In the early 1950’s in Communist Russia, three charismatic pastors came up with a risky idea they thought might be worth doing despite the risk. Nik Ripken, in his outstanding book about persecution, The Insanity of God, explains that: “…they planned and organized a youth congress in Moscow and invited all of the young, unmarried … Continue reading Persecution and Scripture Memorization
Early in the second century A.D., Papias, one of the Apostolic Fathers, penned an interesting paragraph about which my students sometimes ask. In particular, students are sometimes curious to know whether Papias is referring to one John (that is, the Apostle John), or to two Johns (the Apostle John and a different elder named John). … Continue reading Was there One John or Two in the Early Church? What Did Papias Think?
Paul boldly and famously asserts: “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Cor. 5:14). But what does he mean by “the love of Christ”? If you’re willing to put up with a bit of Greek-grammar jargon, check out this golden nugget in a paragraph from Maximilian Zerwick’s grammar of New Testament Greek. Zerwick writes: …the … Continue reading The Love of Christ Controls Us: But What is “The Love of Christ”?
A couple years ago, I read Owen Strachan’s excellent book, Awakening the Evangelical Mind: An Intellectual History of the Neo-Evangelical Movement. He has some good words for how to keep evangelical universities, well … evangelical. These three paragraphs are worth the three minutes it will take you to read them: The evangelical colleges and universities that are … Continue reading How to Remain a Truly Christian University
Muslims are coming to Christ all around the world. But what should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? I recently read an outstanding book dealing with the central biblical-theological and missiological questions surrounding this central question: Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm. The book's author, … Continue reading Muslim Insider Movements and the Church: An Interview
Michael Heiser has done some good academic work during his career as an Old Testament scholar, and I will not hesitate to draw upon his insights in the future. But his view of the heavenly being labeled ha satan (Hebrew for “the satan”) in the book of Job is probably wrong. What I intend to … Continue reading Why Michael Heiser is Probably Wrong about Satan in the Book of Job
I recently read John Piper’s little book, Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ. In this book, Piper wrote three short biographies of Christian missionaries who were martyred for Christ: William Tyndale, John G. Paton, and Adoniram Judson. In the introduction, Piper made a comment that has been stirring and working its way into my heart. … Continue reading Dying Daily
What is the longest Greek word ever to appear in written form? Here it is: λοπαδοτεμαχοσελαχογαλεοκρανιολειψανοδριμυποτριμματοσιλφιολιπαρομελιτοκατακεχυμενοκιχλεπικοσσυφοφαττοπεριστεραλεκτρυονοπτοπιφαλλιδοκιγκλοπελειολαγῳοσιραιοβαφητραγανοπτερυγών. (Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae 1170). This insane—and rather well-known—word is 172 characters long! Kenneth M. De Luca comments about how Aristophanes (ca. 392 B.C.) created this word: “In this scene Blepyrus is offered a meal that is a composite of an … Continue reading The Longest Greek Word
Following are seven books I read in 2020 that I found beneficial in my Christian life. This year I read quite a few biographies, so three of my entries are biographies. Unfortunately, none of the academic books I read this year made the list (compare my list for 2019), even though most of the books … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2020
One of the hardest things about being a Christian author is determining how much—or how little—to promote a book I’ve written. Nevertheless, in the presence of the Lord, I know that I have the responsibility not only to prayerfully and carefully write books that strengthen people’s faith and further Christ’s kingdom, but also to encourage … Continue reading Can I Recommend a Christmas Gift?