Categories
hermeneutics human salvation scripture study

What Is Faith (According to The Bible)?

What is faith? I’ve seen answers that range from another religion (for example “one of many faiths”) down through some sort of fairy-tale opinion that stands opposed to science.

In the Bible, we’ll see all sorts of usage on “faith” and “belief”—sometimes even referring to when someone adheres to the doctrines that make up Christianity. One of the best usages of faith is the one that is tied to the concept of justification.

Faith is just an archaic word for trust. What I love about seeing faith, or trust, tied to justification in texts like Romans 4 (see more of the Romans study), that it explains the nature of the concept even while using, basically, case-law. No more fuzzy lessons grounded in someone’s personal trust issues, but rather taking the structure of Hebrews 11:1 where it says “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen” and garnishing it with doctrinal meat.

Categories
church worship

Should I Raise My Hands In Church (And Other Questions)

Should I raise my hands when I pray (or sing) in the local church? Which music should we use in our local church worship? Should my kids be allowed to dance during a good praise song at the assembly? Shall I be allowed to say “amen” after any song I feel particularly touched by during worship service? Can we change the complete structure of the meeting of the local church? Should we say the Nicene Creed at the gathering of the local church?

In all of these questions we’re really just asking, “What am I allowed to do?” I’ve said it in another post but before answering the questions you have to actually figure out why we come together at all. After you identify that purpose for gathering you then figure out your freedoms within that gathering. In other words, first you ask “why do we assemble?” then you ask, “What should I be doing when we’re assembled?”

Why we assemble is the main question to answer but I think Scripture would have us ask several probing questions that help tie down both the purpose of the church while examining any of our actions.

Categories
apologetics

A Sad Comparison of Death in The United States

An infographic that illustrates the comparison of specific kinds of death between 2001 and 2011. All data has come from the CDC.

Categories
church history human

Sometimes, It Really Is Persecution

In recent days I have seen a circle drawn around the category of persecution that minimizes what some folk are going through. You’ll find that someone looks at Fox Book of Martyrs and defines “real” persecution as the things that those people had experienced.  You don’t have to run too far down the Internet—do a search for “real persecution” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Categories
sin

I’ve Sinned; Now What? Eleven Reminders For Dealing with Sin

On this side of eternity we will sin. I’m not saying we must sin. Sin is not necessary to human life but it is part of human life. On this side of eternity we will struggle with it. We will sin.

Indeed, there will be times in lives where we think we’re doing okay, where things seem to be going fine, and then we hear a sermon or see a passage in the Bible, or read an article, or hear an argument where we find ourselves convicted of sin. We wind up convicted of some specific thing that we thought was okay but now we see it is wrong.

Perhaps there is a specific sin that we keep slipping into, like a well-fitting sweater or comfy shoes.  Or the sin we’ve committed a long time ago, before even thinking it was a sin, and now we see it for what it is.  We’ve sinned.

In the blogging vogue, here are eleven things (to limit it to a readable number) to keep in mind in regards to sin.