Category Archives: hermeneutics

Seeing the Real World – What Is Biblical Theology by Dr. James Hamilton, a Review and Recommendation

hambkJames M. Hamilton, Jr., What Is Biblical Theology? A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 128pp.  Paperback & Kindle editions available.

This book helped me understand the Bible better, and this book makes me want to read the Bible more.  I will explain why.

Dr. Jim Hamilton, associate professor of biblical theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has a blessedly infectious love for the Word of God.  Thankfully, his answer to the question of his title, What Is Biblical Theologyis not that it is some dry, academic enterprise that you must trudge through if you want to understand the Bible.  Rather, his answer reveals a gateway to a breathtaking, overwhelmingly glorious new world, that is, in fact, the reality of which the Bible speaks.  Biblical theology is “the interpretive perspective reflected in the way the biblical authors have presented their understanding of earlier Scripture, redemptive history, and the events they are describing, recounting, celebrating, or addressing” throughout the various types of literature that make up the Bible.  Hamilton’s definition stands in stark contrast to approaches to biblical theology that purport to analyze each biblical author or book on its own terms to show an evolution of thought, including the discarding or twisting of previous ideas.  The author is obviously immersed in the Scriptures, making a plethora of connections between texts.  What Is Biblical Theology? unashamedly affirms, with Jesus and the apostles, the unity of the entire Bible and each part of it as a piece of a bigger storyline of God redeeming His people by salvation through judgment, to the praise of His glory.

Summary

Hamilton easily grabs attention with captivating storytelling.  He shows the relevance of biblical theology in pointing to reality that we miss because we’re not saturated with Bible truth.  He tells a moving personal experience of a man on his death bed, a man for whom the reality of the unseen world was alive and compelling.  Biblical theology will prepare us to die well.  How many other topics for books can you recommend for that purpose?

The book draws from the Bible to give a framework helpful to read the Bible in order to motivate readers to eagerly do just that.  Hamilton helps us think through our approach to reading the Bible with his impassioned coverage of the Bible’s big story, its symbolism and patterns, and the God’s purpose for the church.

The author describes the setting of the biblical story as a “cosmic temple,” where the world God created is “a place in which God is known, served, present, and worshiped.”  God’s enemy, Satan, and his “seed,” seek destruction of God’s temple, but only succeed in defiling it.  God promises restoration and gives Israel a picture of it through the tabernacle, and later, the temple.  The hope of restoration is encapsulated in the prophecy that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent, which is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord and the Savior of all sinners who will turn to Him.  Through His death, He redeems, and, as a result, all things will one day be restored in the New Creation.

The book looks at the Bible’s symbolism, tracing the prolific usage of tree, flood, and temple imagery through the Bible.  These symbols remind us of things like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the catastrophic flood of God’s judgment, and the temple where God was to be approached, served, and worshiped.  They point forward to a tree where a Redeemer would die, a future worldwide judgment, and a time and place where the whole New Creation is God’s new temple.

Hamilton writes about typology in various people, events, and institutions in the Bible, but is careful to distance himself from the wild, unchecked allegorical interpretation often associated with that term.  Biblical typology has to be grounded in “historical correspondence and escalation.”  The Bible is historically accurate, and when it describes Noah and Moses and what they experienced, what the first Passover was like, and the regulations God established for the temple, it is telling the truth.  Yet in those people, events, and institutions, we can see patterns that God repeats in history, in a way that is both similar and escalated, in their fulfillment in Jesus.

For example, we see that

Moses led Israel out of slavery in Egypt; Jesus saved his people from their slavery to sin.  Moses led Israel into a shadow of the new Eden, the Land of Promise; Jesus will lead his people into the new and better Eden, the new heaven and earth.

The book culminates in an intense focus on the church and her relationship to Christ.  Those who have faith in Christ should see themselves as sheep of the Shepherd, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit.  We see, not only in Christ, but also in the church, a fulfillment of God’s great story.

Just as God put Adam in the garden to extend its borders so that Yahweh’s glory would cover the dry lands as the waters cover the sea, God put Israel in the land to take up that same task, giving them a preview of what it would look like when he filled tabernacle and temple with his glory.  Jesus sent his disciples on the same errand to all nations:  as disciples are made, the temple grows, the place of God’s presence expands, and God’s glory spreads over the dry land.  In the age to come, these realities will be fully realized.  The earth will be full of the knowledge of the glory of God.

Why You Should Read This Book

1. It will give you a helpful framework to read the Bible, a framework derived and distilled from the Bible itself.

2. This book will remind you that we’re in a different story that the world is telling, and that we need to know and live by the truth.

3. It demonstrates that one can be blown away by the breathtaking vistas in the Bible and its overarching story and still trust it in the details.  While seeing a cosmic temple setting, Hamilton also dismisses evolution as a “creation myth” incompatible with the Bible and as part of the world’s story, in contrast to reality, which is what the Bible presents.  Hamilton sees no false dichotomy between seeing the Bible as beautiful and varied in its genres, and as trustworthy for all its assertions.

4. This book will show you who you are.  If you’re not in Christ, you’re on the losing side, and there is no hope.  But if you will trust in Christ, you will find acceptance, assurance, confidence, victory, and a transformed life that delights in God’s glory and God’s story.

5. The book is a good on-ramp into reading the Bible.  The most remarkable thing about this book is that it points away from itself.  Even though the author lists some recommended reading at the end, the focus of the book is on getting the reader to personally encounter and engage the text of Scripture.  You will be directed in mind and affections right into the Bible with Hamilton’s brevity (128 pages) as well as the excitement and urgency that permeate the book.  Hamilton writes, “The best way to learn biblical theology, the best way to get yourself out of the world’s way of thinking and into the Bible’s is to study the Bible itself.  Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.  Read the Bible.  A lot.”

I want to go back and revisit What Is Biblical Theology? sometime, but the reason I wish to do so is that it will help me return to the Bible with a fresh, big picture perspective that keeps the main themes of the forest of Scripture on my radar so I don’t get lost in the trees.  This book promotes a love for Bible reading and Bible study, and I highly recommend it.  Get it, and read the Bible with a new wonder, appreciation, and anticipation to understand the unfolding of God’s story for His beloved.

Crossway provided a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page program, in exchange for an honest review.

On a side note, if you are as intrigued as I was by the cover art for the book, see the author’s explanation here.

If you are interested in a fuller treatment of themes explored in this book, Hamilton’s full-length look at each book of the Bible will serve you well:  God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment.

Genesis 1-11: Its Foundational Nature, Context, and Special Relevance for Israel

Genesis 1-11 is the introduction to the rest of the Bible.  In its original context, when it was first given in the Book of the Law, Genesis 1-11 introduced the nation Israel to their place in the world.

When Moses received the Law, he substantially had the materials we know as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  Advocates of the “documentary hypothesis of the Pentateuch” notwithstanding, Scripture, including the very words of Jesus, attributes authorship of the first five books of the Bible to Moses (Matt 8:4, 19:7-8; Mark 7:10, 12:26; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:46-47, 7:19; Acts 6:14, 13:39, 15:5; 1 Cor 9:9; 2 Cor 3:15; Heb 10:28).

The exodus of Israel from Egypt marked a huge turning point in their history (chronicled in the book of Exodus).  They began as a people because of a miraculous fulfilled promise of a son to Abraham and Sarah.  They multiplied to become a large number of people.   God rescued them from slavery in Egypt, and would bring them to the land he promised Abraham.

When God raised up Moses, his chosen prophet and leader, He gave Moses instructions to pass on to the nation.  They needed to know their history and background in order to prepare for the challenges of going in to a new land.  When one reads Genesis 1-11 with the knowledge of Moses’ authorship and the timing of Israel receiving the book, it helps one see some particular angles of relevance.

Israel was coming from Egypt and heading into Canaan.  Both places were inhabited by people with polytheistic religions with many immoral and wicked practices.  Genesis presents the creation of the world by ONE sovereign, almighty, all-wise God, who is before and who reigns over all of the things He created, and who sets the standards by which we live and the grounds on which we approach Him.

Genesis is an inspired history that, among other things:

  • presents one God, not many gods (chapter 1).
  • shows us the character of God.  He is active; omnipotent; wise; good; merciful; involved; authoritative; righteous; patient, and more.
  • presents man as the special creation of God, made in His image, to carry out His commands (1:26-28).
  • reveals God as the Creator and rightful Definer of the parameters of marriage and sexual activity (2:24-25).
  • gives man a pattern for a work week with a day of rest, recognized in the Ten Commandments (cf. chapter 1 with Exod 20:11).
  • shows the origin and effects of sin, which is disobedience to God that resulted in much human suffering and in death itself (chapter 3).
  • shows that failure to live in submission to God’s rule results in banishment (chapter 3).  It happened to Adam and Eve (placed in and then expelled from a garden they didn’t make) and it would happen to Israel if they did not keep God’s commands as they went to Canaan (Deut 28).
  • reveals the inability of man to cover his own sin and the need for a God who takes initiative, promises to defeat our enemy, promises a Savior, and who covers our sin through the death of an innocent victim (all in chapter 3, and ultimately fulfilled in Jesus).
  • shows God is pleased by faith in Him (Chapter 4).
  • shows the blessing of walking with God and calling on Him (Chapter 4-5).
  • demonstrates the propensity of mankind to forget the true God (Chapter 5).
  • reveals mankind is universally sinful and deserves universal judgment (the Flood, chapters 6-9).
  • shows Canaan was cursed (chapter 9).  Good for them to know that as they’re going into Canaan land to conquer!
  • shows nations and languages originated from God’s judgment on man’s pride at Babel (chapters 10-11).
  • shows that Abram (Abraham) had a definite historical connection that could be traced back to the first man, Adam. (Genealogies in chapter 5, 11).
  • demonstrates that Israel and all other nations and people came from the same human background, as far as Adam/Eve and Noah/his wife were concerned, but Noah’s descendants became the ancestors of more specific people groups.  Yet all these are made in God’s image.

These points were especially pertinent to the nation as they were about to conquer a culture that distorted and perverted many of these ideas.  The content of Genesis 1-11 (the history of the world up to the time of Abraham) calls into question those who claim Genesis was written far later than the days of Moses.  The truth of Genesis was truth the people needed to know and heed as they obeyed God’s commands and took the Promised Land.

This article was originally posted at Gazing at Glory.

Christ Defines a “Christian View” of Scripture

What does it mean to have a “Christian” viewpoint about something?  Various people and groups who would take the name “Christian” have a variety of views about matters such as baptism and church government, who can serve as pastors, Christian liberty, and what science does or doesn’t prove.  Various folks who call themselves “Christians” even differ on the exact identity of Christ!

Many of us who do agree on the person of Christ — that He is eternally God, who became a man, lived a perfect life, died on the cross for sinners, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is physically returning one day — are willing to acknowledge others as believers even if we disagree on some secondary (but not unimportant) issues.  One of the reasons we can agree to disagree is because we share the same authority – the Bible (Old and New Testaments).  We just disagree on how to interpret it and apply it when we come to certain key passages and issues.  But as those who trust Christ as Savior and Lord, we cannot give any approval to a view that calls itself “Christian” while standing in stark opposition to what Christ Himself actually said and did, anymore than we could pretend that play money was a legitimate form of currency.

The good news of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Each of these Gospels focuses on the Person and work of our Lord.  One fascinating and helpful thing we can learn about Jesus is how He viewed Scripture, demonstrated in his quotation, application, and teaching about God’s written Word.  Looking at Jesus’ use of Scripture answers several questions for us and helps us test whether our view of the Bible is truly a “Christ”-ian view.

DID JESUS BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES WERE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE?

Some who claim a “Christian” view of the Bible have alleged that it is reliable in regard to spiritual matters, but when it comes to history, it has mistakes.  What did the Son of God think?

In his article, “Embracing Christ’s View of Scripture,” Terry Mortenson observes:  “Jesus acknowledged that Adam and Eve were the first married couple (Matthew 19:3–6; Mark 10:3–9) and Abel was the first prophet and was martyred (Luke 11:50–51). He believed the accounts of Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24:37–39), Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28–32), Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), Moses and the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14), the manna from heaven (John 6:32– 33, 6:49), the miracles of Elijah (Luke 4:25–27), Jonah and the big fish (Matthew 12:40–41)—the list goes on.

“Jesus did not allegorize these accounts but took them as real events that actually happened just as the Old Testament describes. He used these past events to reassure His disciples that the future events of His own death, Resurrection, and Second Coming would likewise certainly happen in time-space reality.”

A truly Christian view of the Bible trusts its complete reliability – even to the point of historical persons and details.

DID JESUS BELIEVE THAT THE SCRIPTURES WERE WITHOUT ERROR?

Some claim a “Christian” view of the Bible, yet they freely confess their belief that this Book that claims to come from God has errors.  What did Jesus believe?

Jesus said:  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18).  He also said, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

In “The Christian’s View of Scripture,” Kevin DeYoung explains, “The word for ‘broken’ (luo) in verse 35 means to loose, release, dismiss, or dissolve. It carries here the sense of breaking, nullifying, or invalidating. It’s Jesus way of affirming that no word of Scripture can be falsified. No promise or threat can fall short of fulfillment. No statement can be found guilty of error. For Jesus—just as for his Jewish audience—he believed Scripture was the word of God, and as such, it would be gross impiety to think that any word spoken by God, or committed to writing by God, might be an errant word, a wrong word, or a broken word.”

When the Sadducees tried to trick Jesus with a question about the resurrection (a teaching they did not believe), Jesus reprimanded them by saying, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).  Jesus proceeded to prove the resurrection from a simple, but key, verb tense: God said I am (not was) the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  From this minute detail Jesus proved the resurrection and stated that God is not the God of the dead but of the living.  If Jesus thought there were errors in the Scripture, how could he know the Scriptures to be one of the things that could have kept the Sadducees from erring?

A truly Christian view of the Bible agrees with Christ, that God gave the Scriptures with no errors.

DID JESUS BELIEVE THAT THE SCRIPTURES WERE AUTHORITATIVE?

Christ’s view of the Scripture not only included belief in its historical reliability and inerrancy, but also its authority.

Jesus openly rebuked religious leaders who elevated human traditions above the commandment of God, recorded in Scripture (Matthew 15:1-9).

When Jesus faced temptation from Satan to turn stones into bread if He was really the Son of God (after being declared the Son of God publicly at His baptism and after fasting in the wilderness forty days), He responded, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  As the Son of God, Jesus subjected Himself to the authority of Scripture, called it necessary for life, and identified it as something that calls for our obedience.

As the Word of God, the Scriptures come from God and carry the divine authority by implication.  A truly Christian view of the Bible agrees with Jesus, who taught their divine authority.

DID JESUS BELIEVE THAT THE SCRIPTURES POINTED TO HIMSELF?

Another distinguishing mark of a Christian view of Scripture that follows Christ, is seeing Christ as the fulfillment of numerous Old Testament prophecies.

After His baptism and temptation, Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue (a prophecy of the Messiah/Christ from Isaiah 61).  After reading it, He said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:16-32).

Jesus pointed out the irony of those who thought the Scriptures gave them life, telling them that they should search them, because they “testify of Me,” yet they would not come to Him, that they might have life (John 5:39-40).  He said Moses himself would indict them for their unbelief, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47)

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus met two confused disciples and “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).  He also said, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” and showed them how the written Word of God had told of the sufferings and resurrection of Him, the One in whose name they were to go forth and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:44-47).

A truly Christian view of the Bible sees it as a book that is historically accurate, inerrant, authoritative, and prophetic.

DOES JESUS APPROVE OF YOUR “CHRISTIAN” VIEW?

Jesus once said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?”  In a similar manner, if we cannot trust the Bible to give us an accurate account of the origin of the universe, the history of mankind, the record of the nation Israel, details about Jesus and the apostles, etc… how can we possibly trust it when it comes to matters of unseen, eternal things?  If we don’t believe Genesis, how can we believe the Gospel of John?  If we claim to be Christians, how can we justify identifying as Christian a view that opposes what Christ Himself taught?

The last word on the written Word has been spoken by Him Who is the incarnate Word.  Let us honor and trust Him by letting Him define what is truly a “Christ”-ian view and taking His word for it.

BookCoverKeepingtheFaithinaChristianCollegeKINDLEThis article originally appeared in the Common Ground Herald.  An adapted version of it appears in my book, Keeping the Faith in a Christian College.

Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven (which looks at what the Bible does and doesn’t teach, not at unverifiable human interest accounts), is on sale for 99 cents for Kindle. The place I saw this deal said this could be for part of the day, so if you’re interested, act now. 

Book Review: Knowable Word by Peter Krol

kwPeter Krol, Knowable Word (Cruciform Press, 2014) available for Kindle and in paperback, 120 pp.

Reviewed by Doug Smith

When I was a child, I had an unusual fixation with instruction manuals.  I actually enjoyed reading about how to use a toy, game, or electronic device.  There was just something about reading a description of how something was supposed to work, and figuring out how to understand the description, comparing  it to what I was doing, and seeing if I could apply what I just read that I found satisfying, especially if I got a better result than what I had previously achieved.

I can’t think of any higher compliment about Knowable Word than that it is a good instruction manual that is enjoyable to read and easy to use.  Three attributes that distinguish Peter Krol’s book from other books on hermeneutics, or how to interpret and study the Bible, are its brevity, clarity, and practicality.

Knowable Word is a brief, quick on-ramp into the world of Bible study.  There are plenty of tomes on Biblical interpretation.  There are books about an abundance of introductory matters about Bible study that never actually get one into the Bible study.  Some of these books are hundreds of pages, but Krol’s is only 120.  Its length makes it possible to read in a couple of hours.  Reading it in a single sitting can help the reader more easily get the whole picture of what the author is saying, and get to work putting the book into practice.

Knowable Word is a clear book.  Its clarity is achieved by its focused vision to present a method of Bible study that is faithful to Scripture, easy to remember, and easy to apply.  The three step method?  Observe.  Interpret.  Apply.  Krol grounds this traditional “OIA” method in Scripture, showing how Jesus used this methodology to point out things to His hearers (Matt. 21:42-44).  He also shows how it works in normal human communication, as we see something, consider its meaning, and then choose a response based on what we have seen and interpreted.  Krol also gives an overarching vision of the Bible as a book that points us to Christ.  He takes us to Luke 24 to show us how Jesus viewed Scripture as pointing to Himself, and challenges us to look for themes that relate to the suffering and death of the Messiah, the need for repentance and forgiveness of sin, and the proclamation of the good news to all nations (Luke 24:46-47).

Krol’s writing style is direct and straightforward.  He does not get bogged down with a myriad of alternative views of scholarly theories, but focuses on explaining the OIA method in a simple manner.

The author primarily limits his examples of Bible study methods to Genesis 1, which he takes on its own terms, rather than importing ideas foreign to the text to shape his interpretation  This approach remains consistent throughout the book.  We do not have to constantly change gears to other types of literature as we are learning the method.

Krol gives clarity by way of contrast.  He argues that familiarity is our biggest enemy to observing what Scripture actually says, since we are not as active to observe that which we believe we already know.  Presuming that we understand something is an obstacle to discovering the right interpretation.  The inertia in our lives makes it difficult to want to budge and dig into the hard work of application, which leads to change.

Knowable Word is a practical book.  Krol quickly and clearly shows us how to put our Bible study into practice.  He focuses both on our internal beliefs and character as well as our outward actions toward others.  Examples from his own life, as he applies his study of Genesis 1 to his own aversion to home improvement projects, are illuminating and give good suggestions for us to think about when applying the Scripture.  The book also provides exercises and access to printable worksheets for working through the phases of observation, interpretation, and application, with suggestions of the things we need to look for and consider.

Krol’s book is a great instruction manual for reading the Bible.  It doesn’t go on forever, but gives you the basics so you can jump right in and start studying.  It doesn’t over-complicate things, but is clear in its instruction.  It’s practical, and you can immediately see the usefulness of the method Krol explains.  Knowable Word is thorough and clear enough that you can read it once and remember its gist as you put its principles to work.  Yet, it is a good reference to go back to when needing to remind yourself how you can dig deeper.

Knowable Word is a helpful resource that can introduce readers to basic Bible study methods they can learn “in five minutes” and master “over a lifetime,” as Krol states in chapter 1.  I plan to use this book to help others of all ages learn how to study the Bible for themselves, in hopes that they will better know Jesus and pass this method on to others as well.

The book also has a website with resources here.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free eBook of this title from Cruciform Press in exchange for an honest review.

The book is available for $5.99 for Kindle and $8.99 for paperback.

This view was originally posted at my personal blog.

DEAL ALERT: Free AiG Video Download “Stop Trusting Man’s Word”

stmwI highly recommend this video.  It’s available for free as a digital download that will play on computers and mobile devices.  Here’s the info, from Ken Ham at Answers in Genesis:

You can download this video free until Sunday night. (It’s normally $12.99 on DVD.) Share this with your friends and encourage them to download and view “Stop Trusting Man’s Word” too! Simply go to the Answers in Genesis online store and download it now. I think you’ll find a whole new level of confidence in the truth of the Bible!

The special code to use for the free download is: TRUSTING. We can’t afford to do this sort of thing too often, but right now you can download it free.

Updates, Links, and Deals for 5/11/2014

Updates Links and Deals

Interview with Pastor Kevin DeYoung about taking God at His Word (Hoping to post a full review of this book in the next few weeks)

Interview with Dr. Alex Chediak on preparing your teens for college

Top Ten Christian Books (Plus One) For Graduates (in case you missed it last week)

Three on the Trinity:

How Does the Trinity Apply Practically to My Life

Trinity as Foundational for Family Ministry

How Does the Trinity Apply Practically to Your Life Today

“Ultimate Proof of Creation” – a good overview of apologetics by Dr. Jason Lisle:

Deals:  The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts is FREE in multiple electronic formats this month, from Ligonier Ministries.

10 Awesome and Free eBooks online

My book Keeping the Faith in a Christian College is FREE each Sunday in May for Kindle.  I wrote this in hopes that it will help students and graduates of Christian colleges that do not hold firmly to the truth.  It’s also just 99 cents the rest of the time if you buy the print version from Amazon.

300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans – FREE for Logos this month

Updates Links and Deals How to Make Sure Your Marriage Ends in Divorce – The title of this series should get our attention; the content in the series can change our lives and marriages for the better (to avoid drifting apart!).  I highly commend all five parts to your reading; if you are married or counsel those who are, this is well worth your time: Part 1       Part 2      Part 3       Part 4       Part 5

Children’s Bible Reading plan – This plan is very flexible, adaptable and brief.  It gives a good jumpstart without overwhelming.  We now have three children who have been engaging with God’s Word daily, which is good for mom’s and dad’s accountability as well.

Is Genesis 1-11 a Derivation from Ancient Myths?

4 Practical Ways to Welcome Autism into Your Church

Have you heard of Brian McLaren?  Beware if you hear of him or his influence.  Tim Challies tells us about the danger of McLaren’s false teaching.

Deals: My book Keeping the Faith in a Christian College is FREE each Sunday in May for Kindle.  I wrote this in hopes that it will help students and graduates of Christian colleges that do not hold firmly to the truth.

300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans – FREE for Logos this month

Updates Links and Deals

Please make time to listen to this message from Kevin DeYoung: “Never Spoke a Man Like This Before: Inerrancy, Evangelism, and Christ’s Unbreakable Bible”  For professing Christians who claim that the Bible isn’t historically accurate…. well, JESUS disagrees with them. Faith-strengthening, encouraging — praise be to God for giving us His trustworthy Word!  DeYoung has a book, just released, on this topic, Taking God at His Word.  I just read it and I cannot recommend it highly enough (here’s the link for Amazon).

Sermon Description:  In this sermon, primarily from the Gospel of John, Kevin DeYoung argues that Scripture’s inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency provides a foundation for both the truth of the gospel and our confidence in evangelism. Christians believe this not because of a modern, man-made ideal of “inerrancy,” but because Jesus himself thought and taught this way. As DeYoung said, “It’s impossible to uphold the Bible more than Jesus did.”

I am working on the final touches of a book addressed to students at Christian colleges, particularly about the compromise some may face in the classroom.  Lord willing, it will be released on Amazon Kindle this week.

I’ve also read a bit in The Diary of Alvin York, the World War I hero.  Fascinating first-hand account.

Tim Challies says that in our preaching we may be shortchanging folks of the most important thing we can share with them.

Deals:

The following deals are good through April 30:

John MacArthur’s books on prayer and worry are 99 cents.  (Alone with God: Discovering the Passion and Power of Prayer and Anxious for Nothing: God’s Cure for the Cares of Your Soul.)

R. C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross is free this month as an MP3 audio download.

The following deals are good through May 11:

J. I. Packer, Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging (99 cents)

Andreas J. Köstenberger & Justin Taylor, The Final Days of Jesus:  The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived  (99 cents)

James N. Anderson, What’s Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions (99 cents)

John MacArthur, The Silent Shepherd (book on the Holy Spirit) (99 cents)

And…

Mark Dever’s book, The Church: the Gospel Made Visible is 99 cents for Kindle.  Gospel eBooks doesn’t say how long this deal is good, but the print list price is $12.99.

Updates, Links, and Deals for 4/20/2014

Updates Links and Deals

Placing the Cross in History – Can we know the exact date of Christ’s death, based on the information we have in Scripture?

Five Errors to Drop from Your Easter Sermon

Why It Matters Theologically and Historically that Women Were First to the Tomb

David Platt on Why We Should Not Believe “Heaven Is for Real”

Deals:

The following deals are good through April 21st:

R. C. Sproul, The Work of Christ – 1 cent (yes ONE CENT) through April 21.

John MacArthur, Saved without a Doubt: Being Sure of Your Salvation – 1 cent through April 21

More e-book deals that are good through April 21 (although one of the books on sale ends today) at the David C. Cook Super Sale

The following deals are good through April 22:

D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers – $3.99 and worth every penny.

Zach Eskwine, Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect with Our Culture – also an excellent resource/handbook for $3.99

Not sure how long these are for, but they’re likely temporary:

Mark Dever & Greg Gilbert, Preach: Theology Meets Practice (99 cents)

An Approach to the Extended Memorization of Scripture – practical help to memorizing entire books of the Bible and long passages (and retaining them) – 99 cents

Best Evidences Pocket Guide from Answer in Genesis: Science and the Bible refute millions of years. Written by Larry Pierce , Dr. Terry Mortenson , Dr. Jason Lisle , Dr. Don DeYoung , Dr. Georgia Purdom , Dr. Danny Faulkner , Dr. Andrew Snelling and Ken Ham — Use Code EBFREE to get it free

For the whole month of April:

John MacArthur’s books on prayer and worry are 99 cents through April 30.  (Alone with God: Discovering the Passion and Power of Prayer and Anxious for Nothing: God’s Cure for the Cares of Your Soul.

R. C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross is free this month as an MP3 audio download.