All Posts (Page 31)

All Posts (Page 31)

What Was Reformed in the Reformation

If one wants to know what the Protestant Reformation was all about without reading huge volumes of historical literature, it is perhaps most clarifying to look at the theological results. One should specifically note the rediscovery of five critical biblical doctrines that had been obscured from public view by the medieval version of what we now know as the Roman Catholic Church. And just so you know, Rome still either openly opposes or seriously distorts these doctrines. Using the Latin…

What You Need to Know About The Da Vinci Code

Do you know someone who has read The Da Vinci Code? If you don’t by now, you probably will. Dan Brown’s suspense novel has been on the NY Times best-sellers list for over 3 years, and, according to Brown’s website, "has become one of the most widely read books of all time."1 A quick search of a national bookseller’s website yielded no less than 15 books written about this novel, and a major motion picture based on the book is…

Beware of Study Bibles

I like resources that help me understand the Bible. My collection of commentaries grows yearly. The amount of books I own addressing various areas of theology numbers in the hundreds. There are a couple of websites that I visit regularly where numerous Bible study tools are offered. I also own four “Study Bibles,” which include not only the biblical text, but introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible, notes that explain verses, maps, articles about major concepts, and…

Evangelistic Bible Reading Concept

What?  A way to bring our friends and family directly to the New Testament in order to introduce them to Christ. The plan is to read the Bible aloud with those who don’t know Christ on a regular basis. Why? The Bible tells us the story of Christ’s death and resurrection, resulting in forgiveness and the life which is essential for our salvation. In fact, we only know about that through the Bible. Also, to believe includes hearing and conforming…

Faith-Sized Requests

Few things are as fixed as mountains. But, on the day after Jesus cursed the fig tree, He declared that they can be moved. "Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him." (Mark 11:23) Did Jesus mean this? The writer of Hebrews thought so.…

James in the Light of Job and Abraham: An Informal Attempt to Discover A Unifying Concept

Editor’s Note: The words below this introduction came from Benjamin Elliff in two private email conversations about the book of James. They follow a fairly lame attempt on my part to put the book together on James 2:12. Neither one of us knows for sure if the idea expressed below is exactly what James had in mind when he wrote his letter, but the attempt opens the door for more discussion. The style of Benjamin’s writing is just what it…

Let Us Pray Without Delay!

They didn’t complain. They didn’t doubt. They didn’t even strategize. Once Peter and John reported their imprisonment and the threats they had received for preaching the gospel, they immediately prayed with a gathering of believers in Jerusalem (see Acts 4:23-31). As I once heard, “Prayer was their first choice, not their last chance.” Here’s what they asked from God: “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,…

Nine Characteristics of Biblical Prayer

True prayer is not merely a matter of saying the right words. Biblical prayer is characterized and motivated by the right attitude-right thinking about the greatness of God, the beauty of Christ, and our own unworthiness and weakness. Ask yourself if your prayers are characterized by: An Understanding of Your Own Insignificance and Sinfulness When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought…

Nine Men at Panera

A group of nine men and I just finished a year and half discussion about John. I’m not going to let you in on the beauties of the book at this point, but rather I want to comment on the idea of men reading and studying the Scripture together. My comments apply to women and youth also, but my experience is with men, so I will lay this out in that context. These men, members of my congregation, met at…

Providence in Romania

After ministering just a few days in Romania in 1985 when the Iron Curtain was still up, I received a call that my mother was dying in a hospital room in Oklahoma City. “We think she is holding on until you get here,” my brother said.  It took two days to leave. It was hard enough to get into Romania at Oradea a few days earlier. At the checkpoint, the border guards asked if we had “any guns, drugs, pornography…

Reading Scripture Rightly

When reading a section of Scripture, we will find that a passage almost always comes across weighted on one side of an issue or another. I mean this: a passage is written intended to drive a certain point home, aimed at a particular audience, for a specific reason by an author who knew what was needed. He drives his nail to the heart. That passage should stare at us, disturb us and call us to action and faith. We should…

Reflections on the Ministry Trip to Ethiopia & Uganda, Fall of 2012

On September 4, 2012, CCW staff member Selamab Assefa and I left America for a few weeks of ministry in Africa. This was my third trip to Ethiopia with Selamab, and our first trip to Uganda. What follows is a brief report, arranged by topics. Old Friends Our first weekend in Ethiopia involved ministry to church leaders in a town called Dangla, about a 10 hour drive northwest of Addis Ababa (the capital city of Ethiopia). We had served in…