What James Says about Taming the Tongue
With our tongues, we can speak truth or we can speak lies. We can build people up or we can tear them down. Sometimes we say the wrong thing. Or we fail to say the right thing.
Everyone has experienced times when they’ve said something they didn’t mean to. When the words came out before they decided if they should say them. Sometimes it can even feel as if our mouths aren’t really under our control, like our tongues are separate from our bodies.
But the reality is, the words on our tongues come from the overflow of our hearts (Matthew 12:34).
It’s easy to shrug away slips of the tongue. They’re simply part of being human. But as Christians, we should always care about what we say—even when it’s unintentional. We’re representatives of Christ and vessels for his transforming…
My Father Died Last Week
I am going to interrupt my normal Greek blogs to share some thoughts about my dad, funerals, and death.
Dad passed away due to complications from two surgeries, broken hip, shoulder, and elbow, all from falling. He was 97. His obituary is on his blog site, Shout4Joy.net.
It is expected to be reflective in the face of death, and I am no exception.
1. Death is final
No dah, but it is. I am now the oldest Mounce in my family, the patriarch. No one to call for senior advice. No one to remind you of the details of your life. No one to help put history in perspective.
I wasn’t going to look at my father’s body in the casket, but when they opened it my wife thought I should. I would never have recognized him,…
9 Things You Should Know about Postconservative Theology
If you have ever longed to become acquainted with the major thinkers and schools of thought in Christian theology from the nineteenth century to the present, there is now a resource that is both accessible and comprehensive to aid in your understanding of the last two centuries of modern theology.
Contemporary Theology provides an intriguing chronological survey of the major thinkers and schools of modern theological thought. Unique among introductions to contemporary theology, professor Kirk MacGregor includes:
Evangelical perspectives alongside mainline and liberal developments The influence of philosophy and the recent Christian philosophical renaissance on theology Global contributions Recent developments in exegetical theology The implications of theological shifts on ethics and church life
One of the especially relevant chapters is an…
Because Christ Was Born, We Can “Put on Christ” and Become “Firstborn Sons”
’Tis the season to reflect upon the majesty and mystery of the incarnation of Christ. But why not also reflect upon another aspect of his person and work: the imputation of his righteousness to sinners?
Although the Lenten season is still a few months away, Christmas still affords us the opportunity to consider his gift of righteousness through his death on the cross—given that Christ’s birth is an obvious prelude to his vicarious substitution, which paved the way for our justification and the “great exchange.”
Michael Horton opens his new two-volume theological project, Justification (Volume 1 and Volume 2) with this motif from the ancient church—a work in which he helps readers encounter the remarkable biblical texts on justification and places them in conversation with provocative proposals…
What Does Justification Mean? 7 Things You Need to Know
When we reflect on the meaning of salvation—and on our piety, mission, and life together—our thought necessarily engages the doctrine of justification. But what does justification mean? In many ways, this question has always sat at the heart of the Christian faith. However, at various junctures in the church’s history the question has taken on greater urgency—and debate. We live in such a time.
Michael Horton explores the meaning of justification in a key chapter of his new book Justification, Volume 2, one half of the new two-volume theological project on justification (also including Volume 1).
This post overviews seven of the many insights Horton unearths about the meaning of justification in chapter seven of Justification, Volume 2, where Horton outlines the historical, lexical, exegetical, and theological contours…
3 Reasons Why You Should (Re)consider the Doctrine of Justification
When we reflect on the meaning of salvation—and on our piety, mission, and life together—our thought necessarily engages the doctrine of justification. Michael Horton aims to help scholars, students, pastors, and interested Christians alike (re)engage this vital doctrine in his new two-volume theological project, Justification (Volume 1 and Volume 2).
In Justification, Horton helps the reader encounter the remarkable biblical texts on justification, and places those texts in conversation with provocative proposals that have reignited contemporary debates around justification.
“I write this book,” explains Horton, “with the conviction that it is always relevant to proclaim the justification of the ungodly, although we have a long way to go to explore what that means . . . It is always the right time to tell the…
How Should Biblical Morality Shape Immigration, Refugee, and Border Policy?
One of the more controversial issues of our day—both in the US and abroad, both political and moral—is how a nation should shape and enforce its immigration laws. The issue carries with it several questions that require nuance and consideration—particularly for Christians.
As Christians, how should we consider issues of immigration, refugees, and border control? How should biblical morality shape such laws? Does the Bible even offer us principles for drafting sound, compassionate public policy solutions? Scott B. Rae’s new fourth edition of Moral Choices offers some biblical and practical guidance on these questions. (Rae’s Moral Choices is a proven, standard text for Christian ethics courses, and updates to the fourth edition include a new chapter on immigration, among other new chapters mentioned…
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…
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 Is the Apostles’ Creed?
The Apostles’ creed is the oldest statement of faith in the Christian church, written sometime in the second century AD. The creed defines core Christian beliefs about God, Jesus, the church, salvation, and other theological topics.
By the fourth century, it was widely believed that each of the twelve apostles contributed one article to the creed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church still traditionally attributes each article of the creed to a specific apostle.
In this video, Michael Bird, instructor of the online course on the Apostles Creed from Zondervan, explains:
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