Abraham and Isaac: A Test of Faith
In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham’s obedience by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.
To modern readers, this passage and this test feels like a nightmare. Why would God ask Abraham to do that? And why would Abraham be willing to go through with it?
Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III explores this challenging passage in his online course on the book of Genesis. The following analysis is adapted from his course.
But first, let’s look at the passage itself.
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What Does it Mean to “Believe”? Here are 5 Aspects of Christian Faith
That’s how one of the most important creeds of Christ’s Church begins. And it’s no surprise that it does. Because as Michael Bird explains in his new book What Christians Ought to Believe, not only is “the Christian life a story of faith: of coming to faith, of keeping the faith, and of finishing the faith.” (43) Life itself is a life of faith:
Faith, believe, trust and hope—whatever you like—these emerge from a deeply human experience full of dualities; experiences of life and loss, fidelity and failures, joy and grief, as well as trust and betrayal…The reality is that faith is an inalienable feature of human existence. (44)
What this opening salvo of our cornerstone creed is inviting those who recite it to do is “to recognize their need…
The Faith of Abraham – An Excerpt From Genesis (The Story of God Bible Commentary Series)
The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. It aims to set each passage within the context of Scripture and leads the reader to (1) “Listen to the Story,” (2) “Interpret the Story,” and (3) “Live the Story.”
In his commentary on Genesis, Tremper Longman III examines each portion of scripture through this three-step process. This week’s excerpt is taken from the “Live the Story” section of Genesis 11:27-12:9, and encourages us to reflect on Abraham’s faith journey, as well as our own.
THE JOURNEY OF FAITH
The Problem of Pain – Mondays with Mounce 264
I’ve had a great summer. Good meeting with the CBT on the NIV. Time at the cabin with my wife Robin. And all the kids came back for a week before my Marine son goes on deployment. A good summer.
I’ve got lots of new ideas for blogs, but before I jump in I want to share something on a more personal level. I think I have finally come to terms with the problem of evil. No new revelation, but perhaps all the pieces finally came together after the right amount of time spent in reflection.
This is a big deal for me. I have often thought that if I had not been raised in a Christian family, I would never have come to Christ. Why worship a God who created the world knowing the unbelievable amount of pain that…
By Faith, Through Wisdom [Awakening Faith]
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
So who is God? God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; he is one God. Do not ask to know more of God. If you want to see into the depths of God, you must know the depths of the natural world, for knowledge of the Trinity is compared to knowledge of the sea: “And the great depths, who shall fathom them?” (Job 11:7). Just as the depths of the sea are invisible to the human eye, so too the godhead of the Trinity is beyond human sense and understanding.
I submit, therefore, that if people want to know what they should believe, they should not think that they will understand better through arguments than through belief; if they do that, they will be further from…
God SUSTAINS Faith [Awakening Faith]
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?” (Mark 6:2)
I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now, “Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to…
A Journey to Orthodoxy
"For me to tell my story, I must begin by saying that I hope I’ve gotten this journey right, that I have discerned the guidance of the Lord, that I haven’t fallen into the comfortable confidence that I have figured it all out and that others who don’t see it this way are all wrong. When people ask, “How could you have done this?” I respond that I didn’t set out to leave the circle of my Baptist beginnings, ending up in a world I had never thought about before. It was well after I had taken a sharp turn that the world of Orthodox faith even crossed my mind.
Tennent on African 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?
What is a Christian?
Early in One.Life Scot McKnight shares some of his own journey.
Early in his life he learned that a Christian was someone who had experienced an event, specifically accepting Jesus as their savior and saying a certian sort of prayer.
Later he expanded this definintion, learning how important personal piety was. A Christian then was someone who was saved and who's life was marked by acts like prayer and reading the Bible.
Though affirming both those things as good, McKnight came to a point where now he suggests that this is not how Christ himself framed what it means to be a Christian. Instead a Christian is more accuratly and simply decribed as someone who follows Jesus.
Monday with Mounce 1
Passage: Romans 1:5
Key terms: Genitive
Paul begins his letter to the church at Rome by saying that through Jesus Christ “we have received grace and apostleship unto obedience of faith among all the nations” (1:5).
There are several interesting challenges to translating this verse. “Nations” (ethnos) can refer to any group of people with a common culture (hence “nations, people”), but in a Jewish context it can refer to all nations other than the Jewish nation (hence “Gentiles”).
“Unto” (eis) cannot be translated with a preposition or even a single English word. “To bring about” (ESV) or some such periphrastic construction is necessary. Welcome to translation.
But the most difficult question has to do with the phrase “obedience of faith” (hypakoen pisteos); “faith” is in the genitive case.
The Greek genitive case has much the same flexibility that the English “of” carries. Wallace identifies over sixty ways the genitive can function. There are two basic options here.