I read quite a few good Christian books in 2021. Here are seven of my favorites, plus a bonus book. Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm, by S. T. Antonio. What should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? Solid and readable Christian ecclesiology … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2021
Modern Miracles: A Short Book Review
There is no better time than Christmastime to read a book about miracles, is there? I have just finished reading Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. But this book is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles … Continue reading Modern Miracles: A Short Book Review
Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?
In a former post, I tried to answer the question of whether Paul was a literal tentmaker. In this post, I ask whether Paul was a figurative tentmaker—one who was self-supporting in ministry. I often interact with Christians who say, “I want to be tentmaker like Paul.” What they mean is that they want to … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?
Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?
In today’s post (part 1), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul literally sewed tents. It turns out that this is a disputed question. In a follow-up post (part 2), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul was a metaphorical tentmaker, that is, whether he worked with his hands … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?
Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11
Twenty years ago, my wife and I were living with our two daughters in a suburb on the northern edge of New York City. The shock waves from the two planes that slammed into the World Trade Towers reverberated across the nation—and indeed, around the world—but it was categorically different living in New York on … Continue reading Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11
Chronology of the Apostle Paul
Here’s a blog post that contains more footnotes (historical notes) than main text. That’s because this is my own attempt to sort out the chronology of Paul. Have you ever wondered when Paul did what? Here is a possible chronology. 33 A.D.Death of Christ34Conversion of Paul36First Jerusalem visit (Gal 1:18)44Famine visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30/12:25, … Continue reading Chronology of the Apostle Paul
“Let Go and Let God”?
I grew up in a church setting that was really into “higher life” teaching. This teaching goes by many different names, including “victorious Christian living,” “the exchanged life,” and “the crucified life.” A particular stream of higher life teaching that continues to be influential is known as the Keswick Movement (pronounce KES-ik), named after an … Continue reading “Let Go and Let God”?
Persecution and Scripture Memorization
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
Was there One John or Two in the Early Church? What Did Papias Think?
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?
How to Remain a Truly Christian University
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