In 2 Peter, the Apostle dealt with the internal enemies—false prophets and other subtle adversaries—who twisted the truth. Of special interest to Peter were false teachings regarding the return of the Lord as well as our life of service and purity prior to the event. The tone of 2 Peter is that of an urgent warning, urging all readers to beware…to be ready.
What words come to mind when you hear the term theology? Dry…Dreary…Doubtful…DULL? You’re not alone.
Too often we don’t realize that theology—thinking about God—is an intimate part of our everyday lives, rather than something that takes place in ivory towers crowded with bearded men crouched over dusty books. We each engage in theology because we each have a set of beliefs about God. But rather than being content with our ideas about God as they now stand, we should each have a desire to know God better than we do today. If you’ve got that desire, then you’re ready to do theology!
Let these resources point the way to a faith more deeply connected with who God actually says He is.
A quick glance at the first few verses of 1 Peter is enough to give us an understanding of Peter’s message to his readers: hope for the hurting. According to verse 1, the hurting were those residing as aliens, scattered throughout vast regions of the Roman Empire. These Christians were objects of social ostracism, slander, mistreatment, and threats. They needed encouragement.
Don’t be fooled by its size. The letter of James may be small, but it’s strong. It refuses to let the reader hide behind the walls of theological theory or intellectual faith. True faith produces authenticity. “No authenticity…no faith”—that’s James’s conclusion on the matter. James’s letter may make us squirm, but it also makes us tear down our facades.
Profound, mysterious, deep, and sometimes difficult to understand, this book deserves our time and attention. Rich in Jewish history and filled with quotations from and allusions to the Old Testament, the study of Hebrews requires concentration plus a fairly firm grasp of how God revealed Himself to His people in ancient times.
How do we sift and sort truth from error? Do we all have to be biblical scholars in order to avoid falling into deception and error? And how do we respond to error?
Many Christians assume that doubt is the opposite of faith. It isn't. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. And somewhere in between faith and unbelief lies the realm of doubt.
A new generation was on the scene. Canaan—the Promised Land—was just beyond the border. The Hebrews were eager to invade and claim the territory. For almost 500 years, they had lived away from home, like fugitives. They longed to settle down and deepen their roots. But a very strategic matter had to be settled beforehand.
At a crucial juncture, the people doubted God’s promise and retreated into unbelief. The result? Monotonous wandering in circles for almost 40 years as all individuals 20 years and older died off, leaving a new generation to enter Canaan, the land of promise.
Leviticus is frequently passed off as an unimportant document of out-of-date details. Because the book is directly related to Israelites under the Mosaic Law, many Christians today choose to ignore its contents. But God has preserved Leviticus for a particular purpose.
Exodus is an account of how God miraculously delivered His people and then began to train them to walk in faith through His provision of a set of written instructions (the Mosaic Law) and a place of meeting for worship (the tabernacle). Exodus begins with a groan and ends in glory.