No one in primitive Christianity believed Jesus was divine, we are told. Give the improbability of the resurrection, he insists that we must always choose another explanation: “Any other scenario [besides a miracle]—no matter how unlikely—is more likely than the one in which a great miracle occurred, since the miracle defies all probability (or else we wouldn’t call it a miracle)” (How Jesus Became God, 173). Login to your account to start Shopping Online from the shops and sellers near you! Sometimes people have the misperception that scholarly arguments and opinions have no influence on culture and society—they are just ideas locked away in the ivory tower. Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Ancient Manuscripts, New Testament Canon, Textual Criticism Tagged With: annual meeting, Evangelical Theological Society, NT Canon, Papias, Textual Criticism. Why? But, since we don’t remember the details, we mumble something about the Bible having good “historical evidence” for its truth (hoping no one asks for the details). On the contrary, our earliest gospel manuscripts contain the titles that attribute these books to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For them, the kind of revelation that could be considered “God’s word,” and thus written down in books, had ceased with the apostolic time period. Filed Under: Jesus Tradition, Orthodoxy and Heresy Tagged With: Bart Ehrman, Christianity, Heresy, labels, Marshall Applewhite, Orthodoxy. This church offers me a wonderful balance of small group discipleship and a tremendous emphasis on preaching God’s Word. But, strangely, he is not often the ultimate court of appeal when they are deciding what to think about the Bible. Sadly, however, the critiques don’t come from just non-Christians. And his point is still made today by some, albeit in different words. And he was arguing that the New Testament was chocked full of mistakes and contradictions. We can’t make something true just because we want it to be. We all struggle to understand the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and the host of questions that come along with it: How do we know which OT laws carry over and which do not? But, then Satlow just glosses over the major text that shows otherwise, namely Justin’s description of how the Gospels are read in early Christian worship services as Scripture on par with the Old Testament writings (1 Apol. They not only read and preached from these books, but they copied and distributed them in great numbers. The messy desk was (to me at least) a sign of how thrilling theological study can be. Some theories just keep coming back. When Montanus had these revelations, “[He] became obsessed, and suddenly fell into frenzy and convulsions. Do their authors exhibit awareness that they were writing something like Scripture? So, pleased to see three great new resources released this year by my wife, Melissa. His research interests revolve around the intersection of counseling and systematic theology, with a special focus on anthropology. Thus, the preacher is forced to articulate the point more fully in his own words. What has been a struggle in your ministry? This is the big one. Did he really present himself as divine? Brown Lectures. Dr. Harold O.J. What exactly is a “Gospel”? There is a certain kind of illustration that can take on a life of its own. Bonauto: Number one, I assume the States would rush in and say that when you’re talking about multiple people joining into a relationship, that that is not the same thing that we’ve had in marriage, which is on the mutual support and consent of two people. And we have a great lineup ahead. One of the most common objections made to the absolute claims of Christianity is that Christians are arrogant. 1. It was a church that was tepid, bored, and apathetic–overconfident in their own spiritual condition. And they feel terrible about it. Having already dealt with the sola scriptura issue in the prior post, we now turn to the issue of sola fide. First, the characterization of pastoral ministry as somehow incompatible with the languages (due to busyness, or other causes), is an unfortunate misunderstanding of what a pastorate is all about. Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood is a perfect Bible study tool that equips and instructs us from the Word of God with encouragement specifically geared to a mother’s heart. No matter what particular calling our children might enjoy, this one is ultimate. Which means they don’t want equal treatment, they want special treatment. Younger generations of Christians use this phrase to push back against what they perceive as an isolationist/separationist mentality in prior generations. What makes for effective written communication is not always what makes for effective oral communication. Bart Ehrman, in his latest volume Jesus Before the Gospels, says no. Moving effortlessly from textual criticism, to early Christian worship, to Christology, Larry was more than an able guide as my doctoral advisor for the next several years. ), but because it brings such a profound and mysterious joy to my heart as I read it. Seminary Wives: 10 Encouragements for the Journey. In light of a passage like this, it is natural for folks to wonder whether God really wants people to be saved. Moreover, we understand the way words work, how their meaning is determined (or not determined), the importance of context, and the avoidance of certain exegetical fallacies. My Interview with Ratio Christi. Next year, 2021, RTS Charlotte will host  Simon Gathercole for our lectures. You can read about my interview on the TGC website here. New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman, has made exactly this argument. Enjoy! Of course, sadly this should come as no surprise. Apparently Not, Where Are They Now? This is why the church needs to be quick to deal with the repeated criticisms of the Bible that so often permeate our culture. Here’s the description and endorsements: [Read more…], Filed Under: Counseling, Women's Ministry Tagged With: Discipleship, Growing Together, Melissa Kruger, mentoring. Due out this Summer (hopefully by July) is my latest book: Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (London: SPCK/IVP Academic, 2017). No doubt, pastors should be busy shepherding their flock, meeting with ministry leaders, and running the church. And, like all seminary students before them, they will begin to ask the question of why studying these ancient languages even matters. To do so quickly leads to charges of being arrogant, dogmatic, or intolerant. (e) Moreover, Eusebius’ idea of second “John” in Ephesus, one different from the apostle, is based on the faulty conclusions drawn by Dionysius of Alexandria, and fueled by his prejudice against Papias’ chiliastic eschatology. Filed Under: Ethics & Morality, Reformed Theology, Sanctification Tagged With: authenticity, Christianese, Hypocrisy, repentance, sanctification, vulnerability. But my list is guided by these main criteria: (a) books that focus on the theological side of biblical authority and not as much on the historical evidences for the Bible’s history (though some overlap is inevitable); (b) books that are “modern,” meaning they have been written sometime between the Reformation and the present (otherwise, many patristic works would make the list); and (c) books that are rigorously orthodox (for this reason, Karl Barth’s Dogmatics is not on the list despite the fact that it has been influential on the modern church’s view of Scripture). Taking a year to read the Bible in its entirety allows us the opportunity to back up and observe the full picture. What makes preaching so hard? Of course, critics could always write off this single example as an irrelevant anomaly. Harris, Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978); J.W. But what does God think of our good works after we are saved? Let’s take them one at a time: [Read more…], Filed Under: Ancient Manuscripts, Authority of Scripture Tagged With: amateur scribes, Early Christian Scribes, How the Bible Became Holy, Manuscripts, Michael Satlow. She was such a delight to listen to. Of course, I recognize that there are also seminary husbands, but there is a unique challenge for seminary wives as they sometimes struggle to find their own calling in the midst of their husband’s pursuit of ministry. In brief, I think the presidential election cycle is a remarkably helpful analogy for understanding the different definitions of canon, and how those definitions help us understand the date of the canon. For anyone willing to search for it, the internet is packed with myths, mistakes, and misunderstandings about how the whole process really worked. Duhigg, himself a graduate of Harvard’s Business School, explores the level of job satisfaction attained by America’s highest achievers. He sums up the issue well: All this to say, the Christian position is that all knowledge of God comes through divine revelation (either general/natural or special/supernatural) and divine revelation is by its very nature a free and gracious act of God. It’s More Complicated Than You Think. As a result, it is often claimed that the New Testament was a late phenomenon. Wicked king Ahab calls in Israel's prophets to determine if he should go to war. Thus, the reader is able to see how theologians have arrived at a belief in Calvinism in a gradual, step by step fashion. One of the challenges of this phrase is that people can mean dramatically different things when they use it. Blair earned a B.S. Even if both parties are flawed to some degree, the real question still remains, namely which political party is the closest to the principles and ethics laid out in Scripture? This may include writing books, articles, or giving papers/lectures at conferences and gatherings. Let me offer some reflections on his latest post. This magic was supposed to induce or compel the gods to do the will of the practicer of the magic. These are the questions raised in Jesus Before the Gospels, Bart Ehrman’s latest Easter-timed book attacking the reliability and historical integrity of the New Testament. Or email Kim Macurda: [email protected], Filed Under: Counseling, Pastoral Ministry Tagged With: Biblical Counseling, CCEF, David Powlison, Depression, RTS Charlotte, suffering. After all, it seeks to do the same thing as all introductions, namely to help the reader to understand the background, historical setting, and theological themes of each New Testament book. We have a special place in our hearts for folks in this tricky stage of life. B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, with intro by Van Til (P&R, 1948). On one level its true. I hope that you will join us on Jan 18th and bring some friends along or even staff from your church. Dei Verbum declares, “This teaching office is not above the Word of God, but serves it” (2.10). For some critical scholars, the most important fact about early Christianity was its radical theological diversity. And yet, women, in great numbers, decided to join the early Christian movement anyway. Is there one thing that you learned at RTS that has come back to you as you have ministered to others? For some, the mere suggestion that Paul used Luke is unthinkable. Brown was not the first to make such a claim, of course, but his book gave it new life. Ever since David Hume, philosophers and scholars have been making the case against the possibility of miracles. To put it simply, if a person is going to make absolute, all-encompassing truth claims, they better have access to some source of knowledge that is absolute and all-encompassing. The protagonist, Wade Watts, lives almost his entire life in the virtual world–even going to school in simulation. But, Chalmers recognized the opportunity to be a professor would allow him to (effectively) invest in hundreds of congregations through the ministers he trained. Melissa serves as the Women’s Ministry Coordinator for her church and also writes, teaches and blogs for TGC. With a singular focus on the riches of God’s Word, Melissa Kruger gently helps mothers in all circumstances to step beyond the feeding-schooling-vaccinating-diapering wars into something so much bigger: a life defined by—and dependent on—the glorious call of Christ.” While these leaders certainly did not agree on everything, it is evident from their writings, or from historical reports about them, that there are no reasons to identify them with heterodox groups like the Marcionites, Gnostics, or Ebionites. Others claimed there were 365 (Lost Christianities, 2). With a bad guy like Sauron to occupy the reader’s attention, why does the story even need a character like Saruman?     his mercies never come to an end; I am so pleased to have Dr. Brooks join the faculty at RTS Charlotte. Not only is it the longest Psalm (176 verses! Dr. Cara – and I can still hear it now – always said, “be as balanced as the Bible is balanced.” That phrase (and its implications) has always stayed with me. Nothing is worse than an arrogant 27-year-old. Due to the size of the event, it is being hosted by Christ Covenant Church. And part of the evidence for this claim comes from Satlow’s assessment of the NT manuscripts. This week (June 12-15), PCA elders from all over the country are headed to Atlanta for our annual General Assembly. Now, of course, Christians don’t overlook Jesus generally. Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Pastoral Ministry, Reformed Theological Seminary Tagged With: biblical languages, Seminary, Summer Greek. If so, then this is yet another reason to think that our canonical gospels were known by their traditional names by the end of the first century. Currently, I am about 3/4 of the way through Ehrman’s volume and plan to review it formally in a few months. What are the most effective ways to call for a response? Here is the NT Intro Cover, which I think looks great. Thulo Market previously known as NepBay is the marketplace website of Nepal for online shopping, buying and selling. Enjoy! And I think it has served its purpose. It is precisely this sort of legalism that Paul was fighting in the letter to the Galatians. Diversity of thinking. Filed Under: Bible Difficulties, Historical Jesus Tagged With: early Christianity, parousia, second coming. This is one of the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament that we possess and provides a wonderful introduction to the world of ancient manuscripts. Even some well-meaning evangelicals, who have a genuine care for the poor, find themselves drawn to this new movement and its disdain for capitalism. Why not a man and two men? Christians were widely despised, viewed with suspicion and scorn, and regarded as a threat to a stable society. Why is that? Over the last number of years, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. You had be quick to win that game. 7.1: A Fresh Look,” in Chris Keith and Deiter T. Roth, eds., Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado (T&T Clark, 2014), 99-117. At least then the focus is in the right place: what the Bible teaches. eccl. It comes up multiple times every year. So, what then can be done, at least on a human level, to stop the virus? But, at least he is not required to stick his head in his notes (which is largely the case with reading). It all depends on how that knowledge is thought to be acquired. Thus, as noted above, it appears that the bishops described here are essentially equivalent to the office of “elder.”. 2. There is nothing arrogant about that. For him, apathy (at least in some ways) is worse than enmity towards God. Ned Stonehouse and Paul Woolley, eds., The Infallible Word: A Symposium by the Members of the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary (P&R, 1946). I have been so excited to see more and more female students coming to RTS to pursue theological education. More Than You Think, Here’s What Christians Should Be Busy Protesting, Here’s My Answer to One of the Most Common Questions I Get about My Books, Codex and Canon: A Response to John Meade (Part 2), What Do Manuscripts Tell Us About the Origins of the NT Canon? Every once in a while a book comes along that meets such an important need that it makes you wonder, “Why hasn’t someone done this before?” Richard (Dick) Belcher, OT Professor and Academic Dean at RTS Charlotte, has written just such a book: Prophet, Priest and King: The Roles of Christ in the Bible and Our Roles Today (P&R, 2016). There is little doubt that the last year has been one of the most contentious political phases in our nation’s history. For anyone in pastoral ministry, or who regularly finds themselves in counseling situations, this volume is a treasure trove of biblical, theological, Christ-centered wisdom about marriage. Notice the terms “scholar” and “pastor” have now been flipped. Was early Christianity really as diverse as Ehrman claims? Typically things like apostolicity, orthodoxy, usage, age, etc. Indeed, it was this friendship that not only led to Lewis’ conversion, but also was the context in which they developed many of their ideas that later appear in their fictional works. Until Christ returns and redeems His church, this reality is, to some degree, inevitable. Of course, there is not space here to lay out my full argument. We also want to discover how these books functioned within the timeline of the larger canonical story—how an author’s message contributes to our overall understanding of the work of Christ. RTS Charlotte Alumnus Cole McLaughlin, How Diverse Was Early Christianity? For a quick overview, here’s the video! To sign up for the class, see here. But is it the only motivation? Hear his story. Each day’s study uses substantive scriptures and soul-searching questions to reorient busy mothers toward walking with God in the mundane moments. I can still remember walking by David Hume’s statue almost every day when I was studying at the University of Edinburgh years ago (see main photo). And what is fascinating is to observe how inadequate (or even irrelevant) such defenses turn out to be. Is it reasonable to think that Christians could have even remembered the details accurately? Then there are family members, maybe our parents or siblings. From the time of the third century, and especially in the fourth and fifth centuries, Christians began to create these little “pocket Bibles” that contained portions of Scripture and sometimes even held multiple scriptural books (e.g., see my analysis of P.Ant. 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