Answers to some of basic questions of faith, theology and history.
When studying the atonement, you’re likely to run across two technical words: expiation and propitiation. These terms tend to appear in a text without explanation. But since they are not in the Bible and they don’t often come up in daily conversation, it can be difficult to remember what they mean.
How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? First, we can examine what the Bible claims about itself.
The canon of Scripture is the list of all the books that belong in the Bible. The Bible, the Apocrypha and history all testify to the historical development of the Old Testament canon.
When God reveals Himself to Moses at the burning bush), He identifies Himself as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”, which is often translated “I am who I Am.” What does that name mean?
The Septuagint (often abbreviated LXX) is a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek in the 3rd century BC. The LXX was made for the Jewish community when Greek was the common language of the day, and for many Jews was their primary language.
Scholars have attacked Christianity by claiming that Christians don’t know which books should belong to the New Testament canon and which ones shouldn’t. If we don’t know the answer to why these 27 books, then we do have a problem. But it’s not the Achilles heel of Christian faith that critics claim it is. We Christians do have an answer.
In Scripture, Jesus is called both “Son of God” and “Son of Man”. What’s the difference? We may assume one refers to his divinity and one to his humanity, but it’s not that simple. In this classic clip, RC Sproul explains the difference.
What are the Sacraments? What’s the difference between the Protestant view of Sacraments and the Roman Catholic view? Rome has 7 sacraments, while Protestants have 2.
“Canaanite” refers to the group of polytheistic people living in the historical region of Israel and Palestine at the time of the Old Testament. Canaanite mythology centered around three primary exploits of Baal.
When it comes to biblical history, you can divide scholars into minimalists and maximalists. Minimalists believe almost nothing in the Old Testament is historically accurate. Maximalists believe the Old Testament is a reasonably accurate historical document. Among the maximalists, there are two main competing theories about the date of the Exodus: early and late.
“One is sometimes (not often) glad not to be a great theologian; one might so easily mistake it for being a good Christian.” – C.S. Lewis
The Greek word usually translated disciple simply means a student or one who learns. But it was a particular kind of student in Jesus’ day.
What makes an apostle of Jesus Christ an apostle? There are 4 qualifications.
In the Christian Bible, the Old Testament is divided into 4 main parts based on genre. Within each genre, books are organized by author, chronology and size.
The views regarding women in authority in the church can be generalized into 3 basic positions: hard complementarian (most restrictive), soft complementarian (less restrictive), and egalitarian (least restrictive). This is a summary of the soft complementarian position.
The views regarding women in authority in the church can be generalized into 3 basic positions: hard complementarian (most restrictive), soft complementarian (less restrictive), and egalitarian (least restrictive). This is a summary of the hard complementarian position.
The views regarding women in authority in the church can be generalized into 3 basic positions: hard complementarian (most restrictive), soft complementarian (less restrictive), and egalitarian (least restrictive). This is a summary of the egalitarian position.
Why was the New Testament written in Greek while the Old Testament was written in Hebrew?
The “so what” of being justified by faith is now we have a reason to boast. Paul explains the 3 things we boast about in Romans 5:1-11. The first is hope.
Saving faith is the permanent, ongoing trust in God that one day He will free me completely from all the consequences and effects of sin because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Saving faith itself is a gift from God and it involves 4 things.
There are 2 consequences to our sin: 1) We experience death and futility. 2) Our rebellion is wrong and we now owe a debt to justice that must be paid. Justification is the payment of that debt.
Understanding the gospel means we must understand the problem that the gospel solves. While the word gospel means “good news,” understanding the gospel begins with bad news: death.
A friend once asked me if I was on an airplane that was about to crash and had only a couple minutes to use my cell phone to call my family, what would I say? What would I tell them if I knew this would be our last conversation on earth? At first my mind when blank, but then the answer seemed obvious: Hang on to your faith. But to understand why saving faith is that important, you have to really understand the gospel.
What is Lent? Is it an official Christian holiday? Was it instituted in the Bible? What — if anything — is required of believers during Lent?
What do you do when you sin repeatedly? What do you do when you see something about yourself that you decide to change, you give it your best effort, and you don’t change? What’s wrong with us? Jeremiah gives 3 metaphors to explain the problem of our hearts.
Religion should make a difference in our lives. By “religion,” I mean the set of outward behavior, practices, ethics and rituals that we do or avoid doing to mark ourselves as believers. Believing in God means we ought to love and value what God loves and values, and therefore we ought not to be nicer to each other. Yet, religion doesn’t seem to solve all the problems we think it ought to solve. What is wrong with religion? Why doesn’t it make more difference?
If you think that worship equals singing, A Taste of Heaven: Worship in the Light of Eternity by RC Sproul is a must-read book for you.
A good teacher tailors her presentation to her audience. The same is true of the four New Testament gospels. Each gospel writer had a different audience in mind and tailored his presentation of the story to his audience.
When Paul writes in Ephesians 2 that believers are “growing into a holy temple in the Lord” and “being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit”, he’s drawing on rich Old Testament history.
Is the gospel message of the Word of Life, a “pie in the sky” other worldly gospel? Suppose I give a starving person enough food to eat to this week and next week she starves. Have I failed?
Is the tithe still applicable today? Does God really care how we spend our money? Can I wait until I can give cheerfully? Ken Elzinga answers these questions.
What is there to celebrate about Christmas? I’d like to answer that question by looking at one of my favorite Christmas stories: Job. The hope that sustained Job sitting on that ash heap, scraping at his boils, is the knowledge that he had a Redeemer who was born on Christmas day.