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Paul’s Mystery is not a Whodunit, but a Who is it

We are accustomed to thinking of a mystery as a riddle to be solved, a puzzle that is hard to decipher, but in the New Testament, it is something different than this. A mystery is a gift to the believer, something God wants us to search out, indeed to revel in, because of the substance of God’s mysteries. The word mystery occurs 27 times in the New Testament. rsion—a translation known for its consistency. 20…

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Historical Adam and the Doctrine of Salvation

The early record of Genesis is the locus of all manner of speculation, from young earth creationists to allegorical views that see the book as little more than one tribe’s attempt to explain the mysteries of the cosmos. Aside from how God has created all things seen and unseen is the question of whether the first man was an actual being, or whether he is simply a genus, a middle eastern explanation of humanity. The…

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Hymns are Hyperlinks to God’s Truth

One of the things that hymnology does is to reinforce our doctrine and theology. That’s not the only thing it does, but it is an important thing. As Christian worship has become more experiential in its expression, one of the dangers is that this undergirding of doctrine gets diminished. For the hymnwriters of previous eras, many of whom were steeped in Scripture, their words were a kind of precis of biblical truth. The writer expected…

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Encourage Those Whom You Think Don’t Need It

The character of the first churches in the New Testament varies widely. Most were founded in trial and affliction, and often there were issues that needed to be addressed. In Phillippi, a couple of women had some disagreement Paul needed to straighten out. The Galatians were in grave danger of accepting another gospel, and the Corinthians had a load of problems. Paul’s counsel and at times, rebuke, of them spans two letters. It is almost…

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The crux of the Reformation is a question of authority

Authority is found in God’s Word, not in the Church Heiko Oberman summarized one aspect of Luther’s view of Scripture as follows: “The Church is the creation of the Word, but the Word can never be the creation of the Church.” This 500th anniversary month of the Reformation is a good time to revisit the truth this presents. One nexus of the Reformation difference is one of authority. For the evangelical, authority is in the…

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The Case for Domestic Pacifism

Is our hope in superior fire power? The Washington Post re-ran a piece by John Piper, titled Should Christians Arm Themselves? that presents a counterargument to Jerry Falwell Jr.’s recent comments that Liberty University students should carry guns. Falwell’s comments came in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings, attributed to Islamic terrorism. Piper’s argument is that it is not consistent with the teaching of the New Testament that Christians face inevitable persecution with armed resistance. His position…

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The Irrelevance of Relevance

Relevance may be just another word for compromise. A recent piece by Allen Guelzo titled The Illusion of Respectability calls attention to the uneasy relationship that christian academics have with higher education. Guelzo is specifically addressing those who choose a career in academia and who will be faced with what he calls the “lust for respectability.”  Is there discrimination against christians in higher ed? Most certainly. That fact will lead many to compromise and Guelzo’s plea is to recognize anew…

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