The Bible is not a simple compilation of disjointed stories. Everything is important to a particular end. What’s the focal point? Or should I ask, Who’s the focal point? From the first verse of Genesis to the last verse of Revelation, it’s about Jesus. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and […]
Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church and North Point Ministries (NPM). There are six locations throughout the greater Atlanta area. Each week, more than 30,000 people attend services at NPM. He is the son of Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The elder Stanley is […]
Fiction was ambling along on his way to the movies, when Well-meaning Christian stepped out of the woods with a Condemnation Machine. Fiction was very afraid, but thankfully had a copy of the Bible in his back pocket. After reading some parables and poetic images in his defense, he felt safe from harm, until Well-meaning Christian pulled out a subtlety adapter +1 and attached it to his condemnation machine. Well-meaning Christian pointed the newly accessorized weapon at Fiction’s cousin, Fantasy. Well-meaning Christian would take no excuses from Fiction. He wanted Fantasy to speak for himself. When we left, Fantasy was poised to give a reason for his existence, but then the narrator abruptly concluded the episode, leaving Fantasy in a pitiable whirlpool of anxiety… Until now!
Is the fantasy genre really all that fantastic? Is it the worthy product of the imagination or the rotten fruit of vain speculation? Religious viewers of fictional stories often debate whether fantasy stories are safe entertainment or dangerous, subtle subversion of their essential values. Is there a place for magical, fantastical stories from other worlds necessitating deviations on real-world principles? Michael Minkoff exposes fact from fiction in today’s Movieology!
Is a Christian nation an “Old Testament nation?” Does the Bible tell Christians to follow Old Testament law to the letter? The idea of theonomy is not well-known, but it is strongly debated. Gary and Joel explain the what theonomy is and how it differs from Christian reconstruction.
The Bible was not written in such a way that only seminary-trained Christians are able to interpret it. Many young Christians believe that Bible interpretation is complicated so they lean heavily on study Bibles and the views of popular Bible teachers. To be sure, some passages are difficult to interpret. Even Peter admitted as much: […]
Whose version of Christianity should we follow? President Obama points out several different passages, which taken out of context and applied to situations that they weren’t given for, seem incongruous and unattainable. The New Testament is very clear that there are a number of issues that have changed sine the Old Testament. Unfortunately many Christians […]
The fourth question that is “transforming the faith,” according to author and speaker Brian McLaren, is the question of who Jesus is. This may seem to be something of an odd question because Christianity itself is dependent on the Person of Jesus. If we don’t know who Jesus is then we probably don’t know what Christianity is either. In fact, this is precisely the point McLaren is trying to make in this section of his book. He writes, “just saying the name ‘Jesus’ doesn’t mean much until we make clear which Jesus we are talking about. We must face the fact that many different saviors can be smuggled in under the name ‘Jesus,’ just as many different deities can be disguised under the term ‘God’ and vastly different ways of living can be promoted under the name ‘Christianity'” (p. 119). He is, of course, absolutely right about this, but simply making the observation that many different interpretations exist of who Jesus is doesn’t automatically make your interpretation the right one. We must now take a closer look at what McLaren claims the “real” Jesus is like.
As we continue through Brian McLaren’s new book, A New Kind of Christianity, we now come to his third question that is “transforming the faith.” This question concerns the seeming contradiction between the God that we read about in the Old Testament (OT) and the Jesus that we find in the New Testament (NT). It is often pointed out (usually by skeptics) that the “OT god” seems to be terribly bloodthirsty and sadistic, seeking to subjugate His people under laws and rules that they could never keep, while the Jesus of the NT seems to be one of forgiveness and love, seeking to spread grace as liberally as the OT god spread vengeance. This antimony between the testaments often causes problems for many Christians—McLaren among them—and often results in Christians being thoroughly unread and unfamiliar with the Old Testament, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the entire Bible.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu recently proclaimed the fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 37. Dispensationalist Jan Markell is excited that an authoritative Israelite is on the Bible prophecy bandwagon. What dispensationalists are not telling Israelites is that they believe two-thirds of them are potentially about to be wiped out! Gary DeMar reports on this and reflects on the errors of interpretations in Old Testament Scriptures that dispensationalists make.
How many times have you heard that the Ten Commandments are no longer necessary today? Or that since Christ said that He came to "fulfill the law" (Matthew 5:17), Christians are not obligated to them any longer. Or that the Ten Commandments were given to Israel, not modern America. The list could go on. Many Christians, unaware as they are of the Old Testament, make all sorts of bizarre remarks to avoid facing up to the fact of God’s law. The pertinent question has been phrased many different ways, but essentially it is this: "If not God’s law, which law? And if not God’s law, why not?" In other words, if God’s law has been set aside, which one do we put in its place? And, if we claim that God’s law is no longer binding on individuals, where do we get our biblical justification for claiming this? The answers have been many and varied, but they have seldom been convincing.
With the publication of E.C. Wines’ Laws of the Ancient Hebrews I’ve gotten some interesting emails from fellow Christians. Here’s a sample of responses when we asked the question, “Should Christians obey Old Testament Law?”:
The Church has been given two commissions, and both involve being “fruitful and multiplying.” Genesis 1:28 states to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Similarly, […]
St. Augustine is credited with this famous interpretation principle: The New is in the Old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed.
February 20th, 2008, at Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake Washington saw something, a total lunar eclipse also called a â€˜blood moon’ for its reddish hue