How Should Biblical Morality Shape Immigration, Refugee, and Border Policy?
One of the more controversial issues of our day—both in the US and abroad, both political and moral—is how a nation should shape and enforce its immigration laws. The issue carries with it several questions that require nuance and consideration—particularly for Christians.
As Christians, how should we consider issues of immigration, refugees, and border control? How should biblical morality shape such laws? Does the Bible even offer us principles for drafting sound, compassionate public policy solutions? Scott B. Rae’s new fourth edition of Moral Choices offers some biblical and practical guidance on these questions. (Rae’s Moral Choices is a proven, standard text for Christian ethics courses, and updates to the fourth edition include a new chapter on immigration, among other new chapters mentioned…
A Primer on the Legacy of Preaching: Volume One (Apostles to the Revivalists)
They embody the rich legacy of preaching through the ages, inspired by the central ministry component of Jesus Christ himself whose very purpose and mission on earth was to preach. As Jesus himself made clear in Luke 4:43:44: “‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ And he kept on preaching…”
Why Morality Matters: An Introduction to Ethics by Scott B. Rae
“Why be moral?” Perhaps it’s to fulfill some sort of social contract forged between human beings in order to transcend the state of nature? Maybe to align our lives with an internal biological impulse hardwired in us from birth? Or, to align our lives with an external code handed down to us from above?
“Why be moral” is one question at the heart of Scott Rae’s bestselling introduction to ethics, Moral Choices, now in its Fourth Edition. Rae writes in the book’s introduction:
Since the moral life and moral decision-making are the focal points of this book, you can see that I am assuming being moral matters, and significantly. If you decide that being moral is not very important, then you…
What Does It Mean to Be Human? Exploring the Christian Doctrine of Humanity
But what does the Bible say about what it means to be human? What can the Bible and Christian doctrine show us about humanity’s importance in context of God’s full creation? To answer these questions we can turn to the task of theological anthropology, and a new book collecting essays from the January 2018 Los Angeles Theology Conference offers guidance for our task.
Representing the proceedings of the sixth annual conference, the book The Christian Doctrine of Humanity (edited by Oliver D. Crisp and Fred Sanders) constructively and comprehensively engages the task of theological anthropology by offering a slate of voices. These voices give…
Counseling Techniques for Adolescents (by Andi J. Thacker)
The adolescent years are often difficult ones for parents, teachers, and youth leaders to navigate. “Knowing how to meet the therapeutic needs of adolescent clients and help families navigate this unique season of life can be a challenge for helping professionals,” writes Andi J. Thacker in her chapter from Counseling Techniques: A Comprehensive Resource for Christian Counselors (John C. Thomas, general editor). You will find Thacker’s complete chapter on “Adolescent-Focused Strategies” below. Thacker’s essay offers counseling professionals “therapeutic strategies, interventions, and techniques that can be utilized when working with adolescents” (290).
Counseling Techniques covers a lot more than adolescent-focused strategies. It is a comprehensive reference for the broad spectrum of Christian counseling practitioners and students, presenting counseling techniques through three lenses:
Theory-based counseling, including…
Psalm 121 Commentary: Where Does Our Help Come From?
Psalm 121 encourages us in such times. It reminds us where our help comes from and infuses us with confidence: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” W. Dennis Tucker Jr. unpacks the true depths of this message by offering sound exegesis and application of the psalm in the new commentary Psalms, Volume 2 (NIV Application Commentary), co-authored by Tucker (who covers Psalms 107-150) and Jamie A. Grant (Psalms 73-106).
This Psalms commentary from the NIV Application Commentary Series will help you learn how…
Practical Counseling Techniques for Victims of Trauma
For survivors of trauma, what are effective counseling techniques that are integrated with a Christian worldview? Find answers below in this article adapted from Counseling Techniques: A Comprehensive Resource for Christian Counselors (John C. Thomas, General Editor), from the book’s chapter on trauma-focused treatment, written by Heather Davediuk Gingrich.
First, some background on the source: Counseling Techniques is a comprehensive reference for the broad spectrum of Christian counseling practitioners and students, presenting counseling techniques through three lenses:
Theory-based counseling, including cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual strategies, and more; Constituent-based counseling, with a focus on children, teenagers, couples, and families; Issue-based counseling, including domestic abuse, self-injury, sexual abuse, shame, trauma and more.
Counseling Techniques is an important book because whether you’re a novice or experienced…
The Reformation’s Influence on How We Got Our Bible
The accessibility of the Bible in most of the world’s major languages can obscure a dramatic and sometimes unexpected story: how we got the world’s bestselling book.
In Know How We Got Our Bible, scholars Ryan Reeves and Charles Hill trace the history of the Bible from its beginnings to the present day, highlighting key figures and demonstrating overall the reliability of Scripture.
This story they tell about the Bible is an important one. As series editor Justin Holcomb explains:
The Bible is the most significant and influential book in the world because it is the Word of God. The Bible tells us who God is and who we are. Ultimately the Bible is about how God created and is redeeming the world through Jesus Christ… The Bible therefore…
Psalm 100 Commentary: Seven Commands and Two Motivations of Our Praise
Shout. Worship. Come. Know.
Enter. Give thanks. Praise him.
These seven commands form the backbone of one of the most instructive psalms on giving grateful praise to the Lord: Psalm 100. W. Dennis Tucker and Jamie A. Grant provide insight into this psalm’s meaning and composition in their new commentary Psalms, Volume 2 (NIV Application Commentary).
This Psalms commentary, which is part of the NIV Application Commentary Series, helps readers learn how the message of the Psalms can have the same powerful impact today that it did when they were first written. This commentary helps you achieve both halves of the interpretive task—understanding the Bible’s original message and applying it powerfully today.
A good place to start is Tucker and Grant’s observation that Psalm…
Psalm 139 Commentary: God’s Pervasive Presence, Intimate Knowledge, and Faithful Comfort
Psalm 139 is one of the more well-known and well-beloved psalms—and for good reason. This psalm speaks of the pervasive presence of God, and his intimate knowledge of us, which offer us an outsized measure of hope and comfort in the face of adversity and trial. But what does the psalm mean and how are its four poetic movements connected?
W. Dennis Tucker and Jamie A. Grant provide insight into the meaning and composition of this magisterial psalm in their new commentary Psalms, Volume 2 (NIV Application Commentary). This Psalms commentary, which is part of the NIV Application Commentary Series, helps readers learn how the message of the Psalms can have the same powerful impact today that it…
How to Read the Gospel of Mark in the Context of Second Temple Judaism
The Gospel of Mark is widely considered the earliest and most influential narrative of the ministry and passion of Jesus Christ. Although undervalued for centuries, Mark’s Gospel is now celebrated as a cleverly crafted ancient biography, emphasizing action, irony, and intrigue over more direct and discursive modes of theologizing.
Yet not all readings of Mark are equally illuminating or transformative.
Over the last several decades, the Jewishness of Jesus has been at the forefront of scholarship and students of the New Testament are more than ever aware of the importance of understanding Jesus and the Gospels in their Jewish context. Reading Mark in Context (edited by Ben Blackwell, John Goodrich,…
Speaking in Tongues: What Is Its Proper Role in Worship? (1 Corinthians 14 Commentary)
Some would say tongues deserve no role in worship. Some would say the gift of tongues deserves a prominent role. But what does the Bible say?
The nature of tongues and their role in worship were among the issues affecting the church in Corinth, as we see in the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In Paul Gardner’s exegetical commentary on 1 Corinthians, Gardner brings deep insight to the issue in his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:1–19. Gardner explains that passage’s main idea in this way:
Church members should pursue love, and this means desiring those grace-gifts that build up the church. This will lead to a prioritizing…