New Study Tonight on Forgiveness

We're starting a new multipart series on forgiveness tonight.  We're calling it "Forgiving and Forgiven." That's a play on a book title by Jay Adams called  From Forgiven to Forgiving: Learning to Forgive One Another God's Way ( Amazon ).  While we will depart at points, much of the material in the series is based on what he's written there, so I encourage anyone wanting to do further study to get a copy of this book.   For a quick overview of the series, we're dividing it into five parts: Understanding Forgiveness Misunderstanding Forgiveness Living with Forgiveness The Church and Forgiveness Forgiveness and Consequences Here's what each of those parts will look like: I.                  Understanding Forgiveness a.       What is forgiveness? b.       The basis for forgiveness — the gospel. c.       Horizontal and vertical forgiveness. d.       Conditionality and forgiveness. II.              

Review: From Forgiven to Forgiving: Learning to Forgive One Another God's Way

From Forgiven to Forgiving: Learning to Forgive One Another God's Way by Jay E. Adams My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is an excellent resource on understanding forgiveness. Adams provides not only a full explanation of what it means to forgive and seek forgiveness from several angle, he also gives us many helpful correctives. He also emphasizes that the concept of forgiveness must begin with God and the gospel, a point which raises this book from mere moralism to a devotional aspect of our lives. It's challenging at times, and again, a great resource. I not only recommend it, I plan to use it as the basis for a brief topical series. View all my reviews

Review: Leadership for Women in the Church

Leadership for Women in the Church by Susan Hunt My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book is written from an overall biblical perspective on the question of women and ministry. While the title might cause one to assume encouraging women reach for leadership roles within the church, the authors take the perspective that women can lead and serve from where they are. Such a perspective is important for all Christians to hear, and it is certainly encouraging for women seeking to use their gifts and talents to the glory of God. Readers looking for a discussion on gender roles within the church or arguments for and against the ordination of women to ministry will have to look elsewhere. Again, this book is more about encouraging women to serve within various layperson capacities within the local assembly. Indeed, there is a bit of self-confidence building thrusts within the book that I'm not particularly a fan of, but some might find helpful. Hunt and Hutche

Kroger Supermarket and the Pinch of Incense to LGBT+

You need not wonder what it was like to live under paganism. In Revelation 2:18-29, our Lord sent a message to the churches condemning the teachings of Jezebel.  Specifically, in v. 20, we read that she "teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." This is descriptive of what is now the temptation for Christians in our day. Let's start here.  God condemns every letter of the LGBT+ spectrum.  His Word is clear on the matter, and churches have historically taught this.  Christians in Bible-believing churches still believe this today, despite the movement of the zeitgeist and the Overton window.   This was the situation in Thyatira when Jesus wrote to them (and the other churches).  Immorality was not only acceptable, it was, in some arenas, expected.  When Christians refused to participate, it made them more marginalized.  Of course, being pushed to the fringes of society creates a unique opportunity f

Book Review: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s ironic that so many today use the term “Uncle Tom” as a pejorative. The protagonist of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin — a singular, upright, and spiritual man — is a hero who demonstrates the fortitude of character we all wish we had (black or white). In fact, the current stereotype of the submissive “Uncle Tom” doesn’t come from this book but from traveling minstrel shows attempting to discredit her message. That message is ultimately one of universal kinship of man and Christian charity. Stowe sought to put an end to slavery, and given the early and ongoing success of her work, she certainly played her role. Drawing off true accounts to draft her fictional narrative, she inserts a true pathos to her work. While it is not by any means the height of literary achievement, nor is it a perfect presentation, its cultural impact is welcome and well-earned. One of the major characteristics of the book

Book Review: The Lamb and the Fuhrer: Jesus Talks with Hitler (Great Conversations)

The Lamb and the Fuhrer: Jesus Talks with Hitler by Ravi Zacharias My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the first of the imagined dialogue books I've read by Zacharias. I'm not a huge fan of imagining words into the mouth of our Lord, though Zacharias obviously doesn't do so with malicious intent and fills in numerous biblical allusions. This benefits of reading this conversation arises from pondering the concept of what God expects from politics and nations, and I was surprised to see a few historical sources cited in the text. More than that, though, the conversation proves evangelistic for the reader, as it is Hitler's story we follow most closely. View all my reviews

Critical Race Theory and Woke Religion vs. the One Mediator of True Religion

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Tim. 2:5-6). We require a mediator between us and God because we are in conflict.  So, to use the imagery of Job 9:33, God sent an umpire or an arbiter to “lay his hand upon us both.”  This is the only point of arbitration by which we can come to God, regardless of your socio-economic or ethnic background. In fact, there is a play on words here to describe who this is.   We see this in the English translation: “there is… one mediator also between God and men , the man Christ Jesus.”   The same word is used here in both cases, a word that speaks generally of people (whether male or female).   In other words, Jesus Christ became as we are — human — to be a sympathetic mediator ( a la Heb. 4:15). As such, we can’t look to another mediator.   The Gnostics would later teach falsely that Jesus is but one of many emanat