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 beyond 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…
9 Ways Suicide Affects Others
Memoir is, by nature, truth-telling. In his new moving memoir Even in Our Darkness, Jack Deer tells the truth about one of the most painful themes repeated throughout his life: suicide.
On January 21, 1961, Dad woke to an empty house, poured whiskey in his coffee, swallowed some barbiturates, and scribbled an angry note.
Sometime before noon, he walked over to the record player in front of the two windows in our living room. He put on Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date,” setting the turntable to repeat. Then he sat down on the red sofa with gold embroidery and picked up his childhood rifle. He shoved one .22-caliber shell into the chamber, pressed the muzzle between his eyes, and left a thirty-four-year-old widow with a tenth-grade education…
7 Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament
While we know Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish story and we want to better understand how the two Testaments relate, we’re often unsure how the Bible’s many stories, characters, and events relate to each other—especially to Jesus. Some are tempted to force the Bible’s many pieces together, making superficial jumps from the Hebrew Scriptures to Jesus’ story. But most are left wondering:
Does Jesus and his story connect to the Old Testament? If so, where is Jesus in the Old Testament? How does the Old Testament inform our understanding of Jesus—his life and teachings, death and resurrection?
Christ from Beginning to End answers these questions, helping Christians better understand how to…
How to Read the Bible in Context
So how do we read such a book?
This question is important when picking up any document, from paperback to newspaper. You wouldn’t read a historical novel on WWII the same way you would a nonfiction historical account of the same time. And we read the newspaper’s front page differently than the opinion-editorials (or at least, we ought to read them differently).
How, then, should we read the Bible? It starts with context.
In Christ from Beginning to End, authors Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum outline six different contexts—three specific, three general—to…