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

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months 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 12 months 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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A Theological Hermeneutic on Hell, Rooted In the Biblical Story

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

9780310516460We’ve come a long way on hell. That a Christian universalist is included in the newly-revised Four Views on Hell is proof.

In it Robin A. Parry (a.k.a. Gregory MacDonald) champions recent developments in evangelical thought that envision all of creation being ultimately reconciled to its Creator through Christ. This isn’t a universalism built on popular pluralism. Rather it is rooted in the biblical narrative and aided by a gospel-centered theological hermeneutic.

As general editor Preston Sprinkle explains, “No longer can evangelicals scoff at this view as the by product of too many hours of Oprah…Parry argues extensively from Scripture that the Bible itself teaches that the future judgment will be followed by reconciliation.” (10, 14)

Below we’ve outlined part of his view: hell in the context of the biblical…

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3 Reasons Why the Crusades Don’t Compare with Jihad

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

andwering jihadSince 9/11, politicians and pundits have not only claimed Islam is a religion of peace, they’ve insisted Christianity is a religion of violence. Case in point: the Crusades.

Rodney Stark quotes such sentiments in God’s Battalions: “during the Crusades, an expansionist, imperialistic Christendom brutalized, looted, and colonized a tolerant and peaceful Islam.” (8)

But is this true?

In his new book Answering Jihad, Nabeel Qureshi brings clarity to comparisons between Christian Crusades and Islamic jihad. “If Christians fought in the Crusades,” writes Qureshi, “does that not show that Christianity is violent? If it doesn’t, then how can I accuse Islam of being violent?” (132)

Of course, the question rests on the assumption the two—both the religions and their violent expressions—are comparable, even equatable. They aren’t, for at…

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Is Complementarianism Connected to Domestic Abuse?

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

black and white bible black and blue wifeBlack and white Bible. Black and blue wife.

These two word pictures offer an all-too-real account of what many women in the Church face: black-and-blue domestic abuse at the hand of black-and-white complementary-minded husbands.

Ruth Tucker should know. For 19 years she suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse while her husband quoted biblical texts commanding her to submit to male headship. She recounts her story in her new book Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.

She also uncovers an uncomfortable reality:

I have asked some of the dozens of critical unanswered questions that relate directly to women’s stories of abuse. Sadly, there is little evidence that proponents of male headship are seriously grappling with them and speaking out publicly, and most women…

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3 Developments About Hell You Should Know

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

4viewsIt seems hell is on the outs these days in evangelicalism. At least the traditional understanding of it. Ever since John Stott acknowledged his annihilationism leanings and pseudonymous Gregory MacDonald offered a vision for Christian universalism, the nature of hell has been on the (re)examination table.

Sitting at the cusp of this ongoing discussion is a revised version of Four Views on Hell, (released 3/8/16) with contributions by four leading evangelical voices reshaping the traditional doctrine: Denny Burk, John Stackhouse, Robin Parry, and Jerry Walls.

“This new volume,” writes general editor Preston Sprinkle, “brings in a new set of authors who will espouse fresh insights that build on the flurry of recent books and discussions about the nature of hell.” (9)

Notice the discussion isn’t about whether hell exists, but what it is.…

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Is Islam a Religion of Violence? Reflecting on Nabeel Qureshi’s “Answering Jihad”

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

andwering jihadIn our post-9/11 world, this question has been the sine qua non of questions facing the West: Is Islam a religion of violence? President George W. Bush said it isn’t, as have other Western leaders. And yet perhaps we should ask the same rhetorical question Jordanian cleric Abu-Qatada al-Filistini asked of Bush: Are they some kind of Islamic scholar?

We need a Muslim voice to help us answer our question about violence and Islam. That voice is Nabeel Qureshi, a Pakistani American Muslim and New York Times bestselling author who spent three-quarters of his life seeking Allah before finding Jesus.

In his new book Answering Jihad (releases 3/8/16), Qureshi clarifies both the reality of violent jihad in Islam and…

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