Hermeneutics 101: Reasons, Challenges, and Benefits of Biblical Interpretation
Almost ten years ago I was introduced to hermeneutics by William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard in the first semester of my M.Div. program. Thanks to their sturdy textbook resource I got a goodly introduction to the important practice of biblical interpretation. Which is why I’m thrilled they’ve updated and revised it!
Now in its third edition, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation offers concise, logical, and practical guidelines for discovering the truth in God’s Word. With updates and revisions throughout that keep pace with current scholarship, this guide offers the best, most up-to-date information needed to interpret Scripture.
But how are we to learn what the Bible says? How do we…
6 Major Themes in the Johannine Epistles and the Story of God
A few years ago, Zondervan Academic launched a new commentary series to explain and illuminate Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story: The Story of God Bible Commentary. Today we’re pleased to share the next volume.
Constantine Campbell’s new commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John offers a clear and compelling exposition of the Bible, as well as a guide for everyday readers in how to creatively and faithfully live it out contextually.
This commentary examines John’s teachings with an eye to the church today—the men and women who desire a deeper relationship with God, a stronger foundation for their walk, and a clearer vision for God’s working in the world beyond their immediate circle… (19)
In a few weeks we will showcase the dynamics of Campbell’s work…
Advice for Integrating the Essentials of Christian Thought with Learning
Doctrine. Politics. Church government. Moral issues. Christians disagree on just about everything under the sun. Yet a unity remains, centered around a core view of God and the world. This unity is rooted in the Christian vision for ultimate reality—a vision challenged by culture and often shunned by Christians.
Which is why Roger Olson’s new book The Essentials of Christian Thought is so important.
This book contains an archeology of the implicit philosophy of the Bible—the Bible’s assumed view of reality…this philosophy is foundational to everything the Bible teaches, and orthodox, thinking Christians of all denominations throughout the centuries have believed it. (10)
He wrote it not only to help Christians…
Do You Pray for Spiritual Gifts? Here are Two Reasons Why You Should
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)
I would imagine many of us earnestly pursue the first part of Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian believers. Pursuing love we get, and probably seek more often than not. But earnestly desiring the gifts of the Spirit? And “especially” prophecy? Perhaps not as much.
Yet Sam Storms urges in his new book Practicing the Power that this is exactly what we’re called to do as Christians.
the Holy Spirit wants to be pursued and will not be pushed. This is just another way of saying that if we want to see and experience the full range…
Four Principles from Daniel for Sustaining Faith in Today’s World
A teenager and his friends, to say nothing of an entire nation, had to navigate this question themselves. Thankfully their wisdom has been preserved for us.
In his new book Hearing the Message of Daniel, Christopher Wright explores the perennial problem of living in but not of the world by exploring the book of Daniel—beginning with the young Jewish mens’ surprising response to Babylon’s program of indoctrination.
Though most sermons focus on their courage to say “no,” Wright explains why it is important that…
Worship Pastor, Are You a “Church Lover” First?
What about church lover?
Given the crisis of commitment in many churches nowadays, Zac Hicks challenges fellow worship leaders to make this role primary in his new book, The Worship Pastor:
those who commit to sticking it out with a church are becoming an endangered species. But even in times when such rare breeds were perhaps more plentiful, they were a sight to behold. The people of a bygone era once called these fanciful creatures “churchmen.” (22)
Churchmen can be translated church lover. Hicks invites his fellow colleagues in worship ministry to look to this model for leading their church. Below are six characteristics he hopes will shape such ministries.
1) Passionate Lover and Believer of the Church
First, “A worship leader who…
Can You Be Committed to Both God’s Word and the Spirit’s Gifts?
a local church in the twenty-first century that is committed to the centrality and functional authority of the Bible and to the effective, Christ-exalting operation of all spiritual gifts. (13)
While such a church may seem elusive, Storm believes it’s possible. In his new book Practicing the Power, Storms offers practical steps to understanding and exercising spiritual gifts in a way that they remain grounded in God’s Word. He shows us that, yes, you can be committed to both the authority of God’s Word and the availability of the Spirit’s…
Why Should I Know the History of Christianity? Here Are 5 Reasons
Perhaps there is no more urgent task for the church today than heeding these words. Ian Shaw aims to help us.
In Christianity: The Biography Shaw charts the story of Christianity from its birth and infancy among a handful of followers of Jesus Christ, through its years of development into a global religious movement, spanning continents and cultures and transcending educational and social backgrounds. Here’s why:
Understanding and preparing for the future of the church requires opening the book of its past. The biography of Christianity has not been one of constant advance and progress. In times of growth Christians should not exult…
Two Competing Stories to the Christian Worldview
As Koukl explained, “[Christianity] is an account or a description or a depiction of the way things actually are” (23). And the way things actually are can be traced along a four-act story, familiar to many Koinonia readers: creation, fall, redemption, restoration.
Perhaps the most important part of this story is how it begins. Creation tells us how things began, where everything came from (including us), the reason for our origins, and what ultimate reality is like. Koukl explains it like this:
on the Christian view, God and the world—mind and matter—are two different kinds of things. Both are real. The first (God) is…
Sixteen Ways Worship Pastors Can Engage Pastorally
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…
What Is Christianity? Different than What Most People Think
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,…
Three Steps Toward Rightly Knowing the Doctrine of the Trinity
Fred 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: