December 21, 2018

Two big ones this year in Chicagoland, two big pastors the foundations of whose empires have been shaken. First it was Willow Creek and Bill Hybels, now it is Harvest Bible Chapel and James Macdonald. I knew far more about the former than I do about the latter. Neither is specifically in view here. Instead, I speak about a theological and ecclesial problem: pastors and power. What we have in these, and far too many similar church situations is pastoral… Read more

December 20, 2018

The first chapter of Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins looks at principles of biblical interpretation. Because this is the biggest stumbling block for  Christians, it is important to address interpretation head on in order to lay a framework for understanding the relationship between science and Christian faith. John Walton provides three criteria for a credible interpretation of Scripture (p. 9): (1) it will be supported by “sound exegesis performed in a close reading of the text.” Critical thinking is an… Read more

December 20, 2018

The three major forms of liberation theology — Latin American, African American/Black, Feminist/Womanist — more or less came of age in the 1960s, according to  Lilian Calles Barger,  The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology. Her opening chapter on religion and the cultural crisis finds its focus here: The heart of the crisis was a heightened awareness of religion’s role in perpetuating inequality. The hallowed walls of religious institutions no longer ensconced God ready to sanctify the… Read more

December 19, 2018

By Jason Gile, Jason is Affiliate Professor of Old Testament and Dean of Program Development and Innovation at Northern Seminary. It’s well known in popular Christianity that Christmas is about the birth of a king. But, in its biblical context, Christmas isn’t about just any king, nor some generic savior of the world. Instead, the central claim of early Christianity is that Jesus was the king of Israel, the expected son of David who would deliver his people. While it’s essential… Read more

December 19, 2018

From the very beginning of the church singing was important to the fellowship. From that same beginning their songs were like the songs of the Greco-Roman world and the Jewish world — but first… Notice again: Mark 14:26    When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns,… Read more

December 18, 2018

This last week I received a new book from IVP Academic: Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins. This book is the joint effort of five Wheaton professors and grew out of a course they’ve been team teaching for two decades or so (along with a handful of other colleagues). Their collected expertise ranges from Physics to Old Testament. Robert Bishop is professor of physics and philosophy, Larry Funck is a chemist (now retired), Raymond Lewis is a biologist, Stephen Moshier a… Read more

December 18, 2018

We turn in our reading of the patristics to Ignatius, who evidently wrote these letters on his march to Rome to be martyred — sometime during Trajan’s reign. We don’t know much about Ignatius until these letters and in the middle of his trip — somewhere around Philippi — the story of his life is lost. The tradition is that he died in Rome. In our series on the patristic writings, we use the text Michael Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers…. Read more

December 17, 2018

From a friend Read more

December 17, 2018

A big theme in Proverbs is the fool, so Glenn Pemberton, in his excellent new book, A Life That Is Good, has a chapter called “How to be a Fool.” What does he say? This is one of the best studies of the fool I’ve ever seen, so please give this post a good read and get the book — it is packed with wisdom. First, what does “fool” mean to us today? Our typical image of a fool is that… Read more

December 17, 2018

By Northern Seminary student and pastor Jeremy Berg I was sitting across the table of a dear friend grieving the sudden and unexpected loss of her dad just before Christmas. She had to watch as the disease just slowly overtook his life and his entire body. As Bing Crosby sang above us and happy shoppers strolled by outside the restaurant, we were sharing a cold cup of suffering and wondering: What hope does Christmas offer the person with an empty… Read more

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