Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion
Should We Capitalize Divine Pronouns? — Mondays with Mounce 305
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? 4 Things You Need to Know to Read the New Testament Well
Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
What Language Did Jesus Speak?
Can the Singular “Man” Refer to Mankind in General? — Mondays with Mounce 306
Should Your Church Go Multisite? Is it Biblical?
It seems everybody is doing it these days, but is this the right solution for your congregation?
In today’s excerpt from MultiChurch, authors Brad House and Gregg Allison explain that multisite is not only a biblically sound ecclesiological model, but also a model that provides a compelling solution to contemporary reductionism in the church.
Multichurch—and the broader multisite movement for that matter—is nothing new. While it may seem like a recent phenomenon—something fresh, unique, and unprecedented—it’s actually the latest variation on a very old way of doing church. Every generation is prone to what C. S. Lewis referred to as “chronological snobbery,” the assumption that our time and our contributions are uniquely the best or the most advanced. The…
3 Reasons Why Catholics and Protestants Interpret Scripture Differently
While Protestants are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Catholic professor Matthew Levering is asking a basic-level question:
Was the Reformation a mistake?
In his similarly titled book, Levering makes it clear he believes “they were right in seeking reform” (31). Yet he does “consider that the Reformers made some doctrinal mistakes” (15), and addresses nine of them. Over the past few weeks we’ve engaged a few of his arguments here and here.
Concluding the book, Kevin Vanhoozer offers a “Mere Protestant Response.” He evaluates Levering’s theological method in establishing Catholic doctrine as biblical, showing why Protestants and Catholics interpret Scripture differently.
Here are three important differences highlighted by Vanhoozer.
1) The Locus of Authority
The main interpretive difference between Protestants and…
We All Hear Words Differently (Gal 2:10) – Mondays with Mounce 300
The longer I translate, the more I realize how subtle language is, and how different people hear the same word or phrase differently.
In Galatians 2, Paul is talking about his relationship with the Jerusalem church and their agreement with his theology. His conclusion is in v 10. “All they asked was that we should continue to remember (μνημονεύωμεν) the poor, the very thing I had been eager (ἐσπούδασα) to do all along” (NIV).
μνημονεύωμεν is a present subjunctive, which the NIV makes explicit with the “continue.” The NLT has, “keep on helping the poor.” Other translations have the simple, “They asked only that we would…
95 eBooks Sale: 95 Key Books on the Reformation, Reformed Theology, & More
We’re excited to share with you the 95 eBooks Sale, recognizing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s 95 Theses.
This is the biggest eBook sale we’ve ever hosted! You can save up to 81% on these deals, starting at $1.99.
The sale ends November 5, 2017 (11:59pm ET), and it features:
Key books across several topics: Reformation studies Reformed theology Biblical studies and study Bibles from Reformed thinkers Biblical counseling resources that use a Reformed lens Practical-but-theological titles on church and ministry leadership Trusted authors: Wayne Grudem Michael Horton Timothy Keller D. A. Carson Gregg Allison J. D. Greear Tim Challies Brian Croft Many others
See the deals today. Remember, it ends November 5, 2017!
Luther Was Critical of Monasticism: A Catholic Theologian Weighs In — An Excerpt from Was the Reformation a Mistake?
Jesus proclaims that voluntary poverty and chaste celibacy will be the vocation of some of his followers, but not all of them. Jesus also makes clear the centrality of obedience. It makes sense, then, that the church should possess ways of living a distinctive religious life of radical poverty, chaste celibacy, and obedience—so long as the motivation for religious life is love and faith-filled desire to imitate Christ.
Martin Luther rightfully voiced his disapproval of the financial corruption, focus on works, and sexual incontinence in monasteries during his lifetime. In today’s excerpt from Was the Reformation a Mistake? Matthew Levering–though he would agree on the corruption–addresses some of the reasoning behind the formation of monasteries as a legitimate biblical communities.
Numerous monasteries continue to…
Biblical Grounds for the Catholic Doctrine of Merit?
Next week Protestants will celebrate the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation and the rallying cry that emerged from it: Justification by grace through faith alone.
Yet, is there room for merit in God’s economy of salvation? Luther said “No way!” Levering says, “Not so fast!”
In his new book Was the Reformation a Mistake? Catholic theologian Matthew Levering offers some biblical grounds for the Catholic doctrine of merit as it relates to justification. He also clarifies what Catholic doctrine actually teaches:
The Catholic Church recognizes that no one can ever merit the utterly free gift of justification, and the Catholic Church also affirms that believers’ final perseverance unto eternal life is God’s free gift, to which the appropriate response will be gratitude to God…
Sharing Your Faith with Atheists Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, the number of Americans who identify as atheists has nearly doubled. As atheism has expanded, we’ve seen a rise of high-profile atheists. Outspoken personalities like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens have proffered popular arguments against religion in general—and Christianity specifically.
The proliferation of atheist social-media groups has helped bolster the arguments of the average atheist, and empowered them to be more vocal about their beliefs.
While we shouldn’t be intimidated by vocal atheists, many in the church have found it difficult to defend their faith against them. They don’t feel prepared to debate an atheist, and when they try, it devolves into an argument.
The idea of talking to an atheist doesn’t have to fill you with fear. In fact, you can…
When does “Immediately” Not Mean “Immediately” (Gal 1:16)? – Mondays with Mounce 299
BDAG gives the only meaning of εὐθέως as “at once, immediately.” In our passage it describes Paul’s resolve to not confirm his divine call with the leaders of the Jerusalem chuch.
“But when God, who had set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, εὐθέως I did not consult with flesh and blood” (1:15–16). How would you translate εὐθέως?
Who Wrote Ecclesiastes and What Does It Mean?
The book of Ecclesiastes presents a challenge to casual Bible readers and academics alike. The book’s theme and tone seem so contrary to the rest of Scripture. In fact, it’s one of the few books of the Old Testament that the early church debated not including in the Bible.
One of the biggest questions surrounding Ecclesiastes is in regards to its authorship. Who wrote Ecclesiastes—and what was he trying to communicate to us? That’s a question that professor John Walton tackles in his online course, Old Testament Survey. Let’s look at what Dr. Walton has to say about the origins, background, structure, and purpose of this interesting book.
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Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, or Something Else? Roman Catholic vs. Protestant Views of the Lord’s Supper
What is the nature of the Lord’s Supper? How should it be celebrated?
Let’s take a look at the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation. Then, let’s look at three ways Protestants have understood the Lord’s Supper.
The Roman Catholic view is called transubstantiation.
That is when the priest elevates first the wafer and then the chalice of wine mixed with water and rehearses the institutional narrative, the story of the…
How to Make the Benefits of Family Life Accessible to LGBT People
“In the day-to-day details of navigating Christian obedience with a gay orientation,” observes Nate Collins in his new book All But Invisible, “we do not have turn-by-turn directions to tell us where to go, but only landmarks that confirm we’re on the right track” (83). [See more of Nate Collins’ traditional view on sex and marriage at the start of this post.]
One of those landmarks Collins would like to recapture is the notion of vocation to guide discussions about what it means to be gay and Christian. Collins explains, “when the Bible refers to a particular behavior or pattern of living as a ‘gift,’ it is highlighting the calling or vocation that the gift represents to those who have it” (85)—including marital status. As with all gifts,…
Holiness Deserves Thoughtful Consideration – An Excerpt from Sanctification (New Studies in Dogmatics)
Thinking the holy for Christians, and specifically for reformational Christians, appears a difficult task. It remains needed, however, for the prophetic and apostolic witness to Jesus Christ insists on the importance of holiness from start to finish.
Many view holiness as accidental or expendable or even as a legalistic and conformist posture opposed to the freedom of the gospel. But Sanctification is one of the gifts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In today’s excerpt from Sanctification, author Michael Allen explains why holiness deserves such consideration and how it requires a steady focus on the holiness of God.
THINKING THE HOLY
As Moses would tell you, you have to approach the holy in the proper way. The burning bush demands a specific posture and mode of…