Is Surgery Part of God’s Story? — An Excerpt from “The Scalpel and the Cross”

Jeremy Bouma on 1 day ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310516057In the past several years we have been considering health care from a number of angles, some old, some new:

economically, the costs of surgery specifically and health care generally have exploded; politically the issues have been a powder keg since the Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law; technologically we have leapfrogged several stages of care thanks to advances in robotics, genetics, and other sciences.

What about theologically?

That’s the aim of Gene Green’s new book The Scalpel and the Cross (releasing 5/5/15). He hopes that “through this short book many will begin to think in new ways about surgery and Christian theology.” (17)

In the excerpt below Green wonders: Is surgery part of God’s story, “as expressed in the Bible and brought…

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NIV 50th Anniversary Bible and Reference 50% Off Sale

Jeremy Bouma on 1 day ago.


NIV Greek and English New TestamentThis year the Committee on Bible Translation, Zondervan, and Biblica are celebrating the 50th year anniversary of the commissioning of the New International Version Bible.

We are celebrating this milestone with a sale offering 50% off essential resources in our Core Reference Library for people at every level of ministry—but only until May 10, 2015.

This curated selection of essential Bible and reference resources includes:

Bibles NIV Greek and English New Testament by John R. Kohlenberger III Sale: $35.00 | Was: $69.99

NIV Life Application Study Bible Sale: $30.00 | Was: $59.99

Bible Backgrounds Commentaries Genesis (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary) by John H. Walton Sale: $8.50 | Was: $16.99

Isaiah (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary) by David W. Baker Sale: $10.00 | Was:…

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How Should Holiness Shape Our Public Posture? Abortion Shows Us — An Excerpt from “The Political Disciple”

Jeremy Bouma on 2 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

The Political Disciple by Vincent Bacote“What does it look like for people to become enemies, and what might be a model of a holy public posture?”

Vincent Bacote asks this important question in his new book The Political Disciple, a primer on the intersection of the Christian faith and public life.

In the following excerpt, Bacote explores the development of the political “other,” the tendency “to conflate individual people with the political issues dear to them” and turn them into enemies.

He uses the politics of abortion to illustrate his larger thesis:

If our public advocacy is conveyed in a manner that can present neighbor-love with the same strength as the pro-life position, our sanctification would come across in a way that would confound…

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Why is the Bible Always the Number One Bestseller?

Jeremy Bouma on 3 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)

A Doubter's Guide to the BibleExcept for 2007, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 40 million copies, every year the Bible has been the number one bestseller.

Why is the Bible so popular? In today’s video John Dickson, author of A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible, explains two possible reasons:

“The Church imposes it on the world; it makes this Book the popular book.” “The Bible tells a story from the first book, Genesis, to the last book, Revelation, that people long to be true.”

Dickson goes on to explain what he says in his book: “[the Bible's] account of humanity and the world we live in rings true. Reading the Bible can be like meeting someone you don’t know who, oddly, somehow…

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Reliving Christ’s Passion [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified. If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, acknowledge your God like the good thief. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore,…

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How Does Physical Surgery Impact Faith in Christ? An Ordinary Theology of Surgery

Jeremy Bouma on 4 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

The Scalpel and the Cross by Gene Green

Over a year ago I had surgery to remove my thyroid after discovering a cancerous tumor two days before Christmas. In the weeks leading up to the procedure, a burning question was left unanswered amidst the myriad of medical ones:

How should I think about my surgery theologically?

Gene L. Green understands this question. He asked similar ones before aortic valve replacement surgery. Before his procedure he discovered something startling:

through all the literature I discovered nothing written that could be called a theology of surgery. How should I be thinking about the forthcoming surgery in relation to my faith in Christ, my theology? (20)

That’s why he wrote The Scalpel and the Cross (Ordinary Theology Series, releasing 5/5/15). He wrote it for patients facing and recovering from surgery; for surgeons considering the meaning…

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Is “Has Been Causing to Grow” Redundant? (1 Cor 3:6) — Mondays with Mounce 259

Bill Mounce on 5 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

One of the important steps every Greek student must make is to move beyond the formal structures of first and even second year Greek, and start considering other issues such as the meaning of a word.

Take for example 1 Cor 3:6. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God has been causing the growth (ηὔξανεν).” Because ηὔξανεν is an imperfect — past time; imperfective aspect — every first year Greek teacher would expect an explicitly durative translation: “has been causing.”

This is great for first year Greek, but let me ask the question. Isn’t the actual meaning of “grow” a durative idea? Do we have to explicitly say “has been causing” to get the durative idea across? Of course not.

In fact, it could be argued that having both “grow” and “has been causing” is redundant, translating the same form twice.…

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Extracurricular Activities 4.18.15 — Exodus Evidence, Jefferson’s Jesus, and Clinton’s Faith

Jeremy Bouma on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.

The Israelites Leaving Egypt by David Roberts

Peter Enns Asks, “Did the Exodus Happen?”

Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article (by Joshua Berman) suggesting the biblical exodus might have its root in an historical event. This isn’t exactly new, but what interested me was the primary reason given— the biblical text seems to be appropriating some Ramesses II propaganda (discovered early in the 20th century) to make a theological point.

Berman writes, “Both written accounts, hieroglpyhic in the case of the Kadesh inscriptions, Hebrew in the case of Exous chapters 14-15, follow a similar plot, sometimes line for line, and feature a sequence of motifs seen nowhere else in battle accounts of the ancient Near East.”

He then gives the following examples:

Roger Olson on the Dialectic of “Nature and Grace” in Christian Theology

I recently had opportunity to…

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[Common Places] Introduction to New Studies in Dogmatics

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,.

New Studies in Dogmatics Series

Over the next few weeks and months, Common Places will be introducing a new series to be published by Zondervan Academic entitled New Studies in Dogmatics. The vision of the series flows from judgments about the past practices of theology, the current state of the discipline, and the hoped for future conversations that we wish to see occurring amongst Christians and churches. The specific vision of the series can be seen in the series preface:

New Studies in Dogmatics follows in the tradition of G. C. Berkouwer’s classic series, Studies in Dogmatics, in seeking to offer concise, focused treatments of major topics in dogmatic theology that fill the gap between introductory theology textbooks and   advanced theological monographs. Dogmatic theology, as understood by editors and contributors to the series, is a conceptual representation of scriptural teaching about God and all…

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Celebrity Christianity Is Like “Smelling Your Own Feet” Says Michael Horton

Jeremy Bouma on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,.

Is there a connection between celebrity Christianity and the rejection of Christianity as ordinary?

Michael Horton thinks so, addressing such ambition and super-apostleship in his new book Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World. He also addresses it in an interview.

9780310517375“In our culture we love to make idols and break idols. We’re fascinated with celebrity,” which he says has crept into the church.

In Ordinary he writes, “Ambition is a focal point for something that creates within us…a tension between self and community.” (99) In the interview he distinguishes between being popular and aspiring to popularity—which he humorously describes as “smelling your own feet.” He also points to the rivalries is of the New Testament based on popularity to remind us what…

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Should Christians Participate in the Public Sphere? An Ordinary Theology of Politics

Jeremy Bouma on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

The Political Disciple by Vincent Bacote

What does theology have to do with the ordinary affairs of our daily lives?

It’s a question people in the church have been asking for generations. It’s also a question that a new innovative series of engaging, targeted books is asking–the Ordinary Theology Series.

Really, ordinary theology is just another way of saying theology, because theological inquiry is of no use when it’s divorced from the ordinary stuff of daily life. The goals of the Ordinary Theology Series are two-fold:

To take up the common issues of daily life and think through them theologically; To invite interested Christians to develop their skills as a theologian in order to “do theology” on the ground.

This series is built on the belief that “Each of us can make a theological contribution to the church, our family, our community, and…

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Was Jesus In A Lonely, Deserted, or Uninhabited Region? (Mark 1:45) — Mondays with Mounce 258

Bill Mounce on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,.

The sermon yesterday was on the need for solitude, planned margin. Always a good reminder for those of us who tend to define ourselves by what we do — do I hear the amens?

The passage was Mark 1:45. “Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but stayed out in unpopulated areas (ἐρήμοις τόποις; NASB).”

What caught my eye was the NASB’s use of “unpopulated.” For a translation that tends away from excessive interpretation (although all translations are interpretive), their use of “unpopulated” was a very good choice.

ἔρημος is technically an adjective meaning, “pert. to being in a state of isolation, isolated, desolate, deserted” (BDAG). When used substantivally, ἔρημος means “an uninhabited region or locality, desert, grassland, wilderness.” ἔρημος indicates Jesus stayed in those areas outside the city, but what did that look like in first…

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