Can We Still Believe in Miracles Today? Should We?

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

miracles

This post is adapted from K. Scott Oliphant’s new online course, Know Why You Believe.

How could you believe that an ax head could ever float on water?

How about a person? Could a person walk on water?

Can someone really rise from the dead?

Questions like these often come to Christians. Embedded in our belief in Christianity is a belief in the reality of miracles.

But why would we believe that miracles could happen?

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What is Christological Anthropology?

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

9780310516439What does it means to be human?

Although Christians have answered that “Jesus reveals what it means to be human,” this orthodox truism isn’t all that helpful. That’s what theologian Marc Cortez concluded when he started reading in theological anthropology:

I was struck by how often I would encounter [this claim] with little or no explanation of what such a statement means or how it should inform our understanding of specific issues in anthropology. (18)

His new book ReSourcing Theological Anthropology addresses that lack by offering an account of why theological anthropology must begin with Christology, centered around three key questions:

Why should we think that Christology is fundamental for understanding anthropology? What are the theological issues involved in making that claim?…

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When Was Acts Written?

ZA Blog on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,.

When was Acts written

This post is adapted from Darrell Bock’s Theology of Luke and Acts online course.

To determine when Acts was written, we need to evaluate the evidence from both Luke and Acts, because the two books were written together, with Luke appearing slightly before Acts.

At first glance, it seems that the book of Acts was written around the same time of the last events it describes. The story ends; Luke writes the book. That’s the date.

For this reason, many people place Acts in the early 60s, because this coincides with the date of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome.

But why couldn’t Luke have written the book later?

It is possible Luke’s story isn’t really about Paul. Instead, it’s about the gospel arriving at Rome. In this view, it’s not important what Paul does after the gospel makes it to…

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How to Identify and Excavate an Archaeological Site – An Excerpt from the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology

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

archThe Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology is a reference resource for anyone interested in archaeology and its relevance to biblical, theological, and apologetic studies. Illustrated with full-color photos, charts, and maps, this handbook provides readers with a wealth of information that complements and supplements the historical context of the Bible.

In today’s excerpt, author Randall Price explains how archaeological digs are found and excavated.

Identifying an Archaeological Site

The remains of an ancient site are called a tel, “mound” (Hebrew tel, Arabic tell or tall), because it resembles a small hill as a result of successive habitation layers deposited through destruction. This is related to an older Arabic term khirbet (“ruin”). These archaeological mounds were formed through time as cities became ruins due to natural…

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The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn

ZA Blog on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,.

Seven churches of revelation

The book of Revelation opens with seven letters to seven churches. Each of the seven letters is a prophetic word from Jesus, through the Spirit, who is inspiring John to write.

Who were the recipients of these letters? How were they read and understood in the first century? And what are we to make of them today?

Where were the seven churches located?

Before we look at these letters as a whole, let’s briefly look at the seven cities where the recipients lived.

1. Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)

A messenger coming from Patmos—where John wrote—would reach Ephesus first, so Ephesus makes sense as the first letter. Ephesus was also a prominent city in the province: more powerful than Pergamum politically, and more favored than Smyrna for the imperial cult.

The letter to Ephesus warns against false teachers and evil in the…

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15 Things You Need to Know About the Eternal Generation of the Son

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

9780310537878Although the doctrine of eternal generation has been affirmed by theologians since the fourth century, it has fallen on hard times. A new book aims to reverse the trend.

Retrieving Eternal Generation addresses the hermeneutical logic and biblical bases of the doctrine of eternal generation, key historical figures and moments in the development of the doctrine of eternal generation, and the broad dogmatic significance of the doctrine of eternal generation for theology.

Corresponding with its fifteen chapters, below are fifteen things you need to know about eternal generation—and why it is vital to reclaim this biblical, historical relation of the Son to the Father.

1) Integral to Knowing God’s Identity

Scott Swain “correlates two different ways Scripture names God: as the one…

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“For what is exalted among people is an abomination before God” (Luke 16:15) – Mondays with Mounce

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

Note: you can watch the blog on my YouTube channel.

Before I get into the Greek, I think it is helpful for us to stop and ask ourselves if we really believe this. Think about the things that we value, to which we aspire, what we respect in other people, what we secretly long for. How many of these things are actually “detestable” (NASB), an “abomination” (ESV), “revolting” (CSB) in God’s eyes? I suspect the list is rather long.

The Greek of this verse is pretty simple, but it does illustrate several points.

“What is exalted among men (τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώποις ὑψηλὸν)” shows the use of the article (τό) to turn…

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What Is the Mark of the Beast?

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

The mark of the beast

This post is adapted from material found in Craig Keener’s Revelation online course.

The book of Revelation speaks of several beasts. Perhaps the most famous is the beast found in Revelation 13:11–18. And this beast comes with a mark—the number 666.

What, or who, is this beast? What does this mark mean? And in light of the wildly different interpretations of this passage—both in our own time, and throughout the church’s history—how should we think about the mark of the beast today?

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy…

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eBook Sale: Apologetics, Sexuality, Leadership & Spiritual Disciplines

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago.

ebook-sale-jan2018_5

New and popular eBooks are on sale, starting at $1.99 in this eBook sale on apologetics, sexuality, leadership and spiritual disciplines.

The sale includes deals from Greg Koukl, Nabeel Qureshi, Roger E. Olson, Wesley Hill, and many more.

Don’t wait because these deals end on January 7, 2018.

 

Apologetics

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi • Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Gregory Koukl • The Essentials of Christian Thought: Seeing Reality through the Biblical Story by Roger E. Olson • 9 more deals

 

Leadership

Deep & Wide and the new Going Deep & Wide: A Companion Guide for Churches and Leaders by Andy Stanley • The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by…

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2017 Year in Review: The Most Popular Online Courses

ZA Blog on 3 weeks ago.

2017 Year in Review

Zondervan Academic Online Courses has become one of the best ways to learn about the Bible online. As we’re reviewing and reflecting on our most popular courses from 2017 and looking ahead to 2018, we thought we’d share some of what we’re learning about what you’re learning.

Here are some of our observations:

1. There is strong interest in the biblical languages.

In this year’s list, languages dominate.

Many people have a desire to learn to read the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, and an easy-to-use online format makes it more likely that people will succeed in doing this.

Both Basics of Biblical Greek and Basics of Biblical Hebrew made the top ten list. The 11th most popular course—which didn’t quite make the list—is Dan Wallace’s Greek syntax course. People are not only taking Greek…

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What Is the Tabernacle?

ZA Blog on 4 weeks ago.

What is the tabernacle?

During the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert under Moses’ leadership, God was with them. God gave clear instructions to the Israelites for a sanctuary where his spirit could dwell and where people could gather for worship and to offer sacrifices. This sanctuary is called the tabernacle.

Every element in the tabernacle was significant. Even the way that the Exodus narrative embeds the story of Israel’s betrayal of God within the tabernacle narrative is remarkably important to God’s story.

Dr. Gary E. Schnittjer, professor of the Old Testament at Cairn University, discusses the important elements of the tabernacle:

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe…

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6 Surprising Things You Need to Know about Matthew’s Christmas Story

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

9780310327141There are two versions of the Christmas story: the one reflected in Christmas carols and pageants; the other version most forget—Matthew’s Christmas story.

“Matthew’s version of our favorite holiday,” Rodney Reeves explains in his new Matthew commentary (SGBC series), “is hardly recognizable except for the star and the three wise men. Joseph nearly divorcing Mary, Herod’s diabolical ploy, the slaughter of the innocents, the flight to Egypt, waiting for a wicked king to die—none of these things make the cover of Christmas cards” (61).

Yet we need this story for the things Matthew wants to tell us about Immanuel’s story.

In his commentary on Matthew 1:18–2:23, Reeves outlines several important insights into the passage. Below we’ve given you six surprising things you need to know about Matthew’s Christmas story this…

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