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

Jeremy Bouma on 1 day 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 3 days 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 4 days 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 5 days 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 257

Bill Mounce on 6 days 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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Good Christians Make Good Humans: A Q&A with Michael Wittmer on “Becoming Worldly Saints”

Jeremy Bouma on 6 days ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

Becoming Worldly Saints by Michael Wittmer

Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life? That’s the question author and professor Michael Wittmer asks in his new book Becoming Worldly Saints. It’s also a question that gets at the heart of what it means to be a Christian, as much as what it means to be human. Because, as Wittmer argues, “Good Christians make good humans.”

Or at least they should. And yet many wonder if you can do both — be a Christian, with all that it entails, and still live a normal human life. I know I have.

Wittmer maintains you can, because the Christian life and the human life are actually one in the same flourishing life.

An intriguing proposition, to be sure. One I explored in an interview for OnFaith. Our discussion included:

His thoughts on why there’s such a disconnect between our earthly…

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Power of the Flesh Is Broken [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,.

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6)

We who have a Spirit-given hope of the resurrection possess that future blessing as if it were already present. We say, “Our life is controlled by the Spirit now and is not confined to this physical world that is subject to corruption. While sin was our master the bonds of death had a firm hold on us, but now with the righteousness of Christ we have freed ourselves from our former corruptibility.”

“Once we thought of Christ as being in the flesh, but we do not any longer” (2 Cor. 5:16) says Saint Paul. By this he meant that the Word became flesh and suffered death…

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Extracurricular Activities 4.11.15 — Economic Discrimination, Conversion, & Jesus’ Sabbath Rest

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

Church Building

Jordan Ballor on the Logic of Economic Discrimination

Why should big businesses like Apple, Angie’s List, or Salesforce be able to discriminate against an entire state like Indiana, while Christian small-business owners cannot likewise decide who they want to do business with? If Apple can boycott Indiana, why can’t evangelicals boycott same-sex weddings?

Eric Teetsel Evaluates Whether Matthew 5:41 Applies to Religious Discrimination

Recently, many friends have shared a blog Bake for them two. The post seems to have struck a chord with folks from across the theological and political spectrum. According to the blog’s homepage, it has garnered over 300,000 views since April 1. The author, Jessica Kantrowitz, admits that she does not consider gay marriage immoral, but aims her words at Christians whose understanding conforms to orthodox biblical teaching on the subject. Invoking primarily…

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Who Has Influenced Daniel Strange the Most? A Canadian-Born, Reformed Evangelical

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

(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)

Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock by Daniel StrangeToday Daniel Strange, author of Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock, reveals one of the more important influences on his theological formation: Don Carson, especially his ground-breaking book The Gagging of God.

“When I was doing my PhD studies I did it at a very secular and pluralistic university. And as a young evangelical it was a challenge. The book that had just come out at the time was Don Carson’s book The Gagging of God. The scope of it was amazing!”

Strange goes on to explain how Carson’s methodology of incorporating the breadth of theological disciplines specifically shaped the scope and contours of his own book on religious pluralism.

Watch the video to hear why Carson and…

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Emotional Healthy Leadership Begins With This Core Trait—And Free Conference

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

The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero

Whether you’re a volunteer group leader, professor, or pastor, Christ’s church needs emotionally healthy leaders to bring the transformation people desperately need. Peter Scazzero wants to help you become emotionally healthy with a free live streaming conference, The Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference.

This conference is designed for leaders eager to lead differently, ready to integrate two missing components in today’s church—emotional health and contemplative spirituality, teaching a core trait of an emotionally healthy leader: the art of paying attention.

The Core Trait of Emotionally Healthy Leaders

Paying attention is the core of the Christian life, because it is necessary if we are going to know God. It’s also crucial for leading and loving people. Scazzero explains in a recent sermon:

Without this discipline you can’t love people. To give your attention to someone who is suffering is a rare…

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McKnight Outlines Ancient & Pauline Views of Sexuality, Offers a Way Forward— An Excerpt from “A Fellowship of Differents”

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

9780310412144Scot McKnight has done it again.

He did it with Bible study and hermeneutics in The Blue Parakeet; discipleship in One Life; and personal evangelism in The King Jesus Gospel.

By “it,” I mean helping regular churchgoers engage Jesus and his world, and equipping pastors to take popular theology to the people in their pews.

His latest book firmly targets ecclesiology and its impact on the Christian life. In A Fellowship of Differents, McKnight’s thesis is simple, yet eye-opening for anyone in vocational ministry:

Church life shapes the Christian life.

One of the more important chapters brings clarity to the biblical text and a cohesive response to a conversation romping through the American church: human sexuality.

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Save an Ancient Page from a Greek New Testament Manuscript for Just $5.50

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


Our friend and author Daniel B. Wallace  is inviting you to help save an ancient New Testament manuscript—for as little as the cost of a fancy caffeinated beverage.

Wallace and the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) are endeavoring to digitally preserve the entire collection of Greek New Testament manuscripts at the National Library of Greece.  The NLG is one of the five largest repositories in the world for Greek NT manuscripts. They have over 300 such manuscripts, amounting to roughly 150,000 pages of text.

And they need your help.

As you can imagine, the costs of this important effort are substantial—nearly $1 million. Which is why Wallace’s organization is asking for interested Christians, scholars, and teachers to join the CSNTM in this important and urgent work.

“If you…

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