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January 29, 2014

What is the significance of Jerusalem in the Bible?

Watch this. Let me just give you a point of discontinuity right off the bat, that is also continuity at the same time. In the Old Testament Prophets, the goal is all of the time to get into Jerusalem. That is the high water mark of Israelite life: to make Jerusalem the center of everything. So they are in Egypt and then they are in Israel and then they are in Judah and then they are in Jerusalem. So finally, David conquers Jerusalem. Then he has the temple (well, Solomon builds it). But there is the temple, the palace and all that stuff and Jerusalem is the center of the universe.
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December 16, 2013

Why does Paul write his letter to the Romans?

There are a number of reasons, not just a single one. One reason is that he wants to be assisted by them as he goes to Spain on a mission trip. But above all, he writes as the apostle to the Gentiles because of the grace that has been given to them, to write to establish them, and to make sure things are going well at the church in Rome, because that’s his responsibility. He had a unique view of his apostleship. Either he’s suffering from delusions of grandeur, or else he, in fact, has a unique calling and apostleship this way, much like Peter had as well.
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December 11, 2013

Is there a contradiction between Paul's actions in Acts 9 and what he writes in Galatians 1?

A problem for interpretation and for harmonization involves the superficial contradiction between Acts 9 in which Paul moves about freely in Jerusalem, staying with the Apostles, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord, talking and debating with the Hellenistic, or Grecian Jews. Where as in Galatians 1 he writes, “I was personally unknown” to the churches of Judea that are in Christ they only heard the report of the man who formally persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. On more careful inspection, the supposed contradiction dissolves.
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December 2, 2013

C.S. Lewis on Love, Reward, and Desire

In his 1942 sermon “The Weight of Glory,” C. S. Lewis challenged people to consider the difference between love and self-denial, arguing that the Bible’s emphasis on love and reward means we need to reconsider the role of self-denial in the Christian life. He’s not encouraging a wanton lifestyle of excess and selfishness, but one that views human desire and pleasure as good things, albeit twisted by our failure to understand what desire and pleasure are really all about.
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November 27, 2013

A Bibliology Grounded in Christology

The center of all theology, of the entirety of the Christian faith, is Christ himself. The Christ-event—in particular his death and resurrection—is the center of time: everything before it leads up to it; everything after it is shaped by it. If Christ were not God in the flesh, he would not have been raised from the dead. And if he were not raised from the dead, none of us would have any hope. My theology grows out from Christ, is based on Christ, and focuses on Christ.
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