Understanding the Creation Story from Genesis
How did the world begin? Was the world a cosmological mistake or an intentional creation? What existed before the universe as we know it? Questions like these have generated tons of discussion (and arguments) in the historical, scientific, and religious communities.
While most people are familiar with the creation story found in Genesis, there’s a richness that’s often lost. In The Torah Story online course, Gary E. Schnittjer, Cairn University’s professor of Old Testament, plumbs the depth of the creation story while answering important questions like:
How did the author of Genesis receive the creation story? How does the narrative style of the creation story provide the backdrop for the rest of the biblical story? What does the creation story reveal about God? How are humans different than the rest of creation? What is mankind’s responsibility to creation?
Shoes on the Danube Bank: Message from Bill Mounce
We received this photograph and brief message from Bill Mounce on April 30, 2018.
I am in Budapest, Hungary teaching a class on the Pastoral Epistles for the Cru Seminary. These shoes represent all the Budapest Jewish people, adults and children, who were executed by the Arrow Cross Militiamen, fell into the Danube, and floated downstream. In total 3,500 people were murdered. Difficult to see.
Bill is the founder and President of BiblicalTraining.org, serves on the Committee for Bible Translation (which is responsible for the NIV translation of the Bible), and has written a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles and many other works including the best-selling biblical…
What Is the Economic and Immanent Trinity?
If you’re interested in the doctrine of the Trinity, then you’ve probably heard the terms economic Trinity and immanent Trinity from a lot of modern theologians. But what exactly do those terms mean? And more importantly, do they help us understand the Trinity better?
In The Triune God, Dr. Fred Sanders explains the terms and their origins, and suggests how they might actually create more confusion than clarity.
Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray bring a fresh perspective on Jesus in new book with Zondervan
Jesus through Eastern Eyes to release February 2020
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Apr. 11, 2018 — Ravi Zacharias, president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and Abdu Murray, North American Director with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, have signed on to publish a co-authored book, Jesus through Eastern Eyes, with Zondervan in February 2020.
In the West Jesus is usually seen through one lens: that of Western reasoning and linear thought. As the world becomes smaller and more people are brought to our door, a broader view of Jesus is needed—one that can be grasped by Easterners and can penetrate the hearts and imaginations of postmodern Westerners.
In Jesus through Eastern Eyes, Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray will capture a revitalized gospel message through an Eastern lens, revealing its power and sharing the truth about Jesus in a compelling and winsome light. Incorporating…
Who are the Nephilim in Genesis 6?
Genesis 6:4 reads: “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”
This is an incredibly confusing passage. We know almost nothing about the Nephilim. Who were these people, and why are they important to the surrounding narrative in Genesis?
Before we attempt to answer that, let’s take a look at the broader context. Genesis 6:1–4 reads:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be…
The history of the Bible
How did we get the Bible? When was the Bible written? How can we trust the Bible?
We sat down with Ryan Reeves, Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and instructor for the Know How We Got Our Bible online course, to discuss the origins, history, and misconceptions about the Bible.
How we got the Bible
The Bible we have in our hands and on our phones comes through a series of…
Where Did the Bible Come From?
The Bible is a collection of 66 books believed to have been written by more than 40 divinely-inspired authors. It’s thousands of years old, and Christians still place their trust in it today. So where did the Bible come from? How did we end up with these 66 books?
In his online systematic theology course, Dr. Wayne Grudem explores the origins of the biblical canon to answer questions like these. The following post is adapted from his course.
What the resurrection means
Of all religions, Christianity is the one that has the most historical evidence, and therefore the least to hide, in what it purports. We should never hide from, or routinely dismiss, the historical aspect of Christianity.
If all we have are historical reasons for our belief in the resurrection, then it is possible to conclude, with a certain amount of probability, that the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened in history.
However, we also recognize that, when we are thinking about the “why” question as it pertains to the resurrection of Christ, Christians should never be content to begin and end their belief in the resurrection of Christ with only historical data. Those data can support our belief in the resurrection. They can supplement what we believe and why we believe it.
But historical data cannot be the center of our…
What does it mean that the Word became flesh?
John 1:14 is one of the most important verses in the Bible. It reads: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word did not just appear to be human; the Word became flesh.
This assertion stunned the Greek mind for whom the separation of the divine spirit and the mundane world (flesh, sarx) was an axiom of belief.
But the second phrase is equally stunning for the Jew. This Word dwelt (skenoo) among us and revealed his glory (doxa). This verb for dwelling is employed in the Greek Old Testament for the tabernacle of God.
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Who wrote the Gospel of John?
The Gospel of John provides no explicit internal evidence concerning its author. John, the disciple, is nowhere identified by name.
But the Fourth Gospel might provide us with clues concealed in the enigmatic figure of the “Beloved Disciple.”
This title occurs in five passages:
John 13:23: “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.” John 19:26: “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son.’” John 20:2: “So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’” John 21:7: “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’” John 20:20: “Peter turned…
Who was John the Baptist?
The New Testament places a very high estimate on John the Baptist and his ministry.
John was the greatest figure yet produced under the old covenant, according to Matthew 11:11.
Jesus said of him in Luke 7:28, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John.”
And Hebrews 11:39 tells us he epitomized all the Old Testament saints who stood at the threshold of the new order without entering in.
His great importance lies in the fact that he bridged the old era and the new and was the link between the two.
Let’s take a closer look at his life, as well as his relationship to Jesus.
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Do We Rejoice in the Midst of Pain, or Run from It? (Phil 2:18) – Mondays with Mounce 314
Having established that God is at work in his children, giving them godly desires and the ability to accomplish those desires (Philippians 2:12–13), Paul then draws out one way those desires manifest themselves. “Do all things without grumbling or arguing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the universe.” (2:14–15)
As an aside, wouldn’t it be wonderful if this actually characterized the church? No negative words. No senseless debate. We would actually shine into the darkness of this world. And isn’t it interesting that if we could stop grumbling and arguing, then we will be “ blameless and innocent”? (And please…