Vision for the Greatness of Christianity
“1. God is the greatest Reality in the universe.
2. Jesus is the greatest Savior, Master, and Friend that ever was or will be.
3. The Holy Spirit is the greatest Helper in the world.
4. The Bible is the greatest book there is.
5. The gospel is the greatest news ever sent.”
30 Reasons Why It Is a Great Thing to Be a Pastor by John Piper
Is Your Work Christian? How Christians Work
“When someone thinks about their work being “Christian,” all kinds of disturbing images come to mind:
• Opening a beauty salon called “A Cut Above” or a coffee shop called “He Brews.”
• Working awkward evangelism moments into sales calls.
• …sneaking a “Have a blessed day” into a salutation.
• Putting up posters about Bible study options at lunch…
I want to suggest five qualities that make work “Christian.” By “Christian” in this context I mean “done through faith in Jesus Christ.” Therefore, work that is Christian will have five qualities:
1. Christian Work Is Creation-Fulfilling
2. Christian Work Is Excellence-Pursuing
3. Christian Work Is Holiness-Reflecting
4. Christian Work Is Redemption-Displaying
5. Christian Work Is Mission-Advancing”
(GG: Technically, work can’t be Christian because the Bible uses the word “Christian” only as a noun, not an adjective. So maybe we should speak of Christians’ work or Christian workers. But whatever we call it, these 5 truths are helpful.) What Makes Work Christian? reviewed by J.D. Greear
5 Tools to Evangelize Teens
“1. Knowledge about the canonization of Scripture.
2. Developed theology of sexuality, particularly homosexuality.
3. Ability to teach the Bible in the greater context of redemptive history.
4. Theological, not only moral, understanding of sin.
5. Understand adoption as an element of salvation.”
5 Tools Needed to Reach Today’s Teens by Cameron Cole
Two Popular Children’s Story Bibles Reviewed
Conclusion on The Big Picture Story Bible:
“BPSB aims to present the Bible as a single story in which God’s king, his Son, brings blessing to the world through his death and resurrection for our sin and who reestablishes God’s rule over his world. The clarity of that presentation, derived from Goldsworthy, comes at the expense of the detail and texture of individual narratives, but that is in the nature of Bible overviews…
Conclusion on the Jesus Story Bible:
JSB aims to relate the stories of the Bible to the larger story of salvation, and, more specifically, to show how the OT narratives prefigure Christ’s role in that salvation, hence The Jesus Storybook Bible.59 It chooses the love of God for his children as the central theme… its emphasis without sufficient reference to God’s authority or holiness creates a tension with JSB’s clear account of the wrath-bearing death of Jesus. The characterisation of humanity principally as God’s children deceived into thinking that God does not love them makes the necessity of Jesus’ death harder to integrate and the wonder of it harder to grasp. It also shapes the account of Jesus’ earthly ministry: attractive in its beauty but hardly ever challenging in its authority, power, or purity. For that reason I would want to use JSB more selectively and cannot offer the unconditional endorsement that others often give it….
Summary of Both Books:
BPSB and JSB broke the mould in important respects. Instead of offering an anthology of biblical stories, they sought to tell one story…The benefits of tracing one thought throughout are clear, both as a way of emphasising the unity of Scripture and as a pedagogical tool for young children…Of the two I believe BPSB is the more successful in combining faithfulness to Scripture with a hermeneutical approach that lends clarity and unity to its presentation. As an overview of the Bible’s message it serves a useful purpose.” Telling the Story from the Bible (Part 2): Reviewing The Big Picture Story Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible by David Shaw
57 Biblical Book Reviews
What Bible topic interests you? Find it here in 57 book reviews. If you don’t want to spend money on books, you can learn a lot from good reviews. Themelios Book Reviews by various reviewers.
How to Preach the Bible’s Moods
“Do your sermons reflect an array of moods? Which moods do you tend to utilize the most? The least? The preacher who speaks almost exclusively in the indicative will be a bit heady. If he loads his sermons with exclamations and imperatives, he is likely relying too much on emotion. If he rarely uses the searching interrogative, his application may be lacking in power. Carrick says more, but you get the idea. The Spirit uses all of these moods to form people in Christ. A good preacher, in reliance on the Spirit, will therefore seek to use all of these moods too—not in equal measure, but in measure appropriate to the text in particular and the Christian faith in general…In sum, Carrick has written a uniquely useful book. I haven’t read anything quite like it. His theology of sacred rhetoric provides a helpful method of evaluating Christian preaching. Preachers of all stripes would benefit from Carrick’s discussion of moods and why they are important. However, the preachers who will benefit the most from the book are those, like me, who love the redemptive-historical approach to preaching.” Book Review: The Imperative of Preaching by David King
How Jesus Fulfills the Law (Whole O.T.): Jesus, the New Israel in Matthew’s Gospel
There are several ways to structure Matthew’s gospel. Many teachers have noticed Matthew shows how Jesus fulfills Old Testaments pictures/shadows/types from Israel’s history.
What did Jesus really mean when He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them?” God reveals Messiah’s glory to us as the One who fulfills the whole Old Testament’s prophecies and types. Here is the Jews prophesied Messiah. Did you know that Matthew structured his gospel so that Jesus repeats the history of Israel from Mt. 1-28?
“The purpose of this essay is to offer yet another analysis of Matthew’s structure…on the Mosaic typology of Matthew…Matthew organized his account of the life of Jesus as a…recap. of Israel’s history, in which Jesus replays both major individual roles of that history (Moses, David, Elisha, Jeremiah) as well as the role of the nation herself…In all the gospels, Israel rejects her Messiah, but Matthew’s typological plot shows that this history of rejection is consistent with Israel’s entire history. Jesus comes as the new Moses, and is resisted; as was Moses. Jesus comes as a greater David, but is resisted by the leaders of Israel; as was David. Jesus teaches with a wisdom greater than Solomon, but many in Israel refuse his yoke; as they did with the house of David. Jesus is a prophet like Elisha, offering life to Israel, but many prefer Herod-Ahab; as they did in the time of Elisha. Jesus is Jeremiah, and Jeremiah, is a suffering prophet. What Matthew makes explicit is that in rejecting these servants, Israel was rejected the Lord who sent them.”
I don’t agree with all the author’s claims or all his other writings. But this article is helpful. Jesus as Israel: The Typological Structure of Matthew’s Gospel by Peter Leithart