Theology
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How should we balance evangelism and social justice?
How should we balance evangelism and social justice?

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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Can a person, whom God made, be truly evil?
Can a person, whom God made, be truly evil?

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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What kind of God hardens people against himself?

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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What does it mean to be dead to sin?
What does it mean to be dead to sin?

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 are ...

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How did we get our first English Bible?

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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What does it mean to be blessed?
What does it mean to be blessed?

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 ...

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Do we still need the Old Testament now that we have the New Testament?

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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Is It Fair of God to Send People to Hell?

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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How can I interpret God's Word faithfully?
How can I interpret God's Word faithfully?

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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How does culture affect the way we understand Scripture?

North American evangelicals read the Bible—and the world—through Western eyes. Indeed, all human beings come to the Bible with cultural habits, deeply ingrained patterns of interpreting the world that inevitably shape—and sometimes ...

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How should I read and understand the Bible?
How should I read and understand the Bible?

A wide range of voices claims that a crisis of biblical interpretation is taking place. But contrary to many pundits, the crisis does not simply involve a decline in the Bible's authority. Even when the Bible is turned to as the authority, it's ...

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Is it okay to doubt my faith?
Do questions always signal the end of faith?

Many of us have asked if it’s okay to doubt our faith, but maybe the question should be, is it okay not to doubt. Shouldn’t we all be asking questions about what we believe?

In Scripture, believers are instructed to aggressively pursue ...

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What Does It Mean That God Is Three in One?
What Does It Mean That God Is Three in One?
Understanding the Trinity is central to the Christian faith.

Many Christians think the Trinity is something they are supposed to spit out as part of their orthodoxy without needing to understand it very well. We have the idea—one we've taken for granted and never examined—that we can get on without ...

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Who Is the Holy Spirit?
Who Is the Holy Spirit?
We talk a lot about the Father and Son, but often fail to note the Spirit’s presence.

Who is the Holy Spirit? He is, of course, God, and he helps us know where God is. But in talking about “where” God is, Christians are forced to retain two equal and (seemingly) opposing truths. We must with one hand cling to God’s transcendence—the ...

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Why Are There Different Denominations?
Why Are There Different Denominations?
They are actually a means of keeping peace.

The book that best helped me understand why there are so many different denominations is Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas. It was not written to explain denominations, but it does so in a backdoor way. In this book, Thomas explains how varied we are in ...

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Can a Christian Suffer from Mental Illness?
Can a Christian Suffer from Mental Illness?
Christians struggle this way as frequently as anyone else.

My mother has schizophrenia. Her illness had a profound effect on our family, especially when I was a young teenager. Like many other families, we stayed pretty quiet about what we were experiencing. My dad was a pastor for 10 years, and after that we ...

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