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  • The Good Book Blog

    John Hutchison — 

    Paradox has a prominent place in Christian theology. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it" ... While these paradoxical statements are challenging and even confusing at times, they can also become a source of great comfort and encouragement when life does not turn out the way we expect.

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    “Here I am again. What does it mean to do this in Christ?” This was my thought as I rode my carbon-fiber bicycle on the streets of Torrance on Sunday afternoon. I was nervously warming up for my first bicycle race after having been away from the sport for 19 years. Many things were familiar and came back to me automatically: pinning the race number on my jersey so the wind wouldn’t catch it, calming myself as I rode around the course, checking how the wind was blowing, and sliding in to the start line so as to be in the front.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Joanne Jung — 

    It's Good Friday, just after noon.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kenneth Berding — 

    If you could ask a dozen New Testament scholars to list the five most difficult passages in the New Testament, most would include Romans 7:14-25 on their list. That same group would likely disagree with one another on what interpretive framework is most helpful for interpreting that passage. (Even among those who blog at the Good Book Blog, I know for a fact that there is a diversity of opinion on how best to address this passage). Does Romans 7:14-25 describe Paul’s own struggle with sin as a believer? Does it describe the struggle with sin of someone who has not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, that is, an unbeliever? Perhaps it is the struggle of a pious old covenant Jew who loves the law of God but struggles to fulfill it? Or maybe it isn’t personal at all; maybe it is a grand analogy of the change from the old covenant to the new covenant?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Mick Boersma — 

    It happens every time. I’m pulling up to a red light and there’s a car or two in front of me. But the next lane over is clear. So what do I do? Pull over so I can be first in line when the light turns green, of course! (Unless the guy in front of me beats me to it!) Then there’s how slow my computer can be. What’s with that little colored wheel rotating around and around and around….while I wait for a function to be completed! I thought OS X 10.infinity was supposed make everything go faster!!

  • The Good Book Blog

    Tom Finley — 

    These observations are made independently of any current events taking place in the Middle East. They are offered to clarify from the Hebrew and certain ancient sources some of the issues that modern interpreters are raising from their understanding of Ezekiel 38.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Joe Hellerman — 

    At the intersection of Christian psychology and theology, much has been made in recent decades of our identity in Christ. I am assured that grasping the fact that I am “chosen, holy, and loved by God” (Colossians 3:12) is indispensable to a true view of myself as a Christian. Appropriating my identity in Christ forms the crucial foundation for healthy relationships with others, as well.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Mark Saucy — 

    So here on the eve of Biola’s Conference “Israel the Church and the Middle East Crisis” I’m flushed out of my long blog hiding (or lethargy). That’s right, my maiden venture to blog-country is urged by some real angst in my heart about neglect of Israel. Now, Israel-angst of this kind is a subgenus to a larger malady I’ve seen around me in evangelicalism for some time—Eschatolitis—a form of the passive neglect of doctrine in general, but in this case, the doctrine of the End Times.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Joanne Jung — 

    This post is written for and dedicated to those who desire a deeper communion with God through prayer and who struggle with distractions, distortions, or disillusionment.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kenneth Berding — 

    This past Christmas we purchased a cell phone for our 13 year old daughter (Ela), and added her to our family plan—including texting. (We blocked internet access.) Five years ago when we acquired phones for our two older daughters (now 22 and 20), texting was a small part of the culture; now it has permeated our culture. Because of this, we decided to write up a contract for our junior high daughter outlining our expectations for cell phone use—and texting in particular. Our daughter is quite responsible, and we’re confident that she will function well under these guidelines. But we thought it would be wiser to express our expectations up front than to attempt to “make it up” as we go. I share this “contract” with you in case you are a parent trying to figure out how to negotiate cell phone use—and texting in particular—with a middle-school-aged daughter. Feel free to use it, change it, send it, or ignore it. (This contract can also be used with a son if you make a few adjustments.)

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kenneth Way — 

    Human sacrifice is at once a most disturbing and inspiring theme of the Scriptures. It can demonstrate both what is wrong with the world and what is right. Let me explain.

  • The Good Book Blog

    David Talley — 

    Men are called to be leaders in their homes, but what does this mean? Does it mean that we make sure we pray with our families, have regular family Bible readings, own a good set of commentaries so we can be the “Bible Answer Man” when called upon, make sure the family is at church whenever the doors are open, create Power Point presentations to teach our family Bible doctrine, set up guidelines for our children that come straight out of the Bible, etc.? What does godly leadership look like on a day to day basis? In order to answer this question, I want to offer a definition of godly leadership in the home and then propose two major errors one makes in seeking to be a godly leader.

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History, Diana Lynn Severance (Ross-Shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2011) 336 pp. $15 ($12 on Amazon; or $11.39 on Kindle) Overall, the book is challenging and informative for me as a male Christian. I have been mostly ignorant of the many deep and lasting contributions of women throughout the history of the church. The fascinating chronicles informed me to be full of admiration for these particular women, and for Christian women throughout the world today who struggle for basic human rights. I recognize that women continue to be disregarded, demeaned, patronized, minimized, and marginalized in evangelical churches and Western cultures today. Severance’s book is the beginning of a helpful corrective for the church to value women as equal heirs of the gift of grace.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Joe Hellerman — 

    One of my scholarly and pastoral agendas over the years has been to try to augment the idea of “me-and-Jesus”—which is so dear to the hearts of Western evangelicals—with the idea of “us-and-Jesus,” a concept that also fills the pages of the New Testament.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Rob Lister — 

    One of the things I've struggled with over the years is knowing how to best pursue my own productivity goals. At various times, I’ve experienced everything from “productivity pride” to “productivity disappointment” to “productivity envy.” Along the way, I have learned that I don’t have to battle my productivity struggles in my own strength. And as a result of some of those lessons, I’ve collated a few items that I regularly pray for in relation to my productivity pursuits.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Uche Anizor — 

    Check out this excellent and thought provoking post by theologian Stephen Holmes from St. Andrews. Read the post here

  • The Good Book Blog

    Dave Keehn — 

    The model established by God through God’s people can be describe as such: begin religious instruction in the family home as spiritual practices, add knowledge through the larger community of faith, and provide mentoring from key spiritual leaders for specific practices and duties. Perhaps the greatest picture we have of the desired result of a healthy and effective youth ministry is the one given to us in the Gospel of Luke when describing Jesus as a young teenager. This installment finishes the series by looking at the New Testament's implications for youth ministry.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Clint Arnold — 

    Come and find out the answer to this question on Wednesday evening, March 7th, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Mayers Hall Auditorium at Biola University. This is the title of a free public lecture by Dr. Simon Gathercole, Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Cambridge. The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Klaus Issler — 

    Cinematic portrayals of Biblical stories can be a helpful means to encourage our Christian walk. Especially is this the case for me when I watch a movie about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Of course, not everything in a film will be theologically accurate—but no film can accomplish that task. A movie is the director’s and actors’ interpretation of the Gospel events. I have appreciated the following six movies about Jesus. There are sections in each film that touch me deeply and nurture deeper appreciation and love for our Lord. Perhaps one or more of these films will benefit you in the same way.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Octavio Esqueda — 

    These days have been filled with contrasts for me. In a way, we all face these contrasts, but when they are too close to each other, the tensions they produce literally move us from joy to tears. One the one hand, my baby daughter is now two-months-old. My wife and I celebrate the joy of her life and are thankful for the Lord’s blessing upon us. We are tired and somewhat sleep deprived, but her smile brings joy to our existence and reminds us about the goodness of life. On the other hand, however, it was the second anniversary of my dad’s passing and I find myself missing him more every day. Dead is as real as life and both bring deep emotions that flow from the core of our beings. Why can we be so happy and so sad at the same time?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Mick Boersma — 

    Rolane and I took home many impressions from our visit to Israel back in 1994. Not the least among them was the image of shepherds ‘abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock’. As we hurried in true western fashion from one important site to another, we came upon one or more of these caretakers seemingly just ‘hanging out’ with their wooly charges. We were impressed because their demeanor was in such sharp contrast to the model of shepherding we often see in our churches and ourselves. In the midst of hurrying about being faithful feeders, guides, guardians and healers of our people, we often neglect the power and blessing of just being there with them.

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    My students usually have trouble grasping Chalcedonian Christology that Jesus, God the Son, lives as one person in two natures, simultaneously. I’ve thought about this repeatedly enough that the traditional formulation feels familiar to me, but students hearing it for the first time are confounded. Maybe I should be confounded more myself, and allow the mystery to creep in more heavily when I consider the Incarnation. I like to add that it’s appropriate when we think about Jesus and the deep things of God that we feel a bit dizzy. But we still need to try and make sense of it however we may grasp at these deep things with our feeble minds. Often I find that the hardest thing is not in thinking that Jesus is eternally God the Son, or that he is a true human being, but that he lives a dual life by possessing both natures and living through them at the same time (the hypostatic union). The analogy I explain to them from our life experience is focused on understanding the simultaneity of the Incarnation for God the Son.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Uche Anizor — 

    Herman Bavinck helpfully (as usual) comments on a proper way to understand “tradition” and its relationship to Scripture and theology: “[F]or a correct understanding [of the Bible] it still often requires a wide range of historical, archaeological, and geographical skills and information. The times have changed, and with the times people, their life, thought, and feelings, have changed. Therefore, a tradition is needed that preserves the connectedness between Scripture and the religious life of our time. Tradition in its proper sense is the interpretation and application of the eternal truth in the vernacular and life of the present generation. Scripture without such a tradition is impossible . . ."

  • The Good Book Blog

    Joe Hellerman — 

    As part of a 16-week overview of the Story of Scripture, I am preaching on the Ten Commandments this Sunday at church. The Second Commandment, in particular, has generated a variety of explanations: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus 20:4). Why no images? Explanations vary, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Here are just a few:

  • The Good Book Blog

    Ben Shin — 

    The different tasks of leadership pose many challenges for a leader. It requires that the leader have a good sense of knowing the people well enough to relate to them but also for him to have a good sense of direction in terms of where he wants to lead them. Fundamentally, however, one of the most neglected aspects of leadership entails knowing exactly where the leader is in terms of self-awareness. In other words, the leader must have a good read on his own strengths and weaknesses in order to know how to best lead the people he shepherds over. This requires a strong sense of self-awareness of the leader in his giftedness, his personality, and his leadership style. This entry will examine the biblical encouragements for self-awareness and the hindrances that prevent his success in leadership.