When you hear the words “in the original text it says” or “in the original text this means,” it’s time to be wary. Those words often provide the introduction to misleading information. But how can the hearer discern just what is correct and what is misleading? How can pastors avoid giving their congregations misleading information?
“In the Original Text It Says” takes a look at word-study fallacies and how you can avoid them. Author Ben Baxter gives an introduction to word meaning and how word meaning differs between languages. He then examines a series of fallacies, errors that people make in assigning meaning to words in the original languages of the Bible.
But he doesn’t leave it with that theoretical examination. After providing the basis for how to understand Biblical words, he examines the discussion of specific words and phrases from passages in both the Old Testament and the New. He takes these examples from commentaries commonly used by pastors and teachers in sermon and lesson preparation. With each example, he shows how one might misunderstand the linguistic evidence provided, and also how one can properly apply this information.
This book is designed for readers who have had some contact with Greek or Hebrew, but will also be useful to those who have more language skill, but may not have studied linguistics or looked carefully at how to apply their knowledge in teaching.
What is the Kingdom of God? What does it mean to be part of the kingdom? These are questions that should occupy the mind of every Christian. But we frequently shy away from the full meaning of God’s rule.
In Christian Archy, Dr. David Alan Black examines the New Testament to find the truly radical and all-encompassing claims of God’s kingdom. In doing so, he discovers that the character of this kingdom is widely different from what is commonly contemplated today. Its glory is revealed only through suffering — a point that Jesus’ disciples, then and now, have been slow to understand. This truth has tremendous implications for church life. The kingdom of God is in no way imperialistic. It has no political ambitions. It conquers not by force but by love. It is this humble characteristic of the kingdom that is a stumbling block to so many today. Christ’s claim to our total allegiance is one we seek to avoid at all costs. But there is only one way to victory and peace, and that way is the way of the Lamb.
This is the first volume in the new Areopagus Critical Christian Issues Series from Energion Publications. We believe it is an appropriate way to begin that series by addressing this foundational question of who we are as part of the Christian church, and why it is important for us to immerse ourselves in God’s word.
Except for Fornication is a brief study, less than 80 pages, of statements in the Gospels relating to divorce and remarriage. Dr. Parunak examines the background and context of the statements of Jesus regarding divorce, and relates them to the Old Testament commands on which Jesus was commenting. This historical depth and detailed linguistic analysis will prove useful to Bible students, whether or not they ultimately agree with the author’s conclusions.
This investigation is laid out as a mystery, with each aspect examined carefully in the light of historical and contextual clues. The author examines texts in the original languages and discusses the use of key words in the relevant literature.
Pastors and lay readers alike will benefit from this thorough study.
As the body of Christ, the church has a prophetic role in the world. Prophets have always spoken clearly to people in power. They have been willing to challenge the decisions made by people who thought they were not accountable to anyone. Sometimes the prophets were respected, sometimes persecuted, but they were never ignored or regarded as irrelevant. So why is it that the church today cannot speak truth effectively to power?
In The Politics of Witness, Dr. Allan R. Bevere asks these questions and proposes an answer. The church has come to depend too much on temporal power and has thus forgotten its divine authority. In finding this answer he goes back to the founding of the church and how it first became dependent on the state. He examines those who have followed, mostly building a political theory that takes the responsibility of ministry from the church and gives it to the state.
You’ll find some names in this that might surprise you. Any discussion of Christianity and the state will involve Emperor Constantine, but what about his modern lieutenants, such as Locke, Jefferson, Franklin, and others?
While the theology applies to the church in any country, Dr. Bevere takes a particular look at the peculiarly American view that the United States of America is somehow God’s chosen people, a nation of destiny in accomplishing the gospel mission.
This book balances brevity with a broad intellectual and historical reach. You will be taken from the founding and foundation structure of Christian theology today to a proposal for how we, as the Church can reclaim our prophetic witness.
A questioning approach lies at the heart of our relationship with God. That’s how God engages us. In fact, questioning (or free inquiry), is central to our being human. Yet the major monotheistic religions vary markedly on this matter. In The Questioning God, Dr. Greenham examines the three major monotheistic religions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, to see how they relate to questioning, both the questions that God asks us, and the questions that we ask about God. His goal is to develop a biblical theology of questioning, avoiding a loss of direction and focus that results from selective questioning, and also a loss of humanity that results from bypassing our questions through an inappropriate submission.
The examination is wide ranging, including chapters on questioning in Islam, Judaism, evangelical and mainline Christianity, along with an examination of the consequences of a non-questioning culture. He ends the book with a proposal for a biblical theology and a look at the practical implications–just what does it mean to pursue this questioning culture.
The author finds that questions are not just valuable, they are essential for serious human interaction. “As questioning beings,” he concludes, “there is no limit to what we might ask, but our questions must always be anchored in the questioning God’s enduring concern to engage us.”
“Prayer changes things.” It’s a common saying, and too often Christian discussion of prayer deals only with how we can change other things and other people through prayer. But what if prayer is much more that we imagine? What if it is also the means of correcting our relationship to the Creator and at the same time of changing our relationships with one another? Perhaps prayer can ultimately help transform our theology, what we believe about God, into character and action.
In Ultimate Allegiance, Dr. Bob Cornwall takes us to the Lord’s Prayer, a short and simple prayer that is well-known and often recited. But in each of its major petitions, he finds deep meaning that challenges us to think and to change. In fact, this prayer of Jesus brings us to the ultimate question of just where we should place our ultimate allegiance.