The Great Paradox of the Book of Esther and its Significance Today

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I started a series on the book of Esther this past Sunday with my jr. high students. Karen Jobes, in her NIV Application Commentary on Esther, insightfully captures the Christian significance of the fact that God is never mentioned in the book: “The great paradox of Esther is that God is omnipotently present even where God [...]

An Interesting Theme in Genesis: My Message at Crossway Publisher’s Chapel

Last week I had the privilege of speaking for the weekly chapel at Crossway. I shared about a theme in Genesis that I find very interesting. The combination of “to see” and “good” occurs throughout the book, beginning, of course, with God at creation. But people quickly hijack the prerogative to “see” what is “good” [...]

Jonathan Edwards and Justification: An Interview with Author Josh Moody (And How to Win a Free Copy)

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What would Jonathan Edwards add to the discussion on justification if he were alive today? Dr. Josh Moody, in his work Jonathan Edwards and Justification gives us an idea. Enlisting several other Edwards scholars for contributions, Moody goes hunting for answers to the current questions on justification in the works of the greatest theologian born [...]

Away with This Fad of Rejecting the Inerrancy Scripture

It is becoming more and more popular to hold to the doctrine of the “inspiration, but not inerrancy” of Scripture. This stance has the appearance of intellectual tension. But the tension is so tight on this one that the doctrine snaps. W.G.T. Shedd explains why: “The primary and the secondary matter in Scripture, such as [...]

The Prophet, Priest, and King Ministry of the Apostles in Acts 6

If your priorities in ministry are out of whack, there is no better place for you to turn than Acts 6:1-6. The pastor’s single priority is a triune priority. We are to shepherd God’s flocks as prophets, priests, and kings. One priority in the three, three priorities in one. In Acts 6, the apostles model [...]

A Shot of Trinitarian Theology from D.A. Carson

From Carson’s commentary on John 5:19 in his commentary on that gospel in the Pillar series: “Not only does the Son always do what pleases the Father (8:29), but he can do only what he sees his Father doing.  In this sense the relationship between the Father and the Son is not reciprocal. It is [...]

Do You Make These 5 Common Word Study Mistakes?

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You know that dad who veers off the road to the vacation destination to take his family to some random tourist trap? That’s what preachers do when they take their congregation through a bad word study. The preacher waxes eloquently while the tortured pew-sitters ask themselves, “What in the world are we doing here?” The [...]

How Paul’s Letter to the Philippians Fits Together

This summer, as our senior pastor, Josh Moody, takes his study leave, the rest of us pastors will be filling the pulpit on Sunday mornings, preaching through Philippians. It’s my habit to write a thematic outline of a book before I preach through it. The aim of such an outline is to determine what the [...]

Is Inerrancy Really an American Doctrine?

Something I was reading a few days ago reminded me of something I read in N.T. Wright a few years ago. (Funny how that happens sometimes.) N.T. Wright disregards infallibility and inerrancy as American doctrines in Simply Christian (183): “…the insistence on an ‘infallible’ or ‘inerrant’ Bible has grown up within a complex cultural matrix (that, [...]

A Brief Explanation of the Active and Passive Righteousness of Christ

I know I have been on a T.F. Torrance kick recently. I promise I’ll lay off after this one. But I thought this was pretty good, and straight to the point. By active obedience is meant the positive fulfillment of God’s saving will in the whole life of Jesus in his sonship. From the very [...]

The Twin Signs of Jesus’ Virgin Birth and Virgin Tomb

“The virgin birth cannot be considered in abstraction from the triumphant consummation of Christ’s life in his resurrection, for it is there that the mystery of his person is revealed. In fact the birth of Jesus of the virgin Mary and the resurrection of Jesus from the virgin tomb (‘where no one had ever yet been laid’) [...]

What Theological Theme Holds the NT’s Center of Gravity?

From Greg Beale’s New Testament Biblical Theology (179-180, my italics): The beginning of the new-creational reign is understood as Christ’s life, especially his death, resurrection, and ongoing ascended resurrection existence and rule, so that he is a formative microcosmic model that determines the nature and destiny of people, and the rest of creation, on a macrocosmic scale. [...]

How Each Chapter of the Book of Ruth Points to Jesus

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How do you appropriately and accurately preach Jesus from the Old Testament? Every pastor faces this challenge, if he wants to preach the whole counsel of God to his congregation. Many fall prey to the fallacy of pointing to Jesus in the Old Testament. They see something that reminds them of the gospel or the [...]

How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist

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In case you haven’t been over to The Gospel Coalition Blog in a while, get on over and check out my article, “How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist.” I hope that you find it helpful.

An Isaianic Spin on the “I Am” Statements in the Gospel of John

I have been thoroughly enjoying Schreiner’s New Testament Theology. At 864 pages, it’s a redwood that will fall only with consistent swings of the ax over a long period of time. Especially for a slow reader like me. In his chapter “Son of God, I Am, and Logos,” he connects  Jesus’ “I am” statements to [...]

Why Jesus Called Himself “Son of Man” Instead of “Messiah”

Thomas Schreiner explains: “Why did Jesus use the title ‘Son of Man’ so often and in comparison, relatively speaking, the title ‘Messiah’ so little? We have seen that the title ‘Messiah’ was apt to be understood in militaristic and political terms, contrary to Jesus’ mission. The term ‘Son of Man,’ on the other hand, was [...]

Let Karl Barth Turn You Into a More Spiritual Theologian

Every pastor goes through periods of theological drought. Sometimes the congregation can see it, sometimes they can’t. But the pastor notices it immediately. It gets difficult to plumb theological depths in sermon prep. Leadership becomes a matter of pragmatics. Cliches abound in counseling meetings. Indeed, the theological drought withholds rain from all aspects of ministry. [...]

The Gospel-Centered Way Paul Starts All of His Letters

You hear a lot about the “functional centrality of the gospel” these days. The idea that the gospel ought to be central in how we function has people has given rise to organizations, conferences, books, blogs, and even rap CD’s (not that anyone buys CD’s anymore). But is this really biblical? I like it. It [...]

How the Storyline of the Bible is Summarized in Exodus 1-2

I’m starting my summer series on Exodus this coming Sunday, and it struck me how the first two chapters of the book are a microcosm of sorts for the storyline of the Bible. Creation (1:1-7): The book kicks off by painting Israel with colors from the palette of Genesis 1, “But the people of Israel [...]

The Key to Being a Humble Theologian

I met Joe Thorn at the Band of Bloggers gathering at the Gospel Coalition, and received a free copy of his recent book, Note to Self. He’s a really cool guy, and I couldn’t wait to read his book. However, my wife stole it from me when I brought the book home. Now that she has finished it, [...]

5 Ways to Create Interest When You Do Exegesis in Sermons

In your preaching, how many times have you tried to communicate an amazing exegetical insight, only to watch the eyes of your audience steadily glaze over? You thought you had them, but you lost them. We have all been there, more often than we’ll admit. The solution is not more illustrations and less exegesis, at [...]

How Do the Two Halves of Exodus Fit Together?

The book of Exodus has always seemed a bit schizophrenic to me. The story grips the reader with the miracles, plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea in the first half. Then the second half turns to complaints, laws, and blueprints, with a few stories dropped in. What gives? How (I think) the two [...]

GNT Software That Rivals BibleWorks and Accordance for Just 10 Bucks

ESV has finally rolled out their long awaited GreekTools, an ESV and Greek New Testament software combo that is sure to become a regular part of your study. My friend, Brian – star of the video below – was a big player in developing the online software. Check out the video, then head over to [...]

Salient Sound Bites From Al Mohler at The Gospel Coalition

Al Mohler kicked off the offical Gospel Coalition Conference with a message titled, “Studying the Scriptures and Finding Jesus,” from John 5:31-47. His point was that Christians must read the Old Testament, and see the redemption of Christ that is written into it. Here are some quotes I wrote down during the message. I don’t [...]

A Biblical Argument for the Inerrancy of Scripture from G.K. Beale

Many conservative scholars deny the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. They do so on the grounds that it was a fundamentalist invention to fight liberalism – evolution in particular – in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. These conservatives are perfectly willing to affirm the doctrine of inspiration, because it can be clearly developed [...]