Welcome to my digest of Christian comment.
For Biblical commentary, use the Bible Commentary menu above, and for topical comments, use the categories list on the right.
This question, argue Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, prompts a whole raft of further questions:
“I believe in…the life everlasting.”
‘Who wants to live forever?’ (song by Queen).
How would you like to live to be 1,000? According to Dr Aubrey de Gray, co-founder of the SENS Research Foundation, scientists are well on the way to ending bodily aging. The first person to live to be 1,000, he claims, has already been born.
Or how about having your body deep frozen after you die, in the hope that one day science will be able to resuscitate it? …
Over the past 50 years, evangelicals have debated whether the church’s mission is, or should be, primarily or even exclusively that of evangelism, or a combination of evangelism and social action.
At the forefront of this debate has been the distinguished evangelical leader and teacher, John Stott.
In The Contemporary Christian (chapter 20), Stott articulates his conviction that
In this understanding, the gospel has a vertical dimension (the salvation of souls) and a horizontal dimension (the improvement of society).…
The three Synoptic Gospels each record the voice from heaven using different wording:
Ehrman summarises the differences:
Mt 3:17 – “This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.” The voice seems to be addressing the people around Jesus, or possibly John the Baptist.
Mk 1:11 – “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.” Here the voice addresses Jesus directly.
Lk 3:22 – “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.” …
‘There are’ (writes J.A. Kirk) ‘a number of diverse, but intimately related, models or paradigms of mission. Each is vitally important. By stressing one more than the others, different groups of Christians have tended to see them as alternatives. Ideally, there is no choice. The Christian community’s vocation is to ensure that each is fully implemented in its overall life.
‘(1) The care of the environment. This means encouraging a wise and sustainable use of the natural order created by God, by engaging in the numerous aspects of conservation and the elimination of pollution.…
In The Contemporary Christian (356-374), John Stott outlines a Christological approach to mission under the following headings:
1. The incarnation of Christ – the model for mission
In some ways, the incarnation was a ‘mission’ like that the Apollo space flight to the moon was a ‘mission’. Each was a daring journey between two completely different places and situations. But the Apollo astronauts had to bring everything needful with them, whereas Jesus brought nothing but himself. …
John Stott remarks that mission is at the heart each of the five parts of the Bible.
1. The God of the Old Testament is a missionary God, calling one family in order to bless all the families of the earth (Gen 12:1-4).
Why plant churches? Tony Merida answers:
Does naming imply authority?
This expression tends to raise eyebrows nowadays. According to Hillyer, this does not refer to ‘physical strength, not to intellectual powers, moral courage, or spiritual standards.’
So what does it refer to?
Several older commentators (including, Calvin, Leighton, JFB) do not discuss it: presumably, they thought that its meaning was self-evident and indisputable.…