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theology

4 ways hymns have shaped my life and doctrine

I cannot remember when hymns were not deeply embedded in my mental framework. How soon I began to go to “big-church” I do not recall, but the singing always made a deep impression on me and the language upon which I first began to meditate consisted of phrases in the musical repertoire: Holy, holy, holy…

Theology is not just for theologians

In other words, Theology is practical: especially now. In the old days, when there was less education and discussion, perhaps it was possible to get on with a very few simple ideas about God. But it is not so now. Everyone reads, everyone hears things discussed. Consequently, if you do not listen to Theology, that…

A high view of God should lead to laughter

If you cannot laugh at yourself, and laugh at yourself with others, you have a theological problem—you do not take God seriously enough. There is a reciprocal relationship between taking God seriously, and taking yourself less seriously. When people take themselves too seriously, they naturally become self-referential and touchy. They tend to be on the…

Challenges and Prospects of Teaching Theology in Africa

Why every student should read Martyn-Lloyd Jones

Editors’ note: This article begins on occasional series on the SBTS blog, Why Every Student Should Read . . . This series is intended to spotlight and commend for further investigation pastors, teachers, theologians, books, sermons, and figures from church history as well as from the current evangelical scene. ___________________________________________________ Martyn Lloyd-Jones is one of…

How to apply logic to arguments, part 2

Editors’ note: Part I of this two-part series was published on Tuesday. Engaging the culture involves more than the picking apart of opposing arguments. While this is important, you must develop and use well-reasoned arguments. It is far too easy to point out the faults and inaccuracies of someone else’s argument, but to make this…

Standing on the shoulders of giants: The preacher and his books

One of my favorite quotes is from Sir Isaac Newton, discoverer of the law of gravity. In a letter to Robert Hooke on February 5, 1676, Newton wrote, “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Newton saw farther than anyone had before, precisely because he was willing to…

5 moves to integrate theology into your ministry

  1) Saturate your preaching and conversation with Bible truth. If, as Paul says, those Old Testament stories were given to us as examples, then we should use them that way. When you are addressing deacons, elders, students or any group in the church, learn to work in Bible narratives and show how they apply…

The gospel is better than amnesty

Good paintings tell stories. Think of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It tells the story of Jesus and his disciples sitting down for the final meal before the crucifixion. Jesus would drink the Passover cup before being sacrificed as the Passover lamb. The good news of Jesus is more than a story. But…

Repentance as a path to joy

Every person experiences feelings of guilt over sinful actions and choices, and every person responds to those feelings in some way. The Bible explains that a Christian response to guilt over sinful actions ought to be rooted in faith and repentance. Faith is trust in the promise of grace in Jesus the Christ as an…

A gospel-focused reenergizing of politics

American evangelicals are, sometimes frantically, trying to adjust to an increasingly post-Christian America. We can no longer pretend that we are a “moral majority,” sharing “values” with the American mainstream. In a quest to differentiate themselves from the activism of previous generations, some younger evangelicals wish to retreat into a libertarian cultural isolationism, and some…

Duke University, Religious Liberty, and Islamic Supremacism

The recent attacks in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo have once again raised numerous questions about the nature of Islam. Most of them cluster around the issue of authenticity. Among the questions being debated and discussed are: What versions or expressions of Islam are most faithful to the sources? To what extent do…

‘A different worldview’: Allison discusses new book on Roman Catholic theology

  EDITOR’S NOTE: In what follows, Gregg R. Allison, professor of Christian theology at Southern Seminary, discusses his new book, Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment, with Towers editor S. Craig Sanders. CS: What was your methodology for assessing Roman Catholic theology and how did you engage with it in this book? GA: Most Protestants and…

Suffering in seminary: ‘A demonstration of God’s resurrection power’

  “Do you have the kind of trust in God that allows you to face death?” Boyce College professor Denny Burk posed that question in Alumni Memorial Chapel on Sept. 18, 2012, saying that “God can transform your pain into someone else’s comfort.” The sermon preyed on my conscience throughout the day. I questioned whether…

Creation and American Christianity

  The character of Christianity depends, in profound ways, on one’s beliefs concerning creation. For the first 250 years of the existence of the church in America, Christians assumed the truth of the doctrine of creation. It was revealed in the Bible and it made the most sense of the natural world. When large numbers…

Christ in the Old Testament

  When we study, preach or teach the Old Testament (OT) should we talk about Jesus Christ? Is it hermeneutically sound to see Christ in the OT? Let’s hear the words of the best interpreter of the OT in history. When Cleopas and his companion were doubting that Jesus was the Messiah because He suffered…

The hero story

  Have you heard the ballad of the hoped-for hero? Ancient prophecies foretell his coming. Not altogether clear, shrouded in mystery, but enough to kindle hopes and keep the flickering flame alive. Everything depends on his coming. In fact, if these prophecies aren’t realized, there is no final defense against evil. No ultimate hope. No…

Dangers of denial in
a declining church

  The word “declining” can have different connotations as it relates to churches. It can mean declining influence in the community, or decline in effective preaching, or decline in evangelistic impact. Most of the time, though not all of the time, one of the symptoms of this decline is a numerical decline. According to our…