What Is the Apostles’ Creed?

ZA Blog on 4 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.

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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What Is Sola Scriptura?

ZA Blog on 2 months ago. Tagged under .

Sola Scriptura

Sola Scriptura is a Latin phrase that means “only Scripture” or “Scripture alone.” It was one of the rallying cries of the Reformation.

But what is the significance of this phrase?

Sola Scriptura declares that only Scripture is our inerrant, sufficient, and final authority for the church, because it is God breathed and divinely inspired (2 Timothy 3:16). In the sixteenth century, this directly contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church, which elevated tradition and the Pope and magisterium’s authority to the level of Scripture itself.

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10 Ways the Bible Uses Apologetics

ZA Blog on 2 months ago. Tagged under .

Apologetics

Apologetics is how we logically and philosophically justify our beliefs in the Bible and Jesus. These arguments draw from a wide range of fields and use a variety of persuasive techniques.

Does the Bible itself provide a universal, context-free, step-by-step apologetic system we can apply to any and every apologetic situation? No. But it does offer tools and principles we can apply to our current cultural location, enabling us to think biblically about apologetics.

In their online course, Apologetics at the Cross, Joshua D. Chatraw and Mark D. Allen explore how the Bible creates persuasive arguments, showcasing methods, strategies, and principles that can shape our own arguments and reasoning today.

The following post is adapted from their course.

1. The cross is the best argument for Christianity

If ever there has been a proof-text against apologetics, it…

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What Is Presuppositional Apologetics?

ZA Blog on 2 months ago. Tagged under .

Apologetics

Presuppositional apologetics is one of the four main approaches to apologetics, along with classical, evidential, and experiential or narratival apologetics. Each of these approaches places a different emphasis on the roles of reason and special revelation (such as Scripture or miracles) in apologetics.

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Presuppositionalists are not very optimistic, if not altogether negative, about what reason apart from special revelation can achieve. Presuppositionalism asserts that reasoning does not take place in a vacuum; rather,…

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Speaking in Tongues: What Is Its Proper Role in Worship? (1 Corinthians 14 Commentary)

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,,.

9780310243694What is the proper role of tongues in worship?

Some would say tongues deserve no role in worship. Some would say the gift of tongues deserves a prominent role. But what does the Bible say?

The nature of tongues and their role in worship were among the issues affecting the church in Corinth, as we see in the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In Paul Gardner’s exegetical commentary on 1 Corinthians, Gardner brings deep insight to the issue in his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:1–19. Gardner explains that passage’s main idea in this way:

Church members should pursue love, and this means desiring those grace-gifts that build up the church. This will lead to a prioritizing…

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What the Bible Says about the Current Immigration Crisis

ZA Blog on 3 months ago.

What the Bible says about immigration

How does the Bible speak to the current immigration crisis? Earlier this week we sat down with Scott Rae, Professor of Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, to discuss how the Bible might shape our discussion of immigration, along with some practical things Christians can do in response.

In this video, Scott discusses:

What Romans 13 says—and doesn’t say—about the current immigration debate How to respond when immigration law calls for forcible separation of children from their parents The difference between immigrants and refugees Israel’s identity as a nation of people on the move Why it’s difficult to use the Bible as a foundation for shaping immigration policy How the modern concept of national and ethnic identity conflicts with the Bible The meaning of the Hebrew words translated into English as “immigrant” Does supporting the left’s policy on immigration also…

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What Is Systematic Theology?

ZA Blog on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,.

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology

As Dr. Wayne Grudem explains it, “systematic theology is any study that answers the question, ‘What does the whole Bible teach us today?’ about any given topic.”

This highly organized, topical approach to exploring Scripture is so important that most seminaries require at least one systematic theology course in their degree programs (sometimes called “doctrines” courses). Many of these courses utilize Grudem’s work.

We’ve adapted this post from Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology online course to help answer the question “what is systematic theology, and why should I care?”

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any…

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11 Things to Know about the Doctrine of the Trinity

ZA Blog on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Trinity

To contemplate the Trinity is to lift up your heart and to “set your mind on the things above” (Col. 3:2).

It’s easy to turn doctrinal discussions into strictly intellectual affairs, but as Dr. Fred Sanders teaches in The Triune God course, we need to do so “in a way that enlists the reader’s strict and holy attention for what is essentially a spiritual exercise.”

Any discussion of trinitarian doctrine is an attempt to more deeply understand the character and nature of God.

If we’re interested in discovering (and maintaining) an orthodox understanding of the Trinity, there are some principles we need to understand.

These 11 things you need to know about the doctrine of the Trinity are adapted from his course:

1. The revelation of the Trinity comes with the revelation of the gospel.

The doctrine of the…

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Guide to the Attributes of God

ZA Blog on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology

Between the things God says and does, what other people say about him, and the life of Jesus, the Bible gives us numerous descriptions of God’s character. These passages are often sorted into “attributes of God,” a biblical framework we can use to talk about what God is like and how we know that. Exploring the attributes of God helps us prepare for evangelism, learn church doctrine, and most importantly, understand who God is.

There are several different methods for categorizing God’s attributes. This post will use the most common classification system, adapted from Wayne Grudem’s online systematic theology course.

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What Is the Soul? Is It Different from the Spirit?

ZA Blog on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology

Religious or not, most people believe they have some form of a soul. Whether they loosely believe in a concept like “the human spirit,” or they believe part of them will live on when their body expires, these beliefs about body, spirit, and soul all come from somewhere. You might be surprised to learn that much of what people believe about the soul or spirit doesn’t come from the Bible.

The Bible doesn’t neatly define the concepts of spirit and soul for us, so in order to know what it’s saying, we need to piece together all the clues it gives us. In his online systematic theology course, Dr. Wayne Grudem has done just that to reveal how the Bible answers, “What is the soul?” and “What is the spirit?”

The following post is adapted from Grudem’s course.

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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: How Is One God Three Persons?

ZA Blog on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Trinity

If you ask the average Christian to define the Trinity, more often than not they’re going to give you a similar response: “The Trinity is one God in three persons.” While there will likely be some slight variations in how it’s stated, two words will almost always be present: “God” and “persons.”

It’s easy to understand why “God” would be part of every definition. The whole Trinitarian discussion revolves around what we can know and understand about God. When we discuss the Trinity, we’re discussing God.

But did you ever stop to wonder why “persons” is the accepted term for the distinctions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Why not three “manifestations,” “modes,” or “beings?” The truth is that the term “person” wasn’t landed on haphazardly. Theologians have labored throughout church history to accurately define the Trinity.

What follows…

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7 Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament

Jeremy Bouma on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310536543From beginning to end, the Bible reveals the glory of Jesus. But for many Bible readers, it isn’t that simple.

While we know Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish story and we want to better understand how the two Testaments relate, we’re often unsure how the Bible’s many stories, characters, and events relate to each other—especially to Jesus. Some are tempted to force the Bible’s many pieces together, making superficial jumps from the Hebrew Scriptures to Jesus’ story. But most are left wondering:

Does Jesus and his story connect to the Old Testament? If so, where is Jesus in the Old Testament? How does the Old Testament inform our understanding of Jesus—his life and teachings, death and resurrection?

Christ from Beginning to End answers these questions, helping Christians better understand how to…

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