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All articles in category Biblical/theological

Children, fathers, youths (3)
April 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

Children, fathers, youths (3)

Continued from Children, fathers, youths (2) In previous articles we considered the passage in 1 John 2:12-14, where the apostle addresses his readers as ‘children, fathers, and young men. I suggested that John was not writing to three different groups within the church, but to the whole church as having the characteristics of children (new life and innocence through the forgiveness of sins), parents (spiritual wisdom), and youths (spiritual vigour and strength). Finally, then, in what way do believers resemble ‘young men’? What are the characteristics of spiritual youth? John gives the answer in the closing words of this passage: ‘I have written to you young...

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April 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

The face of Christ

Once, when saying bedtime prayers with a grandson, he asked why he couldn’t see God, saying, ‘It would be easier to believe in him if I could’. This was not such a childish question. Moses made the same request, but God replied, ‘You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live’ (Exodus 33:20). Jesus told the Samaritan woman, ‘God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth’ (John 4:24). In other words, God the Father is an invisible spirit. My grandson had to be satisfied that, when Jesus was on earth people could certainly see him,...

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March 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

Children, fathers, youths (2)

Continued from Children, fathers, youths (1) ‘I write to you fathers because you have known him [God] who is from the beginning’ (1 John 2:13). Clearly, every believer knows God, even the most recent convert. Indeed, this is particularly true of ‘children’ because the kind of maturity implied by this statement stems from an experience of the fatherhood of God. Wisdom and foolishness This maturity is the birthright of every believer. It is a maturity of knowledge and understanding of the things of God. Of course, Christians are to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 3:18). In that...

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March 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christianity stands or falls on the historical accuracy of Genesis

Thomas Huxley (1825–1895) was a prominent nineteenth century agnostic, and a friend and supporter of Charles Darwin. Regarding biblical authority, he wrote: ‘I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how anyone, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures…’ He continued: ‘If Abraham is more or less a mythical hero … the story of the Deluge a fiction; that of the Fall a legend; and that of the Creation the dream of a seer; if all these definite and detailed narratives of apparently real events have no more value as history than have...

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January 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jonah for today’s church (4)

In our three previous articles on the book of Jonah, we have seen God sometimes uses even negative circumstances to grab our attention to his calling of us. We have also seen that God is the God of resurrection and restoration, graciously bringing his Word to us, if necessary, a ‘second time’. In this final article, we see that, although Jonah was ultimately obedient, his heart was still in need of divine surgery. Nineveh repented, ‘but it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said, Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in...

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December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Cradled in a manger

Our familiarity with the first Christmas scene can easily blunt us to its staggering wonder. Luke 2:12 records the infant Christ as ‘lying in a manger’. Think of that! Here is condescension and humiliation of the highest degree, for here is the eternal Son of God — the One through whom God made all things and who is dependent on nobody — now lying in a manger as a helpless baby, completely dependent on others for support. A well known carol is right when it states, ‘Lo within a manger lies, He who built the starry skies’. A less well-known carol likewise runs: ‘The eternal...

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December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Do we have enough evidence to trust the Bible?

People today must judge between two contradictory worldviews: the biblical worldview and the evolutionary worldview. I’m a lawyer, so I think about this like a legal case. Juries have to judge between opposing litigants, like we have to judge between worldviews. Juries do it by weighing the evidence. Let me give an example from a case I worked on. The power of an eyewitness account The case turned on whether the plaintiff’s wind turbine functioned properly on a certain date, years earlier. The wind turbine no longer existed, so we couldn’t run tests to establish whether it worked. Therefore, this dispute couldn’t be solved by...

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December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Who is Jesus?

When Richard Dawkins claims, ‘There is no good historical evidence that [Jesus] ever thought he was divine’, he is tripping blindfold over the truth. C. S. Lewis gets us on the right track when he writes, ‘The doctrine of Christ’s divinity seems to me not something stuck on, which you can unstick, but something that peeps out at every point, so that you would have to unravel the whole web to get rid of it’. Direct claims We can begin to see this by looking at three other direct claims Jesus made. The first was when one of his disciples asked for concrete evidence on...

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