The Problem of Evil – An Excerpt from Core Christianity

ZA Blog on 2 days ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

“Either God is great or God is good, but he can’t be both.”

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in Christianity is the question about evil: How can a powerful and loving God allow pain and suffering?

This excerpt from Core Christianity lays out the problem of evil in light of the story of God’s sovereignty, goodness and love. Author Michael Horton brings the drama of good and evil into tension with the end in mind…

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IF GOD IS GREAT AND GOOD, HOW CAN THERE BE SO MUCH EVIL IN THE WORLD?

9780310525066

There are a lot of mysteries surrounding the attributes of God. The Bible teaches us both that God is all-powerful and that we have real freedom and responsibility. But how? We know…

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Visually Explore 6 Beautiful Truths About Your Christian Identity

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

9780310520436_2In their new book Visual Theology, a beautiful re-application of God’s truth, Tim Challies and Josh Byers offer an illustration to explain our new identity in Christ:

On February 6, 2006, Stephen Harper stood before the Governor General of Canada and recited the oath of office to faithfully execute the powers and trust given to him by the people of Canada.

In that very moment Stephen Harper became Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Yet, as they explain, “it must have taken him some time to begin confidently behaving like a Prime Minister. There must have been a period of adjustment when he was reconciling himself to all of these new realities…” (29)

How many of us Christians can relate?

Though we were given a new identity when we put our faith in…

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Wayne Grudem: “Why I Wrote Systematic Theology,” Plus a New Online Course

Wayne Grudem on 5 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

When I first started teaching classes in Systematic Theology I found it difficult to find a book that would:

have clarity enough so that first year students could understand it; have application to people’s life so they could see the usefulness of doctrine; and quote Bible verses extensively because I was convinced that it was the words of scripture that are God’s very words and they change our minds and hearts more powerfully than any other merely human words.

That led me to write a book on systematic theology which included those features. Introducing a new online course

Now, in connection with the book, we have created an online course covering all 57 chapters.

My Systematic Theology online course includes the first half of a set of 57 10-minute lectures in which I introduce and give an overview…

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Lots of Noise in Heaven (δεῖ; Luke 15:32) – Mondays with Mounce 287

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

I was reading Luke 15 this morning and concluded that heaven is a “happening place.” Celebration. Shouting. Rejoicing.

Luke 15 is the primary biblical passage for the joy God feels when someone repents. But not only God but also the angels. This is the happy side of the spiritual realities in which we live. True, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12). But there is more than struggle in the spiritual realm. There is joy.

Just like the joy of finding a…

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$4.99 eBook Sale: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, NEW TESTAMENT and OLD TESTAMENT

ZA Blog on 5 days ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Announcement: All volumes of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary New Testament have been released in eBook format! (Joining the complete Old Testament set also in eBook format.)

ZIBBCOT Twitter.3

For this week only we are offering each eBook (Old Testament & New Testament) in the series for just $4.99.

That means you save up to 66% on these commentaries!

Each New Testament commentary…

is based on relevant papyri, inscriptions, archaeological discoveries, and studies of Judaism, Roman culture, Hellenism, and other features of the world of the New Testament. has hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and line drawings. includes copious maps, charts, and timelines along with sidebar articles and insights. offers “reflections” on the Bible’s relevance for 21st-century living. is written by…

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God Speaks – An Excerpt from Visual Theology

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

We live in a visual culture. Today, people increasingly rely upon visuals to help them understand new and difficult concepts. The rise and stunning popularity of the Internet infographic has given us a new way in which to convey data, concepts and ideas.

Applying a unique blend of writing and infographics, writer Tim Challies and artist Josh Byers have created a fresh, beautiful, and informative presentation of the deepest truths of the Bible. This book will help you see the truth and live the truth. In this excerpt, Challies and Byers get to the core of how a relational God communicates with the relational humans he created. Follow along as the authors unpack this concept using visual graphics and accessible terms.

Visual Theology is available now…

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[Common Places]: Reading Notes: Theology of Worship

Sue Rozeboom on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,.

Open book on wooden deck The Christian tradition has ever regarded worship worthy of theological reflection. Though the formal theological sub-discipline of “liturgical theology” did not emerge until the twentieth century, the Christian church has always exhibited an awareness of the significance of exercising theologia secunda—second order reflection—on theologia prima—first order encounter of the living God in worship. When the apostle Paul (1st c.) spoke sharply to folk in Corinth about their lack of Table manners, he was doing liturgical theology (1 Corinthians 10-11). When Basil the Great (4th c.) argued in On the Holy Spirit for the divinity of the Spirit based in part on Trinitarian liturgical tropes,…

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Visually Explore 4 Essential, Beautiful Truths About Life In Christ

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

9780310520436_2Dutch Christian art theorist Hans Rookmaaker said, “Our world has changed for better or for worse. It is for us to find truth and beauty for today, constantly re-applying the truth of God’s word to our own time and our contemporary situation.”

Tim Challies and Josh Byers seem to have taken their cues from Rookmaaker with their new book Visual Theology. Both authors are passionate about finding and expressing truth and beauty in their own way, one as a writer, the other as an artist. Together they have masterfully re-applied the truth of God’s word to our time and situation in a way that is both truthful and beautiful; their visual theology is beautiful theology!

Inspired by the more recent art form of infographics, an especially functional form of art…

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Nuances of Lost Meaning (James 1:6) – Mondays with Mounce 286

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

I just came home from Houston where we were recording Bruce Waltke’s class on Psalms for BiblicalTraining.org. We didn’t quite finish so I will be traveling to his house in a month or so to finish, so the class should be ready in a couple months. It will be a good companion class to his on Proverbs. But sorry I missed the blog last week.

I was looking at the NIV of James 1:6, and while the point I want to make may seemed nuanced, perhaps even picky, I think it becomes an issue when this same situation is repeated hundreds of times throughout the Bible.

James sets the stage with the preceding verse: “If any…

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Unanswerable Questions – An Excerpt from Paradox Lost

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,,.

How do you handle questions you can’t answer? Do you feel like you need to understand everything? Or do you instead avoid difficult tensions? How we respond reflects our trust in God.

In today’s excerpt, Richard P. Hansen gives us permission to live in the tension. As he warns us of the dangers of letting fears shut us up, he also challenges us to keep asking unanswerable questions. Doing so reminds us that God is God and we are not. Hansen argues that instead of driving us to doubt, these questions can draw us into deeper relationship with God, the only One who knows the answers we seek.

Paradox Lost will be available in May from Zondervan Academic and is available to pre-order today.

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paradox lost

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What Is the Bible’s Drama, Why Should I Care? Michael Horton Explains

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

9780310525066In his new book Core Christianity, Michael Horton describes a childhood church experience similar to my own. Like his church, we loved the Bible, took Sunday School seriously, and trained in Bible knowledge. Yet I had a problem similar to Horton:

with all of this knowledge of the Bible, I never knew how it all fit together. There were lots of interesting (and some not so interesting) stories. But I never heard the big story that moves with dramatic force from Genesis to Revelation. For the most part the Old Testament was alien to me,…

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Get Your Free eBook on Character Formation in Online Education!

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.

Character Formation in Online Education

If you currently teach online, or you’re part of a school exploring online learning, you have probably asked yourself the following questions:

What does it mean to teach in a higher education setting from a distinctly Christian perspective? What are the best practices for teaching online?

Many people have answered each of these questions thoughtfully and well. You have no doubt encountered excellent material on these subjects written by thoughtful and experienced educators.

However, a gap still exists: very little has been written on the subject which combines these two questions.

In other words:

What does Christian teaching and learning look like online? How does an online learning environment lead to character and spiritual formation…

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