R.C. Sproul on New Age Philosophy and The Other Worldview

The Other WorldviewAccording to Peter Jones, our culture as a whole has switched worldviews over the past few decades. Rather than maintaining a fundamental distinction between God and his creation, today’s predominate worldview sees everything as essentially one.

In his new book, The Other Worldview, Jones explains the difference between what he calls “Oneism” and “Twoism.” He exposes the pagan roots of Oneism, and he traces its spread and influence throughout Western culture. Most importantly, he shows us why Oneism is incapable of saving anyone or truly changing the world for the better.

Here’s an excerpt from R.C. Sproul’s foreword to The Other Worldview:

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See What N.T. Wright, Douglas Moo, and Other Top Scholars Have to Say about Romans 8:29–30

Lexham Bible Guide: RomansA few weeks ago, I explained why the Lexham Bible Guides have become some of my favorite resources. But the best way to see how helpful they are is to actually use one for yourself as you study a passage.

What follows is the complete examination of Romans 8:29–30 from the Lexham Bible Guide: Romans.

When you study with your Logos software, every reference to another resource you see below is linked to the original source. Open your preferred translation, and Logos automatically scrolls Lexham Bible Guide: Romans in sync with the passages your studying.

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See Every Major View of a Bible Passage, All in One Place

Lexham Bible Guide: 1 CorinthiansWhat do you do when you come across a difficult Bible passage? Chances are, you open a trusted commentary and see what it has to say. Sometimes, the first commentary you check has the answer you’re looking for. But more often than not, you want to reference several sources to see the different conclusions scholars have come to.

Your Logos software simplifies this process, allowing you to easily switch between commentaries keyed to the verse you’re examining.

But it can still take a while.

Lexham Bible Guides make it easy

What if you had a summary of all the relevant literature for any given passage? Lexham Bible Guides have become some of my personal favorite resources because they provide just that. I like to think of each Lexham Bible Guide as a multiple-views commentary. Look up a given passage, and you’ll find summaries of all the major viewpoints of recent scholarship.

Lexham Bible Guides work great as stand-alone study tools, but they also excel as starting points for further research. Each of the summarized views links to its primary resource. So, once you find an explanation that makes sense, you can follow through to get all the details.

For example, let’s say I’m reading through 1 Corinthians 15, and I come to verse 29—the mysterious “baptism of the dead” passage. What am I supposed to do with this? I could go through my commentaries one by one, but as the Lexham Bible Guide: 1 Corinthians points out, “The number of proposed interpretations of this issue is confounding.” In other words, that could take a while.

Thankfully, the Lexham Bible Guide puts all the major views together in an easily accessible format. After providing an overview of the issue and the general approaches that have been taken, the guide summarizes the perspectives from each scholar. Here are a few examples:

Baptism of the dead

For this particular passage, the Lexham Bible Guide: 1 Corinthians includes the perspectives of 14 different scholars, including Gordon Fee, Richard Hays, and Leon Morris. I can follow through to their original resources to get all the insight they have to offer.

Now available individually

Up until now, most of the Lexham Bible Guides have only been available through the 13-volume Paul’s Letters Collection. This is still the best value if you want them all, but we recently made each volume available for individual purchase!

Just want to finish reading about the “baptism of the dead”? Then pick up the Lexham Bible Guide: 1 Corinthians! Have some other particularly difficult passage you’re working on? Then pick up the Lexham Bible Guide you need from the available volumes below:

Get the best possible deal with the Lexham Bible Guides: Paul’s Letters Collection!

Save on the Latest Resources from Dr. Steven Runge

High Definition Commentary: JamesDr. Steve Runge wants to help everyone grasp the intricacies of biblical text, whether they know the original languages or not. To that end, he’s spent years studying discourse analysis and presenting his findings in ways that anyone can understand.

Filled with custom-designed slides and helpful illustrations, his High Definition Commentaries examine the linguistic and literary clues in the text, highlighting what you need to know. Each commentary follows the flow of a biblical book, presenting the big ideas of each passage and applying Dr. Runge’s linguistic and exegetical expertise to guide your study.

Listen as he explains the unique way these resources approach the text:

Be sure to also check out the recent webinar where he explains his process in greater detail.

Dr. Runge is currently working on the High Definition Commentary: James. And now is the time to pre-order—we lowered the Pre-Pub price to only $19.99, but that price will go up when it ships.

Want to save on the earlier volumes? Just use coupon code GNTDBSALE to take 15% off Philippians, Romans, or any of the following discourse resources from Dr. Runge:

But hurry—these discounts are only good through February 27.

Add Dr. Runge’s discourse resources to your library today!

Dying to Bear Fruit: A Life of Sacrificial Love

04-16_John_12Could this be the Messiah? After so many years, had God finally sent his Anointed One to deliver his people? Would the rightful King now take his throne?

Indeed, the Messiah had come—Jesus was here! His disciples believed in him. They publicly confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). They knew that he had come for their deliverance.

Yet even his disciples did not really understand what Jesus had come to do. They expected the Messiah to be a warrior king. They wanted him to reinstate the kingdom of Israel, to start a revolution, to overthrow their oppressors by force, to deliver them from Rome. But Jesus had a different deliverance in mind.

Deliverance through his love

“The reason the Son of God appeared,” we read in 1 John 3:8, “was to destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus came to save his people not from Rome or from any other earthly oppression, but from their sins (Matt. 1:21). And his people include far more than Israel—Jesus came to deliver the whole world from sin.

His methods weren’t what the disciples expected, either. They expected Jesus to pick up a sword and fight, but he said that “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt. 26:52). He instructed his followers to “love your enemies . . . and you will be sons of the Most High” (Luke 6:35).

Jesus knew that evil cannot be overthrown by force. Deliverance can only come through sacrificial love. His own glorification could only be achieved by laying down his life.

And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:23–24)

Jesus, God in flesh, willingly gave himself up. He took our sin and allowed the powers of darkness to do their worst to him. And in so doing, he broke their power.

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Pet. 2:23–24)

Fruit for his kingdom

Through Jesus’ sacrificial death, we have deliverance. But we too must die if we are to bear fruit. We must die to our sins, and we must die to ourselves. Just as Jesus gave up his rights and died on the cross, we must give up the rights we think are ours. We must give up whatever it is we’re clinging to and live a life of sacrificial love.

But of course Jesus did not stay dead—God raised him back to life and vindicated his suffering. And so our sacrifice for Christ will not be in vain, either. From our death to self, God will raise up much fruit for his kingdom.

But are we willing to die?

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Looking for resources for study or meditation this Easter season? Check out our specials for Holy Week.

In Christ We See God’s Glory

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We are flesh. We are limited by human bodies in a world cursed with sin. The strongest among us are still weak. The healthiest among us still become sick. Our bodies don’t always work the way they’re supposed to. And eventually, our flesh will succumb to that last enemy, death.

Contrast our condition with that of God. He is not bound by flesh, for he is spirit (John 4:24). He is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8). God does not fear sickness or death, for he alone has immortality; he dwells in unapproachable light, and no one has ever seen or can see him (1 Timothy 6:16). He is the King of the Ages, our immortal, invisible God, and to him belong the honor and glory forever (1 Timothy 1:17).

God became flesh for us

But beyond all his power and greatness, God’s defining attribute is love (1 John 4:8). And that incomprehensible love caused him to give up everything for us. Jesus—the Word of God, who is God—became a human.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” —John 1:14

God, who is spirit, became flesh. The one who is, who was, and who is to come stepped into our time. The Almighty made himself weak. The immortal God made himself mortal. The invisible God made himself visible—in Christ we see God’s incredible glory!

Perhaps no one put it more poetically than Charles Wesley in a verse of his well-known hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Yet even that has been criticized for being too imprecise. He was not merely “veiled in flesh”—Jesus actually became fully human. The author of Hebrews wrote that “he had to be made like his brothers in every respect” (Hebrews 2:17).

The greatest sacrifice

Still, becoming one of us was not Jesus’ greatest sacrifice: “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). His entrance into this world as a human was just the first step leading up to the pinnacle of history, when Jesus—the immortal God—would die on a cross for our sins.

But Jesus did not stay dead! On the third day, God raised him back to life. And today, Jesus “is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 8:1). Christ’s body is now powerful, glorified, and imperishable.

One day, we who have placed our faith in him will be raised to a new body (1 Corinthians 15:42–44). Until then, let us praise God for the incredible gift we have been given—his Son, Jesus Christ, come in the flesh to dwell among us.

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Rediscover the wonder of God’s glory at Logos.com/Christmas.

Exegesis and Theology: Study Ephesians with Dr. Michael Allen

ministry

Today’s guest post is by Dr. Michael Allen, Kennedy Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and dean of faculty at Knox Theological Seminary. Dr. Allen is here to tell us about his new Doctor of Ministry class on Ephesians.

I couldn’t be more excited about the class beginning in January on the exegesis and theology of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians. We’ll be focusing on two things:

  1. Sharpening our exegetical skills by looking at this particular letter
  2. Reflecting theologically upon its implications for faith and practice

Ephesians touches on so many important things in the Christian life—grace, election, ethnic reconciliation, sanctification and ethics, the church and her leadership, social organization, spiritual warfare, and the like.

What we’ll study

We’ll be studying this portion of God’s Word using the best of recent New Testament studies (Australian scholar Dr. Peter O’Brien’s highly respected commentary), as well as some of the greatest resources from the history of exegesis (gleaned from the Reformation Commentary on Scripture‘s volume on Ephesians, edited by Knox Seminary’s own Dr. Gerald Bray). We’ll be discussing not only academic commentary, but also pastoral reflection on how the text shapes congregational ministry (in the form of Eugene Peterson’s powerful Practice Resurrection).

Through the centuries, Ephesians has been a paradigmatic text for defining the life of God’s community, the church. And we want to look anew at its role in shaping our calling in a time of deep cultural transition, when—once again—we need to see the church be the church by God’s grace.

This class will be an opportunity to look carefully at a specific portion of Scripture, as well as to refine our ability to look at the Bible as a whole. It will hone your exegetical and synthetic skills so that you’ll be able to read and teach on Proverbs and Ruth, as well as Matthew and 1 Peter.

The importance of God’s Word in ministry

We really believe there’s no greater skill for those in ministry than the age-old calling to read the Word of God prayerfully and faithfully: considering its canonical context, attending to its place in the history of God’s work in the church, and eagerly listening for how it confronts us in light of contemporary challenges. And we believe that studying together—with men and women involved in this work from various churches and different cities, as well as with saints from ages past through their writings—will better equip us to listen to God’s Word and be witnesses to the gospel in our ministries and our lives.

Our hope and prayer is that this class will be an occasion when “you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19).

I hope to see you soon. Meanwhile, “grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Get your DMin through Knox Theological Seminary. Apply now at DMin.me/Apply!