Four Principles from Daniel for Sustaining Faith in Today’s World

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310284642How can we live “in the world” and yet not let the world own us and squeeze us into the shape of its own fallen values and assumptions?

A teenager and his friends, to say nothing of an entire nation, had to navigate this question themselves. Thankfully their wisdom has been preserved for us.

In his new book Hearing the Message of Daniel, Christopher Wright explores the perennial problem of living in but not of the world by exploring the book of Daniel—beginning with the young Jewish mens’ surprising response to Babylon’s program of indoctrination.

Though most sermons focus on their courage to say “no,” Wright explains why it is important that they said “yes” three times—giving us four principles…

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Faith in the Midst of a Personal Crisis – An Excerpt from Hearing the Message of Daniel

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,.


Most sermons I heard on the first chapter of Daniel in my youth emphasized the negative refusal, the courageous stand of Daniel and his friends. The preachers and Bible study leaders never commented on the remarkable degree of acceptance that they showed. Three times they said “Yes,” before they said “No.”

In today’s excerpt from Hearing the Message of Daniel, author Christopher Wright challenges us–in light of Daniel’s experience in Babylon–to think about how we engage in our own secular culture.


The international crisis that had engulfed their world also hurled Daniel and his friends into a cultural and personal crisis that tested them severely, even though they were so young at the time. They had to face not merely the fact…

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Ask These 5 Questions to Bring Clarity to Your Old Testament Sermons

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310524649I wish I’d had Christopher Wright’s new book How to Preach Through the Old Testament for All Its Worth when I regularly preached. It would have helped me preach the text, yes. But it would have helped me preach it in a way my congregation would have understood it.

Because let’s face it, preaching the Old Testament can be…challenging! Wright sympathizes:

to be honest, the Old Testament is a difficult set of books…trying to preach a sermon or teach a Sunday school class from the Old Testament is too exhausting for the pastor or Bible study leader and too confusing for the people. It’s much easier to stick with what we know—the New Testament. (17)

Which is why Wright offers a five-question roadmap for preaching and teaching Old Testament…

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Finally, A Commentary by South Asian Scholars for South Asian Readers

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

South Asia Bible CommentarySeveral years ago an American friend worked with pastors in Ukraine, offering ministry encouragement and strategic insights. At his first meeting he was greeted by a baseball diamond diagram popularized by an American book helping churches supercharge their ministry. They were using it to help guide their Eastern European churches.

He thought the baseball analogy was contextually out of place. Instead of importing American ministry strategies, he encouraged these leaders to create contextual ones for their indigenous ministries.

The same could be said for Bible commentaries.

Biblical insights from Western commentaries can be helpful elsewhere. Yet non-Western churches need resources to explain the Bible, relate its meaning to specific contexts, and apply Scripture to their life and ministry. Now we have such a resource for South Asia.

The new South…

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Christopher J.H. Wright: “The Mission of God’s People”

ZA Blog on 9 years ago. Tagged under ,.

0310291127 Coming in September of 2010 we'll be releasing Christopher J.H. Wright's new book, The Mission of God's People: A Biblical Theology of the Church's Mission. In it Wright offers a sweeping biblical survey of the holistic mission of the church – while providing practical insight for today’s church leaders. Wright gives special emphasis to theological trajectories of the Old Testament that not only illuminate God’s mission but also suggest priorities for Christians engaged in God’s world-changing work. Reader's of Wright's The Mission of God will find this book a welcome follow-up.

Chris Wright gave a talk at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary's Spring Lectureship that centered on the message of The Mission of God's People.…

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False Dichotomies in Mission pt. 2 of 2 by Christopher J.H. Wright

ZA Blog on 9 years ago. Tagged under ,.

(See part 1 for the complete context of this post, and for False Dichotomies #1-2.)

Question: In what way have we as evangelical Christians failed to grasp or live out the fullness of God’s missional intent? How (if at all) has our theology of evangelism been weak?

Wright-christopher Answer: First of all, I agree with what Esme Bowers said about how the terrible evil of apartheid in South Africa was given theological justification, and I want to emphasize that theology, therefore, is not just playing mind games. Theology has practical effects, because what people believe determines how they act. Bad theology has bad results – and can cost lives, millions of lives. Weak theology weakens our mission.

I do not want to be only negative, or to stigmatize our whole evangelical movement, but I was asked the question, and here is an honest answer! I think that as evangelicals we have tended to make some false dichotomies, or to separate things that ought to be kept together (because the Bible holds them together), and then to give one priority over the other. And this unbiblical separation has had some regrettable bad results.

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False Dichotomies in Mission pt. 1 of 2 by Christopher J.H. Wright

ZA Blog on 9 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Wright-christopher In June, the Lausanne Biennial Leadership Meeting took place, with about 200 leaders of the Lausanne Movement from around the world meeting in Seoul, Korea. Most of the work was to do with planning for Lausanne III, Cape Town 2010 (

At one panel discussion that I participated in (as Chair of the Lausanne Theology Working Group), I was asked a question about evangelicals and mission, and whether our theology of evangelism had weaknesses. Here is the question, and the response I made to it. (I should add that I had warning of the question some days before, in case it might appear that I am capable of such instant analysis on the spot!). I would be interested to know if others share these concerns.

Question: In what way have we as evangelical Christians failed to grasp or live out the fullness of God’s missional intent? How (if at all) has our theology of evangelism been weak?

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