Archive for October 2016

Abraham: The Patriarch of Three Faiths

Oct 29th, 2016 | By
iipi102916

Judaism, Christianity and Islam each claim Abraham as central to their heritage: For the Jews, Abraham is their ethnic progenitor and a model of trust in Yahweh. For Christians, Abraham models justification by faith (see Romans 4). For Muslims, Abraham is a key prophet in a prophetic line extending from Adam to Muhammad. He is mentioned in 35 of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an, and is proclaimed as a prophet who early on modeled the singular belief in Allah and who declared allegiance and faith in Allah. To Muslims, his importance is as a prophet, not as the father of the Jews. But the Bible pronounces Abraham a watershed figure in God’s redemptive plan. Before him, God dealt with all of humanity, making no covenant distinctions. But God chose Abraham. . .



Genesis 35:1-36:43

Oct 28th, 2016 | By
bdpi102816

Jacob is now a changed man, and God reiterates His covenant to him; the deaths of Rachel & Isaac.



The Curse of Anti-Semitism

Oct 22nd, 2016 | By
iipi102216

In 2005, historian Paul Johnson published an important article on anti-Semitism in the journal Commentary. He defined anti-Semitism as “an intellectual disease, a disease of the mind, extremely infectious and massively destructive. It is a disease to which both human individuals and entire human societies are prone.” After the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC and the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 586 BC, the Jews were dispersed throughout the eastern Mediterranean. After Rome’s brutal destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the final, great diaspora unfolded with Diaspora Judaism becoming the norm. Jews were now dispersed on every major continent and yet were able to maintain a distinct social and religious identity. Over the last 2,000 years, anti-Semitism has continually raised its ugly head virtually everywhere.



Genesis 33:1-34:29

Oct 20th, 2016 | By
bspi102016

After reuniting with Esau, Jacob & his people settle to Shechem, where they have conflict with the Canaanites, and plot a massacre.



Sound Doctrine in a Secular Age

Oct 15th, 2016 | By
iipi101516

Ligonier Ministries recently released a study entitled its “2016 State of American Theology Study” conducted by LifeWay Research. Among other things, the study focused on six key doctrinal areas and where Americans differ on each theologically. The results evidence confusion, inconsistency and a superficial understanding of basic doctrinal truths. From the “Executive Summary” part of the report, here is a brief summary of several salient results of the study:



Genesis 30:33-32:32

Oct 14th, 2016 | By
bspi101416

Jacob’s return to Genesis, and his fears of facing his brother Esau.



Limited Government and President Obama’s Health Care Law

Oct 8th, 2016 | By
iipi100816

We live in a world where one of the few constants in life is change. As we contemplate the future for our children and grandchildren, this can trouble us and often cause significant anxiety. The Founders of this nation were very aware of change and perhaps their greatest fear was how government’s power would change over time. They were birthing a republic unlike any that had ever existed. James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson that “Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.” Benjamin Franklin supposedly explained that “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” They were fearful of the tyranny of the majority and of the power of the central government they were creating.



Genesis 29:1-30:32

Oct 7th, 2016 | By
bspi100716

The account of Jacob & Laban, and the beginnings of Jacob’s family.



Note to Evangelicals: “Let’s Start Talking About Our Theology, Not Politics”

Oct 1st, 2016 | By
iipi100116

Although American civilization manifests a radical pluralism when it comes to worldview choices, secularism is the preferred face of this culture. As a culture, we respect the right of a person to choose, but we do not like to discuss the nature of those religious choices. Instead of engaging in the implications and the consistency of a worldview choice, our culture prefers silence. When worldview choices are discussed, it quickly drifts to politics, not theology. The end result is that the public square in indeed naked (to use the late John Neuhaus’s words.) As a Christian, I find all of this especially disturbing.