17 Jun 2024

Does Matthew 24 Describe the Rapture of the Church (Part 5)?

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This series has been looking at nine arguments made by John Hart in Evidence for the Rapture for a pre-tribulation rapture in Matthew 24. So far, in Part 1, we have seen that there is a switch at 24:36 from a gathering of believers that comes after signs (vv. 29–31) to a gathering that comes suddenly...
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10 Jun 2024

Church Leadership in the First Century

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What did church leadership look like in the first century? Below are a few observations. In a passage penned in the mid-first century, James addressed the question of what to do when one is facing serious illness. He wrote, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call the elders of the church, and let them...
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27 May 2024

Christian Platonism: Friend or Foe?

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Christian Platonism. Friend or Foe? The Christian system has long been dogged by the question of philosophical grounding and the ancient comparison between Aristotle and Plato. Which (if either) of these philosophical models best sustains Christian theology?   Aristotelianism, with its fixation on the observable and the material, is easily scorned. Its shockingly immanent version of...
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23 May 2024

Reasons vs. Rationalizations

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I’ve found it helpful to distinguish between reasons and rationalizations. Reasons are facts, arguments, principles, etc., that lead you to a particular conclusion. Reasons are the explanation for why you started holding a position or taking an action. It is what a faithful judge offers to support the verdict he reached after the court proceedings...
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13 May 2024

Their Angels See the Father’s Face

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I do intend to finish my series on Matthew 24:36–41, but I am taking a break for this post. First, like Nebuchadnezzar’s magicians, I am “trying to gain time.” Second, while dealing with a passage that is debated, like Matthew 24, sometimes it is comforting to remind ourselves that the basic message of Scripture is...
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6 May 2024

Ministry Advice from a Dead Guy

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In recent months, I’ve written about marriage, parenting, and financial advice “from a dead guy” (i.e., John Chrysostom, c. 347–407). In recounting this advice, I’m not suggesting that Chrysostom was always correct or that his advice should necessarily be followed in every detail in the 21st century. Rather, I simply think it is helpful for...
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29 Apr 2024

Is Ethics Ever a Matter of “Indifference”?

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The term ἀδιάφορα (adiaphora), literally, matters that are to be viewed with indifference or that make no difference, does not appear in the Christian Scriptures and does not feature significantly in Christian Theology until the Reformation era. The term does, however, predate the Christian period by several centuries, being well-established in Greek philosophy/ethics. For instance, The...
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22 Apr 2024

Hymns for the Attributes of God

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Church Works Media has a helpful resource for pastors and those who plan worship services: a topical list of hymns In a similar spirit, I wanted to share a list of hymns that we either sang or considered singing in connection to a series I preached on the attributes of God. Independent Infinite Eternal and...
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15 Apr 2024

Does Matthew 24 Describe the Rapture of the Church (Part 4)

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Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. In this series, we have been examining the arguments made by John Hart in Evidence for the Rapture that our Lord Jesus describes the pre-tribulation rapture of his church in Matthew 24:36–44. To review, Hart, in my opinion, makes a very plausible case that (1) the switch...
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8 Apr 2024

Financial Advice from a Dead Guy

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In recent months, I’ve written about marriage and parenting advice “from a dead guy” (i.e., John Chrysostom, c. 347–407). In this post, I’m going to note a few comments about wealth and poverty from this same church father. Almost every substantial discussion of John Chrysostom’s ministry points out that one of the major themes of...
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