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Biblical Exposition Articles

  • Ben Shin — 

    Leading people is never an easy task. It takes great skill and character to lead people effectively. It also takes time, effort, and patience to work with people and to lead them well. All of this is part of building a relationship. Unfortunately, many leaders take “shortcuts” in trying to work with people especially in the church. These leaders are not so concerned about the well-being of the common good but may be more bent towards controlling the people with biblical power sources such as the Bible. This entry will explore and potentially warn against these misuses and will respond with appropriate biblical refutations.

  • John Hutchison — 

    The greatest tests of faith come either when life is going well (prosperity) or when it seems to be falling apart (trials). How can I keep my focus in life during both of these distracting times? A few years ago, when the prayer of Jabez was getting all the attention and selling many books, I became enamored with another obscure prayer in Scripture. It was prayed by a little-known wisdom writer named Agur . . .

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    As I am working on a commentary on the Gospel of John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament), I have noticed a general trend by interpreters to minimize the functional importance of the dialogues of Jesus. While interpreters might admit in principle that the form of a particular scene is a dialogue, in practice the dialogical form of the scene is given little interpretive force. What is focused on instead is the words of Jesus, almost is if they occurred in a vacuum. I think this misunderstands the importance of dialogues. Let me explain.

  • Jeffrey Volkmer — 

    The recently convened Searching for Sanctuary Film Festival at Biola University presented significant independent films that explored the meaning of, and human longing for, sanctuary. The films screened were illustrative of the deep yearning all humans have for true sanctuary and the repercussions of its absence, ultimately pointing to the archetype of sanctuary for the Christian, Jesus Christ. One of the films screened was directed by Orlando van Einsiedel entitled, Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul. It provided a beautifully shot and deeply poignant portrayal of the importance of sanctuary in the lives of the children of Kabul, Afghanistan, whose lives are tremendously impacted not only by the notable absence of sanctuary, but also how they were able to find it upon a skateboard. Here is not only an opportunity to view this wonderful film, but a theological reflection of its significance.

  • John Hutchison — 

    Just a month ago I was glued to the TV for an entire weekend as our nation replayed and remembered the tragic events of 9/11/2001. Even after all these years, the many stories of heroism and survival cannot remove the sting of that day. As I watched the video tapes of those well-documented events, I was brought to tears by the stories of so many families who were . . . and still are . . . living with sadness and great loss. The way this story was reported ten years later reveals to me two of the most difficult ideas for many people to accept . . .

  • Ben Shin — 

    One the trickiest situations within leadership, has to do with how many people should be leading the church. Many people and cultures would strongly suggest a singular or monarchial type leader for the church while others would suggest a plurality of leaders. Which one is correct? Which model is the wisest? And what does the Word of God says about this? This entry will suggest that the Scriptures prescribe a plurality of leadership as being the wisest and most widely practiced model for leadership for the church.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    It’s a simple concept: God is our Rescuer, and we are to be imitators of God (Eph 5:1). Therefore, we should be rescuers of others.

  • Moyer Hubbard — 

    I was perusing the news on msn.com some time ago and saw a link that said, “Do you have a spending problem? Take the Savvy Spending quiz.” I guess I had too much time on my hands, so I thought I’d take a look at the quiz. Before I started, however, MoneyCentral at msn.com gave me their advice ...

  • Clint Arnold — 

    Consecutive expository preaching entails preaching through whole books of Scripture passage-by-passage. In recent years, more and more pastors are moving away from this kind of expository preaching. Some people complain that it is boring, lacks relevance, and is not sufficiently application driven. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are some very good reasons for maintaining (or adopting) consecutive expository preaching as the principal manner of preaching in your church. Here are seven.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I’m thankful and excited to be able to announce the publication of a new (short) book called Walking in the Spirit (published by Crossway). I am deeply concerned that we learn to live lives empowered by the Holy Spirit—that we learn to “walk” in the reality of his presence and power. This non-academic book is written especially for people who know that the Holy Spirit is important, but who aren’t quite sure what to do about it. Walking in the Spirit includes study questions for individuals and groups at the end of each chapter. Here is a link to the first section of the book if you’d like to read a little: http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Spirit-Kenneth-Berding/dp/1433524104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314577370&sr=8-1#reader_1433524104

  • Uche Anizor — 

    In the preface to the 1539 Edition of the Institutes, Calvin explains the purpose of the Institutes and in doing so offers good counsel regarding the need for theology in reading Scripture well

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Scenario #1: A single mom is in a small group with a first-year seminary student. The young man just completed an introductory course in biblical hermeneutics. During the group’s sharing and prayer time, the following interaction unfolds: MOM: I have been really struggling to make ends meet. But just this week I found a verse that has really given me confidence and peace about my finances: ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19). STUDENT: You might wanna be careful about claiming that verse as a promise for your personal finances. As the context of Philippians indicates, that is a specific promise Paul gave to a local church because of their sacrificial financial contribution to his missionary efforts. It is not a generic promise to be claimed by just any individual Christian struggling with his or her finances.

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    A few months ago I introduced and explained a “coaching” model for teaching that I believe has greater potential for encouraging deeper, more transformative learning. Unfortunately, not many of us are teaching in this way and we need to begin changing how we prepare our lessons and how we use our time as we teach our students. Last month I began to share some ideas for how to begin moving from a “teaching for knowing” to a “teaching for growing” ministry. This month I will finish up these more specific ideas and give you some more questions for reflection. Beginning next month I’ll go back and spend more time on issues of how we prepare for our teaching, how we move beyond teaching for knowing in our use of time in the group, and how to develop a longer-term approach to promoting growth through our teaching. This blog picks up where the last one left off, with six more ideas for teaching more like a coach.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    My first book is finally available (http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/WAYDONKEY )! It can tell you everything you never knew you needed to know about donkeys in the biblical world. It's actually quite a technical read since it began long ago as my dissertation project at Hebrew Union College (Cincinnati, OH). So it may not be the best book for, say, small group Bible studies or local book clubs. But if you want a dose of ancient Near Eastern and archaeological analysis, then this one is just for you.

  • Rob Lister — 

    Recently, prior to one of our family trips this summer I stumbled across what looks like a great resource for kids produced by “Faith Comes By Hearing.” It's been a blessing to our kids, so I thought I'd pass it along.

  • Uche Anizor — 

    Speaking about moral codes and laws, Oliver O’Donovan (Resurrection and Moral Order, 2nd ed.) says something helpful about how we use the Bible to make moral decisions. Speaking generally of the relationship between individual moral commands and the overall moral law, he writes first: The items in a [moral] code stand to the moral law as bricks to a building. Wisdom must involve some comprehension of how the bricks are meant to be put together.

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    How necessary are extra-biblical sources for reading Scripture? Even for those who believe the Bible is Scripture, the text is assumed to stand behind a dense fog of historical distance and cultural isolation. I teach a class called Biblical Backgrounds to upper-level biblical and theological studies majors at Biola University, and it is by far my most dreaded class. I do not dread the class because the course is uninteresting or unimportant; on the contrary, I find extra-biblical sources like history and culture to be fascinating and think the class might be the most important one I teach. But it is important not because backgrounds gives necessary insights for the study of the Bible, but because it might be the most destructive tool for reading the Bible as Scripture.

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    Over the last two months I have introduced and explained a “coaching” model for teaching that I believe has greater potential for encouraging deeper, more transformative learning. Unfortunately, not many of us are teaching in this way and we need to begin changing how we prepare our lessons and how we use our time as we teach our students. This month and next I want to share about a dozen ideas for how to begin moving from a “teaching for knowing” to a “teaching for growing” ministry. After these blogs I’ll go back and spend more time on issues of how we prepare for our teaching, how we move beyond teaching for knowing in our use of time in the group, and how to develop a longer-term approach to promoting growth through our teaching. First, how do we begin to teach more like a coach?

  • Walt Russell — 

    My 83-year-old mother has dementia. To help me work through the pain of this living death, I recently gave her a gift she was not able to receive: a letter commemorating her 10th anniversary in the nursing home.

  • Erik Thoennes — 

    A book I wrote came out today. It's called Life's Biggest Questions: What the Bible Says about the Things That Matter Most (Crossway). I pray it will help people to know God and his truth better.

  • Clint Arnold — 

    It is not uncommon to go through periods in life when God feels aloof and unconcerned. Are you facing a time like that now?

  • Ben Shin — 

    Choosing the right leaders helps determine good leadership. This is true for every organization that requires leadership. Even the business world understands this important axiom. Jim Collins for example in his book Good to Great uses the analogy of getting the “right people on the bus” before any kind of leadership could move, develop, or flourish. This is not only a proven principle from experience but also something that the Pastoral Epistles certainly emphasizes. This is why following the prescription of what makes a good leader according to the Word of God is so crucial for the church. Without referring to the qualities mentioned in the Scripture, potentially wrong criteria could be imposed in choosing leaders for the church and this would be tragic!

  • Matthew Williams — 

    SHAME REMOVED; HONOR RECEIVED, PART 3 --Jesus' interactions with people in the Gospel of John...and today This is the third part of a series that looks at events in the Gospel of John in which we find Jesus interacting with various people who need help—physical help and spiritual help. In John 4, Jesus speaks with a Samaritan woman. It is interesting that John records this interaction right after his interaction with Nicodemus. The Samaritan woman could not be more different than Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a male Jew, a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council, and was Israel’s teacher (3:1, 10). He was the epitome of the best of the best that Israel had to offer.

  • Jeffrey Volkmer — 

    This is the first part of a two part mini-series that will seek to answer two questions regarding the large portions of legal corpora spread through the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible, known by the Hebrew term Torah and often translated into English as "Law." In Part I we will ask the question "What Is It?" and in Part II to appear next month, we will consider the question "What Is It For?" not only for ancient Israel, but also its relation and significance for modern day Christians.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    If you think the book of Ruth is some kind of self help program to become the best mother-in-law (or daughter-in-law), you will have missed the whole idea of why it's included in Scripture. It was written by one who carefully, skillfully, and dramatically records - with a surprise ending to the book - the events of a seemingly insignificant, desperate family. I brought this message to the audience attending Biola's chapel on Grandparents Day. It's 22 minutes short, but "the view is spectacular."