Your Sermon, Your Body Language – An Excerpt from Preaching God’s Word, Second Edition
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.
In 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…
The Basics of Hebrew Numbers
If you’re studying the biblical languages, you’ve probably noticed that numbers are handled very differently in ancient Hebrew than they are in English. While modern Hebrew uses European digits to represent numbers, biblical Hebrew has no numerical symbols, and is always written out.
These written numbers have masculine and feminine forms which have to agree with the gender of the noun they describe. (If there’s no noun, the feminine form is used.) To help you navigate the unique challenges of biblical Hebrew numbers, Dr. Miles Van Pelt and Dr. Gary Practico created an online course, Basics of Biblical Hebrew.
The video below explores their material, and you can hear Dr. Miles Van Pelt pronounce the numbers.
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Why science hasn’t disproved Christianity
We used to live in the Dark Ages, where we believed in unicorns, fairy godmothers, and goblins. But then science came along and it rescued us from superstition and our age of darkness.
…Or that’s how the story is often told.
If we want to believe in a God, aren’t we going back to the Dark Ages, where we also believe in unicorns and leprechauns and fairy godmothers? Hasn’t science disproved Christianity?
The benefits of science
Before we talk about what science can’t do, we need to recognize what it can do.
Science has given us so many good things, from microwave ovens to mobile phones.
We can’t have it both ways: upholding Christianity doesn’t mean we need to disparage the benefits of science. If you want to enjoy the microwave oven, you can also believe in God at the…
How we know Jesus rose from the dead
How do we really know that Jesus rose from the dead?
I could give you a traditional answer. It would be something like:
“Well the Bible says he rose from the dead, and the Bible contains many contemporary eyewitness accounts which are corroborated by non-Christian, non-Biblical evidence, and it’s been transmitted to us accurately through multiple sources.”
This is how many Christians would respond, and they would be right.
Or, I could say:
“You know what? We live as if Jesus rose from the dead, because we live as if there is such a thing as unconditional love, because somehow we feel that we should love everyone no matter what—especially the marginalized, the poor, and the outcast.”
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Why your belief in absolutes doesn’t make you judgmental
Today’s post comes from Sam Chan, a public evangelist with City Bible Forum in Sydney, Australia, where he regularly shares the gospel with high school students, city workers, doctors, and lawyers.
Why are Christians so unloving?
You can give me so many examples of unloving Christians, and I can give you more examples of unloving Christians.
Here’s one way of thinking about it: in the end, it’s not about being good, it’s not about being religious, it’s not even about being right.
Can We Still Believe in Miracles Today? Should We?
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?
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…
How to Identify and Excavate an Archaeological Site – An Excerpt from the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology
The 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…
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
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…
“For what is exalted among people is an abomination before God” (Luke 16:15) – Mondays with Mounce
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…
What Is 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?
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eBook Sale: Apologetics, Sexuality, Leadership & Spiritual Disciplines
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.
• 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
• 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…