Move over Millennials. A new generation is here. For the past decade, there has been considerable discussion about how to understand and reach Millennials. But now there is a new generation, roughly those born between 1995 and 2010, which are the newest focus.
Recently I was speaking to a group of pastors, youth pastors, and other church workers in Idaho. One pastor asked a question that, in my experience, perfectly captures the thinking process of many students today. He said, “My younger brother, a Millennial, is constantly on his cell phone. When I try to talk to him about God, he says that people disagree and so we simply can’t have any confidence at all in our beliefs.” How would you respond? Can we know things or are we lost in a sea of endless information?
My friend Ken Berding wrote a recent blog post explaining his concerns about using The Message. As he pointed out, people often treat it as a Bible translation, when it is actually a very loose paraphrase. One of Ken’s observations is that The Message routinely adds meaning to or subtracts meaning from the original Greek and Hebrew text. While doing detailed work in the Greek New Testament and in several English translations, I have repeatedly found this to be true.
The title of this post is the exact title of a new little book written by Andrew David Naselli & J. D. Crowley and published by Crossway. This new book is intended for a general Christian (non-academic) audience, addressing an oft-neglected subject: the conscience. Discussions of this topic have been few in recent years, despite the fact that the Greek word for “conscience” (συνείδησις) appears 30 times in the New Testament (20 times in the writings of Paul). The book is short (142 pages without the appendices and indices). Thankfully, it is also clearly written. One can easily imagine a book dealing with the so-called grey areas being less-than-clear. The authors have done a fine job in making a complicated subject easy-to-understand.
아버지는 78년 전에 한국의 작은 시골마을에서 태어났습니다. 어떻게 다리가 그렇게 되었는지는 모르지만, 아버지는 어렸을 때부터 다리가 매우 아프셨습니다. 나중에 알게 되었지만 아버지에게는 엉덩이 절구관절이 없어 걸을 때마다 허벅지 뼈가 골반을 찔렀습니다. 옛날50년대 한국에서는 이것이 아마 당연한 놀림거림이었을 것입니다. 그래서 아버지는 자라면서 육체적으로 그리고 심리적으로 많이 힘들었을 것입니다.
Do you like the idea of Advent candles, but you are confused about how to approach this family time? One of the biggest difficulties in our home through the years has been to find an advent candle reading plan that fit our family. We bought many books, searched websites, and listened to the ideas of others. Eventually, I made my own. I think that the following is a compilation of many resources, but it is what we have used to celebrate advent through the years. It is good for young and old alike, and I believe that it crystallizes the advent story.
My father was born 78 years ago in a small countryside village in Korea. We don’t know exactly what the story is or what happened, but since he was little he had a very bad limp — a disabled leg. We’d later find out that the whole ball socket of his hip was missing and that every time he took a step, his thighbone would stab his pelvis. It was painful both physically and emotionally, as you can imagine all the names he was called in mid-century Korea.
I love having conversations with people about spiritual matters. If we treat people with kindness, charity, and show a genuine interest in how they see the world, most people are open to discussing religious matters. In fact, in my experience, many people are eager for such conversations.
For a variety of reasons, I rarely respond publicly to other Christians. But in this case, I feel compelled to do so. Last week, in an effort to be compassionate and loving, popular Christian author Jen Hatmaker came out in support of LGBT relationships, referring to them as “holy.” While other Christian influencers have come out in favor of affirming theology, this caught my attention because my wife has personally benefited greatly from her books. In fact, she has even read out loud to me some particularly funny and insightful portions from one of Jen’s book.
En los próximos días terminará la campaña electoral para elegir al nuevo presidente de los Estados Unidos. Puede ser que cuando lea estas líneas estemos a pocas horas de las elecciones o quizá las votaciones ya hayan terminado. Independientemente del que resulte ganador, los últimos meses han sido muy pesados y el ambiente social demasiado tenso en todos los sentidos. Expresiones de desaliento, frustración o hartazgo se convirtieron en el común denominador para muchas personas que ven con alivio el fin de la larga carrera presidencial.
Every year, the week before Thanksgiving brings the annual scholarly conferences for biblical and theological studies. Like most years, Biola and Talbot professors and students are well represented at these meetings in a variety of ways. See a full list of speakers and topics in this post.
It’s time we stopped reading, buying, and recommending The Message. We who hold to a high view of Scripture—that the Bible is the very word of God, inspired by God, inerrant in all it affirms—need to carefully reconsider our use of The Message. There actually wouldn’t be a problem at all if The Message were sold and treated as an interpretation of the Bible, or an expansive reading of the Bible. But as long as The Message continues to be marketed and used by preachers and teachers as a Bible translation, it is imperative that we ask the question of whether it is an accurate translation or not. I believe that the answer to this question is: The Message is not an accurate translation of what the original authors wrote.
This was a question posed to me by NBC News reporter John Larson a few years ago. The interview was part of a Dateline episode that explored the topic of Satan, evil spirits, and supernatural evil. As often happens in the editorial process, only a small portion of the 45-minute interview was included in the show. I thought I would share a more complete account of the interview.
How would you make a case for Christian sexual morality in a secular setting? Specifically, what would you say if you were asked to speak on the Christian view of homosexuality and same-sex marriage in a university classroom? This is exactly the opportunity that motivated pastor Matthew Rueger to start researching and studying Christian sexuality in depth, and ultimately to write the book Sexual Morality in a Christless World.
What was unique about Christian practices and teachings in the first three centuries of the church? And how did such a minority faith — which was considered irrelevant, extreme, and at odd with the role “religion” is supposed to play in a pagan society — ultimately prevail? In his recent book Destroyer of the gods, New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado focuses on the first of these questions. But his book also has powerful implications for the second.
Saturday, October 1, 2016, marked the publication of a tremendous evangelical resource for Russian-speaking students of the Bible. At the National Pedagogical University of Dragomanova in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Slavic Bible Commentary (hereafter SBC) was officially presented and highly celebrated. This project, five years in the making, incorporates the work of over 90 Slavic evangelical scholars.
Nabeel Qureshi is one of the leading apologists today on Islam. Raised in a devout Muslim home in the United States, Nabeel became a Christian in college. He records his faith journey in his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2014). His second book, Answering Jihad, was written as his response to the “why” behind the recent jihadist terrorist attacks. His latest book, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam & Christianity, released in August 2016. It is an excellent book for Christians to better understand Islam and how to answer tough questions Muslims often raise, but also a great book to give to your Muslim friend. Along with his M.D., Nabeel has three master’s degrees, including a master's in Christian apologetics from Biola University (where I teach). Coinciding with this latest book release, Nabeel was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer. Nabeel answers a few questions related to his most recent book in this blog post.
Each time I have read through The Chronicles of Narnia I have been struck by some apparent linguistic and cultural allusions to the Turkic-world in C.S. Lewis’s beloved series for children. Two of these seem beyond any reasonable doubt to be allusions to things Turkic, others seem very likely to connect somehow, and still others feel to the present author like connections, but may not in fact be.
As a non-specialist, I list these for the consideration of those who are more familiar with linguistic/cultural influences on Lewis than I. I am a professor of New Testament who happens also to fluently speak and read modern Turkish. Moreover, I genuinely admire Lewis’s writings. These are my only qualifications. Readers who understand Lewis can research my suggestions further.
For the past fifteen years (or so), I have had the privilege of speaking at camps, conferences, schools, churches, and universities worldwide. People quite frequently ask me what it takes to develop a speaking ministry. While there are certainly people with platforms far beyond mine, here are some personal thoughts that I hope will help those of you desiring to become a public speaker.
Professor Scott Rae is one of the leading Christian ethicists today. As an undergrad, I had the opportunity to take his class on business ethics...and it was one of my favorites. I have used his book Moral Choices for my high school honors Bible class, and I consider it one of the best texts on ethics. Now, he has written a short, concise introduction to ethics called Introducing Christian Ethics: A Short Guide to Making Moral Choices, which officially releases today. If you are looking for a book to use as a text for a class, a small group, or even personal study, this book would be an excellent choice. Dr. Rae briefly answered a few of my questions regarding ethics today.