What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life? Michael Horton Explains

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310525066‘Tis the season for commencement speeches. On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs gave one of the more memorable ones. His advice to the Stanford graduating class? “You’ve got to find what you love.” This is a common answer to the graduate’s question, “What am I supposed to do with my life?”

But what about the Christian? What are we supposed to do with our life? Michael Horton has an answer, one that’s different from Jobs’s.

In his new book Core Christianity, a helpful guide that tackles the core beliefs that all Christians share, Horton directs our attention away from ourselves—finding what we love—and toward God and our neighbor. His advice on calling begins in a unique way, reminding us where we are and where we’re heading:

we are located…

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3 Keys to Help Doubters Make Sense of the Ten Commandments

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

doubters-guide-ten-commandmentsThe greatest cultural icon of the West isn’t American (Declaration of Independence). It isn’t British (Magna Carta) or French (The Social Contract). Instead it’s Judeo-Christian.

I’m speaking of the Ten Commandments.

Though some have tried to transcend it, offering alternative lists in its place, there is no denying—or escaping—its enduring attraction and influence. John Dickson hopes to recapture both in his new book A Doubter’s Guide to the Ten Commandments. In it he explores how these ten verses have changed our world and how they show us what the Good Life looks like.

The social impact of this ancient moral charter is so great that most people living in the West…are living by the Ten Commandments, pretty much. These rules…

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How Should Christians Relate to Governing Authorities? Michael Bird Clarifies

Jeremy Bouma on 12 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310327189“Origen, who knew Roman brutality all to well, said: ‘I am disturbed by Paul’s saying that the authority of this age and the judgment of the world are ministers of God.’” (Michael Bird, The Story of God  Bible Commentary: Romans, 442)

Two questions:

What does Paul mean that we should “be subject to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1)? And in what way is it “necessary to submit to the authorities.” (13:5)?

Michael Bird brings clarity in his new Romans commentary (The Story of God Bible Commentary series). He helps us hear and explore the text in it’s original Roman context, while also applying it to…

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What Does Genesis 12:1–3 Mean, Why Does It Matter?

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

GenesisEarlier this year, we released another volume in the landmark The Story of God Bible Commentary series, written by none other than venerable Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III.

In Genesis, Longman helps pastors and teachers help those they shepherd live and apply the Story to real life. It also offers them a sturdy resource for hearing the voice of God in the text and finding an accessible explanation of its passages.

Let’s look at how Longman explains and applies Genesis 12:1–3—an important set of verses to be sure!

“One cannot overestimate the importance of these three verses not only for the Abraham story and the Pentateuch but for the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments.” (159)

So what does Read more

Visually Explore the 4 Acts of The Great Drama of God

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

William Shakespeare was right and wrong.

Yes, “All the world’s a stage; And all the men and women merely players.” But it isn’t a tale told by an idiot “full of sound and fury; Signifying nothing.”

In their new book Visual Theology, Tim Challies and Josh Byers remind us that we are all part of a great tale, a great Drama that is guided and directed by a sovereign Storyteller. For some time Christians have understood it as a four act Drama: cfrn Marrying the two Christian values of truth and beauty, Challies and Byers have crafted a visually stunning and equally visually informative resource to help you and those you shepherd see and understand the truth about God.

Below we’ve shared their…

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What Happens When You Die, Why Should You Care? Michael Horton Explains

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

9780310525066October 5, 2011: the day Steve Jobs died. When I got the news on my iPhone I was sad. Not only because the world lost an ingenious innovator–mostly because, by all accounts, the man didn’t know Jesus.

This seemed to be confirmed by Jobs himself a few years later, in this reflection from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs:

“I’d like to think that something survives after you die…that maybe your consciousness endures.”

He fell silent for a very long time. “But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch,” he said. “Click! And you’re gone.” (571)

Is that what happens when Death comes knocking? And why should we care what happens when it does?

Enter Michael Horton’s new book Core Christianity, a readable, engaging exploration of the essence of…

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Visually Explore 6 Beautiful Truths About Your Christian Identity

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

9780310520436_2In their new book Visual Theology, a beautiful re-application of God’s truth, Tim Challies and Josh Byers offer an illustration to explain our new identity in Christ:

On February 6, 2006, Stephen Harper stood before the Governor General of Canada and recited the oath of office to faithfully execute the powers and trust given to him by the people of Canada.

In that very moment Stephen Harper became Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Yet, as they explain, “it must have taken him some time to begin confidently behaving like a Prime Minister. There must have been a period of adjustment when he was reconciling himself to all of these new realities…” (29)

How many of us Christians can relate?

Though we were given a new identity when we put our faith in…

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Visually Explore 4 Essential, Beautiful Truths About Life In Christ

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

9780310520436_2Dutch Christian art theorist Hans Rookmaaker said, “Our world has changed for better or for worse. It is for us to find truth and beauty for today, constantly re-applying the truth of God’s word to our own time and our contemporary situation.”

Tim Challies and Josh Byers seem to have taken their cues from Rookmaaker with their new book Visual Theology. Both authors are passionate about finding and expressing truth and beauty in their own way, one as a writer, the other as an artist. Together they have masterfully re-applied the truth of God’s word to our time and situation in a way that is both truthful and beautiful; their visual theology is beautiful theology!

Inspired by the more recent art form of infographics, an especially functional form of art…

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What Is the Bible’s Drama, Why Should I Care? Michael Horton Explains

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

9780310525066In his new book Core Christianity, Michael Horton describes a childhood church experience similar to my own. Like his church, we loved the Bible, took Sunday School seriously, and trained in Bible knowledge. Yet I had a problem similar to Horton:

with all of this knowledge of the Bible, I never knew how it all fit together. There were lots of interesting (and some not so interesting) stories. But I never heard the big story that moves with dramatic force from Genesis to Revelation. For the most part the Old Testament was alien to me,…

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What is “Core Christianity” & Why Should I Care? Michael Horton Explains

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

9780310525066When we lose our job to free trade or we lose our daughter to cancer, what is our first response? As Christians it’s probably prayer—but why?

“Because,” as Michael Horton points out, “you believe…”

You believe this world didn’t just happen; it was created on purpose and with purpose.

You believe everything is sustained by a Creator who steps into our drama and acts on our behalf.

And you believe things about this Creator: God is good, all-powerful, holy, just, and loving.

That one act of praying reveals more than meets the eye: you have a specific worldview, which arises out of a particular story. It’s that worldview and story that Horton explores and illuminates in his new book Core Christianity.

Yes, his book covers what Christians believe about…

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“What Does it Mean to Be Human?” Christological Anthropology Offers 7 Insights

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

9780310516415What does it mean to be human? This question may be as old as humanity itself.

King David dabbled in anthropological reflection when he penned Psalm 8. So did Paul, who answered our opening question christologically.

Marc Cortez traces the historical development of such thought in his new book Christological Anthropology in Historical Perspective. As Cortez defines it:

The fundamental intuition of christological anthropology is that beliefs about the human person (anthropology) must be warranted in some way by beliefs about Jesus (christological). (20)

The scope of Cortez’s work is far more robust than typical treatments, going well beyond the pivot points of ethics and the imago Dei. Cortez offers seven insights

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Michael Bird on the “Gracism” of Romans 3:21–31

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

9780310327189Aussie Michael Bird observes what many Americans often forget: “Blacks, whites, and Latinos are never more segregated than when it comes to attending worship services.” Sunday at 11:00 a.m. truly is the most segregated hour in America.

What we need is a healthy dose of “gracism.” Bird’s fresh look at Romans 3:21–31 will administer this vital antidote.

He explains the connection between grace and race in his new Romans commentary (SGBC series):

Gracism means that grace is both preached and practiced toward others. Gracism means that the most ruthless and efficient way to destroy our tribal enemies is by making them our brothers and sisters in Christ. (135)

What Bird…

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