Category: Theology


I shared this devotion at our pastoral staff meeting today, reflecting on the miracle of birth, and God’s presence and power.

Psalm 139 is a familiar psalm that speaks of God’s omnipresence, omniscience, and perhaps even omnipotence.

v.1-12 God’s presence (Spirit)

  • v.1 already searched, known

  • v.3 familiar with all my ways, intimately acquainted

  • v.5 hem me in, enclosed, siege, protection, shut in, keep out; wrap around, Lord’s hand laid upon me

  • v.6 response

v.13-18 God’s creation

  • v.14 fearfully, wonderfully made; I know that full well, my soul knows it very well

v.19-22 God’s vengeance, wrath, justice (holiness)

v.23-24 God’s sanctification (search, try, see, lead me)

  • hidden, cherished sin

Notes:

  • David, man after God’s heart

  • caesura (Latin cutting), between v.18, 19

  • God with me, God for me, God in me

This psalm is also recited during the Jewish week of Parshat Bereishit. Bereishit (בְּרֵאשִׁית — Hebrew for “in the beginning,” the first word in the parashah) is the first weekly Torah portion(פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. The parashah consists ofGenesis 1:1–6:8. The parashah is made up of 7,235 Hebrew letters, 1,931 Hebrew words, and 146 verses, and can occupy about 241 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).

Jews read it on the first Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in October or, rarely, in late September or early November. Jews also read the beginning part of the parashah,Genesis 1:1–2:3, as the second Torah reading for Simchat Torah, after reading the last parts of the Book of Deuteronomy, Parashah V’Zot HaBerachahDeuteronomy 33:1–34:12.

After 20 years from the first edition, Zondervan is publishing a second edition of their Counterpoints series on “Four Views on Hell,” interviewing different authors:

  • Eternal torment – Denny Burk
  • Conditional immortality – John G. Stackhouse Jr.
  • Universalism – Robin A. Parry
  • Protestant Purgatory – Jerry L. Walls

This is a worthwhile topic to explore and compare different viewpoints. Depending on our theological persuasions, bible hermeneutics, and practical experiences, these shape our views on the end times, the final judgment, heaven and hell. It is also helpful to know how Christian scholarship has evolved in the past 20 years on this topic as well.

Find out more through Chris Date’s interviews with them here. You can purchase the book at Amazon or Zondervan websites.

 

Article by Sze Zeng.

Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Teaching on “Doctrine of the Holy Spirit” for LTP 280 Introduction to Systematic Theology, week 5 of 8.

Scott Thomas from Acts 29 Network has produced a 91-page condensed interactive workbook based on Wayne Grudem’s Christian Beliefs: Twenty basics every Christians should know (Zondervan, 2005), which itself is a condensed version of Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994).

The best part of it? It’s absolutely free and reproducible in its entirety. A really useful resources for preparing leaders for ministry and a basic systematic theology curriculum, even for youths and young adults.

Click here for the full color version. Visit their website for other free versions (B&W, questions only, etc).

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