Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
Porneia: Sex Gone Bad — An Excerpt from “Faithful: A Theology of Sex”
What Is the Soul? Is It Different from the Spirit?
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
Who Wrote Ecclesiastes and What Does It Mean?
7 Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament
Who are the Nephilim in Genesis 6?
What Is Hypostatic Union?
Hypostatic union is how Christians explain the relationship between Jesus’ divine nature, his human nature, and his being. It means that Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Jesus has all of the characteristics that are true of a person, and all of the characteristics that are true of a divine being. Both natures fully exist in one person.
For centuries, the church struggled to define the relationship between Jesus’ divine nature and his…
Do You Ever Leave a Translation Meaningless? (Hebrews 13:3) – Mondays with Mounce 331
I am reading a paper this week at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. It is entitled, “Do formal equivalent translations reflect a higher view of plenary, verbal inspiration?” Because of my research, I am particularly sensitive to the claims of formal and functional equivalent translations and the relationship between words and meaning.
Hebrews 13:3 provides an interesting test case. The ESV (see also the NASB) writes, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body (ὡς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὄντες ἐν σώματι).”
“In the body”? What does that mean? In the church, the body of Christ? This is a good example of when a slavish following of the Greek produces meaninglessness. The CSB has, “as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.” See also,…
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…
What is Docetism?
Docetism is an ancient heresy that says Jesus was not fully human. According to Docetism, he seemed to be human, but because Jesus was fully divine, he had no physical body. The form people saw was essentially a ghost.
The word “docetism” comes from the Greek word, dokeĩn, which means “to seem.” The earliest evidence of this heresy actually comes from 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John, where the Apostle John writes…
What happened at the Council of Chalcedon?
The Council of Chalcedon was the fourth ecumenical council. In 451 AD, leaders from all of Christendom gathered to define the incarnation of Christ once and for all.
Within the lifetime of the apostles, some Christians were already having a hard time reconciling Jesus’ divinity with his humanity (2 John 1:7). Was he only partially divine, or only partially human? Was Jesus even human at all?
The implications of these questions were huge: the answers could affect whether Jesus had the power to forgive sins and offer eternal life. Without a real human body, could he really die? If he didn’t die, the wages of sin remained unpaid (Romans 6:23) and their faith was in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17).
By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501…
John Calvin: The Accidental Reformer
John Calvin was a sixteenth century French theologian, best known for his prominent role in the Reformation and his influential theology. More than four and a half centuries after his death, Calvin’s teachings continue to shape Christian beliefs, particularly regarding predestination and God’s absolute sovereignty.
In his lifetime, Calvin became a well-known (and controversial) Christian leader and a major fixture of the Reformation—but that almost didn’t happen. If it hadn’t been for a fateful encounter in Geneva, Switzerland, Calvin may have never stepped into the limelight.
In their online course, Church History 2: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day, scholars Frank A. James III and John Woodbridge discuss John Calvin’s life and influence, and expose the moment when his life dramatically changed course in…
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…
5 Tips for Reading Apocalyptic Literature in the Bible
Apocalyptic literature is a challenging genre. In the Bible, we find this genre in the Book of Revelation and in the second half of Daniel.
There’s also a lot of apocalyptic literature outside the Bible. It was a very popular genre during the Second Temple period (from 530 BC to 70 AD), and so we have a lot of examples of the purpose, form, and style of apocalyptic literature to inform our understanding of how it functions in Scripture.
Since it’s such a different style of writing than the gospels, epistles, or historical and theological writings we find elsewhere in the Bible, it’s important that we approach apocalyptic literature with a different perspective.
Here are 5 tips for reading apocalyptic books like Daniel and Revelation.
1. Pay attention to the symbolism
One thing to remember about…
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…
Who Was Nebuchadnezzar?
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of Babylon who reigned from about 605 BC until around 562 BC.
Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom stretched across the ancient Near East. It was during his reign that the Babylonians sacked the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Because of Nebuchadnezzar, the Israelites lost their land, and ended up in exile.
This marked the beginning of what is called the diaspora (dispersion), when the…
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…