Hypocrisy is Keeping People from the Church – An Excerpt from The Problem of God
God doesn’t exist. Christianity has a violent history. The Bible can’t be trusted. We hear phrases like this more and more from those who are challenging the Christian faith. In his book The Problem of God: Answering A Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity, pastor Mark Clark addresses the top ten questions doubters are asking.
In today’s excerpt, we learn about one of the biggest hurdles keeping people from embracing the faith: Christians themselves.
The Problem of HYPOCRISY
The greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no further occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come…
Unexpected Ally: Thomas Aquinas – An Excerpt from Grace Alone
In today’s excerpt from Grace Alone–Salvation as a Gift of God, Carl Trueman, professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, gives us the background and context of Thomas Aquinas, the unexpected friend of grace alone.
If the reception of Augustine’s theology of grace was subject to some confusion in the West, there were still some theologians whose teaching maintained his clear emphasis on God’s sovereignty and priority. Among these the most preeminent was Thomas Aquinas.
Most Protestants, if they have heard of Thomas Aquinas, probably regard him with some degree of suspicion. He is, after all, the great theologian of Roman Catholicism who provided the most elaborate and compelling arguments for many Roman Catholic distinctives such as transubstantiation. For many…
A Woman for All Seasons – An Excerpt from Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation
“How do we make a five-hundred-year-old Katharina relevant to North American culture? Is there anything she has to say to Western women and men today? Why should we take the time to make her acquaintance?” (9)
In today’s excerpt from Kathie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation, Ruth Tucker invites readers to discover this no-nonsense, confident and determined woman, and to consider why her life is relevant for men and women today.
In many ways, Katharina’s voice echoes among modern women, wives, and mothers who have carved out careers of their own. And unlike so many of the Reformation women we read about, her primary vocation was not related to ministry. She was a farmer and a brewer with a boarding house the size of a Holiday…
You Can Love Him or Hate Him, but You Can’t Ignore Him: Augustine on Grace–An Excerpt from Grace Alone
“Grace is the heart of the Christian gospel. It is a doctrine that touches the very depths of human existence.” (19)
In today’s excerpt from Grace Alone–Salvation as a Gift of God, Carl Trueman, professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, reveals the importance of Augustine’s thinking as a foundation for the church’s understanding of this magnificent gift.
The history of theology is essentially a story. How one tells that story, which characters and places and actions receive prominence, will vary from historian to historian. But when we look at the “history of grace,” an undisputed key figure in that history is Augustine, fifth-century bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa. Augustine’s life and writings profoundly shaped all later debates about grace.…
Christian Behavior in a Hostile Environment – An Excerpt from 1 Peter (SGBC)
In today’s excerpt from 1 Peter, the newest installment of the Story of God Bible Commentary series, Dennis Edwards teaches us about behaviors that foster Christian unity, and how we are expected to behave in a hostile environment.
First: LISTEN TO THE STORY
The sideways glances, insults, and dismissive attitudes that Christians sometimes face in our North American context are far from what might be called persecution, but they can still hurt. The way that we respond to those who demean us says much about the nature of our faith. When we respond well, we display the character of our Lord Jesus himself. Responding well means taking a “high road” when bullied and not retaliating in kind. Peter echoes the…
How the Spirit Gives – An Excerpt from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit
In today’s excerpt from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, author, pastor, and theologian Michael Horton reveals that the work of God’s Spirit is far more ordinary and common than we realize. Horton argues that we need to take a step back every now and again to focus on the Spirit himself—his person and work—so that we can gain a fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.
Along with exploring the distinctness of the Spirit’s person and operations in the external works of the Trinity, my goal in this study has been to highlight the ways in which the Holy Spirit is identified in Scripture with not only—or even primarily—that which is extraordinary, spontaneous, and…
What Is the Purpose of Bioethics? – An Excerpt from the Dictionary of Christianity and Science
Our new resource engaging the intersection between science and faith, The Dictionary of Christianity of Science, gives you access to key terms, theories, individuals, debates, and much more to help you engage in these important discussions. In today’s excerpt, we give you a sampling of an article about bioethics by the moral philosopher Francis J. Beckwith.
BIOETHICS. Bioethics is an interdisciplinary endeavor primarily involving the study of moral issues in health care and the life sciences for the purpose of providing ethical guidance for practitioners in clinical and research settings.
Work in bioethics can be found in a variety of academic and…
But What About Genetic Enhancement? An Excerpt from the Dictionary of Christianity and Science
What is the relationship between Christianity and science? How does Christian theology relate to scientific inquiry?
The answers to these questions are finally here. The Dictionary of Christianity of Science gives you access to key terms, theories, individuals, debates, and much more to help you engage in the interaction between science and faith. In today’s excerpt, we give you a sampling of an article about genetic enhancement by the moral philosopher C. Ben Mitchell.
Part of the larger project of human enhancement, genetic enhancement is a means of augmenting the human genome or genetic blueprint to create “better humans.” The idea of manipulating the genetic structure, or DNA, of living entities dates back at least to Gregor Mendel’s experiments with pea plants. The Human Genome Project — the effort to…
The Biblical-Christian View of Ultimate Reality: God – An Excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought
Christians disagree on doctrine, politics, church government, certain moral questions—just about everything under the sun, it can seem. Yet a unity remains, centered around a core outlook on God and the world that is common to all believers.
In today’s excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson outlines a biblical vision of this ultimate reality—God, the sole absolute, the metaphysical source and sustainer of all that has being.
At the heart of every metaphysic, every vision of ultimate reality, lies something absolute, something believed to be the source and/or connecting center of all that is. By absolute, here is meant only “unsurpassable” in terms of explanatory power; it is whatever sustains, controls, governs, or connects everything else. To reject such an absolute,…
The World is a Battleground—Both Literally and Figuratively – An Excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought
In today’s excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson explains what leads to confusion and accommodation to nonbiblical, non-Christian life and world perspectives.
The Biblical-Christian Perspective on the World
The world is a battleground—both literally and figuratively. Here both senses are in view. First, conflicting worldviews and metaphysical belief systems see the world as radically different things. And that can make a great difference in ethics. How we should treat nature, and all that is in it, for example, can depend very much on what we believe it is. One theory about the environmental crisis lays the blame for the rape of nature by human industry at the feet of Judeo-Christian religion; another theory lays the blame at the feet of Enlightenment secularism. Both…
Do Not Quench the Spirit! – An Excerpt from Practicing the Power by Sam Storms
In Practicing the Power, pastor and author Sam Storms offers practical steps to understanding and exercising spiritual gifts in a way that remains grounded in the Word and centered in the gospel.
In Today’s excerpt, we learn how we as Christians often quench the Spirit, as well as how we can welcome the Spirit’s work in our churches.
There are numerous metaphors and analogies employed by the biblical authors to describe both the nature and ministry of the Holy Spirit, the three most common being wind, water, and fire. When it comes to wind, one thinks immediately of our Lord’s words to Nicodemus and the mysterious way in which he brings new birth to spiritually dead sinners (John 3:7–8).
When the apostle Paul wanted to describe the Spirit’s work in…
Faith in the Midst of a Personal Crisis – An Excerpt from Hearing the Message of Daniel
Most sermons I heard on the first chapter of Daniel in my youth emphasized the negative refusal, the courageous stand of Daniel and his friends. The preachers and Bible study leaders never commented on the remarkable degree of acceptance that they showed. Three times they said “Yes,” before they said “No.”
In today’s excerpt from Hearing the Message of Daniel, author Christopher Wright challenges us–in light of Daniel’s experience in Babylon–to think about how we engage in our own secular culture.
FAITH IN THE MIDST OF A PERSONAL CRISIS (1:3–20)
The international crisis that had engulfed their world also hurled Daniel and his friends into a cultural and personal crisis that tested them severely, even though they were so young at the time. They had to face not merely the fact…