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…]

Classic Revival Sermons, Hymns, Memoirs, and More

 

George Whitefield was perhaps the most famous preacher of the eighteenth century—and for good reason. He fearlessly and tirelessly preached an unashamed gospel through a life completely consecrated to God. He was renowned for his powerful oratory, leaving massive crowds mesmerized, and it’s estimated he preached well over 15,000 times to millions and millions of people in America and the UK. [Read more…]

Interpret Scripture, Unlock Meaning, and Dig Deeper in Your Studies

The Bible is a vast book, simple enough for a child to understand, yet so deep that the most committed scholars never master its contents. With the Bible’s complexity in mind, how do we interpret the Bible correctly? Why do biblical experts disagree on interpretation?

These are important questions every Christian should be able to answer. And now you can through Mobile Ed’s interactive video course, Biblical Interpretation: Foundational Certificate Program, 40% off this month through the Logos Publisher’s Spotlight sale. [Read more…]

How Our Spiritually Unhealthy Culture Impacts Pastors

Maintaining a healthy spiritual life is critical for pastors. But just as critical are the spiritual lives of those who surround a pastor—those in a position to encourage, reprove, and restore them, as well as others in ministry leadership.

In this month’s free book, Dangerous Calling, Paul David Tripp reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy—an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of church leaders and thus the entire Church body.

In this excerpt from Dangerous Calling, Tripp reveals how this unhealthy culture begins and its natural result:

When the Word of God, faithfully taught by the people of God and empowered by the Spirit of God, falls down, people become different. Lusting people become pure, fearful people become courageous, thieves become givers, demanding people become servants, angry people become peacemakers, complainers become thankful, and idolaters come to joyfully worship the one true God. The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation. Biblical literacy and theological expertise are not, therefore, the end of the Word but a God-ordained means to an end, and the end is a radically transformed life because the worship at the center of that life has been reclaimed. This means it is dangerous to teach, discuss, and exegete the Word without this goal in view. It should be the goal of every seminary professor. It should be his prayer for every one of his students. It should cause him or her to make regular pastoral pleas to the students. It means recognizing that this student’s future ministry will never be shaped by his knowledge and skill alone but also, inevitably, by the condition of his heart.

Think about it. When a pastor has left his office and is at home yelling at his wife, he’s not ignorant of the fact that his yelling is wrong. At that point he doesn’t care what is right or wrong, because something else is ruling his heart. When a pastor is responding to issues in his church in ways that are more political than pastoral, it’s not because he’s ignorant of the selfishness of this response but because he’s more committed to building his kingdom than God’s. When a pastor is eaten with envy over the ministry position of another, he isn’t giving way to envy out of ignorance of its danger but because his self-absorbed heart feels entitled to what is a blessing and not a right.

Have we accomplished our training task if we produce generations of graduates who have big theological brains but tragically diseased hearts? Must we not hold together theological training and personal transformation? Should we not require every seminary classroom to be faithful to God’s intended purpose for his Word? Shouldn’t every seminary professor have pastoral love for his students? Shouldn’t every instructor long to be used of God to produce a growing love for Christ in each of his students?

I am convinced that the crisis of pastoral culture often begins in the seminary class. It begins with a distant, impersonal, information-based handling of the Word of God. It begins with pastors who, in their seminary years, became quite comfortable with holding God’s Word distant from their own hearts. It begins with classrooms that are academic without being pastoral. It begins with brains becoming more important than hearts. It begins with test scores being more important than character. The problem with all of these things is that they’re subtle and deceptive. They don’t exist in a black-or-white world of either/or but in a messy world of both/and. Yes, every seminary professor would say that he cares about the hearts of his students. All of us would say that we want to stimulate love for Christ. The question is, does this goal shape the content and process of the theological education to which we have given ourselves?

Tripp, P.D. (2012). Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

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Dangerous Calling gives a diagnosis and offers cures for issues that impact every member and church leader, and gives solid strategies for fighting the all-important war that rages in our churches today

Along with getting Dangerous Calling for free, you can also get two more Tripp books for under $8. Redeeming Money and Sex in a Broken World are available for $3.99 each but only through July!

Save 25% on Audio Courses through July

 

From biblical languages to New Testament studies, Mobile Ed audio courses enable you to integrate seminary-level classes into your daily life.

Imagine learning Greek while taking care of chores or deepening your understanding of biblical interpretation on the drive to work. And with audio courses on sale at 25% off for a limited time, now’s the time to start. [Read more…]

How to Find Words Unique to a Book in the Bible

A fellow Logos user recently emailed me an excellent question:

Is there a way to find the words in a particular NT book (e.g. Philippians) that are unique to it? In other words, they are not used elsewhere in the NT?

Even though at first glance the question sounds like a huge task, actually it’s quite simple through the use of Word Lists: [Read more…]

Unparalleled in Our Times: Save on Renowned Commentary Set

Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series is “nothing less than a library of faithful exegesis and exposition” that is “unparalleled in our times.”

And this month only, you can get the complete set of The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series (33 vols.) for 35% off. Already own volumes in this series? Dynamic Pricing customers have a rare opportunity to snag the entire set at an even deeper discount—you’ll get the best deal possible without paying for the same volume twice.

From beloved and respected Bible scholar and preacher John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series continues to be one of today’s top-selling commentary collections. Each volume:

  • Gives a verse-by-verse analysis in context
  • Provides rigorous exegesis of the New Testament
  • Addresses key theological themes and issues in the biblical text
  • Illuminates the biblical text in practical and relevant ways
  • Provides points of application for passages

And in the Logos editions, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for, and take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps.

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Don’t wait! Dynamic Pricing doesn’t come around often for this product. Grab The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Complete Set (33 vols.) for 35% off today before the sale ends on July 31.

Last Chance for Early Bird Pricing

Our guest author is Dr. Gerry Breshears, a professor of theology at Western Seminary and a Faithlife Mobile Ed instructor.

I was raised in a great Christian family going to church. But when I asked some basic questions like, “Why do you think Jesus was God?” I was told in effect, “Nice Christian boys don’t ask questions like that.”

As I sank deep into the despair of Ayn Randian selfishness, an intelligent Christian friend challenged me to look firsthand at Jesus. So I read the Gospels personally, something I had never done before. Jesus who had been a moral illustration for doctrinal sermons grabbed my imagination. I found him to be the most amazing human ever. I wondered, “Why didn’t someone introduce me to him?” and began a lifelong quest to know him deeply and personally. [Read more…]

Master the Basics in Biblical Languages, Theology, and More

 

This July you can save up to 40% as you deepen your walk through interactive Mobile Ed courses on everything from Bible and theology to counseling and missions.

Mobile Ed courses are designed not just for learning, but for doing. Go beyond the basics and equip yourself with tools that will take you farther in your biblical studies and ministry. Whether you’re a layperson, teacher, or pastor, you will expand your knowledge and gain insights at your own pace and on your own schedule.

And Mobile Ed Certificate Programs offer you the chance to learn even more and master the basics of Greek, Hebrew, theology, biblical interpretation, apologetics, and more from top scholars in their respective fields. [Read more…]

What Walking on Water Really Means

Tales of tempests battering ships inspire respect for the sea. En route to Capernaum, Jesus’ disciples watched these stories become reality as the roaring wind transformed the waters around them. As they fought against the waves and wind, they witnessed a miracle: “They saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat” (John 6:19).

Appearing in three of the four Gospels, this event inspires Sunday school lessons and has become ingrained in our portrait of Jesus’ life. As spectacular and unforgettable as the event is to us, however, a Jewish audience would have seen in it a profound theological meaning against the backdrop of the Old Testament.

An Old Testament Symbol

In the Old Testament, the unpredictable sea is a common symbol of cosmic disorder—conditions contrary to God’s design for an ordered world. This symbol for cosmic anarchy is also personified as a sea monster, known as Leviathan or Rahab. The image of chaos as an untamed monster in a churning, erratic sea was common throughout the ancient world. People accustomed to land would naturally view the vast, raging ocean as uncontrollable and potentially deadly, filled with terrifying unknown creatures.

Religions across the ancient Mediterranean often depicted their important deities destroying or subduing the sea dragon, thereby calming the sea and restoring order. In the Old Testament, it is Yahweh, the God of Israel, who conquers the forces of chaos and imposes order in the cosmos (Job 26:12–13; Psa 89:5–14). This imagery is applied even to the exodus from Egypt (Psa 74:12–17), where God split the sea to deliver his people, thereby conquering the forces of evil that sought their demise.

Final Victory

God’s ultimate victory at the end of the age is also depicted as God dominating the forces of the sea: “In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the twisting serpent, Leviathan the crooked serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea” (Isa 27:1). This is why the description of the final paradise of the new heaven and new earth contains the phrase, “the sea was no more” (Rev 21:1).

The prophet Daniel’s vision of the end of days and the kingdom of God includes four beasts that emerge out of a storm-tossed sea (Dan 7:1–8). These beasts are not aquatic creatures by nature. They come from the sea because they represent chaos. God’s heavenly court sentences the beasts to death (Dan 7:9–12), after which the “son of man” arrives immediately to receive the kingdom of God (Dan 7:13–14). All of this imagery informs John’s account of Jesus walking on the sea during the storm.

Jesus Christ, Lord over the Sea

John identifies Jesus as the Son of Man to whom the Father has given the authority to execute judgment (John 5:27; compare Matt 26:57–68). John also asserts repeatedly that Jesus is God incarnate. In John’s Gospel, Jesus invokes the divine name (“I AM”) seven times in reference to himself (e.g., John 6:35; 15:1). He declares oneness with the Father (John 10:30), and he proclaims that the Father is in him and he is in the Father (John 10:37–38).

For John, a Jew familiar with the Old Testament, the image of Jesus walking on the sea was a dramatic portrayal that Jesus is Yahweh—the one who subdues the forces of chaos and imposes his will on the waters and everything the waters represent. The kingdom of the Son of Man had begun, and all forces opposing God’s ordained order would now be defeated. Like Jesus’ disciples, we can find comfort in knowing that the one who treads upon the volatile sea can subdue whatever chaos threatens to overwhelm us.

QUICKBIT: The three accounts of Jesus walking on water are found in John 6:16–21, Matthew 14:22–33 and Mark 6:45–52—the Gospels authored by Jewish writers. Luke doesn’t include this detail, likely because he was a gentile writing to a gentile friend, Theophilus (Luke 1:1–4).

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What Walking on Water Really MeansDr. Michael S. Heiser is a scholar-in-residence for Faithlife, the makers of Logos Bible Software. He is the author of The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible and has taught many Mobile Ed courses, including Problems in Biblical Interpretation: Difficult Passages I.

This article is excerpted from Dr. Heiser’s book I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible.

Discover more fascinating aspects of the Bible with Dr. Heiser

Keep exploring the strange, perplexing, and mysterious aspects of the Bible with these excerpts from Dr. Michael S. Heiser’s The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible. Or dive deeper into the supernatural world of the Bible and pick up a copy of The Unseen Realm today.