Leadership and Covenants (Part Five) (July-August 2016)
Having laid extensive groundwork for the Bible's covenants, John Ritenbaugh begins to explore the first of these, the Edenic Covenant. Universal in scope, this covenant introduces God to mankind as his Creator and establishes the rules by which human beings are to relate to Him and to the earth and its human and non-human inhabitants. It is simultaneously a covenant of blessing and responsibility.
Defining Hope for the Creation (July-August 2016)
None of us is perfect. We are all, in a sense, broken to some degree, whether from birth or by the constant grind of life. We have little hope of repair. James Beaubelle, however, finds real hope in Scripture, arguing that, if our hope is in our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, we can have faith that our hope will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.
The Goodness and Severity of God (Part Two) (July-August 2016)
We worship a God, who, though all-powerful and loving, seems to display irreconcilable contradictions, such as His great wrath and His deep compassion. Charles Whitaker explains that these are not contradictory traits but rigorous responses to sin and its consequences. Though His wrath burns hot "for a little while," His compassion follows quickly after, bringing restoration.
Zika: A Real Health Emergency? (July-August 2016)
Apart from the coverage of the U.S. presidential election, the Zika virus was this summer's major news story, casting a pall over the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Richard Ritenbaugh covers the history and substance of the Zika virus, concluding that the sensational headlines obscured the fact that the relative handful of infections did not make it a threat.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Malchus' Ear (Part One) (July-August 2016)
The last of Jesus' miracles during His human life occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was being arrested by a large contingent of troops. Peter, defending his Lord, drew his sword and lopped an ear from the head of Malchus, the high priest's servant. Martin Collins shows that, while exposing a few of Peter's character flaws, the scene reveals Jesus' love and kindness, even under heavy stress.
Leadership and Covenants (Part Four) (May-June 2016)
Even though Christians have been called to follow Christ, their journey to the Kingdom of God is preparation for leadership under Him. John Ritenbaugh explains that the covenants play a key role in this godly preparation. They not only show us what God requires of us in our relationship with Him, but they also instruct us in the minute details of God's way of living and ruling.
What Is Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? (May-June 2016)
In Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus warns the Pharisees about crossing a line that cannot be uncrossed, an act of blasphemy that is commonly called "the unpardonable sin." David Grabbe explores the Bible's references to this often-misunderstood subject, showing that, while rare, one could fall into it through bitterness or neglect.
The Goodness and Severity of God (Part One) (May-June 2016)
The Bible oftentimes speaks in polar opposites: good and evil, light and darkness, heaven and earth. A pair of opposites like these, called a merism by theologians, is destruction and restoration. Citing many prophecies, Charles Whitaker points out that restoration often follows swiftly on the heels of God's wrath, providing us with hope that God's blessing will come sooner rather than later.
Brexit (Part Two): Exposing the Divide (May-June 2016)
As reactions to the Brexit vote run the gamut from applause to denunciation, one fact shines through clearly: The vote exposes just how divided this world has become. Joseph Baity describes the fragmentation occurring all over the world—a situation that can lead only to greater problems that this world is not designed to face, must less overcome.
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part Three) (May-June 2016)
As the election approaches in the United States, many are proclaiming this to be the most important election in generations. While it may seem to be the height of patriotism to cast a ballot, Martin Collins shows that Christians are urged to refrain from interfering in the politics of this world, following the example of Jesus during His life and ministry.
Leadership and Covenants (Part Three) (March-April 2016)
If we were asked to list the reasons for the recent decline of the United States, we would probably reply that, among others, poor leadership is a primary cause. John Ritenbaugh asks us to consider that God is putting us through exercises to create leaders in His image. His covenants are a primary tool in this process.
Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen (March-April 2016)
The subjects of God's calling and predestination can be confusing at times, especially the idea that many are called but few are chosen. Why does God not just choose everyone? John Reid explores the Parable of the Wedding Feast to discover some answers to these vital questions.
Stuff (March-April 2016)
We live in a truly materialistic society. Everyone has a great deal of "stuff," all of our possessions, which we stockpile and safeguard jealously. Considering the process of spring cleaning, Mike Ford ponders our attachment to our stuff and the possibility of having to leave it all behind.
Brexit—An Unlikely Getaway (March-April 2016)
The United Kingdom's Brexit (British exit from the European Union) vote stunned the world, as many of the polls suggested the British would vote to remain in the EU. Joseph Baity presents the history of the UK's dealings with the EU since 1973, showing that a sizable slice of the British people, most of them average citizens, have always distrusted the EU's encroachment on British sovereignty.
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part Two) (March-April 2016)
When Jesus walked the earth during His ministry, He delivered a message of the coming Kingdom of God with Him as its King. However, as Martin Collins explains, Jesus never inserted Himself into the political process, but instead, He taught His disciples to come out of this world's way of life.
Leadership and Covenants (Part Two) (January-February 2016)
When a society falls into chaos and blatant immorality, as the Western world seems to be on the verge of doing, it is evident that there is a crisis in leadership. While warning us of the times just ahead, John Ritenbaugh turns the focus of leadership toward the church, exhorting us to learn the lessons of godly leadership now because our positions in the Kingdom of God will require their use.
Why Did God Command Israel to Go to War? (January-February 2016)
The "God of the Old Testament" receives a great deal of criticism from some quarters because, allegedly, He makes statements that contradict New Testament teaching, and He also seems cruel, especially toward non-Israelites. Examining a question that brings both of these criticisms into play, David Grabbe argues that God's command for Israel to execute total war on the Canaanites has a rational—and yes, Christian—explanation.
It's Not Fair! (January-February 2016)
"Fairness" is a major buzzword in these times. Special interest groups complain and sometimes agitate because they feel that society is not treating them fairly. Geoff Preston approaches the subject more personally, showing that our discontent over perceived mistreatment pales in comparison to what others have endured.
The Perils of Populism (January-February 2016)
Every generation or so, a populist leader arises to grip public attention, the electorate to support grassroots policies that other politicians have ignored. Recognizing that Americans have rushed to support two populist candidates during this cycle's primary season, Richard Ritenbaugh cautions that populism has a tendency to spin out of control.
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part One) (January-February 2016)
America's presidential primary season has brought voting in political elections to the fore once again. Because it is not directly mentioned in Scripture, people often ask if voting is biblically condoned. Martin Collins, beginning a short series of Bible Studies, re-asks the question in its most basic form for a true Christian: Would Jesus Vote?