How to Understand the Difference Between Christianity and Islam

ZA Blog on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,.

howtounderstanddifferences

In a year of polarizing politics, the rise of ISIS, and terrorism, it has never been more important for Christians to understand Islam.

In the Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus online course, New York Times bestselling author Nabeel Qureshi gives you a framework for thinking about how to confront Islam—and understand your own faith as well.

You will discover:

The differences between Islam and Christianity The truth about Muhammad Effective strategies for engaging Muslims in spiritual discussions The most common Muslim objections to Christianity The key beliefs upon which Islam stands or falls

It’s a learning experience that will equip you for the kind of apologetics and evangelism that led Nabeel himself to faith in Christ.

Watch the first…

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Ask These 5 Questions to Bring Clarity to Your Old Testament Sermons

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

9780310524649I wish I’d had Christopher Wright’s new book How to Preach Through the Old Testament for All Its Worth when I regularly preached. It would have helped me preach the text, yes. But it would have helped me preach it in a way my congregation would have understood it.

Because let’s face it, preaching the Old Testament can be…challenging! Wright sympathizes:

to be honest, the Old Testament is a difficult set of books…trying to preach a sermon or teach a Sunday school class from the Old Testament is too exhausting for the pastor or Bible study leader and too confusing for the people. It’s much easier to stick with what we know—the New Testament. (17)

Which is why Wright offers a five-question roadmap for preaching and teaching Old Testament…

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Why You Shouldn’t “Preach the Gospel at All Times and Use Words When Necessary”

ZA Blog on 11 months ago. Tagged under ,.

preachgospelatalltimes

There’s a famous quote. You’ve probably heard it:

“Preach the gospel at all times. Use words only when necessary.”

The original quote is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. It’s been echoed by generations of Christians.

The spirit of the quote is good, and it makes a good point. Our actions matter. What’s more: actions usually speak louder than words. People are watching what we do.

But there are some good reasons why this quote does not present a good approach in relating with others.

The first reason is that, in many cases, people use it as an excuse to avoid articulating their faith.

How many times has the gospel not been shared, because we’ve embraced a version of…

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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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Can Someone Be Gay and Christian, and Faithfully Christian?

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

9780310519652Should same-sex attracted Christians call themselves gay?

Let’s go further: Is same-sex attraction itself sinful?

And perhaps more pressing: Can gay Christians be faithfully Christian?

These questions sit at the heart of an ongoing discussion within the Church about the meaning of sexuality. They also form much of the pastoral thrust to a new book exploring why homosexuality isn’t just an issue.

In People to Be Loved Preston Sprinkle freshly engages the biblical passages and human faces behind the issue in a way that respects both. The engagement below reveals such a respect. It also reveals what it means to be gay and Christian, and to live faithfully unto Christ.

Gay and Christian?

First, should Christians who are same-sex attracted identify as gay? Sprinkle distinguishes between two senses…

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Remembering Ed Dobson: By Stan Gundry

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under .

This post by Dr. Stan Gundry was originally published on the Bible Gateway Blog. Read the full article.

Edward G. Dobson, known as Dr. Dobson to some, as Pastor Dobson to others, as author to still others, and as Eddie to many close friends, died on December 26, 2015. I was his publisher, he was my pastor, but to me he was “Ed.” I have prayed for him many times since he was diagnosed with ALS in the year 2000, a disease that he fought valiantly but that finally got the better of him.

My first contact with Ed came in the mid 1980s, but given the nature of our contact, I would not have dreamed that we would ever be close. You see, at the time he was associated with Liberty University, involved with the Moral Majority, the…

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NIV Application Commentary Software Is Just $7.99 For a Short Time

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

NIVAC Commentaries on Sale

Good news! Each NIV Application Commentary software edition is just $7.99 for a short time!

NIVACs are indispensable tools for understanding and teaching God’s Word.

And for a brief time all 42 NIVAC software editions are just 8 dollars apiece at the online stores of Logos, Accordance, WORDsearch, and Olive Tree. That means you save an average of 65% off the original price!

Act fast, this sale ends January 14!

(Note: If you buy from Logos, use code NIVAC16 to get the deal.)

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Learn from word-class scholars with NIVAC commentaries:

John H. Walton on Genesis and Job Scot McKnight on Galatians and 1 Peter Tremper Longman III on…

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Christianity Today’s 2016 Book Award Winners

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

ct_award2016

Each year Christianity Today announces a selection of books they feel are most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture. We are pleased the editors have selected four Zondervan Academic titles for inclusion in their 2016 list.

The Pastor Theologian by Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson, Award of Merit for The Church/Pastoral Leadership; From Dependence to Dignity, by Brian Fikkert and Russell Mask, Award of Merit for Missions/The Global Church; Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock by Daniel Strange, Award of Merit for Theology/Ethics; Malestrom by Carolyn Custis James, Winner for Her.meneutics.

These books represent this year’s crop of important resources touching on the Bible, the church, theology, missions and other perennial matters of faith. They are the perfect last-minute…

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Can the Future mean “Should” (Malachi 2:6) – Mondays with Mounce 278

Bill Mounce on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Malachi 2 contains a serious warning to the priests, and I would apply the warning to preachers today.

The priests refused to honor God’s name, and so God will rebuke their descendants. They should have followed Levi’s example, who revered God and “stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips” (vv 5-6).

What caught my attention was the use of “ought” in translating v 7. “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge (יִשְׁמְרוּ), because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth” (NIV). יִשְׁמְרוּ is a Qal…

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2 Reasons Why We Need a New Conversation About Homosexuality

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

9780310519652Has Christ’s Church handled the question of homosexuality with Christlike love? Are we sure we’ve understood what Scripture really says about same-sex relations?

Preston Sprinkle weaves together these two questions in a new book, appropriately titled People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue. With rhetorical deftness, pastoral sensitivity, and theological depth, he offers Christians from across the spectrum an honest, engaging, surprising look at the Zeitgeist’s most important existential topic.

“Studying the issue of homosexuality is not enough,” writes Sprinkle. “We need to listen to gay and lesbian people…Homosexuality is about people. At the same time I want to be ruthlessly biblical about how we formulate our thoughts about homosexuality.” (19, 21)

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Finally, A Commentary by South Asian Scholars for South Asian Readers

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

South Asia Bible CommentarySeveral years ago an American friend worked with pastors in Ukraine, offering ministry encouragement and strategic insights. At his first meeting he was greeted by a baseball diamond diagram popularized by an American book helping churches supercharge their ministry. They were using it to help guide their Eastern European churches.

He thought the baseball analogy was contextually out of place. Instead of importing American ministry strategies, he encouraged these leaders to create contextual ones for their indigenous ministries.

The same could be said for Bible commentaries.

Biblical insights from Western commentaries can be helpful elsewhere. Yet non-Western churches need resources to explain the Bible, relate its meaning to specific contexts, and apply Scripture to their life and ministry. Now we have such a resource for South Asia.

The new South…

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D. A. Carson Explains the Essence and Importance of Biblical Theology

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

The major contribution of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible is that it focuses on a biblical theology for personal Bible reading. Recently, D. A. Carson, general editor, was interviewed on John Piper’s podcast about this freshly-conceived study Bible. He explored the essence of biblical theology and why it matters to the devotional life of ordinary Christians.

First, he explained the two foci of biblical theology:

You work carefully with each book or corpus (e.g. the Synoptics) to understand what God is saying through that corpus at the time before exploring how it contributes to the canon. You track themes that run through the Bible, tying them together. There are 20 large themes and 60 smaller ones, which include atonement, covenant, messiah, and kingdom.

Carson closes by explaining why a study Bible that emphasizes biblical theology is important for lay readers. He…

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