The Importance of Mentorship for New Christians

We all need others to encourage, challenge, and teach us, but this kind of mentorship is critical in the early stages of a new Christian life. But mentorship itself can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the rhythms of walking through life with someone else. Making sure you have stimulating topics and questions for your mentee week in and week out can often be difficult. [Read more…]

Why Bother Learning about Angels? Michael Heiser Answers

What the Bible really says about angels is often overlooked or filtered through popular myths. Whatever you think you know about angels, there’s a good chance it’s wrong.

But why does that matter? Is a more accurate understanding of God’s heavenly host relevant for Christians today?

In his new book, Angels, Michael Heiser tackles these misconceptions head on. He grounds his study in the biblical context. In this excerpt, Heiser shows us why a correct understanding of angels is important in a correct understanding of God and his creation.

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Popular interest in angels and angel stories is high, which is symptomatic of our culture’s insatiable appetite for the supernatural. It seems every other movie or television show features a paranormal theme, alien superheroes, or some mischievous or malevolent deity. Bookstore shelves are well stocked with books about aliens, preternatural creatures, and, of course, angels and demons. That wouldn’t be the case if they didn’t sell, but sell they do. Unfortunately, the content isn’t very biblical, even when it tries.

Much of what Christians think they know about angels is more informed by Christian tradition than Scripture. The angelology of Christian tradition is, to say the least, quite incomplete and, in some ways, inaccurate.

But why should we care about angels?

Because angelology helps us think more clearly about familiar points of biblical theology. God’s supernatural family is a theological template for understanding God’s relationship to his human family of believers—and our greater importance compared to them. Learning what the Bible says about angels ultimately is tied to thinking well about how God thinks about us. What God wants us to know about angels contributes to our eternal perspective.

In our discussion of Old Testament angelology, I’ll draw your attention to the plural language of Genesis 1:26 (“let us make humankind in our image,” LEB). That language isn’t a cryptic reference to the Trinity. God is speaking to his heavenly host. He is sharing a decision with them—decreeing his will, as it were. If he were speaking to the members of the Trinity, they would already know what’s in God’s mind, because they are coequal and coeternal with him. Instead, the plural language of Genesis 1:26 intentionally connects humanity, God, and the members of the heavenly host with respect to an important biblical concept: imaging God. Imaging God is about representation—acting on God’s behalf at his behest. Humans image God on earth. The heavenly host images God in the spiritual, non-terrestrial world. The two are connected by design—and that has amazing ramifications.

Humans were tasked to make the whole world like Eden: a place where God’s goodness was known and his presence experienced; where humanity’s needs were met and God’s created world could be fully known and enjoyed; where imagers related to each other the way God related to them, with joy and love. God intended humanity to finish a task he had begun. He wanted participation—and that should sound familiar if one is familiar with the heavenly host, God’s initial family.

Understanding this status provides an answer to questions like, “How should we then live?,” “How do we image God?,” and “How should we see and treat each other?” We image God by doing what he would do, when he would do it, and with the motivation he would have for doing it. Yes, we are lesser than God and will fail. But God forgives—another lesson on what imaging means. We image God when we imitate God, acting on his behalf. It’s difficult to see how any facet of this could be deemed impractical for Christian living.

You may not have realized it while you were reading, but we just thought theologically, by means of an insight about God’s heavenly host. Believe it or not, the significant, practical idea of imaging God extended from a more insightful angelology—drawn from the plurals of Genesis 1:26, where God speaks to his heavenly host. That insight helped us think about practical holy living. Surprise!

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Discover what the Bible really says about angels and start thinking theologically about God’s heavenly host. Get Angels today!

The Great Legacy of Richard Watson’s Theological Institutes

Richard Watson’s Theological Institutes was a critical landmark in the development of Methodist doctrine. Originally published in 1831 in four volumes, Watson’s work was the first attempt to systematize John Wesley’s theology. Influencing and guiding the later systematic theological work for Methodist theology, Watson’s Institutes was the main Methodist textbook for systematic theological studies and remained a primary text for over 50 years after his death.

[Read more…]

Doctrine, Idea, or Person?

The Apostles’ Creed has united Christians across centuries, continents, and traditions. It proclaims eternal, world-changing truths that work themselves into the smallest corners of daily life.

We believe them. We recite them. But do we build our lives on them? [Read more…]

Get 15 Biblical Language Resources in One Suite for 40% Off

Engaging with the Bible in its original languages leads to a deeper understanding of and new insights into God’s Word. And having the right tools and resources to learn these biblical languages is vitally important. Lexham Press is proud to introduce our Original Languages Suite, containing 15 valuable resources designed to help you learn and study biblical Greek and Hebrew. [Read more…]

How Soon after the Resurrection Did Christians Worship Jesus?

How soon after Jesus’ resurrection did his followers begin worshipping him as God?

Some scholars argue that worshipping Jesus alongside the Father was a later development—that Jesus was not believed to be God until decades after his resurrection.

Yet his newest book, Honoring the Son: Jesus in Earliest Christian Devotional Practice, Larry W. Hurtado examines the devotional practice of early Christians and how it helps us understand Christology. And in this excerpt from Honoring the Son, Hurtado reveals how revolutionary and significant early worship of Jesus truly was: [Read more…]

New Books for the New School Year

The new school year is quickly approaching and Lexham Press has some exciting new books scheduled to release throughout the fall, including introductory grammars for both biblical Greek and Hebrew. Our Fall 2018 Academic Catalog is now available. You’ll find all of our upcoming titles in the catalog, plus a number of our most popular backlist titles. Here are three highlights coming soon, available for pre-order now. [Read more…]

The Intersection of Revelation and Reason

The relationship between human reason and divine revelation has been a perennial topic of discussion among philosophers and systematic theologians. Throughout Church history, Christians have been tempted to make revelation and reason mutually exclusive. But both are essential to a true understanding of the faith.

The inaugural Theology Connect conference—held in Sydney in July 2016—was dedicated to surveying the intersection of revelation and reason. The fruit of this conference has been drawn together in Revelation and Reason in Christian Theology. [Read more…]

30 Years of Research. One Book.

Larry W. Hurtado has been one of the leading scholars on early Christology for decades. He has written dozens of articles and a number of books examining not just what early Christians believed or wrote about Jesus, but what their devotional practices tell us about the place of Jesus in early Christian worship. Hurtado’s new book, Honoring the Son, is a clear and concise distillation of more than 30 years of research into New Testament Christology. [Read more…]

The Two Most Overlooked Pauline Epistles

The letters to the Thessalonians are often overlooked within the Pauline corpus. Paul’s meatier theological writings, such as Romans or Colossians, often get most of the attention, but 1 and 2 Thessalonians are packed with theology, too. In his letters to the church in Thessalonica, Paul helps his brethren consider the true nature of Christ. They also contain some of the clearest eschatological teachings in all of his writings. [Read more…]