Seeing God in Your Neighbor [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on sometime. Tagged under ,,,.

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:7)

These two commandments ought to be very familiar to you; they should spring to your mind when I mention them, and never be absent from your hearts: “Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37 – 39). These two commandments must always be in your thoughts and in your hearts, treasured, acted on, and fulfilled. Love of God is the first to be commanded, but love of neighbor is the first to be put into practice.

Since you do not yet see God, you glimpse the vision of…

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Extracurricular Activities 5.23.15 — NT Hymns, The Nones, & Locating Heaven

Jeremy Bouma on 23 hours ago. Tagged under ,,,.


Larry Hurtado Gives a Suggestion on “Hymns” in the New Testament

As illustrated in the recent articles I’ve reported on in earlier postings, scholars continue to approach the question of “hymns/odes” in the NT in what I regard as a curious fashion.  They often first turn to “pagan” examples of hymns and formulate characteristics of Greek “pagan” hymns and poetry as a basis then for assessing putative hymnic material in the NT.  This I find open to questions for a few reasons, and I’d think a more inductive approach more sensible.

Carl Trueman on the Dying Art of Civil Disagreement

I spent the first half of last week at a seminar at an Ivy League divinity school, where a friend and I gave a presentation on ministry and media. I had resolved before speaking that I would refer…

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James Hoffmeier: Genesis 1–11 is History and Theology — An Excerpt from “Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?”

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

9780310514947What genre is Genesis 1–11? Is it history, fiction, or neither? A new book provides clarity by exploring the first eleven chapters of the Bible, which are often fraught with disagreement and confusion.

Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? offers a vigorous discussion of primeval history from three distinct perspective. One of those voices is James Hoffmeier, who argues Genesis is history that reflects real facts and real events:

When we consider the framing of the books with the tôlĕdôt markers and the rather specific geographical settings, which I believe would lead an ancient audience to consider the Nephilim episode, the flood, and Tower of Babel narratives as historical events, then there are good reasons to read these texts this way even in the twenty-first century.

Read the excerpt below and

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The Insidious Link Between the Crisis of Masculinity and Violence — An Excerpt from “Malestrom” by Carolyn Custis James

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

Malestrom by Carolyn Custis James

Malestrom by Carolyn Custis JamesA leading psychologist recently warned that young men are facing a crisis of masculinity due to excessive use of video games and pornography.

His research confirms what Carolyn Custis James prophetically identifies, explores, and addresses in her new book Malestrom:

Men have lost sight of who God created them to be as human beings and as men. (21)

Video games and pornography are twin polarities of the fonte that’s feeding and fostering this global crisis of masculinity: violence.

The excerpt below sets the stage for her book by outlining the underestimated, insidious connection between the crisis of masculinity and violence.

“What has until recently gone unnoticed,” Custis James notes, “is how the malestrom touches down in the lives of men and boys who on the surface…seem to escape…

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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Christology

Daniel J. Treier on 2 days ago. Tagged under ,,.


Christology is an area of particular dogmatic weakness for evangelical theology. So, when I signed up to write the Christology volume for New Studies in Dogmatics, what did I get myself into? After all, plausible reasons for this evangelical weakness are not hard to generate. For one factor, Christology does not readily provide incentives for dogmatic creativity, at least among those for whom orthodoxy is a priority. For another factor, Christology does not readily generate the kind of widespread, primary disagreement that elicits intra-evangelical dialogue or polemics. Alternatively, for a third factor, evangelical Christology has been externally preoccupied with defending the historicity of miraculous events and appealing to those events for apologetic and evangelistic purposes. Until recently, we have tended to focus on defending the truth, more than exploring the meaning, of such foundational events as the resurrection.

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My Advice to Students: Charles Halton Says “Make Friends with Your Peers.”

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

(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)

9780310514947Academia can be a lonely, isolating road. You spend hours reading and studying alone; you write articles and papers alone. Yet according to Charles Halton, editor of Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Friendships are really important in academia…make friends with your peers.

Halton has practiced his own advice, sharing that everything he’s done professionally has come through friendships. Here are some highlights from his insights:

Go to professional meetings; Don’t be a mercenary friend to exploit people; Get to know people deeply; Congratulate professional accomplishments;

I have personally found Halton’s advice to ring true. Most of what I’ve accomplished has been because of friendships (I’m looking at you Dr. Jason Myers and Dr. Michael Wittmer!)

Listen to Halton’s advice above,…

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These Two Books Will Help You Understand and Alleviate Poverty

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

For the Least of These and From Dependence to Dignity

There are greater disparities of wealth within the global body of Christ than at any time in history. More than 80 percent of the “poorest of the poor” live in the so-called “10/40 Window,” the band of countries that contain the vast majority of the remaining unreached people groups. And these people represent 2.6 billion who live on less than $1 a day.

Poverty is a massive-scale problem demanding the attention of every Christian, particularly because there are commands in God’s Word to alleviate poverty that believers must obey.

But how?

Two new books aim to show you, your students, and your ministries how to understand and alleviate poverty in your country and around the world:

9780310523000“For the Least of These” • Edited by Anne Bradley and Art Lindsley

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Purity of Heart (II) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 6 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)

Surely the Lord does not encourage us to do something impossible for humans? The truth is different. He does not command wingless creatures to become birds, nor land animals to live in the water. So if in the case of other creatures the command is according to the creature’s capacity, and he does not ask them to do something beyond their nature, we should maintain hope of gaining what is promised by the beatitude.

John, Paul, Moses, and many other believers did achieve that sublime happiness that comes from the vision of God; Paul, who said, “There is stored up for me a crown of righteousness, which the judge who judges justly will give me” (2 Tim. 4:8), and John, who leaned on the…

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Extracurricular Activities 5.16.15 — Pew Religious Research, Stetzer Responds, & Enns on Adam

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


Call for Papers: LATC 2016, The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture

Starting today and running through July 17 there is an open call for papers for the 2016 Los Angeles Theology Conference. The conference this year (to be held in mid January at Fuller Seminary) has the title “The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture,” and our plenary speakers will be William Abraham, John Goldingay, Richard Hays, Amy Plantinga Pauw, and Daniel Treier.

Those five speakers already guarantee a worthwhile conference, but as in previous years, Oliver Crisp and I are hoping to select nine more presentations to enrich the schedule even more.

As the call says, we are seeking “theologically constructive accounts of Scripture, describing how God is said to speak by means of the…

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Flash Sale Week: A New eBook Deal Each Day — Featuring Nabeel Qureshi, Michael Horton and More

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


**We’re sorry, but this sale has now ended.

Each day this week, you can get a steep discount on one of our best eBooks for informing your thinking and faith, and enhancing your teaching and pastoral ministry. The sales include:

MondaySeeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi | Sale: $2.99 Tuesday: The Next Story by Tim Challies | Sale: $1.99 Wednesday: Ordinary by Michael Horton | Sale: $1.99 Thursday: What’s Best Next by Matt Perman | Sale: $1.99 Friday: God-Sized Vision by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge | Sale: $1.99 Saturday:  PROOF by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones | Sale: $1.99

We call it a flash sale, because the sale on each book is only one day long during the week of May 11, 2015 to May 16, 2015.

So check in each day this…

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Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields — Whose Eye? Zechariah 9:1

Lee Fields on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,.


One of the clear indicators of a difficult passage is when the versions vary. Zechariah 9:1 is a good example. Let’s look at some popular translations.

Version Comparison  of Zech. 9:1


(Can’t see the table? Go here for larger version.)

Two Main Observations

(1) In the first half of 9:1 the versions are in basic agreement, though the treatment of the “resting” differs. The NET paraphrases, “with its focus on.” The ESV and NASB95 render the Hebrew noun מְנֻחָתוֹ (menûḥātô), “its resting place,” as a noun and add the verb is, while NIV and NIV84 render it as a verb making the is unnecessary. In Hebrew, this is a verbless clause (or noun clause); i.e., the verb “to be” did not need to be expressed,…

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Is the Church Really the Safest Place on Earth? — An Excerpt from “A Wilderness of Mirrors”

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

Wilderness of Mirrors by Mark MeynellWhat happens when the place that should be the safest place on earth isn’t?

It is a simple, tragic fact that Christ’s Church has at times been the least safest place on the planet.

“Far from being the refuge of the downtrodden, wounded, and lost,” Mark Maynell writes in A Wilderness of Mirrors, “they have easily become havens for the judgmental, controlling, and dangerous. No wonder people find it hard to trust the church.”

Yet there’s hope. Because as Maynell goes on to say, it doesn’t have to be this way. In the excerpt below, he describes “the God with a plan up his sleeve” to make the Church the safest place on Earth for community and evidence of God’s…

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