Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
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?
Of Heroes and Hearsay – Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields
Recently I heard on a Christian radio station a one-minute devotion on Gideon. The speaker began by pointing out the popularity of various comic book superheroes. Then he transitions into Scripture with the statement, “There is only one person called a hero in the Bible.” Then he quotes a passage: ‘The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
The speaker created this arresting segue to hook the audience into the topic of Gideon’s being uniquely declared by God to be a hero, even though his actions in the narrative did not portray Gideon as an ideal hero. It is as though God’s declaring Gideon a hero makes him a hero able to be used by God. This is a nice devotional idea. But is the “hook” true?
The power of catchy…
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…
What Is the New Covenant?
“You must read the book with X-ray eyes, for it is an essential part of your apprehension of any book to grasp its structure.”
If you were to X-ray the Bible, you would first notice a four-plot structure: creation, fall, redemption, new creation. However, “if we want to see with finer details and understand what shapes the Bible’s deeper structure,” Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum explain in their new book Christ from Beginning to End, “we need to grasp something called a covenant” (54).
Who God is and how he acts pivots around this word covenant, because “the Bible is…
Elect Exiles or Elect According to God’s Foreknowledge? (1 Pet 1:1) – Mondays with Mounce 317
One of the challenges in translation has to do with the nature of phrases. In English, we need to keep phrases closer to the words they modify. If we use an adverbial prepositional phrase, it has to be relatively close to the verb. If it is adjectival, it needs to be close to the noun.
In Greek, we don’t. The Greek mind creates linkages that can span much larger spaces, and the phrases can be quite far away (by English standards).
Another challenge of phrases is that if you just translate word for word you will often mistranslate because it puts ideas together that the Greek author never intended to be close. Take for example 1 Peter 1:1–2a. The phrases go in this order.
(v 1) Peter — Πέτρος an apostle…
12 Ways Evangelism Is Changing
You’ve heard it said the twenty-first century is markedly different from the twentieth. It’s not only because we have terrorism scares, self-driving cars, and Facebook. Church attendance is decreasing, religious Nones are increasing, and the way people view and interact with truth has changed.
Yet many Christians and churches are evangelizing as if we are still living in the twentieth century—and failing to make the unbelievable news about Jesus more believable.
Although the essence of evangelism is the gospel—the message that Jesus Christ is Lord—the task of evangelism is our human effort of proclaiming this message. This task used to primarily mean quoting Scripture, or explaining the believability of the Christian faith through clever arguments.
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 Is Our Assurance That We Are God’s Children? (1 John 3:19-20) – Mondays with Mounce 316
1 John gives us three ways that we can know we are God’s children.
The first is the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. “And the one who keeps his commandments resides in him, and he in him. And by this we know that he abides in us: by the Spirit whom he has given to us.” (3:24). A second is grounded in the nature of God and our true belief in him. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” (5:1, see also 4:2). The third is the fact that…
10 Reasons Why People Reject the Gospel
If the gospel is the “good news about Jesus,” then why do so many people reject it? If Christians bear this “good news,” how can they better share it using methods that are effective in today’s post-Christian world?
Evangelism in a Skeptical World offers actionable advice for making the unbelievable news about Jesus more believable. It also explains why people often reject this news in the first place, equipping Christians to make it more enticing to non-Christians they know.
Here are at least ten reasons why people often reject the gospel, and what you can do about it.
1) The gospel doesn’t fit their plausibility structure
Plausibility structures “are accepted beliefs, convictions, and understandings that either green-light truth claims…
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…
Is Everyone in your Church Going to Heaven? – Mondays with Mounce 315
One of the challenges of the letter to Ephesians is to understand how Paul could write a letter to a church where he had ministered for three and a half years, and yet in the letter it appears that he does not know the people to whom he is writing.
This explains the issues surrounding the inclusion of ἐν Ἐφέσῳ in 1:1 and the suggestion that the epistle is really a circular letter. But it does raise an interesting question about the translation of εἴ γε in 3:2 and 4:21.
“For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— you…