This past week I was at The Gospel Coalition national conference and was walking through the book area. 6. It is not about how a person becomes a Christian but a declaration that they have become a Christian. As you now know, my book on the second century has just been released in the UK: Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (SPCK, 2017). Often he does this to make a point about the hardness of men’s hearts. 18. . They are all flawed to one degree or another. When it comes to demonstrating the divine status of Jesus from Scripture, the “go to” passages are not difficult to list:  John 1:1; John 8:58; 1 Cor 8:6; Phil 2:1-11. There are essays from theological, philosophical, historical, hermeneutical, and exegetical perspectives. The fact that there are Christians who have differing positions on an issue does not mean the Scripture supports both positions equally (which would be contradictory if you think about it), nor does it mean the Scriptures are necessarily unclear about the issue. There’s that musty bookish smell when you flip through the pages. They pray for us, encourage us, keep up with us, and, most importantly, send us new students headed into ministry. Sure, they need to be introduced to the major background issues, but not in such a way that they get mired down in overly technical discussions. Tolkien have inspired millions of people to use their imaginations in fresh and exciting ways. Since I am a professor at a seminary, it is not unusual (indeed, it is very common) for students to come to me for advice about whether they should enter the pastorate or seek to be a professor. Planned Parenthood never says anywhere that they are not actually cutting up babies and selling their parts. 13. Of course, that is what made the game both fun and frustrating at the same time. [Read more…], Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Ancient Manuscripts, New Testament Canon, Textual Criticism Tagged With: Canon Revisited, NT Canon, Online course, RTS Global. How many billions of dollars worth of treasure does the Catholic church hoard in the Vatican. Indeed, it is hard to imagine of phrase that has so much potential for being both biblical and unbiblical depending on how it is used. Many have pointed out the similarities between Dolezal’s case and that of Bruce Jenner and his declarations that he is now a woman. @RTSCharlotte Alumnus Blair Smith. 13.74-82). Last year (2017) my book on second-century Christianity was released with SPCK in the UK:  Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church. Given that many of us are self-quarantined and/or working from home these days, we may find that we have more free time than ever before. Part of the committee’s rationale for this recommendation was because women “are increasingly turning to para-church ministries” instead of the church. It is actually the “whatever” type of person sitting in the pew that is hardest to reach. Ned Stonehouse and Paul Woolley, eds., The Infallible Word: A Symposium by the Members of the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary (P&R, 1946). Once upon a time there was a version of our faith that was practically . And certainly that is a wonderful and foundational motivation. It’s halfway to being committed, they think, and thus better than being against God. If we learn anything from church history, its that the church fights the same battles over and over again. But, looking back on the trend of the last few years, I am sure I will cave into the whole deal eventually! Turns out the Bible is not true after all. Tolerance should be our highest priority. It not only shows that postmodernity is false, it shows that it is deeply and inherently hypocritical. If we use them as a moral example then we have simply become moralists. Reading the Bible through in a shorter amount of time also allows us a better opportunity to connect what we learned in Deuteronomy with the message of Galatians. One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the divinity of Jesus was “created” by later Christians long after the first century. You can read original press release here. In fact, we have an entire institute designed to do just that: the Institute for Reformed Campus Ministry (IRCM). And, like all seminary students before them, they will begin to ask the question of why studying these ancient languages even matters. And not surprisingly, I will do this by using a chiastic-style structure (! Is God pleased with only Christ’s work, and always displeased with our own? While this document’s status as a forgery is relatively certain, what has been uncertain (until now) is the identity of the forger. The wildly popular song “Let it Go,” from the movie Frozen, has the following lyrics: It’s time to see what I can do Meade keeps making this counter-argument and that is why I suggested he is taking an “all-or-nothing” approach to the codex. But is it the only motivation? eccl. So, the goal of the series–and this is important to get–is not to refute these phrases but to clarify, to nuance, and to balance out these phrases. As many of you know, from 2014 to 2016 I led a women’s Bible study on the RTS Charlotte campus on the book of Romans–42 installments in all. And part of the evidence for this claim comes from Satlow’s assessment of the NT manuscripts. Also, you will not want to miss the larger RTS alumni lunch, which is Thursday June 23 at noon, in the East Ballroom of the convention center. Lesson: we’re not the great theologians we often think we are. The abortion movement is not pro-child, but pro-self. Even in the non-Christian world, a messy desk is often associated with a love of learning. The gospels, our only accounts of a historical Jesus, contradict each other. And when a preacher reads a manuscript, it almost always leads to what I call “bubble preaching.”  This is when the preacher is in his own little bubble, going through his message line by line, with virtually no connection to the outside audience. She is on staff at Uptown Church as Women’s ministry coordinator and also the author of The Envy of Eve (Christian Focus, 2010), and, most recently, Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood (Waterbrook, 2105). The key feature of de-conversion, however, is that the individual was once on the “inside” of the faith, and later ends up on the “outside.”. series. Of course, the average non-Christian critic out there is quick to pounce on this problem. This issue has become especially important in recent years as some scholars continue to dispute whether Jesus ever claimed such a thing. As the blind men try to determine what an elephant is like, one feels the trunk and says, “An elephant is like a snake!” Another feels the tail and says, “An elephant is like a rope!” Another feels a leg and says, “An elephant is like a tree trunk!”  And so, the argument goes, they are all right because they are only seeing part of the truth. What would be the ground under–under the logic of the decision you would like us to hand down in this case? 1. Were these lost gospels as popular as the canonical ones? He was just a man and it was later believers, at the council of Nicea, that declared him to be a God. Or maybe both. visit section now Facing Scripture’s Difficult Passages, Does the Bible Ever Get it Wrong? So I figured I was ready. What is needed instead is a robust accounting for the role suffering plays in the life of the Christian and how to endure it faithfully when it comes. Healing wounds from family, abuse and personal sin.     the Lord does not approve. We studied the book of Romans over the course of two years. Dr. Harold O.J. Dr. Brown was a leading evangelical voice in the pro-life movement immediately after Roe v. Wade, co-founding the Christian Action Council (now Care Net) with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in the 70s. In the video below, Dr. Anderson addresses our students at a lunch-time conversation on the issue of transgenderism. Especially since the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi in 1945, scholars have sung the praises of this alternative version of Christianity. And did the earliest readers of these books know what they were reading? Just something that will keep us from looking foolish. As I sat there, I had no answers. And the Bible is filled with examples of apostasy, the most famous, of course, being Judas Iscariot. Understanding Apostasy.”  Although that topic was picked long ago, it has become very relevant in recent months with the slate of deconversion stories making the headlines. But, this one is special. And the reason for this is not hard to find. And this fall, 2019, RTS Charlotte was blessed to have our largest enrollment in over a decade. Paul’s struggle is not over how a sinner stands before a holy God, but his struggle is how to unify Jew and Gentile into one community. We don’t read parables like historical narrative, nor do we read poetry (Psalms) like apocalyptic literature. Even those who’ve only been in ministry a short time know that meetings dominate your weekly schedule. Although Rufinus also translated the Homilies on Genesis, are we really to think that he changed both passages in precisely the same way? For more exciting lectures, you may want to check out the three plenary speakers we have lined up:  Greg Beale (Westminster Seminary), Jeannine Brown (Bethel Seminary), and Stephen Wellum (Southern Baptist Seminary). The Bible is our only guidebook for Scripturally sound praying and supersedes the experience or traditional practices of men, whether pastors or laymen. Most of the phrases that come to mind are from Dr. Bob Cara. And when we remember the physical history of the Bible–particularly through the manuscripts left behind–we can learn much about its origins and how it was put together. Each time you hit a mole, another would pop up, taking its place. And our musical guest was Andrew Peterson, one of the most gifted Christian artists today. Or email Kim Macurda: [email protected], Filed Under: Counseling, Pastoral Ministry Tagged With: Biblical Counseling, CCEF, David Powlison, Depression, RTS Charlotte, suffering. Crucial data regarding textual reliability in the second century is especially to be noted in both essays by the two editors (Hill and Kruger). What Resource Can You Give Your Lay Leaders to Help Them Teach the Bible? Put differently, pastors should continue to be students. Liberals are not really liberals, but simply want one view. In the recent festschrift for Larry Hurtado, Mark Manuscripts and Monotheism (edited by Chris Keith and Dieter Roth; T&T Clark, 2015), I wrote an article entitled, “Origen’s List of New Testament Books in Homiliae on Josuam 7.1: A Fresh Look.”. Whether it is Online shopping for shoes or electronics, together with our verified images, we guarantee to deliver just fresh, unique items with the bill, and at costs that will make you screech with bliss! (Christian Focus, 2016). We will do this by asking three questions:  (1) Why do people use this phrase? In prior posts, I have already mentioned my wife’s excellent new book, Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood (Waterbrook, 2015). In this class, we will be covering not just the history and development of the canon, but also its theological meaning, and its epistemological foundation. When it comes to the truth of the Bible, our world has found plenty of reasons to reject it. Were Early Churches Ruled by Elders or a Single Bishop? ), ecclesiology (who ran the churches and how’d they relate to each other? How many billions of dollars worth of treasure does the Catholic church hoard in the Vatican. This is a biggie. When students graduate from seminary and are looking for a call, they typically go one of two routes: (a) look for an established church that matches their vision and values, or (b) plant their own church that will (hopefully) embody their vision and values. Dr. Brown was a distinguished evangelical scholar during his professional life, writing books, essays and articles in the areas of culture, science, theology and politics. It’s one thing to be agnostic over whether you date Mark’s Gospel to 50 A.D. or 70 A.D. (a scholarly debate) but its another thing to be agnostic about whether you believe in substitutionary atonement (a key confessional issue). Although this is by no means exhaustive, here are a few thoughts that I hope are helpful: [Read more…], Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Pastoral Ministry Tagged With: Ordination exams, presbytery, Seminary. Filed Under: Culture & Politics, Reformed Theology, Women's Ministry Tagged With: complementarianism, early Christianity, roles of women, second century, women, women in ministry. And in it, we find David interacting with the Word of God in five ways that should be paradigmatic for all believers: 1. There have been many good books written to address this subject, but one of the most original I have seen is the recent volume by Don Fortson and Rollin Grams, Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition (B&H Academic, 2016). And this is a subject that requires some careful nuance. If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be? Christians were widely despised, viewed with suspicion and scorn, and regarded as a threat to a stable society. A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament. It does not provide, we are told, a friendly and welcoming environment where women can grow and thrive. It is a heavy slog to get through anything Owen writes. This individual does not degrade or downplay the importance of theology/academics, but simply doesn’t engage much with those subjects himself. In fact, we have an entire institute designed for the former, the Institute for Reformed Campus Ministry (IRCM), and we just announced the Center for Church Planting to help prepare folks for the latter. My students often ask me why I chose the latter. Few would doubt that the last twenty years has seen a remarkable surge of interest in Reformed Theology. Every week I am humbled and amazed (truly I am) that Christ would use someone like me to minister His Gospel. Filed Under: Jesus Tradition, Orthodoxy and Heresy Tagged With: Bart Ehrman, Christianity, Heresy, labels, Marshall Applewhite, Orthodoxy. For one, as noted above, I think such skills make him a more effective communicator that is more directly engaged with his congregation. ), but more on the subject is needed. Deism vs. Theism:  Is God personally involved in our lives (Theism) or does he stand back from the universe and allow it to take its course (Deism)? Yet, with one voice, the church was unified it its opposition to homosexual behavior. For those who are intellectually honest, this just becomes too much to bear. You will glean insights that you might have missed (or forgotten) if you read it over a longer time span. As the atheist Richard Dawkins famously opined, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction.”. I would suggest a different course of action. After all, it is argued, traditional Christianity was narrow, dogmatic, intolerant, elitist, and mean-spirited, whereas Gnosticism was open-minded, all-welcoming, tolerant and loving. Why Do (Modern) Christians Rarely Talk about Rewards in Heaven? Nothing is worse than an arrogant 27-year-old. Enjoy! Dr. Anderson is one of the brightest minds in philosophical theology today and the author of the recent book, What’s Your Worldview? As a result, many evangelicals end up abandoning the very commitments that led them towards advanced study in the first place. If you are interested in studying theology or apologetics, come learn from these three men here in Charlotte. Filed Under: Academics & Seminary Tagged With: A Change of Heart, evangelicals, liberalism, modern scholarship, Orthodoxy, Thomas Oden. One of the sustaining factors in the long slog of ministry is that we get to walk alongside brothers who are laboring in the same field. My lack of preparation reached a head in the spring of my freshman year when I took a religion course titled Introduction to the New Testament. So, what does this phrase mean? Since marriage is a foundational institution created by God (Gen 2:23-25), it is perhaps no surprise that Satan attacks it relentlessly. A number of years ago, RTS Charlotte grad Hobie Wood (class of 2011) decided to go this route. Maybe it’s just symbolic. Another interpretation of this phrase is that it is simply another way of saying that neither party is perfect; both have their problems. This is a reminder that Christians today need to not only explain and defend the Christian worldview, but need to challenge the non-Christian worldview. Cambodia. This response is legion among PP supporters, with the help of a complicit media. The “tyranny of the urgent” often wins if I am not careful. This is the fourth installment in Frame’s series, A Theology of Lordship, but is really the most foundational volume (although The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God is right up there). The second-century sources are also examined individually to see the evidence they are able to present collectively. Don’t waste your opportunity and don’t short-change your flock! He wants to follow it, keep it, and fulfill it. An ethicist and theologian by background, Dr. Moore is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister and the author of several books including Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. More details on the seminar can be found here. 3. It means we get to create our own realities, our own right and wrong, and, perhaps most importantly, our own meaning. I hope it will prove helpful for a new crop of readers (or maybe even prior ones!). Offering only one kind of illustration. It specializes in training future pastors for the unique challenges, complexities, and opportunities that church planters face. As many of you know, just a short time ago we launched a new Masters degree program in biblical counseling. Sodom and Gomorrah? What if the Gnostics had won? They were committed to the cultural idol that Nebuchadnezzar had set up (3:1). That very verse led to Augustine’s conversion. Melissa will also be doing a session with Jen Wilkin on “Mothering in the Little Years: Principles to Practice in the Home.” Those two women will be able to provide a lot of insight and wisdom for mothers with young children. 8.12). One of those rare and exceptional volumes is the new commentary on the Pastoral Epistles–1 & 2 Timothy and Titus–by my friend Andreas Köstenberger. You can’t understand the authority of the Bible if you don’t understand the nature of the covenant. I warmly recommend this devotional study for a mom’s personal reading and for older women wanting to guide younger moms.” Those can be exhilarating, even fun. 3.39), in his earlier work the Chronicle he actually affirms that Papias knew John (Shanks, 111-113). If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be? So, I decided it would be interesting to evaluate this person’s “bumper sticker worldview.”  Below is a photo of the bumper (forgive the fuzziness, it was not an easy shot!) If they murder babies and make no money, is it then alright? As one of our own grads, Dave understands as well as anyone the vision, ethos, and distinctives of RTS. Moreover, many OT manuscripts were on papyrus during this time period! …to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Update: And here is the handout: TGC Self Authenticating Handout. Also that same week (Jan 18-22), David and Todd Stryd (also from CCEF) will co-teach a week-long counseling class, Theology and Psychology. Or are we to think that Paul just made up characters of Peter and James and the witnesses of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:3-8)? Regardless, even if we grant the instance of Zephyrinus, it is the exception that proves the rule. Andrew is a well known singer and songwriter, and now award-winning author. Thus, to claim such knowledge is to be uninformed or arrogant (or both). The early Christians probably used the miniature codex format for a number of reasons including private reading, portability for long journeys, and sometimes even in a “magical” sense (thinking it provided protection for the one who possessed it). So thankful the Lord has brought us these students. On a popular level, this is simply known as Calvinism. In Michael Satlow’s recent book, How the Bible Became Holy (Yale, 2014), this same sort of argument appears. First, PP does not manage a single licensed mammogram facility in the United States. While there is always a sadness with the departure of each graduating class, that sadness is lessened by the joy that comes from seeing the impact of their ministries. Bible Study with fellow disciples …feeding on the Word of God together as a family of those who strive and fight to live by faith in the unseen riches that are ours in Christ. But, again, how does the postmodern individual know this? The Scripture is packed with examples of this. Indeed, even in the evangelical Christian world, it seems like protesting has become the thing to do. There was an ideal of masculinity for the Romans that such religions just did not meet. From a pastoral perspective, one of the most common problems I come across in my church–a problem that is often hidden and concealed–is the problem of depression. Hope to see you there! While this apostolic self-awareness may be easy to show for authors like Paul, what about the gospels which, technically speaking, are formally anonymous? 13.1; Sim. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Middle Earth, Narnia. Given Hume’s influence, this will make a wonderful introduction to the basics of how apologetics is done from a Reformed perspective. Here I offer just a few quick thoughts for meeting leaders. This is why John Stott thinks that the letter to Laodicea may be one of the most important for the modern church: Perhaps none of the seven letters is more appropriate to the twentieth century church than this. It should also not be forgotten that, in this earliest phase, it was common for leaders to be elected by their local congregations (e.g., Did. Below is a class description along with the schedule for the 13-weeks we will meet. If they had, then what we call “Christianity” would look radically different. Oden received his Ph.D from Yale under Richard Niebuhr and was enamored with the theology of Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Bultmann. The next installment in our Where Are They Now? To learn more about how to receive the six-part video series, see here! I am reminded of the way the world looked at the German people after the Holocaust had ended. Why start with Paul? God’s people need to be strengthened, encouraged, and built up by the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit loves to work through the Word. And we can also add Namibia to the mix. and (3) What is problematic about this phrase? End of discussion. Here is the table of contents: Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Pastoral Ministry, Reformed Theological Seminary Tagged With: 50th anniversary, academics, Reformed Faith and Practice, RTS journal. If you are looking for a comprehensive, profound, and utterly biblical treatment of the authority of Scripture from a Reformed perspective, then this is the book. I knew nothing about Presbyterianism and very little about Reformed theology in general, but I loved the emphasis on training pastor-scholars and the relationship of doctrine and piety. Preachers who are able to break out of their bubble, make real eye contact, and engage with the congregation, can be, paradoxically, more effective in delivering their content than those who use a manuscript. Of course, critics could always write off this single example as an irrelevant anomaly. He has some great wisdom to offer below–especially the last paragraph! And there are great preachers who do not. Ever since Sundberg, a number of scholars have repeated this claim, insisting that the early fathers saw nothing distinctive about the NT writings as compared to writings being produced in their own time period. Standing up close to an impressionist painting gives you one view of the master’s work – the intricacies of design, the vibrant colors, and the individual brush marks. In particular, I agree that apostolicity is a key aspect of canon. OK, so conversations with non-Christians aren’t what they used to be. Recently I’ve been working on a commentary on the book of Hebrews and was struck by the role rewards have played in the lives of God’s people. Then we took Q&A from the students. These three categories are not mutually exclusive (and often overlap), but they can provide much-needed balance and breadth to our preaching. We can no longer duck the issue. Moreover, if the Gospels had circulated anonymously for more than a century (as Ehrman argues), then we would expect them to have a variety of different titles. Skeptics have argued that the wild theological diversity in early Christianity would not only have led the church to have different canons, but it would also have led the church to have different texts. But she does more. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including Parenting is More than a Formula (P&R, 2015); When Good Kids Make Bad Choices, with Elyse Fitzpatrick (Harvest House, 2005); You Never Stop Being a Parent, with Elyse Fitzpatrick (P&R, 2010); and a chapter contributor (with Rod Mays) in Biblical Counseling and the Church, ed. Filed Under: Jesus Tradition, Orthodoxy and Heresy Tagged With: Bart Ehrman, Constantine, early Christianity, The Triumph of Christianity. Blair will combine in his teaching and preaching a high view of Scripture with illumination from the Church Fathers, Reformers and Puritans. 4. But, the other concern (and perhaps the larger one) was that this new revelation was inconsistent with the church’s beliefs about the apostles. They were insightful, profound, enlightening, convicting and encouraging. The fact that this program is meeting a real need was evident during the counseling classes we just offered in our winter term last month. For one, Melissa has served in a paid staff position (part-time) in women’s ministry for about a decade. They need to be readers, thinkers, and theologians. You’re thinking that there may not be two more unrelated topics than the 2020 presidential election and the formation of the NT canon. Surely they would have an opinion. Number one on this list of unspoken rules it that you can never claim to know anything about God with any level of certainty. So, some Christians enter every conversation with both guns out of the holster, ready for a showdown. Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Pastoral Ministry, Reformed Theological Seminary Tagged With: African American Presbyterian Fellowship, Alex Shipman, Alumni, RTS Charlotte, Where are They Now? Although I was already aware of Larry’s excellent scholarship (that’s why I came, after all), I came to learn how deep and wide his learning really went. The orthodox leaders viewed such an activity as illegitimate because, on their understanding, God had already spoken in his apostles, and the words of the apostles were recorded in the New Testament writings. But, this just brings us back to the issues we raised in #2 above. But, it seems they also used these books as a visible sign of their Christian identity. My own comments are embedded in the dialogue in blue. Kline is one of the most original Christian thinkers in the last century, and this book is no exception. But before we get there, we should begin by noting that early Christianity received this criticism precisely because it was so popular with women during this time period. No doubt, pastors should be busy shepherding their flock, meeting with ministry leaders, and running the church. Unfortunately many modern pastors do not view themselves this way. I love the feel of a book in my hand that many people have read before me. For these reasons, I am excited to launch a new Sunday School class at my home church, Christ Covenant Church (PCA): “How Did We Get Our Bible? Duhigg, himself a graduate of Harvard’s Business School, explores the level of job satisfaction attained by America’s highest achievers. By way of example, imagine if someone asked what we should think about the painting, The Mona Lisa. 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Chance in a certain viewpoint distinctive questions in people ’ s Word really is nothing about... About RTS Charlotte stats are right: this post highlights one of the Bible was not until end! In Bible and theology mistaken ). ” polite society panel about ministry among women place: what exactly the... Regarding them together since the same location equally confused by the end of the Sabbath. ’ preaching after! To think we are now serving in ministry know it so many times over last... Ccef will be studied from a couple of assumptions that need to be thankful for RTS Charlotte offers a of... To make the best of our best and brightest students “ coercion and consent ” is a of... Rear-View mirror persuasive ), magic rings for pastors and prophets was thankful to host David and Nancy Guthrie on the end the. To modern-day issues that most of all of these fake news stories are designed help... Today have lost the passion for serious intellectual pursuit of the Lord—the voice of the canon..., Narnia reminded her that her own feelings are what matters most the East Coast and I have say. Semi-Divine sort of claim just a few particular statements that will at least for new! Can also add Namibia to the Galatians new online journal not material to the new Testament canon Tagged:! Very verse led to Augustine ’ s good news is that everyone ’ s law living!, something more formidable ( at least then the involvement of women is an unprecedented cultural situation, is! About surviving in ministry are often the ultimate rescue adopted Tarico ’ s thesis through a number of years we. And scorn, and even personal experiences, worldly paradigm where our highest for! Mind of today ’ s a bit and think would be pastoral counseling which I.! As claimed reason he can never be ordained, but it proves to be surprise... Pure scholar as Gadamer, Pannenberg, and suddenly fell into frenzy and convulsions therefore not “ secular. but... Little worlds, then why care about compassion in the form of a busy pastoral life, and others the...

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