the-holy-spirit

The Holy Spirit | Contours of Christian Theology | Sinclair Ferguson

In “The Holy Spirit”, Sinclair B. Ferguson argues that many in the church have a faulty misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit, who has become like the “black sheep” of the trinity (15). The tendency in the church as been to see Him as a distant, impersonal energy rather than the third person of the Godhead (15-17). The purpose of Ferguson’s book is to help clarify a proper biblical understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does. Ferguson attempts to “trace the revelation of the Spirit’s identity and work in a biblio-theological and redemptive-historical manner” (12).

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Gather God’s People: Understand, Plan, and Lead Worship in Your Local Church | by Brian Croft and Jason Adkins | A Summary

Outline

Part 1: Understanding Worship (19-56)

Chapter 1: Biblical Theology of Worship (19-27)

Chapter 2: Elements of Worship (28-45)

Chapter 3: Spirituality of Worship (46-56)

Part 2: Plan Worship (57-73)

Chapter 4: Planning the Reading of the Word (57-66)

Chapter 5: Planning the Praying of the Word (67-72)

Chapter 6: Planning the Singing of the Word (73-84)

Part 3: Lead Worship (85-119)

Chapter 7: Leading Readings and Prayer (85-95)

Chapter 8: Leading Singing (96-107)

Chapter 9: Leading Ordinances (108-116)

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Revolutions in Worldview: Understanding the flow of Western Thought | A Summary

Chapter One: Greeks Bearing Gifts

by John M. Frame

Though John Frame appreciates certain aspects of the Greek thinkers and admits there are many things which can be learned from them, he argues that there is a great danger to “adopt their worldviews…or synthesize their thinking with the worldview of the Bible.” (1) Ultimately, like all other worldviews, the Greeks reject God as Lord, and are idolatrous (2). The Greek beliefs varied amongst themselves, but there was also much they held in common with one another (3). The most obviously belief that they held in common was that “none of the Greeks believed the world was created and directed by a personal, supreme, absolute being” (3). Rather, they believed everything is subjected to and governed by an impersonal force called “fate” (4). Eventually, philosophy, where reason is king, became the new “religion”, and they rejected tradition and myths (6). In his chapter “Greeks Bearing Gifts”, John Frame provides the reader with a survey and critique of Greek philosophy. He says that all Greek philosophy imposes “autonomous reason on an essentially irrational world” (7).

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Man’s Fallen Condition

Is the world full of mostly good people with good intentions who sometimes make mistakes? While the world’s answer is yes, the Biblical answer contradicts this. The Biblical description of man’s condition is that we are fallen and depraved in totality, and that even our “love”, “good works”, and “good intentions” are a product of our rebellion against a holy God. Because God is holy, his appropriate response to man’s rebellious condition is judgement. We call this doctrine “the depravity of man”. We should not overlook, avoid, or excuse the Biblical truths summarized in this doctrine; instead, we should examine the doctrine and ourselves, and allow God’s word to lead us deeper into repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word: The Reliability of the New Testament: Historical Witness and Conclusion| Part 8

Historical Witness

Because the Bible claims to represent historical events and historical places, we should expect archeology to confirm the historicity of the claims found in the Old and New Testament.1 A few examples of archaeological findings that have been discovered: Hezekiah’s tunnel (2 Kg 20:20); Sennacherib’s annals record his invasion of Israel (2 Ch 32:9-10); Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk mentions King Jehu (1 Kgs 16, 2 Kgs 9-10, 1 Chron 2, 4, 12, 2 Chron 19, 20, 22, 25). Additionally, a tablet bearing the names of Pontius Pilate and Tiberius has been found.

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word: The Canon of the New Testament | Part 7

As with the Old Testament, if a book of the New Testament was inspired by God, it belongs to the canon.1 An essential element to identifying books inspired by God in the New Testament is to look to the human author, primarily the apostles. An apostle was one who was chosen by Jesus and was a witness to his resurrection (Acts 1:21-26). Since all authority has been given from the Father to the Son, and Christ has identified the apostles as his representatives and commissioned them to teach in his name, what they say must be received as from God.2 To receive the apostles is to receive Christ, and to deny the apostles is to deny Christ (Mt 10:40, Lk 10:16, Jn 13:20). The apostles of Jesus are the foundation on which the church is built upon (Eph 2:20), Jesus being the cornerstone and foundation also (1 Cor 3:11). No one can lay a foundation other than that of Christ and his apostles. The metaphor of laying a foundation of a building indicates that it is not a reoccurring event, for if it was then the house would never actually be built.3 Therefore, the office of apostle has ceased, as has their ability of writing divinely inspired Scripture.

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word: The Canon of the Old Testament | Part 5

The Old Testament presents us with God’s words to the people of Israel, which were then written down and used as the standard for life for his covenant community. When God covenanted himself with his people, that covenant was written down and placed in the most holy place (Dt 31:26). Throughout the remainder of the Old Testament, God added to that collection of writings through human authors and prophets (Is 8:1, Is 30:8, 34:16-17, Jer 25:13).

Before the time of Jesus, the Jewish people had set the group of books that they considered to be divine revelation from God. Old Testament scholar Dr. Peter Gentry says, “The arrangement of what books belong to the Old Testament canon was fixed certainly by second century BC, if not by Ezra and Nehemiah in the fourth century BC.1 We have extra-Biblical documents that speak of the same list of books. The list can be found in the writings of: Ben Sira (190 BC), Miqset Ma Ase Ha-Torah (152 BC), Philo of Alexandria (20BC-40AD), Josephus, Jerome, and the Talmud.2 There was never a debate about which books were included and which were not.3

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word | The Reliability of the Old Testament | PART 4

PART 1 | THE RELIABILITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES AS GOD’S WORD | 

PART 2 | THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW 

PART 3 | THE ESSENTIAL SELF-TESTIMONY OF SCRIPTURE

Before the Bible was written by the Israelites, other nations in the Ancient Near East had established methods to preserve and meticulously transmit official documents. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is one example of this. Although the book was never meant to be read by human eyes after being placed in pyramids, it was still meticulously copied.1 One Egyptian scribe boasts, “[The book] is completed from its beginning to its end, having been copied, revised, compared and verified sign by sign.”2

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word: The Essential Self-Testimony of Scripture | Part 3

PART 1 | THE RELIABILITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES AS GOD’S WORD | 

PART 2 | THE RELIABILITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES AS GOD’S WORD: THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW 

It is by God’s powerful and gracious Word that all things exist. One of the first things that we learn about God in the book Genesis is that by his word he creates existence out of nothing.1 Eight times in the first chapter we see that “God said” is followed by something being created. When God speaks, things happen, and this great truth is affirmed hundreds of times in the rest of Scripture. God acts through his word and establishes relationships through his word.2 By his word he calls Abraham out of pagan worship to follow after God (Gen 12:1, Joshua 24:2). By his word he promises the creation of God’s people (Gen 35:22-26), and by his word he does create the people of God. By the word of the Lord Moses was called to be the deliverer of God’s people from slavery (Ex 3); Israel was given the law as a gift to be shown how to live as God’s people (Dt 5); the prophets were called to speak and warn the people of Israel about their sin and rebellion and what it would lead to (Jer 1:4, Ezek 1:3, Hos 1:1, Joel 1:1, Micah 1:1, Zephaniah 1:1, Haggai 1:1, Zech 1:1). The Word of the Lord incarnated himself in the person and work of Jesus, so that he could be fully known (Jn 1:1-13). And finally, in Revelation we see a depiction of Jesus returning with the name “The Word of God” (Rev 19:1).

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word:The Essential Nature of the Christian Worldview | Part 2

PART 1 | The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word:

Before we begin in examining the reliability and trustworthy of Scripture, it is important to note that without God’s word it is impossible to prove anything; it is because of the worldview and truth that the Bible as God’s word presents that we can account for reality at all.1 Not all religions claim to have divine authority (which should speak for itself), and those that do claim to have divine authority are those that are dependent upon Christianity. Without the Christian worldview that we find in the Scriptures, one cannot account for anything intelligible, for it is only from a Christian worldview as a whole in which we have the grounds to do so. This is in clear contrast to all non-Christian worldviews, which eventually are found to be self-refuting and internally inconsistent.2 No other worldview can therefore give an account for reality. This includes the fields of ethics, logic, and scientific induction.

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