My Favorite Example of Engaging the Head & Heart in Preaching

head-and-heart-preaching

The screen printer standing in my living room was trying to sell me on a new four-color process for the kids Bible club shirts my church needed. One problem: he came to the door asking for “Mike,” not “Mark” because I kind of forgot to tell him the truth… (I used to use a pseudonymous email address out of overblown security concerns.)

We still joke about that. He’s now one of my best friends. But back then I had no idea of the wonderful story of God’s grace in his life. He and his wife were brand new to the area, and my wife and I invited them over and started a friendship. We found out that this clean-cut young man had, not too many years back, been a drug addict. As a last resort his non-Christian family had sent him to a Christian program in a rural area. Most guys go there to get clean, and they’re willing to use the God stuff temporarily if it will help them get their lives back from drugs and alcohol.

[Read more…]

Did Jesus Have a Sense of Humor?

did jesus laugh

“Jesus never laughed,” or so the pamphlet said. An adolescent boy at the time, I found myself laughing at every little thing—too often during church services. Reading that pamphlet I wondered, “So he never laughed? What was wrong with him?”

[Read more…]

Why the Ark of the Covenant Will Never Be Found

ark-of-the-covenant

I can still recall the thrill of seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theater. A senior in high school, I had already been infected with the archaeology bug. This movie boosted my interest to a whole new level. As Providence would have it, I followed the path of Indiana Jones—at least academically. I’m still fascinated by the ark, but I no longer believe it is lost and awaiting discovery. I have Jeremiah to blame for that.

[Read more…]

Keys to Effective Bible Study: An Interview with N.T. Wright

nt-wright

“I was a musician before I was a theologian,” says N.T. Wright. “When I look at a piece of music, my mind is making connections between harmonic shifts. I’m seeing the patterns in song. When I’m reading passages, I’m asking, ‘How do the themes crisscross like a symphony?’ ”

Wright has been reading the Bible daily since the age of 12, so it’s no surprise that he has honed an intuitive approach. At age 13, he read the entire book of Revelation in one sitting. “It was like reading a mystery thriller. I didn’t know what it was all about, but I couldn’t put it down.”

As the author of dozens of highly praised resources on theology, Christian living, and Scripture, Wright’s appreciation of Scripture has only grown. And he has some advice for other Christians looking for ways to deepen their own appreciation of the Word.

[Read more…]

How to Use the New Reverse Interlinear Holman Christian Standard Bible

holman christian standard bible interlinear

At Camp Logos I discuss the reverse interlinear feature in great detail. Then very frequently I receive this question from students: When is the interlinear coming to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)? Well, I’m happy to report that Faithlife has provided us with a New Year’s treat. The interlinear New Testament of the HCSB is now available to Logos Now members!

That means that if you are a Logos Now member, all of the features you’re accustomed to enjoying in the ESV, NASB, LEB, and other Bibles are now present in the HCSB.

UPDATE: The HCSB Reverse Interlinear is now available for individual purchase, too.

[Read more…]

“Am I a Christian?” One Reporter’s Blunt Question to Tim Keller

timothy-keller

Photo: TimothyKeller.com

It’s ironic that the two Christian holidays most widely appropriated by secular culture, Christmas and Easter, celebrate events secularism necessarily denies. Indeed, the miracles of the virgin birth and the resurrection are often the targets of skeptics. Those marks are well chosen; as many Christian apologists have argued, the truth of Christianity rises or falls on the historical validity of the resurrection.

But of course, there are those who question these doctrines yet still consider themselves, in some sense, Christian. There are people like Nikolas Kristof.

[Read more…]

What If People Really Studied Their Bibles in 2017?

jonah30day-announce
We all know the most respectable New Year’s resolution a Christian can make is “Read the Bible every day.” What if this year we didn’t just resolve to do it, but we actually did it?

Logos Bible Software is here to help you turn your resolution into reality. The Logos Pro team has put together a brand new, free 30-day course in which we’ll show you how to study Jonah 1:1–16 using the powerful tools in Logos. Thirty free videos, three simple steps: Observe, Interpret, Apply.

[Read more…]

Should Differences in Biblical Manuscripts Scare Christians?

biblical-manuscripts

Image: codex-sinaiticus.net

Many Christians are troubled by differences in wording among various Greek New Testament texts: The Bible has scribal errors in it? Then how can I be sure what I’m reading is God’s word?

I have taught New Testament Introduction to beginning seminary students for many years, and I’ve come to realize that there’s a simple path to clarity and comfort regarding this issue—simpler than diving into excessively complicated details about ancient manuscripts written in languages few Christians have the training or experience to assess reliably.

Here are three reasons Christians should not be troubled by textual variants.

[Read more…]

Reflect on These 5 Inspirational Christmas Quotations

christmas-passage-slide-18

With Christmas just a few days away, all the preparations should be complete. The tree has been decorated, the stockings hung, the presents wrapped, and all the dinners planned. Amidst all these arrangements, take a moment to pause and reflect on the Christmas story.

This Christmas, we’ve been encouraging Christians around the world to look closer at God’s Word. Because when we study it, reflect on it, and meditate on it, we can get fresh insight and discover new meaning within this familiar story.

[Read more…]

What Pop Music Can Teach Us about Interpreting Scripture

frozen let it go bible

“Let It Go” from Disney’s animated movie Frozen (2014) was and is a megahit. The melody is both powerful and catchy, and Idina Menzel can sing icicles off reindeers. The piece won the Oscar for best original song, reached the top five in the Billboard 100, and sold 10.9 million copies. It has now also achieved the status of Christmas song in Spotify playlists, as was written long ago by a prophet on Reddit.

But like some Oedipal monster, the pop song has eaten up the movie that gave it life. Because the Frozen story as a whole stands firmly against Elsa’s choice in that song. And this raises interesting questions about authorial intent in interpretation—both of pop music and of Scripture.

[Read more…]