The Biblical-Christian View of Ultimate Reality: God – An Excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought

ZA Blog on 5 days ago.

Christians disagree on doctrine, politics, church government, certain moral questions—just about everything under the sun, it can seem. Yet a unity remains, centered around a core outlook on God and the world that is common to all believers.

In today’s excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson outlines a biblical vision of this ultimate reality—God, the sole absolute, the metaphysical source and sustainer of all that has being.

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9780310521556_imageAt the heart of every metaphysic, every vision of ultimate reality, lies something absolute, something believed to be the source and/or connecting center of all that is. By absolute, here is meant only “unsurpassable” in terms of explanatory power; it is whatever…

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The World is a Battleground—Both Literally and Figuratively – An Excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought

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In today’s excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson explains what leads to confusion and accommodation to nonbiblical, non-Christian life and world perspectives.

9780310521556_imageThe Biblical-Christian Perspective on the World

The world is a battleground—both literally and figuratively. Here both senses are in view. First, conflicting worldviews and metaphysical belief systems see the world as radically different things. And that can make a great difference in ethics. How we should treat nature, and all that is in it, for example, can depend very much on what we believe it is. One theory about the environmental crisis lays the blame for the rape of nature by human industry at the feet of Judeo-Christian religion;…

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Do Not Quench the Spirit! – An Excerpt from Practicing the Power by Sam Storms

ZA Blog on 3 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.

In Practicing the Power, pastor and author Sam Storms offers practical steps to understanding and exercising spiritual gifts in a way that remains grounded in the Word and centered in the gospel.

In Today’s excerpt, we learn how we as Christians often quench the Spirit, as well as how we can welcome the Spirit’s work in our churches.

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9780310533849There are numerous metaphors and analogies employed by the biblical authors to describe both the nature and ministry of the Holy Spirit, the three most common being wind, water, and fire. When it comes to wind, one thinks immediately of our Lord’s words to Nicodemus and the mysterious way in which he brings new birth to spiritually dead sinners (John 3:7–8).

When the apostle…

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Faith in the Midst of a Personal Crisis – An Excerpt from Hearing the Message of Daniel

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

 

Most sermons I heard on the first chapter of Daniel in my youth emphasized the negative refusal, the courageous stand of Daniel and his friends. The preachers and Bible study leaders never commented on the remarkable degree of acceptance that they showed. Three times they said “Yes,” before they said “No.”

In today’s excerpt from Hearing the Message of Daniel, author Christopher Wright challenges us–in light of Daniel’s experience in Babylon–to think about how we engage in our own secular culture.

9780310284642FAITH IN THE MIDST OF A PERSONAL CRISIS (1:3–20)

The international crisis that had engulfed their world also hurled Daniel and his friends into a cultural and personal crisis that tested them severely, even though they were so young at the time.…

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Are You Afraid of Spiritual Gifts? – An Excerpt from Sam Storms

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

9780310533849

How can Christians pursue and implement the miraculous gifts of the Spirit without falling into fanatical excess and splitting the church in the process? In today’s excerpt from  Practicing the Power, pastor and author Sam Storms helps us rethink our approach to spiritual gifts.

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My working assumption is that you are reading this book because you sincerely desire to see a more robust and vibrant expression of the Holy Spirit at work in your personal life and in your church. Please know that this is a good thing! Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 14:1 is that we should eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. To long for and humbly pursue all the spiritual…

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An Excerpt from Roger Olson’s Essentials of Christian Thought

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

Christians living in a pluralistic society filled with competing worldviews and visions of the nature of reality need guidance about how to sort them out biblically.

In The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson outlines the basic perspective on the world that all Christians, regardless of the place and time in which they are born, have historically held. Continue to read to find out why Olson thinks this is necessary.

9780310521556_imageWhy This Book?

This book is primarily intended for Christian believers, although others are more than welcome to read it. The intended audience is people who believe the Bible is a truthful and trustworthy guide not…

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What Is the Grand Story All About? – An Excerpt from the Story of Reality

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

9780310525042“We are hungering for the thing we were made for. We are hungering for God’s Kingdom.”

In today’s excerpt from The Story of Reality, Greg Koukl explains that the main point of the story is God’s Kingdom. Read further to find out about our participation in it.

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Did you ever wonder how to sum up the main theme of the Bible accurately in a single, simple concept? It’s right there in the first line: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Put simply, the Story starts with a Sovereign who creates a domain he benevolently rules over…There is a kingdom.

This is what…

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An Exegetical Reading of the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) – An Excerpt from John

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

Today’s excerpt is from the Gospel of John, the newest installment in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Written by Edward W. Klink III, the excerpt below from John 2:1-11 is an example of how each passage is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view to grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.

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johnzecntJohn 2:1 – 11

Literary Context

The careful and lengthy introduction to Jesus by means of a prologue (1:1 – 18) and a two-pericope introduction to the narrative proper (1:19 – 51), along with the careful articulation of the completion of the first “week”…

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What is the Purpose of the Book of Daniel? An Excerpt from the Story of God Bible Commentary

ZA Blog on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

“The book of Daniel is often read for its contribution to our understanding of end-times events, but sometimes Christians have been so obsessed with this that we have missed its main message…”

In today’s excerpt from the most recent edition in The Story of God Bible Commentary series, author Wendy L. Widder examines the real purpose and theology of the book of Daniel

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danielsgbcThe book of Daniel is often read for its contribution to our understanding of end-times events, but sometimes Christians have been so obsessed with this that we have missed its main message: God is in control, no matter how things look, and his kingdom will one day fill the earth. This message grows out of the…

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Turning the Mind to Doxology – An Excerpt from The Triune God by Fred Sanders

ZA Blog on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Today’s excerpt is from The Triune God, the second volume in our New Studies in Dogmatics series. Within, Fred Sanders seeks to retrieve the riches of the classical doctrine of the Trinity for the sake of a contemporary evangelical audience.

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Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the9780310491491_image Holy Ghost! As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

The glory of God is from everlasting to everlasting, but while the praise of the Trinity will have no end, it had a beginning. There was never a time when God was not glorious as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit. But there was a time when that singular…

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Setting the Stage for the Gospel of John – An Excerpt from the Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

ZA Blog on 4 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Today’s excerpt is from the gospel of John, the newest installment in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Written by Edward W. Klink III, this volume treats the literary context and structure of the gospel in the original Greek, and provides an original translation based on the literary structure. 

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9780310243601_imageEXPLANATION OF THE TEXT

The prologue of John is the cornerstone for the entire Gospel, the lens through which the Gospel must be read. It is of great importance that the magnificent language and imagery of the prologue not detract the reader from grasping its functional significance for explaining and directing the rest of the Gospel.

IN DEPTH: The…

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The Shame of Loving the Prodigal – An Excerpt from Letting Go

ZA Blog on 4 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?  In Letting Go, pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert share stories of pain and stories of hope as they reveal how to care for the prodigal who has strayed.

In today’s excerpt, we learn about the shame that often confront those who are paired with a prodigal.

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9780310523536_imageThere is something those who love the wayward refer to as “the walk of shame.” We’re not talking about the “morning-after” stagger from where you just spent the night, or the silent shuffle alongside the security guard after you cleared out your desk because of job cuts. Another sort of shame…

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