Author Archives for Cierra Loux

Communicating the Gospel: One-to-One

July 7, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.—Luke 1:1–4 Communicating the Gospel is not only a big task, but a big responsibility. So, of course we want to know the best way to communicate it! The Preacher’s Commentary on Luke, by Bruce Larson, gives great insight for preachers and teachers alike by examining Luke’s methods for communication the Gospel. Here’s an excerpt for you to read! COMMUNICATING ONE-TO-ONE The Gospel of Luke Luke is the only one of the Gospel writers who did not know the physical Jesus. He was not present during our Lord’s three-year ministry and did not witness His death and Resurrection. His sources for this Gospel are eyewitnesses of these events. He visited the people who actually saw the physical Jesus: His family,... View Article


John MacArthur’s Introduction to the Gospels

July 6, 2018 7:00 am Published by 3 Comments

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” —John 20:30–31THE MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE If you’ve been on our website recently, you might have noticed that we have 4 different versions of John MacArthur’s Study Bible. MacArthur Study Bible with NIV MacArthur Study Bible with NASB MacArthur Study Bible with ESV MacArthur Study Bible with NKJV And. if you know our app well enough, you may be confused as to why we have this same resource available with different translations. In the app, we let you use any Bible translation you want with a study Bible. Why would you need this one with NIV instead of ESV? Well, in each of these resources, MacArthur makes direct reference to specific translations. You can still mix and match study Bibles and translations all you want—but if you prefer the NASB, we definitely recommend getting that version of this study Bible! Now, check out this snippet from MacArthur’s Study Bible. INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS The Word... View Article


Freedom from Wifi

July 5, 2018 7:00 am Published by 18 Comments

DID YOU KNOW… that you don’t need wifi or data to use our app? No, really. You can use every single part of our app while your phone is on airplane mode. STUDY THE BIBLE ANYWHERE The reason we designed our app to work without Wifi or data is so that YOU can study God’s Word anytime, anywhere. We all know what summer is like: long road trips, camping, flying… all without an Internet connection. An Internet connection shouldn’t determine how deeply you can study the Bible. So, test it out. Put your device in airplane mode right now and start studying. You don’t need to be distracted by texts, phone calls, or the Internet anyway. SHARE #READSTUDYANYWHERE Check out #readstudyanywhere on Twitter and Instagram to see where Olive Tree users are using the app this summer. Then join the conversation yourself! NEED SOME INSPIRATION? Want to start studying but need something to revamp your quiet time? Tap here to see this week’s sale.


The Bible and Intellectual Pursuit

June 27, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

THE BIBLE AND INTELLECTUAL PURSUIT Some presume Christianity is anti-intellectual. But does the Bible actually promote anti-intellectualism? On the contrary, the Bible promotes the life of the mind. Indeed, the Christian worldview values learning, and it grounds, fosters, and clarifies such intellectual pursuit. Note, for example, how the nature of God does so. God’s infinity clarifies that he alone possesses full knowledge—past, present, and future. His graciousness initiates all learning as all knowledge of him and life flows from his generous self-revelation. God’s truthfulness shows that his self-disclosure communicates truth and does so coherently. His personal nature means that knowledge is also relational, pointing us to a covenant relationship with him. God’s self-revelation reflects God and is likewise instructive about intellectual pursuit. God’s self-revelation is gracious: God freely initiates it and blesses through it. It is truthful, faithfully representing who God is, what God does, and how God relates to humans. His self-revelation is a unity: though coming in a variety of forms (see below), God’s communication about himself, humanity, and life coheres. It is personal, as it communicates who God is and his ways. It is propositional, disclosing truth about God, humanity, life, history, and salvation. Since humans are the... View Article


What is a Christian Worldview?

June 25, 2018 7:00 am Published by 6 Comments

  WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW AND WHY DOES IT MATTER? Is there anything you can think of which is indispensable to your personal identity? Perhaps your hometown, family, or friends come to mind. While these are important aspects of what it means to be you, they do not travel physically with you everywhere you go. They are not present during those private moments while you are sitting in your room. But one thing sticks closer to you than your own reputation: it is your worldview. The term worldview has been around for a long time. First employed by philosopher Immanuel Kant, the concept of worldview (from the German word Weltanschauung) took on new significance for Christians with the publication of James Orr’s book, The Christian View of God and the World. But it has only been recently that Christians have taken interest in worldview studies as an essential task in the mandate to become serious Christian thinkers. There are two main ways in which people employ the term worldview. One is philosophical; the other, sociological. THE PHILOSOPHICAL DEFINITION Although numerous good definitions for worldview might be offered for the philosophical sense of the term, I find the late philosopher... View Article


Look Inside: New Anchor Yale Volumes

June 18, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We’ve added 5 new volumes to our Anchor Yale collection: Revelation: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary – by Koester Joshua 1-12: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary – by Dozeman Judges 1-12: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary – by Sasson Ruth: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary – by Schipper Amos: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary – by Eidevall We thought this would be a perfect time to give you a look inside this classic resource. RESOURCE GUIDE As always, you can find content inside the Anchor Yale series that relates to the passage you have open. Just look in the Resource Guide! Then, you’ll be able to quickly navigate to which part of the commentary you want to read. The Anchor Yale series comes with its own translation, textual notes, dictionary entries, and commentary. CONTENT Here are some examples of the different kinds of content you’ll find inside the Anchor Yale Commentary Series. EXTRAS: INDEXES, MAPS, AND MORE The Anchor Yale Commentary Series also has maps sprinkled throughout it. These will also appear in the Resource Guide when a map in this series is applicable to the passage of Scripture you are reading. There are in-depth introductions for every volume. Outlines will appear in the Resource... View Article


Jesus’ Farewell

June 14, 2018 7:00 am Published by 3 Comments

Looking for something a little more in-depth than your average study Bible? The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary is a single-volume resource that walks you through the entire Bible. We pulled this excerpt from the Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary to give you a small taste of the kind of information it offers. Mostly, being an ILLUSTRATED Bible Commentary, this resource is filled with charts, images, and graphics. So, keep reading, and discover more about Jesus’ Farewell in John 13-17. THE FAREWELL DISCOURSE Jesus’ Farewell: John 13:31–17:26 In the upper room, Jesus now turns to his faithful followers and instructs them at some length. The discourse runs from 13:31 to 16:33 without narrative interruption and then concludes with Jesus’s prayer (17:1–26), which precedes the arrest (18:1–11). The literary form of this section is called the “farewell speech” and was well known in Judaism at this time. For example, one can turn to the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, an inter-testamental, extra-canonical work that records the final words of Israel’s patriarchs. The Assumption of Moses (first century AD) does the same for Israel’s prophet-leader in Transjordan. Each Jewish farewell speech shows similar elements that are found in Jesus’s farewell: There is a plea... View Article


Discipling Your Staff

June 13, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you think of discipleship, do you think of discipling your staff? The editors of the CSB Disciple’s Study Bible are PASSIONATE about teaching about discipleship. In this excerpt, they outline why you should disciple staff and how to do so effectively. And with the notes from this study Bible, you’re sure to learn and grow in your ability to make disciples. DISCIPLING YOUR STAFF Ministry leaders, especially pastors, should prioritize discipling their staff. Regardless of whether the role is full time, bi-vocational, or as a volunteer, the leader can follow Jesus’s example in disciple making. Unfortunately, the people under the direct influence of the leader can often be overlooked in the discipleship process. But leaders must be intentional with those who serve under them, just as Jesus was. I. WHY DISCIPLE STAFF? Why did Jesus walk with twelve men more closely than the masses? And why did he choose to walk even closer with three? It is clear that Jesus wanted to have a long-lasting impact on a few men who would go on to replicate the process. Every Christ-follower since is a result of what Jesus began with his disciples. Multiplication is certainly a key result of making... View Article


Praying for Lost Friends and Family

June 11, 2018 7:00 am Published by 10 Comments

Praying for lost friends and family is a difficult task. We so badly want to see them saved. But, at the same time, we don’t always see God answer in the way and timing that we want. Praying for lost friends and family requires endurance, strength, hope, patience, and love. The CSB Disciple’s Study Bible contains great articles on a variety of discipleship topics. Here is an excerpt from this study Bible on praying for lost friends and family. PRAYING FOR LOST FRIENDS AND FAMILY The purpose of the Disciple-Making Pathway is to help believers grow in their faith and become more like Christ. As we become more like him, we will be burdened for our lost friends and family and will desire to see them come to know Christ in a more intimate way. E. M. Bounds wisely said: “You can’t rightly talk to men about God until you first talk to God about men.” What this means is that our efforts to share the gospel must begin with and be saturated in prayer. Before we can even consider sharing the truth of God with those who do not believe, we must be diligently praying for them. Here are... View Article


Look Inside: Cornerstone Biblical Commentary

June 5, 2018 8:30 am Published by 4 Comments

CORNERSTONE BIBLICAL COMMENTARY One of the best ways to decide if a commentary is right for you is to read the general editor’s preface. This gives you an overview of why and how they created the commentary. Here’s what the general editor, Philip W. Comfort, has to say about the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary is based on the second edition of the New Living Translation (2015). Nearly 100 scholars from various church backgrounds and from several countries (United States, Canada, England, and Australia) participated in the creation of the NLT. Many of these same scholars are contributors to this commentary series. All the commentators, whether participants in the NLT or not, believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word and have a desire to make God’s word clear and accessible to his people. This Bible commentary is the natural extension of our vision for the New Living Translation, which we believe is both exegetically accurate and idiomatically powerful. The NLT attempts to communicate God’s inspired word in a lucid English translation of the original languages so that English readers can understand and appreciate the thought of the original writers. In the same way, the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary... View Article