Read Rediscovering the Holy Spirit for an exegetical, theological, and historical understanding of the Holy Spirit. While Michael Horton’s exegesis may not convince everyone, it should please those who confess the primacy of Scripture for theological understanding. I recommend Michael Horton’s book on the Spirit to pastors, to interested readers, and even to academics. Here is why. [Read more…] about Review of Rediscovering the Holy Spirit by Michael Horton
The Holy Spirit is not a mere energy, force, or power. He does not only sanctify as if the Spirit’s activity exclusively focused on our personal sanctification. That sounds like the theology of expressive individualism (what can the Spirit do for me?) rather than the theology of the Bible. In reality, the Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life. [Read more…] about The Holy Spirit Is Lord and Giver of Life
We believe that our hearts will stop beating, our brains will stop sending signals to our muscles, and our breathing will cease. Everything that we know about our bodies and minds will end. Then we believe that we will enter into a new mode of existence where we abide with God in a spiritual realm. Finally, we believe that God will knit us back together in the resurrection where we will live with God in a new heaven and new earth.
That is strange. No two ways about it. [Read more…] about Christianity Must Be Strange
Evil does not exist. If it did, then God would not exist. And all suffering at the hand of evil people would cease to have significance. Yet God created the world out of the overflow of his goodness, and he made all creation “very good” (Gen 1:31). Since nothing exists outside of what God made, then either God created evil or evil does not exist. But God did not create evil. So evil does not exist. It can only corrupt good things.
Augustine recognized this when he wrote, “For you evil does not exist at all, and not only for you but for your created universe, because there is nothing outside it which could break in and destroy the order which you have imposed upon it” (Augustine, Confessions, 7.13). Hundreds of years later, Thomas Aquinas wrote, “For evil is the absence of the good, which is natural and due a thing” (Summa 1.49).
And this is good news because if evil exists God would not and our suffering would be meaningless. Here’s why. [Read more…] about Evil Does not Exist
False teachers by definition teach false doctrine. Usually, we imagine that this means that false teachers deny certain concepts like the Trinity, the Incarnation, or the Second Coming. Yet second Peter challenges the idea that false doctrine only means denying true ideas. In Peter’s second letter, false teachers primarily are called such because of how they live. For Peter, false doctrine can mean denying true concepts or denying our Master by our behaviour. [Read more…] about False Teachers Out Themselves by Their Way of Life
Throughout church history, the Sermon on the Mount has rightly held a prominent place among Christians. Jonathan Pennington continues in the tradition of valuing this great sermon by returning to the Jewish wisdom and Greco-Roman cultural encyclopedia that explains the words and concepts that Jesus uses. He concludes that Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, sagely teaches his audience how to flourish by wholly giving one’s life to God.
You should buy this book because it will not only challenge common (mis)conceptions about the sermon but also draw you into a closer understanding of what it means to flourish in life. [Read more…] about Review of The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing by Jonathan Pennington