slogan is just for me). Too many pastors appear to take over his Son’s church and come up with their own public mission statement. But it is his church, not theirs.
I realize that one main purpose of the site is missional. Anyone can use the site, of course, but I offer it for free, gratis, to Christians (and non-Christians) all around the globe, particularly those in oppressive (persecuting) and developing countries, who cannot afford or do not have access to the latest printed books. The goal is to promote sound doctrine or theology and commentaries on books of the Bible, particularly the New Testament.
Why the Name of the Website?
I hesitated to use my professional title “doctor” on the front page of my website, but I decided that it would be okay. “Doctor” in Latin means “teacher.” (The first day I walked into a college classroom and ever since, students out of their own initiative always used my title, so over the years I got used to it.) I believe the title can clarify my teaching, since so many websites and youtube channels seem chaotic and confused, with unknown credentials. The title is for outreach and credentials in a confused web world. But I don’t insist on my title. It’s not a big deal to me.
My true love is the Bible. I am an avid student of it. I took about ten (give or take) graduate classical Greek at UC Irvine and UCLA and three or four senior level reading classes at UC Riverside. Sometimes I did not formally enroll, but they knew me and I sat in, to the end of the semester. (I had learned NT Greek back in the late 1970s.) I also sat informally with professors of Greek philosophy and read Plato and the Hellenistic philosophers. I like to translate the New Testament and write commentaries as I go. I don’t know Hebrew to translate it, but I write nontechnical commentaries on the Old Testament, just for my own learning.
Why do I translate and comment on the NT? Just to add another translation? No. I learn; therefore I teach. Learning and teaching. That’s it, and in that order.
But I don’t consider myself a top-level scholar. These classes of scholars are far ahead of me:
1.. Put together thick lexicons
2.. Put together the Greek New Testament
3.. Write thick Greek grammar textbooks
4.. Write grammar commentaries on each book and each word in the NT
5.. Write printed commentaries on the NT
6.. Write thick systematic theology textbooks, sometimes multivolumes
This is not false modesty. I depend on all of those scholars. I’m ranked about seventh, if that. Though I have a Ph.D., I’m a perpetual student, not a scholar.
I’m not a professional theologian, but I am a perpetual student of theology. I wrote my systematic theology articles to learn the basics, and now I post them online here. And I hope my studies enable me to teach it, when necessary and without complications, to the Body of Christ.
Further, basic theology is important because there is a great need in the upcoming generations and in these newer (or resurging) revival movements, the Renewal Movements. Here is a verse of warning against straying. Ephesians 4:14 says in the context of the church being built up by the five gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) that we must not be carried away by deceitful fads that come and go like the wind.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. (Eph. 4:14)
Paul wrote these final words about the church:
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (2 Tim. 4:3)
It’s a sobering warning. And Renewalists are particularly susceptible to these teachers. It has been happening for a long time.
But let’s not be pessimistic. We learn theology to know God better.
Nor am I a professional historian. I don’t teach church history in a lecture hall, but by my writing. I share my findings at this website. Church history is more than just famous preachers or theologians. It encompasses anyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
In the context of church history, there are numerous royal biographies, beginning with Charlemagne, who was anointed by the Pope on 25 Dec. 800. The Tudors are interesting to me because they (all but Mary and Henry VII) launched or carried forward the Reformation.
I mainly do research about the pioneers who came to America in the colonial period and early Republic and America after the Civil War and before the twentieth century. I include the Quakers in the Colonial Period because some of them were my ancestors, though I am not a Quaker. Some of them had more orthodox theology, while others did not.
Many of the wonderful historical people in this post claimed Christianity, so I consider this area to be church history, but on the people’s level, not church hierarchy. Did they live up to the Bible’s teachings? What was daily life like for them? What happened when they made mistakes during times of harsh punishments?
The courage and inner fortitude of these “little people” inspire me. Beyond the Quakers, some of the names at this website are part of my family lines. But the posts are purposed to be more general. I hope their lives, revealed in documents, also inspire you to be courageous and strong to serve God.
I offer my notes in basic philosophy which I taught at community colleges and a university for about one decade, give or take. But I am not a Grand Expert in it, and I’m not even clear how I got roped into it. But I worked hard and learned a lot, though I’m glad I left it behind! I write from a Christian perspective.
I loved teaching Humanities I and II. Look for it in the category Western Civilization. We need to preserve it from erosion and destruction by malevolent and misguided ideologies worming their way into it. I offer just some of my outlined notes here, which I typed into my computer after many countless hours of study.
Further, I taught world religions for about seven years (give or take) at various community colleges and one university. I learned, after much research and hard work, that these religions are deficient. They may have some valid points (e.g. don’t steal, live in peace with others, or tame your desires), but they do not truly and deeply understand who God is, who his Son is, and nor do their adherents enjoy life in the Spirit. Therefore, the practitioners of these world religions struggle to keep all the rules and rituals and disciplines. They need the incarnated and resurrected Lord Jesus and the power of the Spirit.
I studied the Quran (Koran) and the traditions shortly after 9/11 and finally found the courage to write about Islam from 2004 to 2007 (I was nudged by the Spirit). I updated the sharia articles in 2012. They are hard-hitting because this is online writing. People had to be warned. However, when I meet someone of another religion, I try to build a bridge, one on one. Face to face, it’s better to be kind. In any case, I no longer write about it. But I offer these posts here for your information. I tried to keep them timeless, so they are still relevant right now.
Finally, I write about social issues and my own country. I believe the social fabric is being shredded by unwise people. I oppose their actions and support upholding the social norms that are biblical and maintaining my country’s ideals, life and liberty and equality before the Creator, as written in the founding documents.
As you can see, I have been a generalist in my teaching profession, so I don’t consider myself a top-level scholar in anyone field. But I learn from them.
All right. That’s it for the “About” section at this website. This website helps me learn, as I research the Bible, basic theology and church history. Then I write out the results of my studies and post them here. I trust people will learn with me.
I offer it missionally to the world, particularly the non-Western world (if they know basic English), gratis, without charge.
I hope the entire website edifies and educates you, as much as it does me.
Please delete the brackets and keep the standard email address. If you wish to contribute to this teaching ministry, here is the address:
James M. Arlandson (write check out to this name)
P.O. Box 56236
Riverside, California 92517-1136
A Brief Autobiography of the Administrator
Statements of Faith: Apostles Creed and National Association Evangelicals
Supplemental Statements of Faith: Two Historic Creeds
‘Total Inerrancy and Infallibility’ or Just Infallibility? (my view of Scripture)