How to Apply the Bible to Your Life in Four Steps

Jeremy Bouma on 6 days ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310524175One hallmark of biblical interpretation is the meant-means distinction: we need to determine what the Bible meant (to the original author and audience, in their context and culture) before understanding what it means (to us in our context and culture).

Authors William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard echo this hermeneutical rule in Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Third Edition, a fully updated resource to help students unravel the mysteries of interpreting Scripture.

One of those mysteries is the means side of the equation: how to apply the Bible. The authors explain that “all applications must be consistent with the meaning of passages arrived at by means of…sound hermeneutical principles” (609). But how can one make the connection between what a passage meant, as determined…

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2 Views on Human Evolution: Evolutionary-Creation vs. Unique-Origin

Jeremy Bouma on 3 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310496052Discussions surrounding Christianity and science have been fraught with taut rhetoric and polarizing polemics on both sides of the aisle. The new Dictionary of Christianity and Science aims to shape these conversations by offering a framework for better dialogue.

Perhaps in no other discussion do we need such a sure, sturdy referee than in the one surrounding human origin. Through the Dictionary‘s “Multiple-View Discussions” entry type, two able scientists lead the discussion: Darrel R. Falk and Ann Gauger.

Below, we’ve engaged one aspect of their lengthy, robust discussion: the genetic evidence for so-called common descent—the view that our species, Homo sapiens, descended from ape-like ancestors.

We trust it will give you a taste of this definitive reference, showcasing why Scot McKnight says “Every Christian studying science will want a copy within arm’s…

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Darwin, Darwinism, and the “Dictionary of Christianity and Science”

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

9780310496052Faith and science have been both kissing cousins and sworn enemies throughout Western history.

That tension, however, hasn’t stopped Paul Copan, Tremper Longman, Christopher Reese, and Michael Strauss from offering the church and academy a new reference resource for the intersection of the Christian faith and contemporary science.

The Dictionary of Christianity and Science (on-sale 4/25/17) engages the crucial faith-science topics of the day. From Adam and Eve to the age of the earth, Big Bang to bioethics, string theory to the Scopes trial, this definitive resource offers you access to over 450 concepts, individuals, and debates, displayed in three types of entries:

Introductions offer quick and easy overviews Essays present further exploration of significant topics Multiple-view discussions stimulate discussion through vigorous, charitable, persuading points-of-view articles

To give you a…

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Advice for Integrating the Essentials of Christian Thought with Learning

Jeremy Bouma on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310521556_imageDoctrine. 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…

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Worship Pastor, Are You a “Church Lover” First?

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310525196If you’re a worship pastor, you’re probably known as many things: song leader, lead musician, artist.

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…

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Can You Be Committed to Both God’s Word and the Spirit’s Gifts?

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310533849Pastor and author Sam Storms has been laboring and praying for what many have said is an elusive dream. What is he searching for?

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…

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Sixteen Ways Worship Pastors Can Engage Pastorally

Jeremy Bouma on 4 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310525196What role does a worship leader play in the modern church?

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…

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“Redemptive Release” for Wayward Souls – 3 Biblical Examples

Jeremy Bouma on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310523536_imageWhat do you do when someone you love—a friend, a spouse, a child—goes wayward, as we sometimes say? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?

These deep, important questions are often fraught with pain and confusion. Two pastors with fifty years of experience want to help you navigate them.

In their richly biblical, deeply practical new book Letting Go, pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert offer counsel for dealing with and caring for the prodigal who has strayed.

As pastors and counselors, we offer to step into your pain and confusion and point you to the One who redeems prodigals with his tough, rugged love. … He cares for the wayward person…

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5 Things Russell Jeung Learned Among Ancestors & Refugees

Jeremy Bouma on 7 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310527831From Syrian refugees to Latin American immigrants, Westerners are wrestling with complicated realities of exile in all of its forms.

What does it mean to be the Church for such people, and what can we learn from our refugee neighbors as we love them in the name of Jesus? Russell Jeung helps us wrestle with such questions.

In his spiritual memoir At Home in Exile, Jeung shares the joyful and occasionally harrowing stories of his life in East Oakland’s Murder Dubs neighborhood, and how those experiences with exile and relationships with refugees shaped his faith.

What I’ve learned from my family and gained from my refugee neighbors is a more precious gift. I have come to realize that both now and in the…

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The “War on Christmas” and Jewish-Christian Dialogue

Jeremy Bouma on 7 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

near_christianityMy wife and I visited our local Costco this weekend to get a good deal on a vacuum, only to be greeted by rows of fake LED-lighted Christmas trees, a life-size nutcracker, and a giant wire reindeer. Apparently the Christmas season began October 1st this year! Which makes Anthony Le Donne’s new book especially timely.

In Near Christianity, Le Donne offers us an important primer on Jewish-Christian dialogue. He takes us to the borders of the faith to help us understand and sympathize with those who remain “near Christianity.” Perhaps there’s no better time to consider this nearness than the season from Black Friday to Christmas Day.

In a chapter highlighting the dynamics at work between Christians and religious minorities during Advent, Le Donne asks us to consider…

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Did Jesus Claim to Be God? Muslims Say “No”

Jeremy Bouma on 8 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

ngb1In No God but One: Allah or Jesus?, Nabeel Qureshi investigates the evidence for Islam and Christianity as a former Muslim. One of the most important parts to his investigation is his engagement with the widest point of divergence between the two religions: the person of Jesus.

“At no point is the schism between Christian and Islamic theologies broader than on the person of Jesus” (213) Qureshi reveals.

Answering his question about not only Jesus’ divinity, but his claim to be God, was a crucial one for his journey from seeking Allah to finding Jesus. “All other differences between Muslims and Christians were secondary to me, far less important than this most significant matter.” (213)

Below we explore this surprising claim by Muslims, that Jesus never claimed to be God,…

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How Do Islam and Christianity Define Our Problem and Solution?

Jeremy Bouma on 8 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

ngb1Earlier this year my family moved to a diverse neighborhood in the suburbs of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The next day, we discovered we moved next to a Muslim family. Perhaps you would have done what I did: prayed for opportunities to show them Christ’s love; and wondered how to navigate a conversation about the differences of our faith if a door opened. Thankfully, we have a new book to guide those conversations.

In No God but One, the highly anticipated follow-up book to his New York Times bestselling spiritual memoir Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi addresses the most important questions at the interface of Islam and Christianity: How do the two religions differ? Can we be confident that either are true? And most important, is the truth worth dying for?

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