It’s Time to Stop Being a “Second-source Christian”

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under .

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It is great to listen to pastors and student ministers. It is wonderful to hear what they think God’s Word is saying and that’s super beneficial to all of us.

But there is nothing like being able to read God’s Word for yourself.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” according to 2 Timothy 3:16–17.

There is nothing better than being able to dig into God’s Word, understand what it means, and feel like God is speaking to you.

The Biblical Interpretation online course will equip you to do just that.

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How to Share the Gospel Without Making It Awkward

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Does this sound like you?

The Gospel is good news—I should be sharing it! But how? I’m a pastor. Why do I struggle with sharing the Gospel? Why does my church struggle with reaching new Christians? Most of my friends are Christians? Is that okay?

You want to tell friends and family about who Jesus is.

But where do you start? How do you share the Gospel without making it awkward or feeling forced?

Learn to share the Gospel

In the brand new Organic Outreach online course, pastor and author Kevin Harney will teach you a personal approach to sharing the news of Jesus in natural ways.

It’s not a system or a program. It’s a collection of biblical practices that you can start using right now. Today.

In this…

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Did the Early Church Practice Infant Baptism or Full Immersion?

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

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It’s not hard to determine how the early church celebrated baptism.

You can find several accounts in writings from the early church, including Tertullian’s On Baptism and Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition. The Didache also helps us understand how baptism functioned in the life of the church.

Let’s take a look.

How baptisms were performed

Here’s how the process worked:

If someone wanted to be baptized, they first underwent a period of instruction and moral examination.  Because baptisms usually took place on Easter Sunday, this period of instruction happened during Lent.

On the Thursday before Easter, the person being baptized began a period of fasting, praying, confessing sin, and attending Scripture readings and instructions. Exorcisms were also performed, in order to banish demons from the person.

Then, early on Sunday morning—the day of…

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Constantine’s Conversion to Christianity: Was It Real? Does It Matter?

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

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One of the major turning points in the history of the church was Constantine’s conversion to Christianity.

Some Christians consider Constantine a saint. Others treat him as a politician, who only used Christianity for political purposes. And still others believe Constantine’s conversion was sincere—but that he also used Christianity for his own gain.

Let’s take a deeper look at Constantine’s conversion—both the motives behind it and the effect it had on the church.

Who was Constantine?

Constantine was the first Christian emperor. His reign began in 306, and after a series of internal struggles, he consolidated his rule over the entire Roman Empire in 324. In addition to his successful military campaigns, Constantine made several administrative changes that established and extended his influence.

In the history of Christianity,…

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John Walton: “This Course Can Change Your Life”

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Have you ever read a chapter from the Old Testament and wondered, why did God put that in the Bible?

Everyone has.

Lots of people—even in the church, even in the academy—don’t really know how to read the Old Testament.

It’s time to change that.

In this online course, John Walton and Andrew Hill will walk you through the Old Testament, book-by-book.

You will learn:

How to read the Old Testament and ancient history together The background to each Old Testament book—even the hard books How the Old Testament relates to the New Testament Why understanding the theology of the Old Testament is so important And much more!

When you take this course, the Old Testament will start to…

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Wayne Grudem: “The Bible is enough.”

Wayne Grudem on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Is the Bible enough for knowing what God wants us to believe and what he wants us to do?

The sufficiency of Scripture means that:

it contains all the words of God he intended his people to have in each stage of redemptive history, and it now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly.

Scripture contains everything we need for salvation.

In 2 Timothy 3:15, Paul says that Scripture is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Paul goes on to write about Scripture containing everything we need to live the Christian life. Paul goes on to…

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Wayne Grudem: “Why I Wrote Systematic Theology,” Plus a New Online Course

Wayne Grudem on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

When I first started teaching classes in Systematic Theology I found it difficult to find a book that would:

have clarity enough so that first year students could understand it; have application to people’s life so they could see the usefulness of doctrine; and quote Bible verses extensively because I was convinced that it was the words of scripture that are God’s very words and they change our minds and hearts more powerfully than any other merely human words.

That led me to write a book on systematic theology which included those features. Introducing a new online course

Now, in connection with the book, we have created an online course covering all 57 chapters.

My Systematic Theology online course includes the first half of a set of 57 10-minute lectures in which I introduce and give an overview…

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Get Your Free eBook on Character Formation in Online Education!

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Character Formation in Online Education

If you currently teach online, or you’re part of a school exploring online learning, you have probably asked yourself the following questions:

What does it mean to teach in a higher education setting from a distinctly Christian perspective? What are the best practices for teaching online?

Many people have answered each of these questions thoughtfully and well. You have no doubt encountered excellent material on these subjects written by thoughtful and experienced educators.

However, a gap still exists: very little has been written on the subject which combines these two questions.

In other words:

What does Christian teaching and learning look like online? How does an online learning environment lead to character and spiritual formation in students?

These questions frame the newly released Character Formation in Online…

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Responding to David Hume’s Argument Against Jesus’ Miracles

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miracles_blog_image Understanding Hume’s objections

Perhaps the most well-articulated argument against Jesus’ miracles comes from David Hume, the great eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher.

You’re probably already familiar with it, but in case you need a refresher…

Here is his argument, in a nutshell:

Human experience confirms the certainty of the laws of nature. Since miracles violate the laws of nature, it would take an enormous amount of evidence to confirm any miracle.

How much evidence? An impossibly large amount.

Because such evidence does not exist, belief in miracles is therefore irrational.

Hume supported his primary argument with four supporting claims:

No miracle has been attested by a sufficient number of educated and rational witnesses. There is a human tendency to believe the spectacular. Most reports of miracles occur among ignorant and barbarous people. Claims…

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20 Questions You Never Thought to Ask about the Gospels… But Need to

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20 Questions about the Gospels

Have you ever wondered…

1. Why isn’t there just one account of Jesus in the Bible? Why four?

2. Why not more than four? Other gospels were written, such as the famous Gospel of Thomas. Why aren’t they included in the Bible?

3. Who were the Gospels written for? Not just us. We as twenty-first century readers aren’t the only audience. How did the first readers experience the message?

4. Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John really write their Gospels? Some scholars say the Gospels were written by others. Why? And…

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Get the Newest Online Course on Jesus and the Gospels: Four Portraits, One Jesus

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Today we are announcing a brand new online course about Jesus and the Gospels, taught by Mark Strauss.

If you’re like most Christians, you probably grew up learning about Jesus, but you’ve never devoted yourself to serious, sustained study of the life of Jesus as found in the four Gospels.

You might know the Sunday school version of Jesus, but there’s so much more to his life and story.

Perhaps you’ve wondered how to defend your faith—to others, to your family, or even to yourself:

Did Jesus really perform miracles? Was Jesus who he said he was—the Son of God? How can we know? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? What kind of evidence exists, and what’s at stake?

Or perhaps you’ve wondered what Jesus says about today’s most pressing issues. What would he say about the…

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Online Courses: See New Footage, Go Behind the Scenes, and Watch Exclusive Excerpts!

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,.

New Footage

Take a look at a few excerpts of the video lectures, get a sneak peek at some footage we haven’t released yet, and check out some behind-the-scenes shots.

About the videos

When you enroll, you’re not only learning from some of the best scholars, but some of the best teachers as well. Our professors have had a chance to refine and craft the material by teaching it to thousands of students. They are both seasoned scholars and experienced communicators.

In other words, they’re teaching the material in a way that has been proven to help you learn.

John Walton

Learning is more than watching videos

When you enroll in an online course from Zondervan, you’re getting much more than video…

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