Kindle deals for Christian readers
12 volumes in the Holman commentary series are on sale for $2.99 each:
- 1 & 2 Kings
- Psalms 1–75
- Psalms 76–150
- Minor Prophets
Also on sale are:
- The Power of Suffering by John MacArthur—$2.99
- Manhood Restored by Eric Mason—$2.99
- Seasons of a Leader’s Life by Jeff Iorg—99¢
- The Character of Leadership by Jeff Iorg—99¢
- The Painful Side of Leadership by Jeff Iorg—99¢
- Is God Calling Me? by Jeff Iorg—99¢
- Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax—$2.99
The doctrine of the virgin birth was among the first to be questioned and then rejected after the rise of historical criticism and the undermining of biblical authority that inevitably followed. Critics claimed that since the doctrine is taught in “only” two of the four Gospels, it must be optional. The apostle Paul, they argued, did not mention it in his sermons in Acts, so he must not have believed it. Besides, the critics argued, the doctrine is just so supernatural. Modern heretics like retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong argue the doctrine was just evidence of the early church’s over-claiming of Christ’s deity. It is, Spong tells us, the “entrance myth” to go with the resurrection, the “exit myth.” If only Spong were a myth.
As a fan of how stories evolve, I found this really interesting.
Religions create a lot of problems in the world. Ignorance of religion compounds those problems. Arguing that Christians and Muslims worship the same God is often well-intended. But in a world increasingly filled with clashes between adherents of Islam and the west, this confusion is dangerous. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God and that matters immensely!
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra:
2015 was a year filled with apologies.
Pope Francis offered them to both the Waldensians and the Pentecostals for past Catholic persecution of Protestants. Matt Chandler’s Acts 29 megachurch asked a former member for forgiveness after wrongly subjecting her to church discipline. Bob Jones University said it was sorry for failing sex abuse victims. Turkish Christiansasked forgiveness 100 years after the Armenian genocide. Pastor Kong Hee bowed three times after his conviction for siphoning millions from his Singapore megachurch. And Creflo Dollar’s board apologized for seeking $60 million to replace his private plane.
But the most significant mea culpa came in Albania from 145 representatives of “virtually all Christian confessions,” who said they were sorry for having abused each other.
Christianity is inextricably bound up with the notion of sin. The Bible tells the story of the triune God’s rescue mission to redeem rebels out of their sin and guilt, which alienates them from his shared life of light and love. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the central message of how the Son came in the power of the Spirit to conquer sin and death through his own life, death, and resurrection. Without seriously considering the weight of sin, as Anselm so famously urged us to do, we can’t possibly understand the glory, goodness, and mercy of God’s liberation. Neither can we respond to it appropriately with repentance, faith, and worship. This is why Christians have historically spent so much time talking about sin.
If you’ve been around church long enough, though, you know there are plenty of ways to “talk about sin” that fall short of considering its full weight. I can think of at least five.
Slander occurs whenever someone says something untrue about someone else that results, intentionally or unintentionally, in damaging that someone else’s reputation. And when it occurs, it becomes a divisive, discouraging, and confusing weight that often affects numerous people — sometimes many, many people.
Because of its poisonous power, it is one of the adversary’s chief strategies to divide relationships and deter and derail the mission of the church. We must be on our guard against this closely clinging sin and frequently lay it aside (Hebrews 12:1).