10 Things You Should Know about Theophanies

The word theophany is a combination of two Greek words, meaning God and appearance.

Theophanies are of different kinds. Examples include a thunderstorm, fire, a cloud, glory, a courtroom, a human figure, a warrior, and a chariot. Each of these highlight aspects of God’s character and his dealings with us. Each foreshadows the coming of Christ. Each kind is mysteriously related to the other kinds.   The word theophany... Continue Reading

Teaching the Trinity: TRIUNE

Summarizing the salient features of the Trinity using the acronym TRIUNE.

No subordination of rank, no multiplication of deities, no confusion of persons. God subsists as three equal persons, not three gods, not one god with three different faces, and not one supreme deity with an angelic deputy and an ethereal delegate. Every Christian should be Trinitarian, not Unitarian, nor Jesus-monistic, nor pneumo-manic.   If I... Continue Reading

Is God Far Away When He Feels Far Away?

A battle in the human heart arises where when something is very hard and God seems far away

So, the experience of God feeling far away is a common one. What is so remarkable in how the Bible approaches people in suffering—fully cognizant that they feel God is far away—is that over and over again it says “he’s near, he’s in it, and he’s going through this with you.”   So Crushed in... Continue Reading

Bart Ehrman on How Christianity Defeated Paganism

The combination of Christianity’s missionary heart and exclusive worship led to its eventual triumph

Ehrman argues that the emergence of Christianity as the victor over pagan religions in the ancient world was “the single greatest cultural transformation our world has ever seen.” And, consequently, there are few historical questions more important (and interesting) than how and why that happened.   In recent years there’s been a resurgence of interest... Continue Reading

The Power of Biblical Thinking

There is something supremely biblical about thinking right thoughts

However, when you look at yourself through the biblical lens of God’s Law, you discover that, “you are a worse sinner than you ever dared imagine;” then, when you look at yourself through the lens of Christ, you realize that “you’re more loved than you ever dared hope.”   Somewhat surprisingly, there has been a... Continue Reading

The Moment of Truth: Its Rejection

In this very generation in which we live, we hear this malignant mantra: “What is truth?”

Pilate, standing before the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truth incarnate, voices an age-old question. But it is not an honest question from one searching to know the truth. Rather, it is a defiant denunciation of the truth. It is spoken with a tone of derision. It is dismissive. It is spoken with contempt. This response... Continue Reading

Where Our Anger Comes From (And How to Fight)

I’m talking about that anger that erupts when our plans are frustrated or our teenager dents the car.

When we believe in Jesus, God gives us his Holy Spirit and causes us to be born again to a new life. We are no longer under the dominion of our fallen nature, but it still seeks to exert itself. And the “works” of our fallen nature include anger: “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger,... Continue Reading

Braving Hard Passages: Baptism for the Dead

First, we should consider the context of a passage unclear to us.

Two principles that are worth remembering when you come to hard texts are (1) we must always let Scripture interpret Scripture; and (2) do not form an entire doctrine from one obscure and difficult text. This second principle really flows from the first. No major doctrine in Scripture entirely hangs on one text. The beauty... Continue Reading

The God Who Gives Life to the Dead: A Redemptive-Historical Reading of Romans 4:1-25

It is not the adherents of the Law who are the heirs, but those who share in the faith of Abraham, a faith that believes in the God “who gives life to the dead.”

Paul now sees another earlier typological fulfillment of the promise in Abraham when the Lord brings life from his body, “which was as good as dead,” and “the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (4:19). It was not Abraham’s doing that would bring forth life—such would be impossible for him as one residing under death’s influence—but believing in God alone who could do it.... Continue Reading

Practice Makes Perfect

The Hebrew word 'blameless' does not denote 'sinless' but rather it points to a mature Christian character, in which all graces were blended and balanced.

I rarely hear believers talking deeply about holiness today. Sin and worldliness seem to be missing words in Christian chit-chat. In our zeal to win the lost there appears to be more focus on being trendy – on conforming to expectations of the world so as to be as similar as possible. As I come to... Continue Reading