Posts from July 2011

Scripture and Extra-Biblical Sources?

By Edward W. Klink III Jul. 28, 2011 12:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament

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.


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Teaching Deeper, Part VI

By Kevin Lawson Jul. 20, 2011 1:15 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education

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?

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The Tale of Two Daughters - Mark 5

By Betsy Barber Jul. 18, 2011 8:00 p.m. New Testament, Spiritual Formation

I have been sitting in the Gospel of Mark for several days, and The Tale of Two Daughters in Mark 5 has caught my soul’s attention.  You remember how the last half of the chapter goes:  Jesus has just demonstrated his authority over creation by calming the storm on the sea for his disciples, has demonstrated his authority over evil by casting out a legion of demons from the Gerasene man, and now has once more crossed the sea and landed on the shore where he is met by a great crowd of folks. 

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Revealed to Whom? (John 3:21)

By Gary Manning Jr Jul. 18, 2011 9:53 a.m. New Testament

I often get questions from students about the best translation of some verse. Usually, the difference is between "literal" translation (such as ESV or NASB) and "dynamic" translation (such as the NIV or NLT). These two types are also called "formal" (because they try, when possible, to follow the forms and word order of the original Greek or Hebrew sentences) and "functional" (because...

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The Millennium is not Heaven: Responding to an Amillennialist Misunderstanding of Premillennialism

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 14, 2011 12:56 p.m. New Testament, Theology

A couple years ago I sat in a lecture in which a local scholar-pastor presented arguments in favor of amillennialism.  As he described his own journey away from premillennialism into amillennialism, he said something that made me realize that many amillennialists misunderstand what premillennialists believe about the Millennium.  As he told his story he commented:  “I began to wonder why there was even a need for a Millennium since it was so much like the New Heaven and the New Earth.  God can bring his promises to fulfillment in the New Heaven and the New Earth.”  He had evidently been thinking of the Millennium in the same way as he had been thinking of the eternal state, so the Millennium eventually became redundant in his system, and he abandoned it.  As his lecture progressed it became clear that he (now as an amillennialist) assumed that this is what all premillennialists thought about the Millennium.

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"The Wingfeather Saga"

By Rob Lister Jul. 7, 2011 6:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation

Here’s a summer reading suggestion.  Take Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga for a spin.  It’s a stirring fantasy epic that is sure to delight both young and old in your home just as it has in ours. 

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"This Momentary Marriage"

By Rob Lister Jul. 6, 2011 9:44 a.m. Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently published a brief review of mine on John Piper’s book This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence.  I’m grateful for this book for many reasons.  It’s succinct, practical, and encouraging.  But the main thing I appreciated about it is the way Piper explicitly applied the God-centered meaning of marriage to the expressions of marriage (and singleness) that we experience in this life.

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