Bible & Theology

Satan’s Two Favorite Lies

BY CHAD BIRD

Jesus cuts right to the chase when it comes to the evil one. He calls the devil “a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44). And the father of lies has his pet anti-truths. These lies, repeated often enough, can slowly drown out the promises of God.

Satan’s Two Favorite Lies

Revelation 1:9-11 | Enduring the Tribulation | 007

BY BRANDON HANSON

We’re living in the end times. We have been since Pentecost. The earliest Christians believed it, and what’s more, that is what the apostles teach us in Scripture. As early as Acts 2:17, just after Jesus had ascended to heaven and poured out his Spirit on His church…

Revelation 1:9-11 | Enduring the Tribulation | 007

The Joy of Obedience

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

Can there be joy in obedience? That depends on if obedience if a free choice or the result of threats. When obedience is coercive, it dominates and subjugates our wills, or at least attempts to do so, and no one wants to be ruled by another.

The Joy of Obedience

Seeing Samson's Cross-Eyed Reflection

BY DONAVON RILEY

For the past twenty years that I've been a Christian, I've not found any evidence in my reading of Judges 13-16 that qualifies Samson for the "book of faith" (Hebrews 11). Selfish, manipulative, short-tempered, and homicidally violent, Samson's a borderline-psychotic personality.

Seeing Samson's Cross-Eyed Reflection

The Radical Gospel

BY GERHARD FORDE

The radical gospel of justification by faith alone simply does not fit, cannot be accepted by, and will not work with an anthropology which sees the human being as a continuously existing subject possessing ‘‘free choice of will’’ over against God and/or other religious goals.

The Radical Gospel

What Have You Done for God Lately? Too Much.

BY CHAD BIRD

If I were the devil, I wouldn’t just entice believers to do bad things. We’re experts at that anyway. I’d strongly encourage them to do more for God. Just a gentle nudge in that direction. And before you know it, some of them would be so hog-wild about doing stuff for Jesus…

  What Have You Done for God Lately? Too Much.

Be Counter-Cultural: Preach the Cross

BY ERICK SORENSEN

Right now (and I would add, for quite some time) there has been a debate within Christianity about the whole issue of culture. What I mean is if you open up any Christian magazine or website, chances are you are going to find thoughtful (and unthoughtful) Christians dealing with the question of how we are to deal with the culture around us.

Be Counter-Cultural: Preach the Cross

The Greatness of the Gospel

BY MARTIN LUTHER

This is one of the best and most glorious Gospel lessons, such as John particularly wrote. It is worthy to be written in golden letters, not upon paper, but if possible upon the heart; it ought to be made the daily lesson and meditation of Christians, who should repeat it to strengthen their faith.

The Greatness of the Gospel

Revelation 1:5b-8 | God's Calling, Our Response | 006

BY BRANDON HANSON

We can pretend that we’re not sinful all day long. But coming face to face with the thrice holy God clears things up in a hurry. Suddenly, there is no place left to hide, no way to disguise our sin, no device or scheme left to excuse us.

Revelation 1:5b-8 | God's Calling, Our Response | 006

Failed Saint, Faithful Savior

BY DONAVON RILEY

Christians have long enjoyed an absurd love affair with white-washing biblical saints. Since the earliest days of the Church, saints have been held up as role models for great faith and godly behavior. From the Old Testament, for example, Abraham is often held up by Sunday School teachers and adult bible study leaders as a role-model.

Failed Saint, Faithful Savior

Turnt

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

When I hear the word “repentance” my mind quickly goes to those old terror inducing Chick Tracts. Say the word “repent” and I think of that guy on the corner yelling at me and the rest of the Atlanta United FC supporters as we march into Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Turnt

Revelation 1:4-5 | What Happens When the Triune God Shows Up? | 005

BY BRANDON HANSON

To see God would actually consume you in your current state. Entirely. There would be nothing left. “No one can see God and live.” This was their tradition. It was utterly impossible to see God. For if one did, they were dead. And so how can one see God and yet live? They could not conceive of a way..

Revelation 1:4-5 | What Happens When the Triune God Shows Up? | 005

The Confession of a Prodigal

BY KATHY STRAUCH

It happened instantaneously. His beloved teacher had just washed his feet. Hours earlier he reclined at the table with his Lord and recalled the Passover. Now, his regret was beyond comprehension. Everyone and everything around him disappeared as the Lord turned and caught his eye.

The Confession of a Prodigal

A Cloud Full of Grace

BY DOMINICK SANTORE

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. But, who are these witnesses, what do they witness to, and what does it mean to be surrounded by a great cloud of them? What do we find in this “cloud”? The “who” is simple enough. We just need to look one chapter prior in Hebrews.

A Cloud Full of Grace

Revelation 1:4a | What’s Up with Asia? | 004

BY BRANDON HANSON

What might we say is the significance of John addressing Revelation to the seven churches that are in Asia? It does two things. First, it grounds it in reality. This gives the book credibility as attested to by the naming of actual places and actual churches residing in those places.

Revelation 1:4a | What’s Up with Asia? | 004

Revelation 1:3 | Kept in the Keeping | 003

BY BRANDON HANSON

John ends the prologue of Revelation in verse three with a three-part blessing. The blessing is proclaimed on the one who reads, those who hear, and who keep what is written. What John is writing here must be interpreted within the context of the community of faith.

Revelation 1:3 | Kept in the Keeping | 003

When God Disappoints

BY CHAD BIRD

In the tiny Bible-belt town where I grew up, tragedy brought people together. Friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers would go the extra mile for a family in need. House fire? They'd hold a community fundraiser. Funeral? Enough casseroles would pile up in the kitchen to feed an army.

When God Disappoints

Revelation 1:1-2 | It's All About Jesus | 002

BY BRANDON HANSON

It’s the First Century, the early days of the of the Post-Pentecost Church. Something is in the air. There is change on the wind. You can feel it like electricity, clinging to you, causing the hair on your arm to stand up. It has been 50-60 years since the Spirit fell on the apostles and disciples in that upper room.

Revelation 1:1-2 | It's All About Jesus | 002

Breaking The “Righteous” Meter

BY MARIAH COWARD

In the first few years after God saved me I saw sin as this unfortunate parasite that was slowly sucking the life out of me. But I imagined that through enough hours of prayer, fasting and quiet time with the Lord I could successfully rid myself of these pesky leeches.

Breaking The “Righteous” Meter

Justification Is Simple

BY DONAVON RILEY

The Gospel is simple to confess. That is, we are justified by faith alone, through Christ alone, without the works of the Law. And so long as we don't add any limits, measures, or conditions to this, the Gospel is easy to confess to others. The message that we are justified by faith alone through Christ Jesus is good news anyone can deliver.

Justification Is Simple

Revelation 1:20 | The End of the Beginning | 001

BY BRANDON HANSON

It may seem like a strange place to begin: the end of the beginning. But the pattern of Revelation is one of continually circling back to the beginning, proceeding to the end, and repeating the process again from a different perspective. At the center of it all is the comforting and confident message that Jesus reigns.

Revelation 1:20 | The End of the Beginning | 001

Was the Son of God a Sinner?

BY MARTIN LUTHER

A Christian is beloved of God and a sinner. How can these two contradictions be harmonized: I am a sinner and deserve God's wrath and punishment, and yet the Father loves me? Christ alone can harmonize these contradictions. He is the Mediator.

Was the Son of God a Sinner?

Ideology, Theology, and Women Without Tattoos.

BY KELSI KLEMBARA

You may have seen the uproar from a recent blog post suggesting that virgins who forego college, learn to cook big meals and abstain from tattoos make more desirable wives. The graphic for the article features a pretty, blonde woman (with ink-free skin, of course) and a curly typeface plastered over the bottom of the image reading, “Men prefer debt free virgins without tattoos.”

Ideology, Theology, and Women Without Tattoos.