One benefit of learning biblical languages is that you get to read the Bible in the dialect it was written. This can be quite a remarkable experience as you capture those nuances that are hard to translate. But also, the joy that comes with discovering clarity of the text in the original language where the translated passage is not so clear is enormous.
Christianity has always been at home in Africa, right from when our Savior found residence in Egypt till now. The story of how early Christianity came to Africa varies, but it is not hard to imagine how seeds were sown. Northern and Eastern Africa have always been open to Jerusalem, and the thought is that there existed Hellenistic Jews as far as Libya even before Christ was born.
Many leading figures of Christian thought and faith who were born and raised on the African continent self-identified as African, despite the influence and privileges of the Roman empire, and contrary to the arguments set forth by some western academic scholars.
When I read Genesis 22, I am amazed at Abraham’s obedience. It seems like God just tells him to sacrifice Isaac in verse 2, and in verse 3 he is saddling his donkey with wood going! But is it as simple as it looks? I think we may have to scratch the surface and ask questions of the text.
Ron Highfield in his rather great book Great Is the Lord mentions that ‘(God’s) uniqueness is personal and incommunicable.’ He also says that ‘the biblical declaration of God’s uniqueness does not speak merely of divine nature.’
Today, during the class break of Systematic Theology One, I had a short conversation with a fellow seminary student about the doctrine of Inseparable operations. The main idea this teaching conveys is that in every action God does in the world, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit act inseparably, and indivisibly.
As I do the required reading for my courses, I often encounter golden nuggets that force me to stop my reading, ponder, and at times dance inwardly. Then I rejoice and mutter a few words of wonder and doxology.
This last Sunday, while preaching on 1 John 2:3-14, Pastor Bobby (of North Shore Community Baptist Church in Beverly South Hamilton MA) hinted on how Christianity (and the gospel) does not offer us just another item to add to the list of activities we already have. He mentioned that for most people, the invitation to a personal relationship with God looks just like that, an additional item on their ‘to-do-list.’
Eternal life, according to Jesus in John 17:3, is the knowledge of the Triune God. If this is so, then our eternal vocation is to know God and enjoy Him forever. Also, if this holds true, then our endeavors here on earth must be to know Him as much as we can, with a singular and simple focus.