What Can Churches Do to Help with Mental Health Conditions?

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

9780310534815_394_600_90ADHD and autism, depression and anxiety, mood disorders and other common mental health conditions are all part of people’s lives this side of the fall.

Yet the very place that should offer healing and hope is often the least equipped to help. Further, it is the place least likely to be actively attended by people suffering with such conditions.

That place is the church.

Stephen Grcevich explains this in his new book, Mental Health and the Church:

The families I meet through my work as a child and adolescent psychiatrist are far less likely than other families in our community to be actively involved in a local church. This reality is a tragic departure from Jesus’ plan for his church. (16)

Thankfully, he wrote…

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Translating All the Words of Scripture (Matt 24:34) – Mondays with Mounce 311

Bill Mounce on 4 days ago. Tagged under ,.

I know this is a difficult and controversial verse, and I don’t think I have anything new to add to the discussion — how’s that for garnering excitement to read the rest of the post? But there are a couple things that are interesting.

Jesus has been discussing the destruction of the temple and his second return. In vv 34-35 he says, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away (οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ) until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (οὐ μὴ παρέλθωσιν)”( ESV).

First of all, most translations give up at trying to translate the emphatic οὐ μὴ plus aorist subjunctive, and I understand why. It is hard to do without over-translating or messing with English style. Jesus is saying that this generation will,…

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The Stigma of Mental Illness in the Church – An Excerpt from Mental Health and the Church

ZA Blog on 1 week ago.

9780310534815_394_600_90The church across North America does a weak job of welcoming and including families of children, teens, and adults with common mental health conditions or trauma. One obstacle is the absence of a widely accepted model for mental health inclusion ministries for kids, teens, adults, and their families.

In Mental Health and the Church, Dr. Stephen Grcevich seeks to put forth a model for a mental health/trauma inclusion ministry of sufficient flexibility to be implemented by churches of all sizes, denominations, and organizational styles. In today’s excerpt, he reveals how the stigma of mental illness impacts families relationship to the church.


I believe most pastors and church leaders are unaware of the extent to which the experience of a mental health disorder—“serious” mental health conditions such…

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How Jesus Subverts the Kingdoms of this World

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

9780310328612He was born in the Roman Empire over two thousand years ago, growing up to command the loyalty of thousands. During his thirties he was seen as the fulfillment of national hopes and founder of an endless kingdom.

His achievements were considered signs of divine authority. Official proclamations of these acts, known as “gospels,” were published in his honor. In fact, an inscription on a stone was uncovered in southwest Turkey describing him in this way:

God sent him as a savior for us to make war to cease, to create peaceful order everywhere. And the birthday of this “god” was the beginning for the world of gospels that have come to men through him.

Who was this “god”? If you said Jesus, you’d be wrong. The “savior” described is Gaius Octavius, otherwise known as…

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Theology eBook Sale (February 12-14, 2018)

ZA Blog on 1 week ago.


Save up to 53% on theology eBooks in our brief eBook Sale ending on February 14, 2018 (11:59pm ET). Deals include:

Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity by Brian Rosner. 50% OFF Sanctification (New Studies in Dogmatics) by Michael Allen. 48% OFF Awakening the Evangelical Mind by Owen Strachan. 53% OFF Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James. 40% OFF 11 other titles on sale

Fnd other deals from authors including:

Craig L. Blomberg Christopher J. H. Wright Marc Cortez Jeremy R. Treat more

Volumes from several series are on sale, including Biblical Theology for Life, New Studies in Dogmatics, and Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics.

See the deals now. Sale ends February 14, 2018 (11:59pm ET).

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Who is Jesus? (John 8:24) – Mondays with Mounce 310

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

Jesus says, “This is why I said to you that you would die in your sins, for if you do not believe that I am he (ἐγώ εἰμι), you will die in your sins.” This is one of the more interesting conundrums I have seen in a while.

Where does the “he” come from? More importantly, who is “he.” The “I” is Jesus, but who is the “he” Jesus is referring to? Does this really make any sense? Almost all translations say “I am he,” but that doesn’t make it right.

The reason this is an interesting conundrum is because there are several things at work. We all know of the use of ἐγώ εἰμι to make reference to God’s name in Exodus 3:15 (אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה, Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν). Jesus says, “I tell you the solemn truth, before…

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Translating the Name of the Lord (Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields)

Lee Fields on 1 week ago. Tagged under .

One of the many benefits of knowing a little Hebrew (and Greek!) is that it can help readers understand their English Bibles better. Understanding the name of the Lord is a good example.

There are many expressions used to refer to the God of Israel, but the one that may confuse English-only readers is the name of the Lord. There are several terms related to this. First we will look at pronunciation. Then we will explain Hebrew terms and translations.

The name of the Lord in Hebrew is יהוה, YHWH, known as the tetragrammaton (a Greek term meaning the “four-letter word”). The Jews often substitute the expression “the Name” for the actual name of the Lord, so that they do not even accidentally give offense to the Lord. It is a useful shorthand that we will use here. Many Jews…

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What is a leap of faith?

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under .

What is a leap of faith?

We hear the phrase “leap of faith” all the time. It refers to a momentous decision we must make that lies outside reason, or one that forces us to grapple with a difficult belief or moral position.

Surprisingly, the phrase isn’t very old.

The idea first appears in Søren Kierkegaard’s book, Fear and Trembling, which he wrote under the pseudonym Johannes de Silentio.

Let’s take a closer look at the phrase “leap of faith,” and see what Kierkegaard meant by it.

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How we know Jesus is God: 2 ways of understanding religion

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under .

Evangelism in a Skeptical World

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We’re all on a search for God. Who am I to impose my version of God on you?

There are two ways of understanding God, religion, and spirituality.

One way is to say we’re all on a journey, we’re all searching for the truth, and we’re all searching for God, and we all have our own experiences and perspectives. If Jesus says He’s God to me, fine. But if you have found some other God,…

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What History Tells Us About Jesus

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

9780310328612Christianity is unique among the world religions because it claims to be historical. It revolves around a series of events that are believed to have occurred in modern Israel between 5 BC and AD 30.

Which makes it open to historical scrutiny.

As John Dickson explains in his new book A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus: “If you claim that something spectacular took place in history, intelligent people are going to ask you historical questions.”

How has it fared in the face of such critical observation? Surprisingly well! Particularly because Jesus is mentioned several times outside of the New Testament.

One lucky outcome of this flurry of ancient literary output [about the Roman Empire] is that a small-town Jewish teacher, named Yeshua ben Yosef, or Jesus son of Joseph, happened to…

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The Myth of Literal Translation (2 Thessalonians 2:3) — Mondays with Mounce 309

Bill Mounce on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,.

I know I have been beating this drum pretty hard recently, but it is so easy. I keep coming across example that clearly illustrate the problem.

The claim is that a translation can be at least somewhat literal, and that by doing so the translator reduces the amount of interpretation (often true) and the informed reader can see the Greek structure behind the English.

Frankly, the “informed” reader should be reading Greek if he or she is able to learn anything of significance from the English structure. But more importantly, I doubt there is even one verse in the English Bible that actually, clearly, reveals the Greek structure underlying it. The languages are just too different.

I am helping my friend Martin read Greek, and we looked at 2 Thessalonians 2 last Wednesday. In the ESV v 2 reads, “Let…

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Your Sermon, Your Body Language – An Excerpt from Preaching God’s Word, Second Edition

ZA Blog on 3 weeks ago.

You have a great sermon prepared, and the hard part is done. It would be great if all you had to do was to stand up and speak the words for maximum effectiveness. But it takes more than just words to deliver the message.

9780310536246In today’s excerpt taken from Preaching God’s Word, Second Edition, authors Terry Carter, J. Scott Duvall, and J. Daniel Hays remind us that spoken language is only a fraction of the way you effectively communicate your sermon.


Experts tell us that a major part of sermon delivery is body language. Roy DeBrand suggests that the “visual in preaching is vitally important to communication.” By visual, DeBrand means things related to your body, such as clothing, posture, gestures, facial expressions, and…

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