How the Reformation Recovered Preaching
The preaching of the gospel as a sacramental event is at the heart of Reformation theology
“Prior to the Reformation, the sermon was mostly an ad hoc event reserved for special occasions or seasons of the liturgical cycle, especially Christmas and Eastertide. Most sermons were preached in town squares or open fields. The reformers brought the sermon back inside the church and gave it an honored place in the public worship... Continue Reading
10 Things You Should Know about Biblical Theology
Biblical theology is different than systematic and historical theology.
Biblical theology helps us see the glory of God across the Scriptures more clearly. As we see God’s sovereign plan of redemption unfold in the single unified story of the Bible, as we see his wise and loving hand guiding all of history to bring it to his intended goals, as we see the repeated... Continue Reading
Jesus is Coming! Quick, Look Busy.
I’m not sure that the busy schedule that professional ministry has established over the past few decades is serving our people half as much as it is serving itself.
But the last thing they’d want to tell their unchurched friend is that if they came to church and became a Christian their lives would suddenly look a whole lot busier. Yet instinctively, and given their own experiences, they know that that is usually going to be true. So they look at their tired work colleagues, who have kids in two schools, a boss on their back, a sick father, a little league team to coach, and a long commute home, and they wonder, just wonder, if what they’re offering them is good news for busy people, or just more stuff to do in an already stretched life in a frantic age which has lost the art of a good rest.
How Word Studies Go Bad: A (Slightly Funny) Example
While word studies can bring a rich depth to your Bible study, they need to be done well, with discernment
The third possibility is the worst, for συλλαμβάνω could also mean, "to become pregnant, conceive!" Here the horrible, no-good, very bad translation would be, "I also ask you, true companion, let these women become pregnant!" The grammar really doesn't work well with this, but I have known students who could get around that little problem.
This is Love
True love is more than a catch phrase stamped on a piece of candy. It is a life poured out for another, as Christ poured out his life for us.
If we love God, we will love one another: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God" (4:7). The love we have for others is a natural overflow of our love for God. It's a litmus test of our faith. "If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us" (4:12). "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers" (3:14). In fact, it is this love for others that shows the world we are Christ's followers. As Jesus said in John 13.35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon
Often overlooked in this passage is that Paul understands a covenant to be something that you read.
Given Paul’s statement in 2 Cor 3:14 that we just noted, it would be natural to think that Paul has in mind a new set of written documents that testify to the terms of the covenantal arrangement in Christ. As Carmignac argues, “In order to use the expression ‘Old Testament’ he [Paul] must also be aware of the existence of a ‘New Testament.’” Carmignac even goes further and suggests that this ‘New Testament’ may have had contained a number of books in order for it to be parallel with the Old.
Deadly Doctrines: Facing Evil Like Snakes and Doves
We are to be godly but not gullible—snake smart, but not snake sneaky.
First, we are too weak and evil is too strong for us to immerse ourselves in evil and remain untouched. Our acquaintance with evil can soon become an attraction to evil. Second, defending truth by studying error is a fool’s errand. God’s truth is profitable, but evil is a useless counterfeit, a perversion of the truth. God’s truth is fixed and unchanging, but evil is always morphing, always adapting to the trends of the age. Becoming an expert in truth by studying error is dangerous and wasteful, a backward, perilous approach.
What’s Wrong with Wright: Examining the New Perspective on Paul
The New Perspective on Paul is not a new perspective at all, but a recycling and repackaging of several serious errors that have already proved their spiritual bankruptcy.
But it is my strong conviction that the position Wright lays out in What St. Paul Really Said is not an evangelical position at all. It’s a faulty and dangerous reinterpretation of Paul and it misunderstands Scripture in a way that fatally undermines the doctrine of justification by faith and the principle of sola fide. My... Continue Reading
Deadly Doctrines: The Pattern and Protection
How do we guard ourselves against false teachers and their deadly doctrines?
Paul warns Timothy that people “will turn away from listening to the truth.” The first step in destroying a church is a corporate rejection of the plain teaching of the Bible. First, one individual turns away, and then another, until most of the congregation begins to question what they once held to be true. ... Continue Reading
The ‘Cause and Root’ of Adoption
If adoption is so important, why does the term huiothesia draw so little ink?
“Quantitative analysis of vocabulary serves as no adequate determiner, because the word huiothesia widely embraces multiple theological foci and vast pastoral treasure. Before giving attention to the sweeping manner in which Paul employs huiothesia, critical hermeneutical principles concerning the theological weight of biblical terms warrant mention.” Cursory enquiry of huiothesia (“adoption”) in the New... Continue Reading