"Replacement Theology" - Is It Wrong to Use the Term? (Part 4)

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A Little More on the Reality of “Replacementism”

Theologian R. Kendall Soulen opens his book about supercessionism in church history with an explanation of what supercessionism is:

According to this teaching, God chose the Jewish people after the fall of Adam in order to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior. After Christ came, however, the special role of the Jewish people came to an end and its place was taken by the church, the new Israel. (The God of Israel and Christian Theology, 1-2)

This description matches our basic definition of supercessionism as “the switching out of “old Israel” with “new,” true Israel.” I think I have already proven that this teaching exists. I add to previous quotes this one from the Adventist theologian Hans LaRondelle. He is referencing Matthew 21:43: Read more about "Replacement Theology" - Is It Wrong to Use the Term? (Part 4)

Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #4 - Act

Detail from Job & His Friends. Eberhard von Wächter (1762–1852)

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Elijah sits under the juniper and bemoans the failure, unfairness, and pointlessness of his years of work (1 Kings 19:10). Jonah sits under his gourd and broods over his unwanted success (and God’s unwelcome mercy!) in Nineveh (Jonah 4:1-11). Job sits among his “friends” and agonizes physically, emotionally, and spiritually (Job 2:8, 13).

Then there’s Peter. What was he doing between his denial of Jesus, with its resulting bitter regret (Matt. 26:75), and his decision to “go fishing”?

It probably involved a lot of sitting. Read more about Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #4 - Act

Biblical Literacy, Part 2

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The Church

The central purpose of the church is to exalt Christ. We do that through evangelism, worship, fellowship, prayer and in general, making disciples (Acts 2:42-43). The primary means by which disciples are made is through the transforming power of the Scriptures as the Holy Spirit uses the inspired Word to change lives (Rom 12:1-2). Therefore, it is vital that the local church provide a variety of means by which the life-changing truth of God’s Word is taught and applied to God’s people.

At this point I want to discuss specific means by which the Word of God can be taught in the church setting and conclude with some comments about personal study. I have to say that as a pastor of the same church for over four decades there is nothing that is on my mind more frequently than how to communicate God’s Word to His people in such a way that it transforms lives. I often wake up at night thinking of a family or individual who is not doing well spiritually, praying for ways that they might be reached with the truth of God’s Word. Read more about Biblical Literacy, Part 2

Biblical Literacy, Part 1

From Think on These Things, March 2017; used with permission.

I concluded my article titled “Biblical Illiteracy” with these words:

Biblical illiteracy is well recognized today. There are many reasons why not only the general population but also the evangelical church has little understanding and knowledge of Scripture, and I have tried to identify some of these in the body of this article. With all of the attacks on the trustworthiness of Scripture, coupled with general lack of biblical knowledge and apathy toward what it proclaims, it would be easy to despair for the future of the Scriptures.

But God’s Word always accomplishes that which it is sent forth by the Lord to accomplish (Isa 55:1) which is to teach, reprove, correct and train His people in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). We have the promise of Jesus that His Word will never pass away (Matt 24:35). Rather than despair we should make every effort to pass along the Lord’s truth to the next generation (Deut 6:4-9; Psalm 145:4). At this point we need to consider some means to do so. What can we personally, and corporately as the church, do to address the issue of biblical illiteracy?

It is to this subject we now turn. Read more about Biblical Literacy, Part 1

Theology Thursday - "Selective Literalism" & the Book of Revelation

This is a small excerpt from an article by Gordon Fee, “Preaching Apocolypse? You’ve Got to be Kidding Me!?” in Calvin Theological Journal 41 (2006).

The first question is: Why? Why in the world would one offer to do this, to give a lecture on preaching from apocalyptic texts of all things? On the one hand, one would think that in a world of Star Wars and Star Trek this should be easy. Unfortunately, it is also a world in which the creators of the Left Behind books and movies have become millionaires. These books and movies are so seriously flawed as literature and art, not to mention as impossible interpretations of Scripture, that one feels a sense of despair over the mental and spiritual flabbiness of contemporary North American evangelicalism. Read more about Theology Thursday - "Selective Literalism" & the Book of Revelation

The Disappearing Middle Class in Christian Higher Education, Part 2

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Three Categories of Christian Higher Education Institutions: EUC, EMC, ELC

Despite continually rising costs of accredited college education, the number of full-time ministry roles are decreasing, and financial compensation for those roles is decreasing (relative to other vocations). Many Bible colleges are seeing decreased demand for their programs due to these simple market principles. This decline manifests itself in lack of sustained revenue growth on both the tuition and advancements side: there is less money to spend on tuition for education in this sector, and there is less money being given to support this sector.

For those schools that have predominantly relied on tuition revenue, the decline is, in many cases, catastrophic. The failure in revenue growth begets a failure to reinvest for future growth and infrastructure, contributing to already inefficient cost structures. The ultimate result for these schools is a visible and measurable decline that motivates even more prospective students to either choose larger colleges who have demonstrably greater resources and stability, or to abandon ministry majors altogether. Read more about The Disappearing Middle Class in Christian Higher Education, Part 2

The Disappearing Middle Class in Christian Higher Education, Part 1

According to ABHE’s 2015 statistical report,1 out of roughly 140 universities and colleges who have any official reported status with ABHE, there are only 5 non-denominational Bible colleges with attendance over 3202 students (including undergraduate and graduate studies): Columbia Bible College (407), College of Biblical Studies (423), Grace Bible College (883), Lancaster Bible College (1892), and Moody Bible Institute (3907).

According to ABHE’s 2011 statistical report,3 out of roughly 135 universities and colleges who have any official reported status with ABHE, there were 8 non-denominational Bible colleges with attendance over 320 students: Grace Bible College (324), Master’s College and Seminary (340), God’s Bible School and College (353), Columbia Bible College (493), College of Biblical Studies (493), Washington Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary (501), Lancaster Bible College (1189), and Moody Bible Institute (3501). Read more about The Disappearing Middle Class in Christian Higher Education, Part 1

Jesus Conquers the Storm (Mk 4:35-41)

This is a series about the Trinity. It goes beyond simple proof-texting, and explores this doctrine by brief expositions of selected passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of the Gospel writer.

Jesus has had a long day. He began by teaching the crowds from a boat, just off-shore on the Sea of Galilee. The crowds lined the shore to hear Him speak (Mk 4:1). He deliberately taught them in parables, in order to drive away those who had no “ears to hear” (Mk 4:10-12). The parables were not simply designed to be memorable. Jesus used them to filter out the elect from the non-elect; those who love Him from those who hate Him (compare Mk 4:9 with Jn 8:47).1

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” (Mk 4:35)

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