Author Archives: jrcoggins

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is www.coggins.ca

The Place of Apostles by James R. Coggins

The Gospel of Mark reports that “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted…He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority … Continue reading

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An Honest Look at Life in the Church by James R. Coggins

I will start at the rather ordinary beginning and assure you that the more extraordinary matter later on is worth waiting for. I first met Dawn Miller by mail many years ago. I was an editor with a church denominational … Continue reading

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Pharisees and Teachers by James R. Coggins

While the crowds ran after Jesus, almost from the beginning the Pharisees and teachers of the law (sometimes called scribes) opposed Him. Why? Teachers of the law were essentially rabbis—experts in the Old Testament law who taught in the temple … Continue reading

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Would Jesus Go to Church? by James R. Coggins

“If Jesus came to earth today, he would be spending his time on the streets, helping the poor and the marginalized, not in churches.” I encounter such sentiments frequently on social media. This ties in with other attitudes in modern … Continue reading

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Followers of Jesus by James R. Coggins

We sometimes think of the Twelve apostles as a group and suppose that Jesus called them all at once. This is not so. According to Mark 1-2, Jesus first walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and called … Continue reading

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More Famous Coggins Quotations by James R. Coggins

After a writer is dead, some anonymous scholar often collects the best quotes from all of his written works, reducing his laboriously written tomes to a few sound bites. A while back, I decided to save this anonymous scholar some … Continue reading

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Right and Left by James R. Coggins

In Mark 10, the apostles James and John came to Jesus and said, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask” (Mark 10:35 NIV). In other words, they wanted Jesus to give them an answer before they told … Continue reading

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Ungrateful Kids by James R. Coggins

“Lord,” the man prayed, “it’s these kids you gave me. They’re driving me nuts. They’ve phoned me fourteen times this week, and not once was it anything positive. They only called me to complain or to ask for something: ‘I … Continue reading

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A Man with Leprosy by James R. Coggins

Mark 1:40-45 tells an interesting story about a man with leprosy who came to Jesus and begged for healing. Jesus healed the man but then gave him a strong warning not to tell anyone about it. However, the man was … Continue reading

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What Is It about the Irish? by James R. Coggins

How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill is a somewhat older book (published in 1995) that has stayed with me. This … Continue reading

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A Day in the Life of Jesus by James R. Coggins

Mark 1:21-35 describes one day in the life of Jesus. He and his followers were in Capernaum. On the Sabbath day, He preached in the synagogue and cast a demon out of man who was present. Then they went to … Continue reading

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Black Angus: A Dramatic Dialogue by James R. Coggins

There are many black tails from the Scottish borderlands, but for shear betrayal, none can bleat the saga of Black Angus. One fine misty morning, Angus was confronted by his brother Peat, saying, “I have a bone to pick with … Continue reading

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Location, Location, Location by James R. Coggins

Mark 1:4-20 describe the ministry of John the Baptist and the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. John the Baptist preached in the desert/wilderness near the southern end of the Jordan River, where it empties into the Dead Sea. He … Continue reading

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The Significance of Cockpit Resource Management by James R. Coggins

Modern passenger airplanes are extremely safe, with overlapping safeguards (including having a pilot and co-pilot). An airplane rarely crashes due to a single problem. Usually, in an airplane crash, one or more mechanical issues are compounded by one or more … Continue reading

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The Good News by James R. Coggins

Many modern commentators deny the divinity of Jesus, arguing that He never claimed to be God. However, the book of Mark declares at the beginning, in what serves as a title, “The Beginning of the Good News about Jesus the … Continue reading

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