@Themelios


  • ‘I Call You Friends’: Jesus as Patron in John 15 | Daniel K. Eng
    This article proposes that John 15:13–16 draws on the language of Roman patronage, which impacts the understanding of Jesus’s sayings regarding friends. We will suggest that φίλος conveys a regent obedient to a royal patron. Thus, the role of Jesus’s friend is one of subordination, not equality. After an introduction to patronage, this article makes…
  • “For Your Sake We Are Being Killed All Day Long”: Romans 8:36 and the Hermeneutics of Unexplained Suffering | David Starling
    This article explores the function of Paul’s citation from Psalm 44:22 within the rhetoric of Romans 8:31–39. It offers a brief discussion of the meaning of Psalm 44:22 when the verse is read within its original historical and canonical contexts, then a summary and evaluation of the two main answers typically given by scholars to…
  • “The Voice of His Blood”: Christ’s Intercession in the Thought of Stephen Charnock | Themelios
    The nineteenth-century Scottish Presbyterian theologian William Symington wrote concerning Christ’s intercession, “in a practical and consolatory point of view, its interest is not exceeded even by the Atonement. The two are, however, inseparably connected; although we fear that, in this instance, men have not been sufficiently aware of the evil of putting asunder what God…
  • “Work Out Your Salvation”: Conduct “Worthy of the Gospel” in a Communal Context | Themelios
    Commentators have customarily interpreted Phil 2:12 as a reference to “working out” one’s personal salvation. For this reason, the verse became a flashpoint between Roman Catholic advocates who emphasized the “working out” of personal salvation and Protestant apologists who emphasized the “working out” of personal salvation (i.e., “progressive sanctification”). On a lexical level, the Greek…
  • 10 Things You Should Know about the Priesthood | Ed Welch
    When we think about priests in the Bible, we imagine bearded men burning incense and sacrificing animals. However, the priesthood is a premier theme throughout Scripture, and ultimately it is a role shared by all believers—men and women from every tribe and nation. The church doesn’t talk much about this role, but it is central to our…
  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Helping the Hurting | Dave Furman
    No one wants to be like Job’s friends. We have hurting people in our lives, and we want to help them, but how do we manage to not make fools of ourselves? And how can we actually help hurting people without discouraging them even more? Just like Job’s friends, we may think we have the…
  • 4 Burning Questions from the Ending of Job | Bill Kynes
    The book of Job takes us on an exhausting emotional journey. We’re perplexed by the divine gambit in the opening scenes where God allows unspeakable suffering to overwhelm a righteous man. We’re inspired by his humble response, only to be unnerved by his sudden despair. We feel his internal struggle in the long and increasingly…
  • 4 Principles for Raising Up Elders | John Folmar
    Biblically qualified elders are crucial for the health of the church, which is “a pillar and buttress of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Faithful elders lead to stronger churches and the preservation and advancement of the gospel. But what should a pastor do when he finds a church without elders, or without the right ones? When…
  • 4 Principles for Talking to Your Kids about Sex | Julie Lowe
    As a parent, how comfortable are you talking with your children about sex? Not so much? Why is that? God created sex to bless us—why is it so hard to talk about? For many, it is our own discomfort with the topic. Perhaps you did not grow up in an environment where it was discussed,…
  • 4 Traits to Seek in a Spouse | David Qaoud
    Worried you’re going to make the wrong decision? Cheer up: you will. Everyone marries the wrong person. Everyone is wrong because of sin. But a robust view of total depravity, and a firm understanding of providence, doesn’t mean you should have low standards for who you marry. Seek advice from trusted, godly, married people. Don’t…
  • 5 Common Marriage Counseling Mistakes | Winston Smith
    Pastors are all familiar with that couple. The couple that asks for help and says something has to change, and now! But why the sudden urgency? Maybe something has come out: there’s been adultery, a secret sin, or an addiction that has been discovered. Or, it may be that what has been irritating for five,…
  • 9 Practical Tips for Bible Reading | George Sinclair
    You will never have enough time to read the Bible. If you wait until you have enough time to read the Bible, you will rarely read the Bible. The world, the flesh and the devil will help fill your day. This means that you have to choose to take time. You will have to sacrifice…
  • A 12-week Practical Study Series on the Book of Job | TGC Courses
    The book of Job narrates the agony and faith of a great saint in order to teach us about the way in which the Lord governs his world, and how we can trust him when we suffer. Job was a deeply spiritual man who was greatly blessed for his faith (see Job 1:1–3), but when…
  • A 12-week Practical Study Series on the Book of Philippians | TGC Courses
    Paul had a long history with the Philippian Christians, beginning with the conversion of Lydia’s family, a demon-possessed girl, and the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:14–40). Paul returned to Philippi at least twice, but mutual care and communication between the apostle and the Philippian church seem to have been regular. He prayed frequently for them with…
  • A Biblical Theology of Blessing in Genesis | Matt Champlin
    This article examines the meaning of blessing as expressed in the structure and narratives of Genesis. After highlighting the pattern of blessings offset by curses embedded within the “generational” structure of Genesis, the nature of blessing is explored in its varying contexts. Given the quantity of blessings in Genesis, it is natural to expect fulfillments,…
  • A Biblical View of Marriage | Christopher Ash
    The biblical view of marriage is of a God-given, voluntary, sexual and public social union of one man and one woman, from different families, for the purpose of serving God. Marriage was first instituted by God in the order of creation, given by God as an unchangeable foundation for human life. Marriage exists so that…
  • A Critical Examination of Jonathan Edwards’s Doctrine of the Trinity | Ralph Cunnington
    This article critically examines Jonathan Edwards’s doctrine of the Trinity with a particular focus upon his understanding of the person of the Holy Spirit. While his restatement of Augustinian orthodoxy served the church well during a time of great doctrinal heterodoxy, it created some problems of its own. These problems were rooted in his use…
  • A Japanese Perspective on the Trinity | Nozomu Miyahira
    The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has traditionally been expressed in terms of three persons and one substance or being. This belief and formulation is taken for granted by orthodox Christians. But a question may emerge when we take into consideration the fact that, although the gospel itself is universally relevant, unrestricted to any particular…
  • A Letter to Wives Who Are Wondering: Is it Abuse? | Darby Strickland
    Dear Sister, Many hurting wives are not sure if what is happening to them is abuse. Are you one of them? Do you wonder if what you are enduring is bad enough to qualify for that label? Maybe you suspect something might be “off,” but you wonder: “Is it me? Is it my fault? Maybe…
  • A Spirited Humanity: The Trinitarian Ecclesiology of Colin Gunton | Themelios
    Conflict in relationships is often rooted in inappropriate or unmet expectations. This commonplace wisdom regarding everyday relationships is no less true of one’s relationship to the church. Our conduct and feelings toward the church are governed largely by our expectations of what the church should be. These expectations, furthermore, are rooted in our understanding of…
  • Abounding in the Work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58): Everything We Do as Christians or Specific Gospel Work? | Themelios
    Contemporary evangelical theology continues to emphasise this Reformation understanding of the interrelatedness of creation and vocation. Discussions of the Christian understanding of work emphasise that all work is intrinsically good. Books on the Christian life stress the biblical emphasis that all life is to be lived for God’s glory. Is it possible, though, that in…
  • Adultery and Reconciliation: 10 Years Later | Ed Welch
    If you had asked the betrayed partner before the adultery, “Do you think you could ever reconcile if your spouse was adulterous?” Most would have said, with confidence, “no!” Yet—many do. But how? What is their secret? …It is this. They are able to reconcile because God gives grace—lots of grace—to couples facing this betrayal.…
  • An Alternative To Micromanaging Your Children | Julie Lowe
    As parents we often struggle with this reality: the older our kids get, the weightier their decisions become. We also realize there is a great deal of evil in the world that we want to protect our children from. Given these facts, parents are often tempted to micromanage in an effort to prevent poor decisions.…
  • An Encouragement to Use Catechisms | Garrett Kell
    Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words “Baptist catechism” as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the…
  • An Open Letter to Those Nonchalant about Their Sexual Sin | David Powlison
    Sex is like fire. When it blazes in the fireplace, a good fire warms and brightens the room, enhancing joy and companionship. But when fires ignite in the wrong places, the house burns down. Is your sexuality igniting in the wrong places? Are you treating sexual sin casually? How do you know when this has…
  • B. B. Warfield and the Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity | Scott R. Swain
    B. B. Warfield’s 1915 ISBE article on the Trinity presents the Princeton theologian’s mature thinking on the biblical bases and meaning of the doctrine and offers a revisionist interpretation of the personal names of “Father,” “Son,” and “Spirit.” Instead of interpreting the personal names of the Trinity in terms of relations of origin, Warfield argues…
  • Basics About Bipolar | Ed Welch
    Diane, a thirty-five-year old wife and mother, was becoming increasingly irritable. Her flashes of anger at the slightest provocation put everyone on high alert. Adding to the family tension, she was sleeping erratically—staying up late and getting up early. The family didn’t really know what she was doing with her time. Half-finished projects littered the…
  • Beek, A. (2012). Moses, Elijah, and Jesus: Reflections on the basic structures of the Bible.
    This article deals with the end of the lives of Moses and Elijah as the representatives of the Torah and the Prophets. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, and Elijah left it before he was taken up. These events are interpreted as indicating that the Law is not able to bring the…
  • Biblical Evangelism | Richard Coekin
    Evangelism is proclaiming the Gospel – the good news about Jesus Christ which is God’s power to save all who believe it and turn from sin to follow him. This article explains what ‘Evangelism’ is and explores the enduring Biblical message, motives and methods for its practice in every age and culture. Jesus himself was…
  • Bigalke, R. (2013). First John structure resolved: Exegetical analysis, Part 2.
    Numerous attempts have been suggested regarding the structure of First John. The only nearly unanimous agreement amongst commentators is concerning the prologue (1:1–4) and the conclusion (5:13–21). The lack of unanimity can be frustrating for the majority of those who seek to understand the macrostructure of the First Epistle of John. Consequentially, some commentators have…
  • Bigalke, R. (2013). Unravelling the structure of First John: Exegetical analysis, Part 1.
    Surveying commentaries and introductions to the Johannine epistles reveals a multiplicity of methodology with regard to the structure of the epistles. Proposals have generally emphasised characteristics of content (doctrine and paraenesis), style (antithesis and repetition) or outline divisions. If the intent of the author is connected to the structure of the text, commentaries and introductions…
  • Blameless Before God? Philippians 3:6 in Context | Alan J. Thompson
    Paul’s statement in Philippians 3:6 that he was blameless ‘with respect to righteousness in the law’ before his conversion has been the focus of much discussion in debates over ‘covenantal nomism’ and ‘works righteousness’ in the writings of Paul and first century Judaism. This article will examine in particular the problems that this verse raises…
  • Blaylock, R.M. (2016). My Messenger, the LORD, and the Messenger of the Covenant: Malachi 3:1 Revisited.
    Debate continues concerning the meaning and implications of Malachi 3:1. In this contested verse, YHWH responds to the complaints and accusations of his people by saying, “Behold, I am sending my messenger, and he will clear a way before me. And suddenly, he will come to his temple; the Lord whom you are seeking and…
  • Brains, Bodies, and the Task of Discipleship: Re-Aligning Anthropology and Ministry | Matthew C. Bingham
    Exploring the intersection of anthropology and ministry, this article offers an appreciative critique of recent authors who suggest that effective Christian discipleship requires holistic, bodily engagement. James K. A. Smith and others have helpfully drawn attention to ways in which contemporary evangelical approaches to Christian formation can risk over-emphasizing the transfer of information while neglecting…
  • Burnout and Stress | Ed Welch
    Burnout suggests that the flame is flickering and there is no stoking the fire this time. You have nothing left to give. Stress comes to us by way of engineering. The building is under too much weight; there is too much pressure, and fractures are beginning to appear. You have too much to do, what…
  • Canonicity: A Theologian’s Observations | Henri A. G. Blocher
    The topic of the biblical canon raises a specific, twofold difficulty for evangelical systematic theologians: the appeal to the Spirit’s testimony and a recognition of divine providence in history. It is crucial to recognize that “canon” entails both a principle—a body of teaching incorporating the word of God that binds the conscience of believers—and a…
  • Caring For Families And Developmentally Delayed Children | Darby Strickland
    To care well for a family who has a child with developmental delays, the multitude of the gifts and skills of the body of Christ are needed. Here are practical ways the local church can minister to children with developmental delays and their families, followed by ways that people with specific positions in the church…
  • Christ as Mediator: The Offices of Christ | Thomas J. Nettles
    As the mediator between God and his people, Jesus Christ fulfills and unifies three offices that are present yet distinct in the Old Testament. Those who hold the office of prophet are those by whom God’s people are given necessary knowledge about God. Jesus Christ came as the perfect prophet because he is the very…
  • Christ in the Old Testament | Stephen M. Coleman
    God’s revelation throughout the Old Testament prefigures, anticipates, and announces beforehand the redemption that he would accomplish in the person and work of his incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. When the apostles read the Old Testament, they saw references to Christ and his kingdom, as it were, on every page. Jesus is the second Adam, the…
  • Christocentrism: An Asymmetrical Trinitarianism? | Themelios
    Does “Christocentrism” betray an asymmetrical trinitarianism that neglects the Father and the Spirit? The spate of calls for “Christ-centeredness” in evangelicalism’s past few generations collude with the twentieth century’s revivified trinitarianism to prompt this question. After laying out the tension with a brief historical overview, we will bring the teaching of the NT to bear…
  • Communicate With Teens | Tedd Tripp
    Teenagers’ lives are full of complexity. Strong forces compete for their attention. They often feel insecure. They worry about their appearance. They spend a lot of time fixing their hair and clothes. They change their clothes three or four times before going out. They practice in front of the mirror: “Is this my good smile?”…
  • Communicating the Book of Job in the Twenty-First Century | Daniel J. Estes
    In churches, seminaries, and in the scholarly literature, the book of Job is only rarely preached or taught in detail. This wisdom text has always been a difficult book to interpret, and to complicate matters it is increasingly counter to the assumptions and values of the contemporary culture. This article proposes six strategies for the…
  • Contemporary Challenges to Inerrancy | Don Carson
    Virtually every Christian doctrine has had doubt cast upon it by some people, but nothing has been more repeatedly undermined than what God has said, beginning as early as Genesis 3:1. Historically, it has been common to relativize Scripture’s authority by adding other authoritative sources; in recent times, it has been more common to question…
  • Counseling Angry, Unmotivated, Self-Centered, and Spiritually-Indifferent Teens | Richard M. Horne
    Counseling angry and indifferent young people typically begins with presenting issues. But counseling does not stop there. The youth counselor who tries to identify the teen’s problem for him and then offers his own solutions, even his understanding of biblical solutions, does not have to wait very long— maybe five or ten minutes—to see the…
  • Counselor Self-Disclosure: How Much Should I Talk About Me? | Ed Welch
    Counselor self-disclosure is a perennial counseling topic. At its best, self-disclosure invites the counselee to further openness which is a key feature of a growing relationship. At its worst, it draws undue attention to the counselor, distracts the conversation, and fails to provide the desired empathy. Keep in mind the different types of self-disclosure. Counselors…
  • Created Body and Soul | Paul Helm
    Human beings are made up of both body and soul. These two parts are distinct but inseparable in our nature state. They will be separated in death, but this is a result of the curse and will not continue indefinitely. The body is not ethically inferior, as some unchristian sources hold it to be, but…
  • Day, A. (2016). Lifted up and glorified: Isaiah’s servant language in the Gospel of John.
    Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-11) powerfully depicts his servant role in the Gospel of John. Though most Christians associate Jesus with the role of the servant, the servant figure has a rich history in the Scriptures of Israel. Several major figures in the history of Israel are referred to as God’s Servant. The…
  • Depression’s Odd Filter | Ed Welch
    So you have your work cut out for you. All new wiring. Get rid of the tangled mess by confessing that you don’t hear, and replace it with a very simple connection: God says it, I believe it. If you want to check to make sure the system is working order, keep track of your…
  • Divine Revelation: God Making Himself Known | John M. Frame
    God makes himself known to his creatures because he first knows himself perfectly as a personal, speaking God. Although all people suppress the knowledge of God in their sin, he has clearly communicated about himself to his creatures through the creation and through human’s being made in the image of God. On top of this general revelation,…
  • Divine Simplicity | Matthew Barrett
    God is not made up of parts, nor is he compounded or composite in nature. That means he does not possess attributes, as if his attributes are one thing and his essence another. Rather, his essence is his attributes and his attributes his essence. God is his attributes. That means, all that is in God…
  • Do the Work of an Evangelist | Themelios
    Sometimes the fact that English uses two words where the French (and the Greek!) have only one can trip us up and focus our gaze in a slightly misleading direction. For the purposes of this editorial, one of the most telling examples is one so close to us we sometimes fail to see it. English…
  • Don’t Waste Your Cancer | David Powlison
    I believe in God’s power to heal—by miracle and by medicine. I believe it is right and good to pray for both kinds of healing. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory and that is why cancer exists. So not to pray for healing may waste your cancer.…
  • Eight Questions on Addictions for Pastors | Ed Welch
    The word addiction is open to all kinds of theories, which is one reason some Christians try to avoid it. Slavery is more specific. But the word addiction is a useful point of contact that essentially says, “I like this, or at least I once liked it, but I certainly never planned to be owned by it.” How do…
  • Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God | Alasdair Groves
    Emotions are tricky. Everyone has them. Everyone struggles with them. Many struggle with how they feel more than anything else in their lives. Then there is the sea of other people’s emotions in which all of us swim. I suspect most of us consider emotions to be more of a liability than an asset. What…
  • Expecting Less from Church | Ed Welch
    I decided I would say something to him. A fellow elder. Transparency is good, as a general rule, with the right person, at the right time. “I didn’t hear too much from the sermon on Sunday.” I actually meant, “I didn’t hear one thing.” I would have rather confessed anything other than this. Anything. Part…
  • Fear of Being Alone | Jayne V. Clark
    This morning I heard on the radio that a 50-year-old man had been found dead in his apartment. That news was sad enough, but what made it even more tragic was that he had been dead for three years. Three years! For some of us, that news report expressed our greatest fear—dying alone and forgotten.…
  • Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Woefully and Tragically Fallen | Steve Cornell
    Evangelicals have a significant stake in the decision-making nature of human beings. Terms like belief and unbelief, obedience and disobedience, are part of a biblical grammar of responsibility. Accountability and culpability are essential concepts in relation to the bad news about sin, the good news of the divine gift of salvation, and the expectation of…
  • Five Counseling Myths in the Church | Ed Welch
    Pastoral care and counsel—that is what we are considering. It is the word counsel that leads to some confusion and differences of opinion. With that in mind, here are a few myths I have heard. 1. Counseling is for the professionals. 2. As a pastor, you don’t have time for counseling. 3. You can’t counsel…
  • Five Truths for Sufferers from the Book of Job | Eric Ortlund
    The book of Job is not relevant in every circumstance, but Job-like experiences are all too common. This book teaches us that this kind of suffering is not a sign of God’s anger, or even a way to improve our moral quality as Christians. It is an avenue through which God reveals himself to us…
  • Five Ways to Help Protect Your Kids from Sexual Abuse | Julie Lowe
    There is a growing alertness among parents, educators, and the church about the need to teach kids tangible ways to stay safe. Until children are old enough to keep themselves safe, it is the job of parents and concerned adults to prepare them to navigate difficult situations that may occur when they are away from…
  • For the Moms Stuck Inside | Alasdair Groves
    Call it cabin fever, seasonal affective disorder or just feeling cooped up, caring for young children during the winter is no joke when the walls feel like they are closing in around you. On top of feeling stuck inside with your kids, it takes more effort to bundle kids up and do anything or see…
  • Friedl, J. (2020). Kingship and ‘State’ in Torah, History, and Poetry: Exploring the risk of terminological anachronism in Old Testament scholarship.
    In exploring the constituent elements of our modern-day nation state, this contribution wishes to highlight those areas in which anachronism might arise in Old Testament interpretations of ‘state’. This might happen due to the influence of deeply-rooted modern-day conceptions, according to which a state consists of a people group living within a distinct territory, governed…
  • Gender and Sexuality | Andrew T. Walker
    Sexuality refers to God’s anthropological design and pattern for the procreative relationship between male and female and to the experience of erotic desire within that design. Gender refers to biological differences in male and female embodiment and the different cultural ways in which the creational distinctions between male and female are manifested. The creational narrative…
  • Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation | Christopher Yuan
    When discussing same-sex sexual behavior and desires, some assert that the Bible has nothing to say about sexual orientation. But Paul’s use of sarx (“flesh” or “sinful nature”) can be a helpful category to better understand and minister to individuals who have an enduring and unchosen predisposition. What is at the root of the confusion…
  • Gentry, P. (2008). The Atonement in Isaiah’s Fourth Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)
    Many exegetes and theologians have mined Isa 52:13-53:12 for biblical instruction on the death of the Servant and expounded its meaning in terms of a penal substitutionary atonement, focusing in particular on the contribution of the third stanza (53:4-6). This exegetical study will focus specifically on the first and fifth stanzas (52:13-15 and 53:10-12) as…
  • Glorification: The Eternal State of the Redeemed | Gerald Bray
    Understanding the glorification of the Christian begins with understanding the glory of God, the state of incomparable greatness in which God dwells and through which he is perceived by his creatures. As creatures marred by sin, we are separated from this glory in two ways, both by the fact that we are creatures and not…
  • God as Father | Gerald Bray
    In the Old Testament, God is the Father of Israel (and Israel is his son) in the context of God forgiving and redeeming Israel. While the Jews of Jesus’s day were hesitant to call God their Father (and angry at Jesus for doing so), Jesus claimed God as his Father and taught his followers to…
  • Harris, S. (2016). The Davidic Shepherd King in the Lukan Narrative.
    The Davidic motif is well recognised in the Lukan narrative but David’s identity as God’s shepherd king has not seemed to influence how scholars have understood the Lukan Jesus and his mission to seek and save the lost. This thesis argues that David’s identity as God’s shepherd cannot be separated from his kingship, and that…
  • Hebert, A. C. (2015). Shaping Church Culture: Table Fellowship and Teaching in Luke-Acts.
    This thesis examines Luke-Acts to explore if, how, and in what ways Jesus and early church leaders intentionally shaped the culture of their followers. In Luke, table fellowship was the primary means Jesus used to shape the culture of his followers, as demonstrated through the prominence of eleven meal scenes. In Acts, teaching was the…
  • Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges With Understanding and Strength | Mike Emlet
    This booklet will give you a framework to guide you as you care for someone with ongoing physical and mental problems. Although the specifics of providing care for stroke victims, Alzheimer’s sufferers, or those with bipolar disorder are very different, there are general principles you can apply to your situation that will help you to…
  • Help! I Keep Losing My Temper | Alasdair Groves
    Losing your temper is a lot like losing your car keys—you never choose to and it always seems to happen at the worst moments. For some “losing your temper” means yelling, swearing, pounding a fist on the table. For others, lost temper is barely perceptible: a tightening of the jaw, a cold silence, but the…
  • Helping “Difficult” People in Your Church | Tim Lane
    One of the most challenging aspects of pastoral ministry is dealing with difficult people. These are people who need help but seem to challenge you at every turn as you try to provide that help. How should the church respond and minister in these situations? Everyone has to relate to difficult people—and most of us…
  • Helping Those Who Are Angry With God | David Powlison
    Let’s begin with a case study. Todd, a middle-aged divorced man, says he is angry with God because, essentially, his life is falling apart. His wife left him for another man; his only child—a twenty-five-year-old son—is not very responsive to him anymore, and a stray dog recently killed his cat, which he thought was the…
  • Hillar, M. (2012). From Logos to Trinity: The Evolution of Religious Beliefs from Pythagoras to Tertullian.
    Preface Foreword Anthony Buzzard Introduction 1. The logos in Greek culture 2. The logos in Judaism 3. The development of Jewish messianic traditions: the source of Christian scripture and doctrines 4. Development of the Hellenistic Christian doctrine 5. Justin Martyr and the logos 6. Justin Martyr and the metaphysical triad 7. Tertullian – originator of…
  • Hoarding: First Steps on a Complicated Problem | Ed Welch
    Some hoarders have no words to describe the tension they feel when there is a threat that something could be discarded. Can we find some words that can get them (and us) started? What does the King say? The New Testament describes life with Jesus as King. That life, of course, is usually the opposite…
  • Hope for the Depressed | Ed Welch
    Depression tries to tell us what is true and what isn’t. For example, it says that you will never feel any different, and you can’t continue to live in such a condition. It says that God doesn’t care, and no one loves you. It tries to persuade you that nothing matters. Know, however, that depression…
  • How Did Job Speak Rightly about God? | Eric Ortlund
    Yahweh’s stated preference for Job’s speech toward him in opposition to the friends in Job 42:7 is difficult to understand in light of the many criticisms Job levels against God in the course of the debate and the many seemingly pious and biblically supportable claims which the friends made. A variety of proposed interpretations of…
  • How Not to Help a Sufferer | Gavin Ortlund
    Of all the Bible’s many colorful characters, none is quite so exasperating as Job’s friends. Herod might chop off your head, and Judas might stab you in the back, but Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar will hurt you with Bible verses. Job’s actual losses take two brief chapters to recount (Job 1–2), but the tortuous dialogue…
  • How to Think about Persecution When You’re Not Very Persecuted | Erik Raymond
    When we think about persecution it is important to note that there are varying levels of it but one stream: it is about opposition to Christ. When we think about persecution it is important to remember the corporate nature of suffering. As our brothers and sisters suffer, we are to share in this suffering. [Read…
  • Humanity as Male and Female | Claire Smith
    God made humanity in his image as both male and female, which reflects the harmony and relationality of the Trinity, supplies the foundation for the different roles and responsibilities of men and women, was reaffirmed in the life of Jesus Christ, and cannot be reinvented or dissolved by new cultural standards. To be made in…
  • Hwang, W., & Watt, J. (2007). The Identity of the Recipients of the Fourth Gospel in the Light of the Purpose of the Gospel.
    The purpose of this article is to explore the identity of the recipients at the time of the completion of the Gospel. An effort is made to determine to whom John wrote this Gospel and how he adapted his theological message to reach this aim. It will be argued that John did not only focus…
  • Introduction to Job | TGC Courses
    This introductory course is designed to provide key insights into the book of Job by pulling together a number of key resources: overview videos from The Bible Project, helpful contextual information from The ESV Study Bible, commentary recommendations from The Gospel Coalition, a single sermon that sums up the book from beginning to end by…
  • Introduction to Philippians | TGC Courses
    The chief theme of Philippians is encouragement: Paul wants to encourage the Philippians to live out their lives as citizens of a heavenly colony, as evidenced by a growing commitment to service to God and to one another. The way of life that Paul encourages was manifested uniquely in Jesus Christ; it was also evident…
  • Is Scripture Sufficient for Counseling? | Ed Welch
    “They just use the Bible.” I have heard people say that about biblical counseling. I wouldn’t think about the comment except for two things. One, this is not a pat on the back; the word just gives that away. If I heard “they use the Bible,” I would be encouraged and keep at it, but…
  • It’s All About Me: The Problem with Masturbation | Winston Smith
    In this article, Winston shows how seemingly “harmless” sexual fantasies and masturbation negatively impact people and their ability to have healthy relationships with others. He shares how to build a new inner world founded on Christ’s love, instead of imaginary fantasies. Learning these truths will help those who struggle with masturbation and sexual fantasies to…
  • Jesus Christ, the Son of Man | Fred Zaspel
    The designation Son of Man means, for Jesus, both that he is human as we are, a son of Adam, and that he is the coming Messiah, who has been given authority by the Most High and reigns over his kingdom through his weakness, seen most clearly at the cross. While the expression “son of…
  • Jesus Christ: The Last Adam | Brandon D. Crowe
    This essay focuses on the biblical portrait of Adam and his relation to Christ. First, I will consider what the OT says about Adam, including the covenant made with Adam. In the beginning God entered into a covenant with Adam promising him eternal life on the condition of perfect obedience. Adam is therefore best understood…
  • Jesus, the Theological Educator | Themelios
    What then were the characteristics of his teaching, especially of the twelve? For it is in teaching his disciples, a small group he individually selected for training and to whom he devoted immense time and energy, that we may discern the earliest model of what we might term Christian theological education. It was for those…
  • Ji-Woon, YOO. (2017). The Parable of Minas in Luke 19: 11-27: A Parodied Parable of the Roman Imperial Patronage System.
    This article explores what implications the parable of minas retains and how Luke presents the parable to the Lukan audience. From a narrative perspective this parable is woven into Luke’s tapestry and forms an integral part of his overall narrative strategy. At the end of the travel narrative the parable of minas sets an important…
  • Jordaan, G. (2015). The joy of seeing Christ: A thematic study of joy in the Gospel of John.
    An investigation of the recurring references to joy in the fourth Gospel brings to light that joy is developed in the Gospel as a distinct theme. This theme is developed in typical Johannine style within a spiral-like pattern, with its climax in the joy of seeing Jesus as the risen Lord. Furthermore, starting with Abraham…
  • Kingdom and Cross | Jeremy Treat
    God’s kingdom was present in Jesus’ life, proclaimed in his preaching, glimpsed in his miracles/exorcisms, established by his death, inaugurated through the resurrection, is being advanced by the Holy Spirit through the church, and will be consummated in Christ’s return. This essay explores the connection between the theological ideas of “cross” and “kingdom.” The tension…
  • Let’s Talk About Money | Ed Welch
    “Men will talk about their struggle with pornography, but don’t ask about their money.” A veteran of many men’s groups made that observation, and it made sense. As a counselor, I talk about sex with people, but I cannot remember the last time I talked about money. In other words, I am missing something. Jesus…
  • Letting Go of Pain | Ed Welch
    It sounds strange – let go of pain. Who would want to hold on to it? But we are complicated people. Sometimes pain grabs us and it won’t let go; sometimes it grabs us and we grab it right back. And we have our reasons. [Read More]
  • Lioy, D. (2017). One Saviour and two responses: a comparison and analysis of Luke 18:18–30 and 19:1–10.
    This journal article undertakes a comparison and analysis of Luke 18:18–30 and 19:1–10. One reason for doing so is the paucity of scholarship exploring the interrelationship between these two texts. A second motivation is that both passages showcase two contrasting responses to the Saviour, one characterized by unbelief and the other by belief. A third…
  • Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken (Part 1) | David Powlison
    Is your sexuality misshapen and misdirected? Sexual evils are among the dark things that pour forth from within our hearts. Jesus bluntly indicts a roster of sexual wrongs (Mark 7:21-23) – and offers costly mercy to the repentant. Has your sexuality been harmed by others? Some people experience terrible sufferings at the hands of predators,…
  • Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken (Part 2) | David Powlison
    Walking in the light is not magic. When you see the fork in the road more clearly (today’s skirmish)…, and when you see and hear your Lord more clearly (something He says)…, then you start talking, start needing, start trusting, and then you start making the hard, significant, joyous choice to love people rather than…
  • Making Sense of Hell | Robert Golding
    Christian universalism (the view that all people are eventually saved) is largely predicated upon a negative reaction to the traditional doctrine of hell. It is therefore a “second option” to those who see hell as illogical, unnecessary, and/or cruel. In this article, I will argue that hell is not only logical and just but that…
  • Man as the Image of God | Richard Phillips
    Just as Seth bore the “likeness and image” of his father Adam (Gen. 5:3), God made Adam and Eve to bear his image and likeness. Historical theology has often grounded the image of God in mankind’s superiority over lesser creatures, given man’s higher rationality and spirituality, and especially in human’s capacity to know and worship…
  • Marti, F.A. (2017). “Witness” And “Bearing Witness” In The Legal Settings Of The Pentateuch And The Gospel Of John: An Intertextual Study.
    This dissertation studies the words “witness” and “to bear witness” in the Pentateuch and in the Gospel of John, and at the same time presents an intertextual connection between these books. [PDF]
  • Men: Pursue Others Like Jesus Pursues You | Ed Welch
    All the biblical stories of the Lord moving toward people are stories of grace. Grace is God’s moving toward us in Christ. He pursued us not because we called out so well and took the first step of self-reformation. We were simply sick and needed him. Or worse, we were enemies who were not inclined…