Pleased to Meet You, Stephen Backhouse – An Interview with the Author of Kierkegaard: A Single Life

ZA Blog on 1 day ago. Tagged under ,.

In the inaugural edition of Pleased to Meet You, we introduce Stephen Backhouse, lecturer in Social and Political Theology at St. Mellitus College, London, and author of our upcoming book Kierkegaard: A Single Life. Stephen has published a number of critically well-received books and articles on religion, history, and Kierkegaard, from the popular Compact Guide to Christian History for Lion through the academic Kierkegaard’s Critique of Christian Nationalism for Oxford University Press. Recently, we spent some time to get to know Stephen.

IMG_0967Where are you from?

That question is surprisingly complicated to answer. I was born in Western Canada and spent my teenage years there. When I was nineteen I moved to the United Kingdom for an adventure and have basically…

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[Common Places] Reading Notes: The Soul

Christina Larsen on 3 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

Open book on wooden deck

While Christianity is by no means the only faith—nor theology the only discipline—concerned to know the soul, it is because the Christian church confesses the goodness of creation, the incarnation, and the resurrection of the dead that her enquiry is vitally concerned to know the soul as the soul of the embodied saint seeking eternal communion with God as part of the body of Christ. Much of the church’s discussion takes the form of critiques of Greek and Hellenistic conceptions of the soul, though these critiques often remain appreciative in their dissents, recognizing their debts to the Greek and Hellenistic conceptions at a number of points. Here are some key sources for entering into the…

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Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi Surpasses 250,000 Copies Sold

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Follow-Up Book “No God but One” Releases Next Month.

We’re pleased to announce that Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi has sold more than 250,000 copies since its release in February 2014. With the publication of No God but One: Allah or Jesus?, in August 2016, Qureshi continues his story and work as a leading authority on the relationship between Christianity and Islam.

seeking-allahIn Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity. The book has been a consistent bestseller since its release. An expanded edition was released in April 2016 with an updated epilogue and new bonus content. A video study and a study guide are also available as of this summer. In addition to being a…

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What Does it Mean to “Believe”? Here are 5 Aspects of Christian Faith

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

9780310520924_image“I believe…”

That’s how one of the most important creeds of Christ’s Church begins. And it’s no surprise that it does. Because as Michael Bird explains in his new book What Christians Ought to Believe, not only is “the Christian life a story of faith: of coming to faith, of keeping the faith, and of finishing the faith.” (43) Life itself is a life of faith:

Faith, believe, trust and hope—whatever you like—these emerge from a deeply human experience full of dualities; experiences of life and loss, fidelity and failures, joy and grief, as well as trust and betrayal…The reality is that faith is an inalienable feature of human existence. (44)

What this opening salvo of our cornerstone creed is inviting those who recite…

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Mounce Archive 28 — Biblical Greek and Holy Week

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

For today’s Mondays with Mounce post, we decided to select a few classic posts from the archives of Bill Mounce’s weekly column on biblical greek. They touch on three subject areas that impact how we view and understand the events that transpired during Holy Week:

Translating “δια” in relation to Christ’s death; Whether Jesus hung on a “tree” or a “pole;” Paul’s use of “καί” for Christ’s resurrection and suffering.

Enjoy the excerpts below and continue reading the original posts to be enlightened and encouraged this Holy Week by engaging the original biblical greek.

Rom 4:25—Christ’s Death and Our Justification

Speaking of Jesus, Paul says he “was delivered up for (δια) our trespasses and raised for (δια) our justification.” What does δια mean? Does it have to mean the same thing in both places? Should it necessarily be translated the…

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Is It a Sin to Eat Meat? – An Excerpt from Vegangelical

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

Earlier this week, our blog introduced the three-tiered theological framework author Sarah Withrow King lays out to emphasize our responsibility as Christians to care for animals. In today’s excerpt from Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Your Faith, we will explore some of the hard questions she wrestled with before embracing a vegan lifestyle that we need to wrestle with ourselves.


vegangelicalWhile the decision is ultimately between you and God, the changes I suggest Christians ought to make are significant. When we have grown up accepting the current state of human-animal relations without interrogating the narrative that tells us animals are ours, the first steps can seem daunting. My initial reaction was to grow defensive, to assume that my actions were justified. What follows are some of the questions I wrestled with when…

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A Three-Point Framework for an Evangelical Theology of Animal Care

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

vegangelicalRecently, there has been a heightened sense of justice within the evangelical community for the welfare of various “others”. Yet one group within creation has often received little attention:


Admittedly, though I adore my spunky Terrier-Boxer-Pug dog Zoe, I haven’t much considered how caring for animals connects to my faith. But Christian activist Sarah Withrow King has caused me to rethink how animals fit into God’s broader creation plan and re-creation initiative through Christ.

King’s new book is called Vegangelical “because caring for animals has helped me appreciate the Good News in deeper and wider ways, and though the work is often heartbreaking, I have hope in a resurrected Christ, who is calling his whole creation home.” (16)

She opens her book…

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What’s a Janus? (1 John 3:19) – Mondays with Mounce

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

Every once in a while we come across a phrase that can either look back to the previous or forward to the next. Sometimes the phrase or verse is truly a Janus, looking both directions. But other times it only goes one way or another.

Bruce Waltke introduced me to the expression “Janus.” It refers to a mythical god with two heads, one looking forward and the other looking back. Wikipedia comments, “In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.”

A common example is 1 Timothy 4:11. “Command and teach these things.” “These things” could be the previous instructions to avoid…

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Living the Story of the Cross – An Excerpt from What Christians Ought to Believe

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

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

In today’s excerpt from What Christians Ought to Believe, Michael F. Bird reflects on these few–but essential–words from the Apostles’ Creed, and what they mean for those seeking to live out the pattern of the cross in their own lives.

9780310520924_imageLiving the Story of the Cross

The reason why the cross was etched onto the walls of catacombs, drawn on the margins of manuscripts, and sung about in ancient hymns was because it was paramount for the church’s faith. For the early church, the cross was the paradigmatic symbol of what it believed, why it behaved as it did, and what it stood for. The church was not a religious club interested in the minutia of Hebrew exegesis and maintaining…

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[Common Places]: Christological Anthropology: An Interview with Marc Cortez

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,.

For the concluding post on christological anthropology, we offer an interview with Marc to further explore some questions and issues related to his recent book Christological Anthropology in Historical Perspective: Ancient and Contemporary Approaches to Theological Anthropology (Zondervan Academic).

cortezWhat is a “christological anthropology”?

I explored a few ways of defining this in the book. From one perspective, almost all Christian anthropologies are “christological” in the sense that we think Jesus was fully human and is, therefore, relevant to understanding what it means to be human. We also have the imitatio Christi tradition, in which Jesus serves as an exemplar of a human life well lived, and the imago Dei discussions in which Christology often features prominently. So you could define the concept rather broadly and include many kinds of theological…

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Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields – The Timing of the Lord’s Return to Jerusalem in Zech 1:16

Lee Fields on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.

Tissot_Zechariah (1)The Setting

Zechariah and Haggai were prophesying when the Jews had returned from Babylonian exile and were supposed to be rebuilding the temple. However, they had encountered opposition and had become so discouraged that work had stopped. The Lord sends these prophets to encourage the people to resume and complete the work. This opening vision begins a series that continues through ch. 6. It serves in part  to affirm to the Jews that the Lord is with them in spite of the difficulties they are encountering.

Time in the Translations

English translations show an interesting different translation of Zechariah 1:16. Please note the chart…

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4 Reasons Why Every Christian Ought to Know the Traditional Creeds

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

9780310520924_imageIn the last several years, there has been a resurgent interest in rediscovering the historic Christian faith. Among others, we have Michael Bird to thank.

In his new book What Christians Ought to Believe, Bird follows up his magnum opus on evangelical theology with a sturdy guide to the bedrock of Christian doctrine: the Apostles’ Creed. It summarizes and explains the basic tenets of the Christian faith using this theological bulwark, in order to reverse a trend he calls a “theological travesty”:

Sadly, I know many churches that make no effort to recite, teach, and confess the Apostles’ Creed or any creed for that matter…By ignoring the creeds those who consider themselves to be orthodox are effectively sawing off the theological…

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