Author Archives for Guest Blogger

8 Marks of Authentic Faith

May 4, 2017 8:59 am Published by 25 Comments

Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’” But not even then did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. — Mark 14:55–64, NKJV Israel’s religious and political leaders wanted to rid... View Article


Reactions to the Resurrection

April 12, 2017 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Taken from Feasting on the Word: John 20:1-18 Pastoral Perspective The narrative here seems almost two separate stories, that of the woman Mary and that of the two men, Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. I call the disciples “men,” but the word that comes more quickly to mind is “boys.” There seems such a childish competition between them. When they get word of the missing body, they run to the tomb, but their racing is not presented just as a run to arrive: it is reported as a race, with care taken to tell that the “other disciple,” the one with whom the author identifies, outran Peter and got there first. He won the race, even though Peter, typically brash, was the one who forged first into the tomb. So yes, the common claim that Peter was the first of the male disciples at the actual site of the resurrection may have some truth, but only by a technicality. The other one, John, was really first, and the faster runner. Besides, he was the one whom Jesus loved. Perhaps I overstate the comic quality of John’s account here, but it is hard to ignore at... View Article


Discover the 5 Covenants in the Bible

April 6, 2017 8:00 am Published by 4 Comments

This is a guest post from Bible Connection Content adapted from the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. Don’t own your own copy? Click here to view your buying options. Covenant is one of the most important theological ideas in biblical theology. It is reflected in the traditional labels Old and New Testaments, i.e., covenants. The concept exists at significant points in the Bible’s storyline and is the theological glue that binds promise to fulfillment. So the biblical history of salvation and the unfolding of God’s covenants are almost synonymous. Although the Bible does not explicitly mention a covenant until Gen 6:18 (when God announces that he intends to establish a covenant with Noah), many believe that God made a covenant with Adam (cf. Hos 6:7; see NIV text note there). They refer to this covenant with Adam as “the covenant of works” or a “covenant with creation.” Others, however, while not denying that God had a relationship with Adam involving mutual obligations, distinguish this from a covenant, which involves additional formalizing elements such as a sworn and/or enacted oath. Understanding covenant in the more formal sense, the first divine-human covenant is the one God established in the days of Noah (cf. Isa 54:9).... View Article


Inductive Bible Study

September 14, 2016 4:00 am Published by 3 Comments

As a teacher of the Inductive Bible Study Method I am often asked, “What is Inductive Bible Study?”. Unfortunately, there is really no short answer to that question.  Inductive Bible Study is more of an approach to the Bible than it is any particular technique. In fact the “Inductive Method” that we teach in the School of Biblical Studies is really a collection of Bible study techniques combined in such a way as to help the student maintain an “inductive posture” toward the text. The shortest description I can give of this approach is this, “Inductive study is an approach to the Bible that helps the student build their conclusions from observations of the text.” In other words – observation first, conclusions second.  Sounds simple, but there are complications. To illustrate let me tell a very old folk tale.The Two Travelers and the Farmer A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger. “What were the people like where you’ve... View Article


Tips For Getting Your Book Published

June 24, 2016 2:24 pm Published by 2 Comments

Guest Blogger: Pete NikolaiWhile the majority of people believe they have a book in them, very few actually start writing their book and far fewer finish. If you have started or even finished your manuscript then you may have begun looking into the options that are available for getting your book published that run the gamut from “the big five” traditional publishers to self-publishing. An author is usually best-served by considering the options in that order. Being published by a traditional publisher has numerous benefits including broader distribution and the affirmation and market position that comes with the support of an industry leader. The first step to getting your book traditionally published is to develop a comprehensive book proposal as early in the process as possible—preferably before you start writing. In doing so, you will get to know the wants and needs of your target market, identify competitive titles, and begin to determine how to create the book your target market needs along with how they might become aware of their need for your book. Your book proposal should encapsulate the information literary agents and publishers need to evaluate your book’s commercial viability. As you work on your proposal you... View Article


The New, Holy Standard of Love

March 23, 2016 3:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

John 13:33-35 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. Supper had been eaten. The cup had been blessed. Fellowship had been shared. Betrayal had been foretold. After Judas left Jesus and the other disciples at the table in the upper room, some of my favorite parts of the Holy Week narrative take place. They are common, familiar, lowly, home-centered—perhaps that is why they prick me especially poignantly, as I am a full time homemaker and homeschooling mama of four small children. I am daily surrounded by the common and the lowly. Morsels of bread, washing off dirt, and commands to love one another are tools of my own trade. What Jesus says to His disciples grabs my attention: not just love one another, but prefaced. A new commandment I give... View Article


Justice is a part of discipleship & ultimately our worship of God

March 3, 2016 3:00 am Published by 2 Comments

Guest Blog by Eugene Cho Over the years, I’ve been given by some the mini-reputation as a leader in the field of justice. At first, I took it as a compliment and  of course, I still do because I care a lot about justice. I know that people mean well. But I care about justice not  just for the sake of justice. I care about justice…because I care much about the Gospel. And sometimes, when I hear folks talk about justice in the church, I cringe… I cringe because if we’re not careful, we’re again compartmentalizing justice rather than seeing it as part of the whole Gospel; We need to see justice as a critical part of God’s character and thus, our discipleship and worship. Just like we shouldn’t extract the character of “love” or “grace” or “holiness” from God’s character, such must be the case with justice. People often ask me, “What’s the most critical part about seeking justice.” My answer: We must not just seek justice but live justly. Justice work and just living are part of our discipleship. Justice contributes to our worship of God. Justice is worship. You will know a tree from its fruit. 
In... View Article


Why We Do Digital Devotionals

February 2, 2016 9:59 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Guest Post by Lana Dwire via EdifyHub “Steve, I’m not sure if I’d really use an iPad if we got it.” “Well, Lana, if you don’t use it, it will become mine. I’m sure I’ll use it!” That was the conversation several years ago. Hard to believe I thought I wouldn’t use the iPad that much. Guess what? Steve never got the iPad we bought because I absolutely love being able to use Olive Tree on it for my Bible devotions! Previously I was a firm believer in doing devotions with a “real” Bible. There’s just something about having the actual book in your hands….but then I saw all that Steve could do with the Olive Tree app….and how I had a stack of books – the BIG Strong’s Concordance, Nave’s Topical Bible, my notebook & pen. Hmmm….maybe it would be nice to have it all together as one. It would make it so easy for traveling too! So, I got the iPad, installed Olive Tree, and haven’t regretted one bit switching to having my devotions on the iPad! Oh, I do love using my “real” Bible for church, but I can dig into His Word so much more and so much... View Article


My Favorite Three Bible Study Methods

September 14, 2015 9:00 am Published by 14 Comments

From Guest Blogger: Andy Deane, author of Learn to Study the Bible Studying the Scriptures is supposed to be exciting! That’s why King David tells us in Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Like me, I hope that you have found this verse to be true. Maybe, like me, you have also discovered that having plain honey multiple times a day can get repetitive. I’m not saying that God’s word becomes boring over time. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I love that God’s word is so diverse and continues to excite and bless the reader taste after taste. The Scriptures are not to blame if we lose our taste for them. The Bible is designed to be a continual blessing to the believer. But believers may sometimes need to mix up how they study the Scriptures to make sure to avoid the ruts that their method of extracting the honey can bring about. Sometimes when we use the same approach to studying each and every day, the approach can become repetitive. It’s not God’s word that needs new spice, it’s the method of study that needs variety. That is why I wrote Learn to Study the... View Article


Saturday Hope in the Waiting

April 3, 2015 12:00 pm Published by 10 Comments

Guest Blogger: Melissa Joy Job 30:26 But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. Hope is a double edged sword. Walking through Holy Week, we think along the lines of so many events… It’s so busy! Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem while His people worshipped and called hosanna, He cleansed the temple and taught His people, He is betrayed by one who is unfaithful, He is perfumed by one who is faithful, He gives thanks even in the presence of His betrayer, He hands out bread and wine to His followers, He prays in solitude, He is captured and taken away, He is scrutinized and condemned, He is taken before leaders and stood before multitudes, He is burdened in every imaginable way, He is stripped and scourged, He is hung and nailed through, He cries out, He is forsaken, He bleeds, He dies, He is taken away, He is buried in the dark tomb… Now what? The time between death and resurrection feels so dark, so empty, so long. What is happening in this day between Friday and Sunday? What are we to do as we sit outside the tomb? And what... View Article