Theology
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In inductive Bible study, we use some guardrails to keep our interpretation on track. To check that an interpretation of the text is legitimate, we should be able to answer the following questions affirmatively.

  1. Does the text support this interpretation?
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The Greek word that we translate as "hell" is Gehenna. It comes from the Hebrew word for the Valley of Hinnom, or Ben-Hinnom, a valley that lies outside Jerusalem (see Joshua 15:8). It was infamous for being the place where children had been sacrificed ...

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If the New Testament is the story of a Man, then the Old Testament is the story of a people. If the New Testament is personal and intimate, then the Old Testament is communal and expansive. If the New Testament is a sonata, then the Old Testament is ...

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I've always been intrigued by the idea presented in The Arabian Nights, when Aladdin finds the lamp and a genie permits him a wish. It makes me wonder what I would choose if given such a choice. Since I've never been wildly wealthy, the first things ...

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When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments, they were written in stone in a language that the entire nation of Israel could read.

David composed his poems of praise and petition, promises and pleadings, in the everyday language of his ...

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Lingering. Habitual. Out of control. How would you describe the persistence of sin in your life? Many Christians, even though they are sincerely committed to following Christ, continue to live with besetting sins. They continue to feel as if they ...

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I'm a Lutheran Christian. Much like the Reformed Church, the Lutheran Church emphasizes the action of God in salvation, rather than our human actions. I believe that God gives us faith (Eph. 2:8-9) and calls us to himself (John 6:44), not the other way ...

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Because we live in a largely therapeutic culture, evil is a slowly disappearing concept. But every once in a while we are shaken by a holocaust, a genocide, or the destruction of a World Trade Center, and we remember why we need that word. The Bible ...

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One side believes social action was unjustifiably divorced from gospel mission a century ago during the Modernist-Fundamentalist controversy. Voices on the other side recognize the goodness of seeking peace and wholeness for the suffering, but not at ...

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For many American evangelicals, "holiness" conjures up musty images of revival meetings, gospel trios, and old-time religion—along with stern prohibitions against drinking, dancing, and playing cards. And many are happy to leave these notions of ...

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To answer that question, I must first digress to explore how we know anything. All of our so-called "knowledge" involves an act of faith. I trust what my senses tell me, at the basic information-gathering level and at higher interpretive levels as well. ...

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Whenever something is copied by hand, frailties of human eyesight enter in, particularly if that document is old and some ink has faded. Copying is also long, tedious work. It would take a scribe several months to copy just one Gospel. In some secular ...

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Martin Luther's 95 Theses are often considered a charter, a bold declaration of independence for the Protestant church.

But when he wrote nearly 100 points of debate in Latin, Luther was simply inviting fellow academics to a "Disputation on the Power ...

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Martin Luther, John Wesley, and Dwight L. Moody in their respective centuries found ways to communicate the doctrines of sin and repentance to reluctant people. They transformed churches, universities, and nations with their message. No one has ever ...

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There were many, just as there are today. But I can answer that question with four examples:

Valentinus
(2nd century A.D.)
From papal candidate to leading Gnostic

A brilliant theologian who taught in Alexandria, Egypt (the Oxford of his day), Valentinus ...

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To answer your question, I thought it would be fun to pretend to interview Joel.

Is it true that you're a real Old Testament prophet?

Yes, that's correct.

You were sent by God to pronounce judgment on the nation of Israel?

I was sent to the Israelites, yes. ...

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A: How can we his creatures think things are funny unless the whole idea came from God in the first place? I've never heard a sermon about God's sense of humor. Nor have I read a theology book that lists God's laughter as one of his immutable characteristics. ...

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How much sin should we expect in the church? We have gauges for other elements of church life. We generally monitor attendance. We know how many people are in small groups. Somebody counts the offerings. And often we don't just measure what we're interested ...

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Are There Many Paths to God?
There is only one way to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ.

Jesus often surprised people with teachings that cut across the grain of human nature. "Lose your life to save it." "The first will be last." "The meek will inherit the earth." "Rejoice in persecution." "Pray for your enemies." "It's better to give than ...

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The reference Jesus made to eating his flesh and drinking his blood is a metaphorical way of describing the person who draws on, claims, or lays hold of the reality of his atoning sacrifice by putting personal faith in him. We've constantly got to come ...

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