Death Made Dead (II) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 14 hours ago. Tagged under ,,,.

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:26)

Death has become like a tyrant who has been completely conquered by the legitimate monarch; bound hand and foot, the passers-by sneer at him, hit him, and abuse him, as they are no longer afraid of his cruelty and rage because of their king’s conquest. That is how death has been conquered and branded for what it is by the Savior on the cross. It is bound hand and foot; all who are in Christ trample it as they pass, and his witnesses mock it, scoffing and saying, “O death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).

Do you think this is a weak proof of the impotence of death? Or is it a small indication of the Savior’s victory when young boys…

Read more

Extracurricular Activities 5.2.15 — Supreme Court Arguments, Jesus and Cynics, & Syrian Christians

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


Russell Moore Notes 10 Questions About Marriage from This Week’s Supreme Court Arguments

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether the U.S. Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. It was an historic day. While no side can predict how the Court will rule, all evidence suggests the justices remain deeply divided on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Below are the top ten most important questions that Supreme Court justices asked lawyers from each side of the cae. We’ve provided brief answers to these questions in hopes of helping Christians think through marriage’s importance to the common good. [Note: These questions are summarized and not exact quotations from the justices.]

Michael Lindsay and Andrew Sullivan on Gay Marriage at Q Boston

Michael Lindsay, the president of Gordon College, spoke this morning to…

Read more

Porneia: Sex Gone Bad — An Excerpt from “Faithful: A Theology of Sex”

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

9780310518273You don’t have to look too far to see how far sex has fallen. The New Testament has a name for such sex gone bad: porneia.

Most Bibles translate this term “fornication” or “sexual immorality.” But as Beth Felker Jones explains in her new books Faithful: An Ordinary Theology of Sex, (available 5/5/15) “These translations may have lost their ability to convey the biblical idea of porneia.” (43) She goes on:

The word porneia is an umbrella term — one under which a number of different situations fit — for sex gone wrong. Porneia is sex deformed by sin. It is sex that is contrary to God’s good intentions. (43)

The problem is, we can hardly have a conversation in contemporary North America about any…

Read more

How Do We Reckon Urban Life with the Christian Faith? A Theology of Urban Life

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

Cities of Tomorrow and the City to Come by Noah Toly

In his new book Cities of Tomorrow and the City to Come, (available 5/5/15) Noah Toly invites you to become a flâneur. Flâneur is a French word meaning “stroller” or “saunterer;” a flâneur is a strolling observer of city life.

In our case, you’re invited as a Christian strolling urban observer by engaging these crucial contemporary question:

How do we reckon with basic realities of cities from a Christian perspective? What does it mean to develop a more informed and committed Christian perspective on urban life? (22)

These questions sit at the heart of Toly’s engaging, erudite theological engagement with life in our cities. It’s not so much an introduction to urban policy or even ministry issues, though the book provides a launchpad into them. It’s a reflection from a Christian perspective on a constellation of…

Read more

What has Chicago to do with Jerusalem? — An Excerpt from “Cities of Tomorrow and the City to Come”

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

9780310516019Of course our question is a contemporary twist on an ancient one:  “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”

Then, Tertullian was asking about the relationship between philosophy and Christianity. Now, in his new book Cities of Tomorrow and the City to Come, (available 5/5/15) Noah J. Toly is asking about the relationship between urban life and the Christian faith.

As a Christian who studies cities and urban life, exploring these intersections is not optional. Christian theology is closely related to my practice of urban studies. How I study urban life and how I think about Christian doctrine must be connected. (17)

The excerpt below visits a conversation between him and an atheist acquaintance to preface learning, faith, and urban life. She wondered why an urbanist like himself…

Read more

If the Early Church Was Extraordinary, Why Should We Be Ordinary?

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

(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)

9780310517375Radical. Revolutionary. Emergent. Explosive Breakthrough.

This is the language of the modern church. Some connect such language to the early church. They wonder, Why should we strive for ordinary when it seems like they didn’t?

Recently through Twitter this question was posed to Michael Horton, author of Ordinary. In the above video he suggests the times when the Church has been most effective has been when it’s been most ordinary.

Horton explores two ordinary ways of early Christians:

Everyday Living: “They were set apart by their godliness, their devotion to their family, their unwillingness to participate in pagan rites.” Christian Living: “They gathered regularly on the Lord’s Day for the Word of God, preaching, prayers, singing the Psalms, and eating bread and drinking wine.”

Watch Horton’s…

Read more

Death Made Dead (I) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 4 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. (Hosea 13:14)

A very strong proof of the conquest and destruction of death by the cross is given by an interesting fact. All of Christ’s disciples despise death; they take the offensive against it, and instead of fearing it, by the sign of the cross and by faith in Christ they trample on it as on something dead. Before the Savior came, even the holiest of men were afraid of death and mourned the dead as people gone forever.

But now that the Savior has raised his body, death is no longer terrible, and all those who believe in Christ tread it underfoot as nothing. They prefer to die rather than to deny their faith in Christ, knowing full well that when they…

Read more

“All Sex Is Real”: An Ordinary Theology of Sex

Jeremy Bouma on 5 days ago. Tagged under ,,,,.


Let’s talk about sex.

Perhaps it’s appropriate we have this conversation on the very day the Supreme Court argues issues of sex and marriage. It’s an important conversation, a few characters have in Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake.

Jimmy and Oryx are talking about Oryx’s past childhood sexual exploitation when Jimmy asks, “It wasn’t real sex, was it? . . . In the movies, it was only acting. Wasn’t it?”

Oryx responds, “But Jimmy, you should know. All sex is real.”

That’s the foundational premise of Beth Felker Jones’s new book Faithful: An Ordinary Theology of Sex. This short book explores the goodness of sexuality as created and redeemed. It suggests ways to navigate the difficulties of living in a world in which sexuality suffers the effects of the fall.

It begins with the…

Read more

NIVAC Software Super Sale — Just $7.99 for Each NIV Application Commentary

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

Sale on NIV Application Commentaries

We have good news: Each NIV Application Commentary is just $7.99!

For a brief time all 42 NIVAC volumes are just 8 dollars apiece at the online stores of Logos, Accordance, WORDsearch, and Olive Tree. That means you save an average of 65% off the original price.

Act fast, because this sale ends May 9, 2015! Here are the deals:

Buy from Logos

Buy from Accordance

Buy from Olive Tree

Buy from WORDsearch

If you know someone who would like this sale, please share this post with them.


Q1: What if I don’t have one of the software platforms (like Logos) or one of the apps (like Olive Tree) that you list above? A1: You have a little time to pick the right platform for you, but don’t delay: This sale…

Read more

When There’s No Silver Lining — John H. Walton on the Book of Job [Excerpt]

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

Job Rebuked by His Friends by William Blake

Here’s a slice of John H. Walton’s NIV Application Commentary: Job.

Sometimes there is no visible silver lining, no redeeming value in sight. Sometimes those who endure difficulty feel that nothing is left but an empty shell. Some people never recover physically, emotionally, or spiritually. It is not guaranteed that we will emerge on the other side of pain strengthened by the experience. It would be naive to suggest that suffering universally results in growth. S. Cairns suggests a more nuanced perspective as he elaborates on Simone Weil’s observation that “affliction compels us to recognize as real what we do not think possible.” He observes:

The occasions of our suffering are capable of revealing what our habitual illusions often obscure, keeping us from knowing. Our afflictions drag us — more or less kicking — into a fresh and vivid awareness that…

Read more

Is It the Spirit or His Gifts? (1 Cor 14:1) — Mondays with Mounce 260

Bill Mounce on 6 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Here is a great example of the challenges of a substantival adjectives.

Paul writes, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts (τὰ πνευματικά), especially that you may prophesy” (1 Cor 14:1; ESV). πνευματικός is an adjective meaning “spiritual,” often referring to the divine spirit, the Holy Spirit. This is the topic of the end of the verse and also the entire chapter, and this is how every major translation views the verse.

Interesting, then, is the parallel statement in 12:1. “Now concerning spiritual gifts (τῶν πνευματικῶν),* brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed” (ESV). The footnote on “gifts” says, “Or persons.” The HCSB is inconsistent; in 12:1 it says, “Now concerning what comes from the Spirit,” and in 14:1 is has, “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts.”

As you go through the rest of the chapter, while…

Read more

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

Jeremy Bouma on 1 week 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…

Read more