Sixteen Ways Worship Pastors Can Engage Pastorally

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

9780310525196What role does a worship leader play in the modern church?

Song leader? Lead musician? Not really.

Zac Hicks wants to help fellow worship leaders realize they are actually worship pastors. So he wrote a resource to help them, called The Worship Pastor:

If you’re a new worship leader, this book is for you. It will give you an inspiring vision for the road ahead. It will hopefully also provide a set of tools to help sharpen and aim your call. If you’ve been a worship leader for a while, The Worship Pastor is for you too. It will be a fresh articulation of the job you’ve already been doing and hopefully provide some inspiration for how to make what you do even better. (19)

“Whether you know it or…

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What Is Christianity? Different than What Most People Think

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

9780310525042It’s a basic question, and also a vital one. Not only for our own spiritual journey, but also for the journeys of people we know and meet.

And it’s a question Gregory Koukl engages in his new book The Story of Reality. The reason why is because of the misguided approach to religion people often take:

people are often tempted to think of religion as a kind of spiritual fantasy club…the one that meets your personal needs, that gives you rules to live by that are respectable but not too demanding, that warms your heart with feelings of spirituality…[They say] do not, however, confuse religious stories with reality. They don’t give you the kind of information about the world that, say,…

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Three Steps Toward Rightly Knowing the Doctrine of the Trinity

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

9780310491491_imageFred Sanders has an ambitious goal with his new book The Triune God: securing our knowledge of the triune God by rightly ordering the theological language with which we praise him.

To get us on toward rightly knowing the doctrine of the Trinity, Sanders outlines three crucial steps, which we’ve engaged below:

to grasp the entire two-Testament canon, to trace its unbroken narrative arc, and to recognize that arc as a self-communicative action with God as its source. (98)

Step 1: Construe Scripture as a Whole

Although space doesn’t permit a complete defense of canonical unity, Sanders spends enough time to show why construing Scripture as a whole is a necessary first step toward rightly knowing the doctrine of the Trinity:

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10 Principles You Need to Know about Trinitarian Dogmatics

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

9780310491491_imageWhile celebrating Christ’s incarnation is fresh on our breath, it’s apt we contemplate the Trinity. After all, the God-with-us event is inherently Trinitarian: the Father gave the world his only-begotten Son, by the Holy Spirit.

Here to help is Fred Sanders with his new book The Triune God. In it he contends:

the manner of the Trinity’s revelation dictates the shape of the doctrine; it draws its dogmatic conclusions about how the doctrine should be handled on the basis of the way the Trinity was revealed. (19)

He offers an extensive set of dogmatics principles for Trinitarian exegesis to shepherd Trinitarian contemplation. They offer “systematic help for reconstructing the plausibility structures of biblical Trinitarianism” (19).

We’ve briefly shared those principles below to deepen your understanding of the triune God.

1) A Doxological Movement

When…

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Explore God’s Two Books: God’s Word and God’s Works – Reflecting on “Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!”

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

25% and 23%

9780310526445These two numbers represent the reason why Denis Lamoureux wrote his new book Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!

The first is the percentage of young adults who perceive Christianity as anti-science. The second is the percentage of those who have been turned off by debates surrounding evolution and creationism. Lamoureux finds both numbers shocking; he thinks you should, too.

To help mitigate the fallout of these two numbers, Lamoureux has offered readers a framework for understanding the two “Books” of God. He hopes this framework hopes will help Christian students navigate the tension of modern science and the Bible. What are these two books, you ask?

The Book of God’s Words is the Bible. Scripture reveals spiritual truths concerning…

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What Is an “Evangelical” Dogmatics of Scripture? Here’s a Framework

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

voiceofgodtextofscriptureSeveral years ago, Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders conceived of an annual conference discussing and explicating Christian doctrine, one that was self-consciously ecumenical and sought to resource contemporary systematic theology. The result was the Los Angeles Theology Conference (LATC).

Earlier this year, the fourth annual gathering was framed by this question:

How does the voice of God come to us in the text of Scripture?

The result was The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture, a series of illuminating, constructive essays exploring the ways God speaks through the biblical text. Of this unique text Crisp and Sanders write,

we stand before a theological claim of the first order, and one of the right responses is to develop a doctrine…

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Do You Know about These Two Unique Features of John’s Gospel?

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

johnzecntIt has been understood that John’s Gospel is a distinct chronicling of the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth. That biblical scholars have cordoned it off from the so-called Synoptic gospels bears witness to this distinction. And if you’ve spent any amount of time with the beloved disciple’s gospel you’ve probably sensed its uniqueness, too.

But do you understand some of the central features that make it distinct? Edward W. Klink III helpfully explains two such characteristics in his new John commentary (ZECNT).

Building on the pioneering work of C. H. Dodd, who “In the twentieth century … provided the most focused analysis” (53), Klink provides readers an extended introduction to two unique features of John in order to help readers interpret it rightly: dialogues and monologues. Of the former…

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The 3 Actors of Ephesians—And Why They Matter to the Story of God

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

ephesianssgbc“The story of God in Ephesians will change your life if you let it,” exclaims Mark D. Roberts in his new Ephesians commentary. “It will open your eyes to seeing God, your life, the church, and indeed the entire universe in a whole new way” (1)

That’s because this story isn’t only about God. Yes, he’s the primary actor. But there are two other actors that play a commanding role: “me” and “us.”

Like all commentaries in The Story of God Bible Commentary series, Roberts draws the reader into God’s Story  by illuminating and explaining each passage of Scripture in light of its grand narrative—helping us live this letter in our own contexts. He begins his endeavor with a goodly introduction orienting us to this letter, particularly the actors within it.

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Two Views, Four Voices on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church

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

homosexualityThe sanctity of same-sex relations is one of the most pressing ethical questions facing the church today. (9)

So contends Preston Sprinkle in his new edited volume Two Views of Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church. And rightly so. For, as he continues, “Unlike other topics that Christians debate—the rapture, the millennium, speaking in tongues, etc.—homosexuality affects the very core of human persons.” (9)

Bringing together four voices to discuss two dominant views on the Bible and sexuality, this unique volume in the Counterpoints series offers fresh perspective on a well-worn topic in three distinct ways:

This first-of-its-kind book published by an evangelical publisher encourages dialogue within the body of Christ about homosexuality, the Bible, and the church Though most discussions have been dominated…

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How You Can Preach the Purpose and Theology of the Book of Daniel

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

danielsgbcWith so much global uncertainty and unease, it’s easy to forget what the book of Daniel reminds us: God is the King of kings!

Old Testament scholar Wendy L. Widder explores this crucial anthem in her new Daniel commentary (Story of God Bible Commentary series). While Christians have been obsessed with how Daniel reveals end-times events, she argues we’ve often missed its pivotal message—one we need now more than ever:

God is in control, no matter how things look, and his kingdom will one day fill the earth. (14)

Widder explains that this message grows out of the book’s primary theme: the kingdom of God. “The book reveals why God is the king of all kings, and it offers perspective on how citizens of his kingdom should live while they…

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“Redemptive Release” for Wayward Souls – 3 Biblical Examples

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

9780310523536_imageWhat do you do when someone you love—a friend, a spouse, a child—goes wayward, as we sometimes say? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?

These deep, important questions are often fraught with pain and confusion. Two pastors with fifty years of experience want to help you navigate them.

In their richly biblical, deeply practical new book Letting Go, pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert offer counsel for dealing with and caring for the prodigal who has strayed.

As pastors and counselors, we offer to step into your pain and confusion and point you to the One who redeems prodigals with his tough, rugged love. … He cares for the wayward person…

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How Do Catholics and Protestants Disagree over Salvation & Justification?

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

9780310527930On October 31, 1517, an unsuspecting monk ventured to challenge the prevailing ecclesial authorities of his day by posting his “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Underlying his disputes with the Indulgence Industrial Complex was a theme that would become one of the single most important rallying points in the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin pointedly named this theme:

The only point in dispute is how we are deemed righteous in the sight of God. (Acts of the Council of Trent)

This point of dispute still sits at the heart of what divides Catholics and Protestants five hundred years later. But how exactly do they differ? And is there no point of agreement…

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