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

Read Part 1.

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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Ye Humble Souls That Seek the Lord

Philip Doddridge (d.1751)

Ye humble souls, that seek the Lord,
Chase all your fears away;
And bow with rapture down to see
The place where Jesus lay.

Thus low the Lord of life was brought;
Such wonders love can do:
Thus cold in death that bosom lay,
Which throbbed and bled for you.

A moment give a loose to grief,
Let grateful sorrows rise,
And wash the bloody stains away,
With torrents from your eyes.

Then raise your eyes, and tune your songs,
The Savior lives again:
Not all the bolts and bars of death
The Conqueror could detain. Read more about Ye Humble Souls That Seek the Lord

At-One-Ment by Propitiation

(About this series)

CHAPTER II — AT-ONE-MENT BY PROPITIATION

BY DYSON HAGUE, VICAR OF THE CHURCH OF THE EPIPHANY, TORONTO, CANADA; PROFESSOR OF LITURGICS, WYCLIFFE COLLEGE, TORONTO; CANON OF ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, LONDON, ONT., 1908-1912

The importance of the subject is obvious. The Atonement is Christianity in epitome. It is the heart of Christianity as a system; it is the distinguishing mark of the Christian religion. For Christianity is more than a revelation; it is more than an ethic. Christianity is uniquely a religion of redemption. At the outset we take the ground that no one can clearly apprehend this great theme who is not prepared to take Scripture as it stands, and to treat it as the final and authoritative source of Christian knowledge, and the test of every theological theory. Any statement of the atonement, to satisfy completely the truly intelligent Christian, must not antagonize any of the Biblical viewpoints. And further; to approach fairly the subject, one must receive with a certain degree of reservation the somewhat exaggerated representations of what some modern writers conceive to be the views of orthodoxy. We cannot deduce Scriptural views of the atonement from non-Biblical conceptions of the Person of Christ; and the ideas that Christ died because God was insulted and must punish somebody, or that the atonement was the propitiation of an angry Monarch-God who let off the rogue while He tortured the innocent, and such like travesties of the truth, are simply the misrepresentations of that revamped Socinianism, which is so widely leavening the theology of many of the outstanding thought-leaders of today in German, British, and American theology. Read more about At-One-Ment by Propitiation

Theology Thursday - Luther on Baptism

The Book of Concord

This is an excerpt from Luther’s Large Catechism, in the Book of Concord.

“Comprehend the difference, then, that Baptism is quite another thing than all other water; not on account of the natural quality but because something more noble is here added; for God Himself stakes His honor, His power and might on it. Therefore it is not only natural water, but a divine, heavenly, holy, and blessed water, and in whatever other terms we can praise it, all on account of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word, that no one can sufficiently extol, for it has, and is able to do, all that God is and can do (since it has all the virtue and power of God comprised in it).

“Hence also it derives its essence as a Sacrament, as St. Augustine also taught. That is, when the Word is joined to the element or natural substance, it becomes a Sacrament, that is, a holy and divine matter and sign. Read more about Theology Thursday - Luther on Baptism

"Replacement Theology" - Is It Wrong to Use the Term? (Part 3)

Read the series so far.

Replacement of Concepts?

In the book The Meaning of the Millennium (ed. Robert G. Clouse), the well known postmillennial scholar Loraine Boettner said,

The land of Palestine…was given to Abraham and his seed “for an everlasting possession” (Gen. 17:8). But the same thing is said of the perpetual duration of the priesthood of Aaron (Ex. 40:15), the Passover (Ex. 12:14), the Sabbath (Ex. 31:17) and David’s throne (2 Sam. 7:13, 16, 24). But in the light of the New Testament all of those things have passed away. (98)

Read more about "Replacement Theology" - Is It Wrong to Use the Term? (Part 3)