Theology

  • Christian Living,  New Testament,  Theology

    Is God in Control of My Sickness?

    Nobody enjoys sickness or infirmity. Whether it is a significant disease or a minor sickness, infirmities often are a source of consternation and complaint. Regardless of whether it is our own sickness, or the sickness of a loved one, Christians are constantly driven to questions about God’s relationship to sickness and suffering. Does God have control over sickness? Sickness and God’s Glory One of my favorite passages which addresses the issue of sickness or infirmity and God’s control is John 9. As Jesus and His disciples traveled in Jerusalem, they pass by a man who was blind from birth. The disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his…

  • Apologetics,  Theology

    What is the Catholic View of Salvation?

    A question I occasionally get is what the difference is between the Catholic Church and the Evangelical church. Isn’t the Catholic Church just another option for where to go to church, based on the preference of the individual? To many people it is. However, the Catholic Church officially holds to beliefs which do not align with what the Bible teaches, and therefore it is not a true church. In fact, the Catholic Church is a pseudo-church which is leading millions of people to hell. Read More

  • New Testament,  Theology

    Posts about Prophets, Apostles, and Spiritual Gifts

    The topics of prophets, Apostles, and spiritual gifts are of interest to many people. For ease of reference, this post will serve as an index of sorts, pointing inquiring individuals to some of my thoughts on spiritual gifts, and more specifically, the cessation of the miraculous gifts. What follows is a listing of the various post titles with a brief description of the contents. Are Apostles for the Church Today? Historically it has been common to acknowledge that the office of Apostle has passed from the church. However, there are more and more individuals today who are arguing for the continuation of Apostolic authority. There are at least four reasons…

  • New Testament,  Theology

    The Link between Salvation and Good Works

    Many people do not connect good works with salvation at all. As a case in point, I remember a time about five or six years ago I had the opportunity to have a conversation from a man from Texas. As we talked about Jesus and the church, he mentioned that everyone went to church in the South and that it was a way of life. When I pressed him further, he admitted that there were many in the South who would verbally identify as Christians but live just as pagan as anybody else. Read More

  • New Testament,  Theology

    Three Stages of a Christian’s Sanctification

    It is popular in New Testament scholarship to view sanctification only in a positional sense. It is true that much of the New Testament refers to sanctification in a positional sense, meaning our standing before God as being special and set apart. While this is undoubtedly true, there are good arguments to utilize sanctification terminology to refer to the entire process of our salvation, from the initial stages to our ultimate glorification in heaven. Thus, we can think of our sanctification as involving three distinct stages. Read More

  • Review,  Theology

    Book Review: Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational & Covenantal Theologies

    Typically, when there is a multiple-views book, it is a multiple-author attempt to persuade the reader to a certain theological position. These books have a needed place in the church, but it is certainly not the only way to compare different theological viewpoints. Most recently, I read a refreshing book on the multiple-views theme by a single author, Ben Merkle. I want to highlight this book as a valuable resource in the field of understanding eschatological systems because of its unique approach. Read More

  • Theology

    Is there a Difference between Soul and Spirit?

    Human beings are made in the image of God and are often referred to in terms of the physical (body) and the spiritual (soul and/or spirit). With regard the spiritual realm, a pertinent question is whether soul and spirit refer to the same thing. Are humans made up of three parts: body, soul, and spirit? Or are human beings made up of two parts: body and soul and/or spirit? This is a difficult question, and I know people who hold different views. To discuss this issue we must begin with surveying the biblical usage of these terms. Read More

  • New Testament,  Theology

    The Link between Eschatology and Spiritual Gifts

    Although not often thought about, there is a link between eschatology and the spiritual gifts. There are many ways to argue for the cessation of spiritual gifts (for example, the cascade argument). But in this article I simply want to look at the correlation between one’s eschatology and the belief about miraculous gifts. Simply put, what what believes about eschatology, specifically the kingdom of God, has a logical impact on their understanding of the spiritual gifts. Read More

  • New Testament,  Theology

    What Makes Jesus Happy?

    Happiness is often thought of as the chief goal in life. Thus, many people assume that, as a perfect human, Jesus must have been a very happy individual. However, I don’t see Jesus being happy very often in Scripture. In fact, I can only identify two times in the gospels where Jesus is described as happy. One of those times is in John 11:15 where Jesus is happy that he was not there to save Lazarus, so that the disciples would see God’s power displayed through Jesus. The other time Jesus is happy is described in Luke 10:21, Read More

  • New Testament,  Theology

    The Mark of the Beast, 666, and Nero (Rev 13:18)

    Revelation 13:18 says that the one who “has understanding” should calculate the “number of the beast.” This number is then further identified as the “number of man,” specifically, 666. Preterists have often interpreted Revelation 13:18 as a reference to Nero, but is that what John means when he says that the mark of the beast is 666? Symbolism and the Mark of the Beast Not everyone sees 666 as a reference to Nero. Many notable scholars have read the mark of the beast symbolically. Beale, for example, argues in his commentary that the mark of the beast is 666 because six is the number of imperfection. Thus, when six is…