And They Were Exceedingly Astonished

camel in eye of needle

Stop and be astonished, if you can, at a statement from Jesus in Mark 10 that certainly astonished his disciples: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:25).

It’s hard to be surprised by this little saying if you’ve grown up with the Bible, or even if you’ve just known it for a long time. It’s commonplace. It’s like hearing, “Did you know that a fifteen-minute call could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance?” To which the appropriate response is an eye roll and an “everybody-knows-that.”
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35% off Select Mobile Ed Courses Ends Tomorrow

2016_LMM_Deals-MobileEd_Blog-header

Tomorrow is your last chance to get 35% off over 50 different Mobile Ed courses. Learn from top theological scholars like Douglas Moo and Mark Futato and take your Biblical studies deeper. And the best part is, Mobile Ed works around your schedule—study at the time a place of your choosing.

Check out these recommended courses.

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Why Isn’t the Bible Easy to Interpret?

why is the bible hard to understand
Anyone who has invested serious time into studying Scripture knows that it isn’t always easy to understand. For sure, there are core ideas in the Bible that are straightforward and quite within the grasp of most readers to understand. But to be honest, most of the Bible isn’t like that. You can’t just immediately understand the content of its pages after one read. A number of passages take sustained attention for days, weeks, months, and perhaps years. And in some cases, even scholars can’t agree, which is why the meaning of certain passages is still being debated thousands of years after they were written.

Why is Bible interpretation so problematic? Why didn’t God make his Word easy to understand in every passage?

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to Get Up to 70% Off!

N.T. Wright on sale logos

The final votes have been tallied for Logos March Madness and N.T. Wright has been crowned the Champion—which means you can now save 70% off his select works. Even if you were one of the thousands that cast votes for J.I. Packer, no worries—you can save 60% off his select works.

With all of these great deals where do you start? Here are a few N.T. Wright and J. I. Packer titles to get you started.

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Crossing the Sacred and Secular Divide

sacred and secular

Christians often fall prey to the notion that the “secular” and “sacred” should be separated. While it’s true that Jesus has called us into his Kingdom, he has also called us back into the world from which we were rescued. Our faith must be grounded in the here-and-now; Jesus’ example was one of engagement with, not detachment from, the physical realm.

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Common Roadblocks on the Journey to Biblical Insight

road-block

To study the Bible in depth, you need to navigate its mysteries and complexities with precision and clarity. The reward of serious study is life-changing insight. And the pursuit of biblical insight is lifelong. It’s a journey that will transform you, and never cease to delight, inspire, and challenge you.

But it isn’t always open road and mirror-smooth asphalt. There are roadblocks, potholes, pitfalls, and detours on the pilgrimage toward scriptural insight. Each person’s journey is unique, but there are some challenges faced by just about every traveler on this road.

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Have I Lost My Old Logos or Libronix Books?

missing book

I first encountered Logos Bible Software in the Libronix days—in what historians of technology now call “the 1990s.” I somehow came into possession of some random CDs with Logos books on them. I confess I didn’t use them so much as I “amassed” them.

Around that same time I got a fantastic deal on the Expositor’s Bible Commentary in another Bible software platform which shall remain nameless out of respect for the dead.

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Why Athanasius’ ‘On the Incarnation’ Is Thrilling, Essential Reading

athanasius

It’s hard to overstate the significance of Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word of God. Athanasius ministered in a time when many Christians believed what we today would recognize as heresy. This embattled saint set himself against a pervasive false teaching, resulting in his exile . . . five times over! In the end, orthodoxy won the day, and we have Athanasius to thank for that.

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Why Words Mean What They Do, and Why It Matters for Bible Study

word meanings
Out of the inscrutable neuron maelstroms we know as “the brains of small children,” there often come what speech pathologists call “the darnedest things.” My kindergartener said yesterday—and I promise I have no idea where this came from—“What if ‘Lutheran’ meant ‘disqualified’?”

I immediately took his question down verbatim for future blog use. It’s my job. And because my boy has a wannabe linguist-theologian for a father, my own neuron maelstrom—which, since I’m an adult, is easier to scrute—started whirling . . . What if, indeed?

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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.

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