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

ZA Blog on 21 hours 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.…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 4 days 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.

***

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…

Read more

An Excerpt from Roger Olson’s Essentials of Christian Thought

ZA Blog on 2 weeks 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…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 1 month 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.

***

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…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 1 month 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.

***

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”…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 2 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

***

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…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 2 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.

***

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…

Read more

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

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, 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. 

***

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…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 3 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.

***

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…

Read more

Trapped in “Either/Or” Thinking – An Excerpt from Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!

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

Today’s excerpt is taken from Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes by Denis Lamoureaux.

Denis is Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta, the first tenure-track position in Canada dedicated to teaching and research on the relationship between scientific discovery and Christian faith.

Continue reading to learn how he wrestled to overcome the “either/or” thinking of the creation-evolution debate.

***

9780310526445_image“I am so mad!” These words were cried out by a young woman after she stood up during the middle of a class in my college course on science and religion. I slowly sank down behind the lecture stand, quickly glancing at my notes, hoping to find what I had said that triggered her outburst. And…

Read more

How Can We Love a Prodigal? An Excerpt from Letting Go: Rugged Love for Wayward Souls

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

“There is an impulse embedded so deeply in creation that it even touches God-lovers. It’s a feeling that swims against the stream of our profession of faith, a strain of insanity that pushes us to stray from the One we love. We’re prone to wander.”

So, what does it look like to love someone who strays?

In today’s excerpt from Letting Go, Rugged Love for Wayward Souls, pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert share stories of pain and hope as they reveal how to care for the prodigal.

 

9780310523536_imageThe world is broken. But you know that already. Just to get out of bed this morning, you had to dodge the debris. It’s why you are here, holding this book, seeking relief from…

Read more

Is the Reformation Finished?

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

“We cannot judge whether it is finished, of course, unless we understand how it began.”

In today’s excerpt taken from The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants after 500 Years, authors Gregg Allison and Chris Castaldo highlight the importance of understanding the starting point of the Reformation in order to discern whether it is finished.

***

9780310527930Looking back five hundred years confronts us with an era of momentous change in which many Christians desired renewed faith. Men and women returned to Scripture and the writings of the early church, igniting what some have described as “another Pentecost” or “light after darkness.” Five centuries later, we call it the Reformation. Not everyone, however, regarded the movement as divine illumination. Some viewed…

Read more