False Gods and Idols

God is not redundant. For most of my life, “false god” and “idol” were interchangeable terms, whether I meant them literally, in speaking of biblical history, or metaphorically, of anything that might usurp the supremacy of God in my life. From several years of teaching experience, I can add that my undergraduate students also hear …

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Hope Returned to Him

10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. Hebrews 10:39-11:2 (ESV) In the darkest moment of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Sam, …

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STUDENT POST: Power & Faith in Mark 5:21-43

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series featuring outstanding excerpts from student papers at the BibleMesh Institute, which offers affordable online training for local churches, schools, and ministries. The author’s name has been withheld for privacy and security purposes. Mark 5:21-43 comprises two smaller stories that can be connected together. The first story …

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To Think with an Open Mind?—J. Gresham Machen (1881 – 1937)

On June 17, 1932, the noted New Testament scholar and founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, J. Gresham Machen delivered three addresses to the Bible League at Caxton Hall, Westminster, London. His remarks were first published under the title of The Importance of Christian Scholarship. His analysis of the purpose of teaching and the need for hard work are enduring …

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Born Again or From Above? A Two-Pronged Question

The phrase “born-again Christian” has become almost cliché. Yet seen through a key Greek word in a dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, this common phrase can be clothed anew in meaningful truth. The word at issue is ἄνωθεν anothen “from above.” The word is formed from ἄνω “above” + -θεν, a suffix denoting origin of …

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