Embodying the Hospitable Kingdom Community – An Excerpt from Reading Romans in Context

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reading romans in context

One of the most common themes found in Romans is the debate surrounding eating food sacrificed to idols. That may not mean much to us today, but when we look at the historical context the Jews lived in, we can understand better. Go ahead and take a look at how Reading Romans in Context uncovers that for us today.


Romans has long been hailed as one of Paul’s most theological and even systematic letters. However, not everything in the letter is simply a timeless truth for every audience. Romans 14:1 – 15:13 appears in an extended set of teachings that inform the Christian life of obedience (Rom 12:1 – 15:13), and yet the passage is addressing tensions among the Christians specifically…

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Extrabiblical Sources as Context – An Excerpt from Reading Romans in Context

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reading romans in context

How best should we approach extrabiblical sources when studying Scripture? That is the question asked in today’s excerpt from Reading Romans in Context. Since taking historical context into account is valuable, we cannot ignore a historical source simply because it is not in the biblical canon. Yet we want to be certain to handle it wisely.

Read on to get a glimpse into the recent release, Reading Romans in Context.


Paul’s letter to the Romans is widely celebrated as the apostle’s clearest and fullest exposition of the good news concerning Jesus Christ. As William Tyndale lauded, “[It] is the principal and most excellent part of the New Testament, and the most pure Euangelion, that is to say glad tidings and that we…

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Wednesday Giveaway – Jesus, the Middle Eastern Storyteller

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Jesus often spoke in parables, telling stories to share his message of the Kingdom.

Unfortunately, the meaning of these stories is often lost to readers in a very different historical and cultural context.

In this week's giveaway, Jesus, The Middle Eastern Storyteller, Gary Burge uncovers the culture that gives the parables their deepest meaning.

His expert, illustrated guide shows in everyday terms how the customs, literature and values of the ancient world can help us to understand the stories of Jesus, and to follow him more faithfully.

To enter this week’s giveaway simply answer this question in this comments: If Jesus taught so often by parables, why do we so rarely teach by parables today?


*If you are reading this via Facebook, email, or RSS, please visit the blog to enter. Two winners will be determined by Random Integer…

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Wednesday Giveaway – Old Testament Today

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Old Testament Today The Old Testament is fascinating, but how can we understand what the significance is of these ancient texts today, when we are separated by thousands of years?

In this week’s giveaway, Old Testament Today, John Walton and Andrew Hill continue the tradition of the NIV Application Commentary series by providing a bridge from the original meaning to our contemporary context.

The books of the Old Testament are studied by their genre, and each section is supplemented by a wide array of sidebars, callouts, and full color pictures. 

There is one copy of Old Testament Today available, and this giveaway will run through Thursday. 

To enter simply comment below with your answer to this question:…

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Wednesday Giveaway – NIVAC Romans

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NICAC Romans Few books of the Bible have become so central to Christian thought and practice as Romans. From Augustine, to Luther, to Barth, many of theology's most influential figures have been shaped and transformed by Paul's longest epistle.

Of course, so much emphasis on Romans has also led to some confusion. There are many questions about what it meant in its original context, and just as many about what it means for the church today.

In today's giveaway, the NIV Application Commentary on Romans, Douglas Moo attempts to address both sides of that equation, examining the historical context of Romans, its theology, and how this message matters to our contemporary context.

Moo is a something of an expert on Romans…

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Tennent on African Christianity

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Theology in the Context of World Christianity

"At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the typical "face" of Christianity may more likely be encountered in Lagos than in London… What is emerging is the sunrise of a fourth major branch of the Christian faith, not so easily pigeonholed within the familiar categories of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity.

Andrew Walls predicts that if current trends continue, African Christianity will become 'the representative Christianity of the twenty-first century.' This emerging reality is why Philip Jenkens has boldly proclaimed the emerging Majority World church as 'the next Christendom.'"

Timothy Tennent, in Theology in the Context of World Christianity

– What are your thoughts on this quote? 

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Wednesday Giveaway: Is There a Meaning in This Text?

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Is There a Meaning in This Text This week’s giveaway is a classic, a special tenth anniversary edition of Kevin Vanhoozer’s Is There a Meaning in This Text?. Featuring a new forward by Craig Blomberg, Vanhoozer’s book tackles the questions facing hermeneutics in a postmodern age.

What starts off as contemporary hermeneutics to justify the move from biblical text to systematic theology becomes full-blown, highly sophisticated, theological hermeneutics in Is There a Meaning in This Text?. The decade this book has been in print has not diminished my enthusiasm for it. Vanhoozer is one of the few contemporary scholars who takes a balanced measure of postmodern thought within an unflinching Christian confessionalism.  

Here is neither…

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Christian Engagement with the Arts

ZA Blog on 7 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Drama masksFilmmakers, screenwriters, artists, poets, and writers shape the thinking and values of a generation. Shakespeare recognized the transformational power of entertainment when he wrote “The play’s the thing, wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (Hamlet, act 2, scene 2). 

How would arts and entertainment be different if more missional believers were encouraged to pursue excellence and express kingdom values in the public square through the domain of arts and entertainment?” – Swanson and Williams, To Transform a City

I recently read an article by Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay about the possibility of offensive Christian art. It struck a cord with me because as much as I agree with Swanson and…

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On China — By Tremper Longman III

ZA Blog on 9 years ago. Tagged under ,.

In the past year I had the incredible privilege of teaching a course on Torah and Wisdom at the University of Peking in Beijing and then to travel a few months later to Hong Kong to speak at an International Theological Consultation sponsored by Evangel Seminary (Hong Kong), China Evangelical Seminary (Taipei), and Trinity Evangelical Seminary (Chicago). In the process, I also had the opportunity to speak to a number of house church leaders as well as pastors in the Three-Self Church in the mainland.

Needless to say, two trips don’t make anyone an expert on the Chinese church, but I did have my understanding expanded, so I thought I would share some of my observations that are subject to change through discussion and further experience.

One impression is the tremendous work and influence that a number of U.S. and British seminaries have had on many of Chinese theologians, biblical scholars, and church leaders. I had the wonderful opportunity of reconnecting with some of my doctoral students from my Westminster days and to see how much they have grown in their thinking and ministry. Of course, many other seminaries have trained Chinese scholars and my colleagues from Fuller, Dallas, Trinity, Denver, Gordon-Conwell would have had a similar experience as mine.

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