[Common Places] Pro-Nicene Theology: Exegesis and Inseparable Operations of the Trinity

Fred Sanders on 10 months ago. Tagged under .

Our current series, Pro-Nicene Theology, offers doctrinal and exegetical entries to the key tenets of basic Trinitarian orthodoxy as developed in the early centuries of the church. For introduction to the series, see this first post.

A Tale of Three Agents?

There’s a kind of conventional Christian wisdom about the New Testament that goes like this: the Gospels tell the story of three distinct characters who co-operate beautifully to save us. The Father so loves the world he created that he sends the Son to it; the Son takes on human nature and atones for the sins of the world; the Holy Spirit applies that purchased redemption and indwells the redeemed. When you add up the three parts, as you simply must, you get the complete work of salvation. And that complete work of salvation corresponds precisely to the…

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5 Things Russell Jeung Learned Among Ancestors & Refugees

Jeremy Bouma on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310527831From Syrian refugees to Latin American immigrants, Westerners are wrestling with complicated realities of exile in all of its forms.

What does it mean to be the Church for such people, and what can we learn from our refugee neighbors as we love them in the name of Jesus? Russell Jeung helps us wrestle with such questions.

In his spiritual memoir At Home in Exile, Jeung shares the joyful and occasionally harrowing stories of his life in East Oakland’s Murder Dubs neighborhood, and how those experiences with exile and relationships with refugees shaped his faith.

What I’ve learned from my family and gained from my refugee neighbors is a more precious gift. I have come to realize that both now and in the future, each of us is honored as a…

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Reaching Muslims: The Case for the Gospel

ZA Blog on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Today’s post is from Nabeel Qureshi, whose new Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus online course is now available. For a limited time, get free access to a portion of the course, The Case for the Gospel.

I was raised a Muslim, and it was through a friendship that I was able to see that perhaps Christianity was true.

A friend of mine over the course of three and a half years made the case for Christianity for me. He told me that it wasn’t a religion of polytheism and falsehood, but actually a religion of hope and faith, and in fact, a relationship with our Father, God himself.

In the course of doing that, he also showed me that perhaps Islam wasn’t what I had always thought it was.

Relationships and Apologetics

So it was through relationships and…

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Is Muhammad a Prophet of God? Muslims Give Three Positive Arguments

Jeremy Bouma on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

nogodbutone_newsletterThere is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.

Muhammad’s status as a prophetic messenger of God is the key identifying declaration and central pillar of Islam. It is announced multiple times a day before prayers and recited in the heart of every Muslim.

But is Muhammad a prophet of God?

Growing up, Muhammad’s prophethood was a given for former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi. But when he was challenged to investigate the evidence for Islam and Christianity, he explains in his new book No God but One what he discovered:

The three reasons most commonly given by Muslims to accept Muhammad as a prophet—his character, prophecies in the Bible, and miraculous scientific insights—are all very problematic. As a result, we are left…

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How Should Christians Argue about Politics? (eBook Flash Sale)

ZA Blog on 10 months ago. Tagged under .

While our electoral season is nearly complete, the election isn’t an ending: it’s a beginning. No matter who wins, how should Christians respond? How should we argue? How should we engage in public life over the next four years and beyond?

To help with these challenges, today we’re launching a flash sale on a small handful of eBooks that will help you explore vital Christian perspectives on politics and public life. Gain a fresh perspective on some of the most pressing issues of our time (and save quite a bit of money) with these deals:

Politics—According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem is 70% OFF. “A sweeping, and inspiring, guide to politics and government,” says Hugh Hewitt. “A comprehensive but extremely readable and easy-to-use primer on how a Christian guided by Scripture should think about all of the many…

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[Common Places] Pro-Nicene Theology: Inseparable Operations

Scott Swain on 10 months ago. Tagged under .

Note: The author of today’s column, Scott Swain (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), will be giving a plenary address at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on the doctrine of the Trinity.

Trinity-shield-cross-diagram-from-oxford

Our current Common Places series, Pro-Nicene Theology, offers doctrinal and exegetical entries to the key tenets of basic Trinitarian orthodoxy as developed in the early centuries of the church. For introduction to the series, see this first post.

The living God

The triune God is a living God and, as such, he is intrinsically active. The Trinity is active in knowledge, love, and beatitude. The Trinity is active in the production of creatures. And the Trinity is active in a care that extends, beyond bringing us into existence, to include our daily preservation,…

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The “War on Christmas” and Jewish-Christian Dialogue

Jeremy Bouma on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

near_christianityMy wife and I visited our local Costco this weekend to get a good deal on a vacuum, only to be greeted by rows of fake LED-lighted Christmas trees, a life-size nutcracker, and a giant wire reindeer. Apparently the Christmas season began October 1st this year! Which makes Anthony Le Donne’s new book especially timely.

In Near Christianity, Le Donne offers us an important primer on Jewish-Christian dialogue. He takes us to the borders of the faith to help us understand and sympathize with those who remain “near Christianity.” Perhaps there’s no better time to consider this nearness than the season from Black Friday to Christmas Day.

In a chapter highlighting the dynamics at work between Christians and religious minorities during Advent, Le Donne asks us to consider the season’s relationship with cultural appropriation, the culture…

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5 Reasons to Ask “Is the Reformation Finished?”

Jeremy Bouma on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.

Reformation: From the latin reformatio; “the enterprise of repairing an inadequate state of affairs by returning to an earlier expression of faith.” (18)

9780310527930Next year, on October 31, 2017, many will celebrate the monumental five-hundred-year anniversary of when an unsuspecting monk posted a list of grievances on the door of a nondescript church in Germany—launching what would become known as the Protestant Reformation.

But is such a repairing enterprise finished; is the Reformation over?

Theologian Gregg Allison and pastor Chris Castaldo have set out to answer that question in their new book The Unfinished Reformation. It is a brief, clear guide to the key points of unity and divergence between Protestants and Catholics today. They write to encourage fruitful conversation about the key theological and sociological differences between the two…

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Four Lessons Learned From Jewish-Christian Dialogue

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months ago.

near_christianityIn his brilliant primer on the Christian faith, C.S. Lewis set out to distill the essence of Christianity down to its mereness. His celebrated apologetic, Mere Christianity, was an outsider’s guide to the inside of the faith.

But what about Christianity’s nearness? What does the Christian faith look like from the borders, near the periphery of the faith? That’s what Anthony Le Donne sets out to answer in his new book Near Christianity. It examine “ancient, storied, tragic, and often misunderstood borders—the complicated and shifting borders shared by Jews and Christians.” (17)

Le Donne maps a number of seemingly peripheral topics—the so-called “war on Christmas,” Christian complicity in violence,  anti-Judaism and philo-judaism—revealing how they are more central to Christianity than we may think. They also reveal in personal, high-definition color…

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[Common Places] Pro-Nicene Theology: Simplicity in Scripture

Fred Sanders on 11 months ago.

Our current series, Pro-Nicene Theology, offers doctrinal and exegetical entries to the key tenets of basic Trinitarian orthodoxy as developed in the early centuries of the church. For introduction to the series, see this first post.

Moses from Getty german manuscript                 Moses in danger of being distracted by the manifold manifestations of God.

The unity of God is a basic datum of Scripture, and it is something easily unpacked in terms like uniqueness, singularity, and indivisibility. But the doctrine of divine simplicity seems to take a further step. Though it is a doctrine classically confessed by pro-Nicene theologies East and West, simplicity is a much more particular claim. Denying composition in God, simplicity requires us to confess at least that God is not different…

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Did Jesus Claim to Be God? Muslims Say “No”

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

ngb1In No God but One: Allah or Jesus?, Nabeel Qureshi investigates the evidence for Islam and Christianity as a former Muslim. One of the most important parts to his investigation is his engagement with the widest point of divergence between the two religions: the person of Jesus.

“At no point is the schism between Christian and Islamic theologies broader than on the person of Jesus” (213) Qureshi reveals.

Answering his question about not only Jesus’ divinity, but his claim to be God, was a crucial one for his journey from seeking Allah to finding Jesus. “All other differences between Muslims and Christians were secondary to me, far less important than this most significant matter.” (213)

Below we explore this surprising claim by Muslims, that Jesus never claimed to be God,…

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Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

ngb1Nearly every religion has their sacred text. But not every text is equal in nature, composition, transmission, and use. Nabeel Qureshi makes that incredibly clear in his highly anticipated book investigating the evidence for Islam and Christianity, No God but One: Allah or Jesus?.

In a thought-provoking, revealing comparison between the Quran and the Bible, Qureshi exposes seven important differences between these sacred texts. “Both scriptures are considered holy to their people, certainly, but their uses are different, their histories are different, and indeed, their very natures are understood differently.” (104)

1) The Quran Is the Jewel of Islam

In 2011, the burning of a Quran by a Florida pastor incited violence, even though a few years prior the US Government incinerated a…

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