I have studied the Bible my whole life. I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school for most of my childhood. So when God put it on my heart to attend seminary, I assumed I knew what to expect. Obviously, I would study the Bible more thoroughly than ever before, but nothing could have prepared me for how I would be challenged both mentally and spiritually. I would learn how to study the Bible in a whole new way… Continue Reading
Today I am honored to feature guest writer Anna Koeppe! Be sure to check out more of her amazing posts at Without Hindrance.
Sometimes God is funny. Actually, He’s funny a lot of the time. He often proves both His power and His points in humorous ways. Today’s Bible story about idolatry is no exception.
First, some quick background on the issue. I’ve noticed idolatry becoming a more widespread topic in Christian articles and conversations lately. So, you probably know the kind of idolatry I’ll be discussing today doesn’t involve chanting to ancient golden statues or meditating before eerie fish gods. Continue Reading
Is it biblical to have an open mind? Most in the church today would probably say no. Open-mindedness is often associated with worldly thinking and culture. It’s an acceptance of all faiths and lifestyles in a way that says, “There are many paths to God.” But the truth is that open-mindedness was actually God’s idea. Not in the way that it’s preached today, but in a way that says, “My mind is open to things of God, and I want to fill it with nothing but Him.” Continue Reading
We know that renewing your mind is important, and we’ve studied the benefits. But where do we begin exactly? If renewing your mind is a process, then what does that process entail? Fortunately, the Bible gives us quite a bit of insight into where to start.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
The Bible tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” But what does it really mean to have a renewed mind? As followers of Christ, we aren’t just called to live differently, but we are called to think differently as well.
Changing the way we think may seem like a daunting task. It certainly requires a bit of discipline. If I’m going to change the way I think, I’m going to have to be diligent to be aware of what I’m thinking about and make changes when necessary. I have to make choices about what I allow my mind to dwell on. We may not have control over the thoughts that spontaneously enter our minds, but we certainly have control over the thoughts we allow to stay.
So why go through all of this trouble in the first place? Is having a renewed mind worth it? Continue Reading
Reading the Bible in context is something that Christians talk about quite a bit. Churches and Bible studies teach that it’s important to read “in context” so that we can identify the author’s intent. We can’t just read a verse without understanding what occurs around that verse. By doing so, we run the risk of missing the point behind a Scripture; or worse yet, we come up with an entirely different meaning altogether (and this is bad… very bad.) Continue Reading
No Christian would argue over whether or not the Bible is an essential part of our faith. We study it, memorize it, and live by it. We know it to be the Word of God – literally God-breathed as its authors penned what the Holy Spirit inspired them to write. It can be trusted to be true, and we can rely on it to speak into our lives. But there’s just one problem – translation. Over the course of the last two thousand years (even longer for the Old Testament), the Bible has been translated into multiple languages. In the English language alone, there are literally hundreds of translations.
Why so many? And can we really trust these translations to be accurate? Continue Reading
Bible study is something that most Christians would agree is an important part of our faith. It is after all the Word of God, or as the apostle Paul put it, God-breathed.
When I first started seminary, I’m not sure I completely understood what I had signed up for. I had studied the Bible my whole life, so this should be easy right? (Or so I thought…) The truth is that I learned a lot about the Bible, it’s history, how it was put together, and how to study it the right way… things I had never learned before in my entire life of being a Christian… things I wish I had known earlier. Continue Reading