This Is Why You Should Study the Apocrypha Alongside the New Testament

Most Christians know that the cultural and religious context of the first-century world should shape how we read the New Testament. And just a few verses into Matthew we’re faced with the immense importance of the Old Testament. But far too often something that doesn’t appear on our radar is the literature that lies between the Testaments: the Apocrypha.

[Read more…]

Finding Christian Unity Amidst Theological Diversity

what is a theological orthodoxy

It’s common today to hear of the fractured church, the shattered church, the hopelessly broken church. Estimates of the number of denominations can be disheartening, ranging from several hundred to tens of thousands, depending on how you define “denomination.” These statistics are disconcerting to some in light of Christ’s prayer in John 17:21, which sets the stakes for unity pretty high: Jesus asked God the Father “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” The oneness of the church is a sign and witness to the world that Jesus was who he said he was. The implications of getting this wrong are significant. However, by determining what beliefs are essential to orthodoxy and what are not, we can confidently serve alongside Christians with whom we disagree on the nonessentials—thus living out to a greater extent the unity Jesus prayed for.

[Read more…]

How to Do Apologetics without Fear or Aggression

tools and weapons

When I was sixteen, I went to summer camp. But instead of mountains, sunrises, and songs around the campfire, this camp offered school desks, podiums, and hours of daily lectures. This was no ordinary summer retreat—this was a training ground for would-be apologists.

Led by experts on worldview, Christian leadership, and culture, this camp provided training for young Christians who wanted to know how to defend their faith—and I thrived in that environment. I was fascinated by the lectures and eagerly anticipated the next small group session, devotion, and worship session. At camp I was given tools to defend my faith, but as I tried to integrate them into my everyday life those tools eventually began to feel like weapons.

[Read more…]