Why your belief in absolutes doesn’t make you judgmental

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,.

Evangelism in a Skeptical World

Today’s post comes from Sam Chan, a public evangelist with City Bible Forum in Sydney, Australia, where he regularly shares the gospel with high school students, city workers, doctors, and lawyers.

Why are Christians so unloving?

You can give me so many examples of unloving Christians, and I can give you more examples of unloving Christians.

Here’s one way of thinking about it: in the end, it’s not about being good, it’s not about being religious, it’s not even about being right.

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Can We Still Believe in Miracles Today? Should We?

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

miracles

This post is adapted from K. Scott Oliphant’s new online course, Know Why You Believe.

How could you believe that an ax head could ever float on water?

How about a person? Could a person walk on water?

Can someone really rise from the dead?

Questions like these often come to Christians. Embedded in our belief in Christianity is a belief in the reality of miracles.

But why would we believe that miracles could happen?

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What is Christological Anthropology?

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310516439What does it means to be human?

Although Christians have answered that “Jesus reveals what it means to be human,” this orthodox truism isn’t all that helpful. That’s what theologian Marc Cortez concluded when he started reading in theological anthropology:

I was struck by how often I would encounter [this claim] with little or no explanation of what such a statement means or how it should inform our understanding of specific issues in anthropology. (18)

His new book ReSourcing Theological Anthropology addresses that lack by offering an account of why theological anthropology must begin with Christology, centered around three key questions:

Why should we think that Christology is fundamental for understanding anthropology? What are the theological issues involved in making that claim?…

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15 Things You Need to Know About the Eternal Generation of the Son

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310537878Although the doctrine of eternal generation has been affirmed by theologians since the fourth century, it has fallen on hard times. A new book aims to reverse the trend.

Retrieving Eternal Generation addresses the hermeneutical logic and biblical bases of the doctrine of eternal generation, key historical figures and moments in the development of the doctrine of eternal generation, and the broad dogmatic significance of the doctrine of eternal generation for theology.

Corresponding with its fifteen chapters, below are fifteen things you need to know about eternal generation—and why it is vital to reclaim this biblical, historical relation of the Son to the Father.

1) Integral to Knowing God’s Identity

Scott Swain “correlates two different ways Scripture names God: as the one…

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Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics: 5 Contemporary Insights

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

9780310538004Since 2013 the Los Angeles Theology Conference (LATC) has sought to advance contemporary dogmatics by fostering serious, collegial engagement with Scripture and tradition, retrieving the best of the Christian past in order to forge theology for the future. One result of LATC has been a series five volumes of groundbreaking research into constructive dogmatics, now available as a box set.

The volumes in Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics address important areas in theology: Christology, the Trinity, atonement, the theological interpretation of Scripture, and theological method. World-class theologians lead the exploration, including Oliver D. Crisp, John Goldingay, Michael Horton, George Hunsinger, Karen Kilby, Peter J. Leithart, Fred Sanders, Katherine Sonderegger, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, and more.

Below we’ve highlighted from each volume one contribution to the exploration of…

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Katherine Sonderegger on the Task of Dogmatic Theology: “The Bible is…”

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310535492What is the Bible and what is its place within the task of dogmatic theology, particularly issues of method?

That was the question theologian Katherine Sonderegger engaged at the 2016 Los Angeles Theology Conference, which also forms the backbone of the resulting The Task of Dogmatics, edited by Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders.

Since 2013, Biola University, Fuller Seminary and Zondervan Academic have brought together a diverse coalition of top scholars from different schools and confessions to foster serious, collegial engagement with Scripture and tradition, retrieving the best of the Christian past in order to forge theology for the future. The 2017 conference examined dogmatic methodology theologically, with these contributors: Kevin Vanhoozer, Scott Swain, Sameer Yadav, Chris Tilling, Henri Blocher, Katherine…

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Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.

9780310080978Discoveries in cosmology, paleontology, and genomics has considerably changed the context for the creation-evolution debate in the last two decades. Which is why an update to the first Counterpoints views book on the subject is needed.

Editor J. B. Stump has brought together leading voices to offer an accurate snapshot of the origins conversation in America in his new book Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design. Voices include: Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis), Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe), Deborah B. Haarsma (BioLogos), and Stephen C. Meyer (The Discovery Institute). Offering their best defense of their position, each address questions such as:

What is your position on origins? What is the most persuasive arguments in defense of your position? How do you demarcate and correlate evidence…

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Does Sanctification Have Any Place in the Economy of the Gospel?

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310491460While the Protestant Church is coming off from a week celebrating the Reformation rallying cry “justification by grace through faith,” we need to ask what about sanctification? Does holiness have a place in the economy of the gospel when salvation is said to be from Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone?

Michael Allen unequivocally affirms holiness’ place in the gospel with his new book Sanctification.

The economy of the gospel demands that we confess not only that Christ brings life, blessing, and, fundamentally, God to us, but that in so doing he brings holiness along the way. (22)

The third book in the new New Studies in Dogmatics series, Allen’s book defines holiness by tending to its connections with the character of God, the…

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3 Reasons Why Catholics and Protestants Interpret Scripture Differently

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310530718While Protestants are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Catholic professor Matthew Levering is asking a basic-level question:

Was the Reformation a mistake?

In his similarly titled book, Levering makes it clear he believes “they were right in seeking reform” (31). Yet he does “consider that the Reformers made some doctrinal mistakes” (15), and addresses nine of them. Over the past few weeks we’ve engaged a few of his arguments here and here.

Concluding the book, Kevin Vanhoozer offers a “Mere Protestant Response.” He evaluates Levering’s theological method in establishing Catholic doctrine as biblical, showing why Protestants and Catholics interpret Scripture differently.

Here are three important differences highlighted by Vanhoozer.

1) The Locus of Authority

The main interpretive difference between Protestants and…

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95 eBooks Sale: 95 Key Books on the Reformation, Reformed Theology, & More

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

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We’re excited to share with you the 95 eBooks Sale, recognizing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s 95 Theses.

This is the biggest eBook sale we’ve ever hosted! You can save up to 81% on these deals, starting at $1.99.

The sale ends November 5, 2017 (11:59pm ET), and it features:

Key books across several topics: Reformation studies Reformed theology Biblical studies and study Bibles from Reformed thinkers Biblical counseling resources that use a Reformed lens Practical-but-theological titles on church and ministry leadership Trusted authors: Wayne Grudem Michael Horton Timothy Keller D. A. Carson Gregg Allison J. D. Greear Tim Challies Brian Croft Many others

See the deals today. Remember, it ends November 5, 2017!

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Biblical Grounds for the Catholic Doctrine of Merit?

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310530718Next week Protestants will celebrate the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation and the rallying cry that emerged from it: Justification by grace through faith alone.

Yet, is there room for merit in God’s economy of salvation? Luther said “No way!” Levering says, “Not so fast!”

In his new book Was the Reformation a Mistake? Catholic theologian Matthew Levering offers some biblical grounds for the Catholic doctrine of merit as it relates to justification. He also clarifies what Catholic doctrine actually teaches:

The Catholic Church recognizes that no one can ever merit the utterly free gift of justification, and the Catholic Church also affirms that believers’ final perseverance unto eternal life is God’s free gift, to which the appropriate response will be gratitude to God…

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Sharing Your Faith with Atheists Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,.

Greg Koukl

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, the number of Americans who identify as atheists has nearly doubled. As atheism has expanded, we’ve seen a rise of high-profile atheists. Outspoken personalities like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens have proffered popular arguments against religion in general—and Christianity specifically.  

The proliferation of atheist social-media groups has helped bolster the arguments of the average atheist, and empowered them to be more vocal about their beliefs.

While we shouldn’t be intimidated by vocal atheists, many in the church have found it difficult to defend their faith against them. They don’t feel prepared to debate an atheist, and when they try, it devolves into an argument.  

The idea of talking to an atheist doesn’t have to fill you with fear. In fact, you can…

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