My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The Christian church knows this excruciating cry from both the Gospels and the Psalms (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34; Ps. 22:1). But how did Jesus come to inhabit the lament of his royal ancestor, breathing David’s agonized prayer as his own?

After his resurrection, Christ taught his disciples that the Psalms—indeed, the entire Old Testament—had testified about him (Luke 24:27, 44). Christ was teaching that all of Scripture is fulfilled in him—that he walks t..

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As a Baptist, I’m often frustrated or confused by how my fellow denominational brothers handle the Lord’s Supper. At churches I’ve attended in the past, we’ve participated in the Supper every week in some places, ted quarterly at others. There is one instance in which I can’t remember eating a single little wafer in my entire time at the church.
But how often should we take the Supper? While I know that the Bible doesn’t give a mandate for how often churches should remembe..

#4 The Arrival of Jesus

Ancient history is a funny thing. We depend on the information, but no one was there to see it. Historians meet this challenge with the standard method of historiography.

Historiography is scientific in a sense, albeit different than the hard sciences like physics and chemistry. In both cases, absolute certainty still evades us. Historians seek only to identify what events are more likely than not to have happened. Famous religion skeptic Bart Ehrman says human events t..

Richard Hays explores the ways in which the Gospel writers draw the Old Testament to narrate the identity of Jesus. In Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness he focuses on Jesus as the embodiment of Israel’s God. In Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels he goes beyond this to look at other aspects of the identity of Jesus, as well as the re-narration of Israel’s story in light of Jesus and the role of the church (the gathering of Christ-followers) in the world. I am ..

Why does Paul say that he was not ashamed of the gospel? Does that mean some are and will be?
Ashamed of the Gospel?There are sins of commission but there are also sins of omission, like if we see a brother or sister in need and do nothing, for us, that is sin (James 2:16). For example, “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him” (1st John 3:17)? Good question, isn’t it? Of course, all sin is forgivable for th..

Virtue signaling is the conspicuous expression of moral values by an individual done primarily to enhance their standing within a social group. The term was first used in signaling theory, to describe any behavior that could be used to signal virtue – especially piety among the religious faithful.

Virtue signaling is the new self-righteousness. And self-righteousness is for sissies.

Every once in a while a term is coined that just has purchase. Political correctness is such a term. Some peop..

On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives as readers.

I asked Matthew Hall—dean of Boyce College and assistant professor of church history at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary—about what’s on his nightstand, books that have shaped his view of Christian higher education, his favorite fiction, and more.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

There are four books sitting on my actual nightstand:

A Torch Kept Lit (a collection ..

The Book of Acts in the Bible, written around 62-63 A.D., may be best described as a history of the founding and growth of the early church. While there are some areas of great detail of the Acts of the Apostles, many times you must use cross references to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as some other epistles in the New Testament to get the full picture of what was happening at this time in history. The book was written by Luke, the same writer of the Gospel of Luke and you ..

Doubting Your Doubts
So last week I wrote a post responding to the New York Times article from December where the columnist Nicholas Kristof interviewed Pastor Tim Keller about Christianity.
The article was great, and I appreciated both Keller’s answers and Kristof’s questions.
I wrote last week, that one of the things that I appreciated the most, was Keller’s pastoral yet counter-cultural way of answering Kristof’s question of “Am I a Christian?”
Kristof is an admirer of Jesus and appreciates m..

Years ago, when my research was on the Synoptic Gospels, I composed a list of how the Evangelists “edited” their sources. Using the standard theory of their relationships (Mark first, then used by both Matthew and Luke, both of whom also used another source called “Q”), I came up with the following sorts of edits by the Evangelists:
1. Instead of editing they “conserved” or “preserved” by copying.
2. They sometimes conflate two sources into one.
3. They sometimes expand the source they are using..