No Gift Too Small

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

I was on social media a couple months ago and came across a post that shocked me.  It shocked me because you can sense by the tone that she was hurting.  Her tweet basically said that she has nothing to offer to the church.  This post was heartbreaking, and it had me wondering how many other people within the church may feel like this.  A priest responded with reassurance that she has a gift that nobody else in her church may have.  The next response was from a Southern Baptist pastor who said that there is no gift or deed to small, and that God can use anything for his glory.  It was encouraging to see over two hundred comments encouraging this individual.

What is the point of all of this?  In today’s passage we read that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people.  No organization can function if everyone was doing the same thing, and the church is no different.  We all can’t be pastors or teachers.  Yes, sometimes those gifts get all the attention but if you ask any pastor, they would say that there is so much more going on behind the scenes than people may realize.  This was the point of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church.  Charles Spurgeon once said that the greatest gift that one could give him was to pray for him.  We can certainly do that a little more, thee are things in the church that can always be cleaned, Sunday School to be taught, ushers, greeters, and people to put together the bulletin.  There is no gift that is too small, and every gift is needed.

So what gift do you possess that could be used for the benefit of the church?  At the church I grew up in there was a woman named Delores who greeted everyone with a smiling face.  She made everyone feel welcomed, and when she passed to her eternal reward over 500 people attended her funeral.  Her story is a perfect example of something that seemed small, but had a huge impact for the kingdom.  Perhaps your gift is the same.  Let it shine and let God turn it into something that helps bear fruit for his kingdom.  You have a gift that we all need and the Lord will utilize it in a way that you can’t even begin to fathom.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus I humbly asked that you take the gift I have and use them for your glory.  Help me to understand what my gift is and submit it to your service.

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We All Need Sympathy

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.- Hebrews 4:15 (NRSV)

 

Like it or not, we are in the throws of the holiday season.  Christmas songs are already on the radio, and a couple weeks ago retailers started to put up their “holiday” decorations.  This is also the time of the year when people feel alone and get lost in the business that has become the holiday season.  With the popularity of social media people who are hurting may say so on the platform of their choice.  They may be depressed, alone, lost a loved one, or are hurting in some other way.  It is in our nature to want to connect, and that desire is heightened when we are hurting in some way.

Why?  Because, whether we want to admit it or not, we all need sympathy.  We want to know that people are supporting us during our darkest of times, and that other people have been where we are currently and have made it through to the other side.  Today’s verse shows us something remarkable, simple, and reassuring.  It shows us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, is not some unfeeling and uncaring figure.  He walked on this Earth and felt what we felt.  He was tempted (Matt. 4:1-11), he felt the pain of someone close to him dying (John 11), and his friends abandoned him in his hour of need (Mark 14:50).

What are you struggling with today?  Do you feel that nobody understands what you are going through?  I want to encourage you and say that many sympathize and care for you.  Jesus Christ himself sympathizes and loves you with an everlasting love.  Throughout life we will always have hard times, but our savior lived on this earth and knows all about them on a personal level.  Jesus is there to sympathize, guide you, and walk you through the dark times.  Keep your head up!

He is Faithful

Lamentations 3:22-33

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,     his mercies never come to an end they are new every morning;     great is your faithfulness. (NRSV)

 

                When I was a child I got in a fight with my best friend.  As most childhood arguments go it was over something trivial.  I was so upset that I took a multi-colored crayon and expressed my feelings about him.  The problem was I didn’t do this on paper, but on the side of my house.  Imagine the shocked look that my parents had when they finally got a glimpse of my masterpiece.

My dad yelled my name, and I courageously barricaded myself in the bathroom hoping to escape the wrath to come.  When I emerged from my hideout I was not met with yelling or a spanking, but with a concern on why I would do such a thing.  I pleaded my case, was told that if I was truly sorry that I would do something about it.  My dad handed me a paintbrush, a can of paint, and told me to go say sorry to my friend.

The point I’m trying to get across is that we all do something that we regret.  Like this scenario from my childhood we try to hide and pretend that it didn’t happen.  My parents are wonderful people, and they showed me incredible love and patience that day.  It is the same in our relationship with the Lord.  His love and mercy are always available.  He is faithful to forgive us even when we have trouble forgiving ourselves.  Is there anything you have been holding onto?  Pray, and give it to the Lord.  In 1 John 1:9 we read “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NRSV).  Let Him love you and forgive you for everything you have ever done.

 

The Cross

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”- Luke 9:23 (ESV)

Imagine that you are living in first century Israel. The Roman Empire is in control of the area, and a means of torture and execution used is crucifixion. The cross was seen as an instrument of torture and death, and was highly feared. Then out of nowhere you hear Jesus say “Take up your cross and follow me.” It was a frightening proposition, because Jesus is asking us to deny ourselves.  In other words, Christ is asking us to become disciples.


In our culture the cross is something cool. It is on T-shirts, and worn as jewelry, but in ancient times it was feared. The early Christians died for what the cross had come to mean. They died because they were followers of Christ. They denied themselves to follow Christ at all costs. Are we saying that we are following Christ, but our lives are showing little evidence of it? We may be leaving our cross at home a little too often. If we desire to change our cities, churches, and world then that cross needs to be hoisted over our shoulders all the time. Christ must be who we are looking to, and we must put our wants a distant second. We must become better disciples who help make other disciples.

To pick up our cross is a daily endeavor that must be repeated.  Every day we are telling Christ to take the lead and we will follow.  This may lead to something that is uncomfortable like being a pastor, missionary, or simply showing love to the neighbor who never pulls the weeds.  The words of Christ in today’s verse apply to all of us in some way.  What cross are you being told to bare?  Will you answer the call to obediently take it up and spread the cause of the faith?  

As you pray about today’s passage I want you to know something else vitally important.  It is ok to ask for his help.  After all that is exactly what the disciples asked of Christ in Luke 17:5.  Take up your cross.  That is the Lord’s command for all of us.  God bless you!

Prayer

Lord Jesus help me to be obedient to your words in today’s verse.  Show me the way I should go and help me to trust you with everything.

Importance of the Small Group

Aubrey Malphurs says “Disciple making does not end with a person’s conversion, however.  It’s an ongoing process that encourages the believer to follow Christ and become more like Him[1].”  With this taken into account we need to ask ourselves a question.  What is the most effective way to make disciples?  Do we get as many people in one room, and immerse them in biblical knowledge and theological thought?  This has its place, but new believers run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle in this environment.  Dr. Dempsey, states “Christianity is more caught than taught, and to make progress in the disciple-making process, we need good examples good example of people who the Apostle Paul’s paradigm[2].”  Coincidently the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ[3].”

To effectively do this in our churches we need to change the way we are doing things.  The Sunday sermon is very important, but it is not the way in which disciples are built.  There are some ministries in our churches that have turned into social clubs instead of ministry. It is time to rethink what we are doing, and align everything to the commandment of making disciples.  According to Dr. Dempsey “The best context for cultivating this kind of environment is a small group within a local church.  With the exception of the first three hundred years of the church, we have not done a good job of creating that structure[4].”

The small group allows for an intimate setting where the scriptures are taught.  The people of the group grow together, encourage each other, and learn from each other.  They hold each other accountable and check up on those members that they have not seen in a while.  It is a different dynamic from the traditional way that the church has operated.  From an evangelization standpoint it is less intimidating for the non-believer who may attend the group.

Dr. Putnam, states “Making disciples is the main reason why the church exists, so everything in a corporate body needs to be funnel people toward a relational small group in which discipleship can best happen[5].”  It has been said many times, and it bears repeating.  A small group is the primary means of making disciples who make disciples.  There are three components to a successful small group and they are the following:  Shepherding, teaching, and authenticity and accountability.

Throughout the scriptures we read of the Lord being a shepherd, and His followers as sheep.  In a small group the leader attempts to create an environment where members are helping each other.  We are people who deal with many stressors in our lives.  In our small groups a member may be overwhelmed with something, or everything, that is going on in their lives.  The leader will offer group prayer for this hurting member, and someone in the group may share an experience to help the member through.  The member of the group is treated like a family member, and listening is key.  In regard to this David Horton states, “Strong groups are led by those who build a strong sense of synergy, community, and solidarity[6].”  Without this sense of community the shepherding process will not be effective.  People will not share their experiences, or what is going on in their lives.  At that point the whole disciple making process halts.

The second aspect of a small group it that of teaching.  This is an environment where real teaching takes place.  People are just not given a sermon and sent home.  Teaching in the small group is also relational.  The members are encouraged to ask questions, and the Bible is central for teaching.  In short it is not just another Bible study.  There is plenty of Bible study happening, but it goes deeper than that.  When people think of a Bible study they think of one person doing most of the talking while everyone else sits back and listens[7].

In a small group the teacher is more of a facilitator.  The leader helps the group participate in biblical discussions, ask questions, and share their own experiences.  This is key for the leader to understand if the text is being understood.  If it is not being understood then the goal of making disciples took a step backward.  Always point back to Bible to show them where the answers are.

Lastly other keys to a small group are authenticity and accountability.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, states “Two are better than one because they have good return on their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls where there is not another to lift him up.[8]”  The KJV Biblical Commentary says about these verses, “A man alone who is about to be overcome by any onslaught may be kept from ruin through the helpful hand of his friend.  Such companionship is of inestimable value and is certainly a profit to all those who possess it[9].”  There are no free agents in Christianity.  We are unable to go through this journey of faith alone.  When we do the enemy sees us as lost sheep, and since we do not have the protection of the group, we will be easy prey for him.  It is important for the leader to espouse empathy to the group, and let the group know that listening is best.  It is human nature to want to fix another’s problems, but it is important to listen and share.

When struggles are brought up there is most likely someone in the group who has had a similar struggle.  Leaders need to foster an environment of authentic sharing where hearts are being transformed.  It is also an environment where accountability is fostered.  How will the group help a member who is struggling with a particular sin?  We cannot create disciples if there is a lingering sin that a person is dealing with.  We need to help our members get over those.

In conclusion the small group is vital to the believer and the church.  It is an environment where relationships are forged, lives are changed, disciples are made, and disciples are sent out.  They are sent out to change the world with the Gospel of Christ.  What else is there?  The world around us is hurting, and morals are in decay.  The small group exists to create disciples to be light to the world.

 

 

 

WORKS CITED

1 Corinthians 11:1 (New American Standard Version).

Earley, Dave, and Rod Dempsey. Disciple Making Is…How to live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, TN: B&h Publishing Group, 2013.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (New American Standard Bible).

Horton, David. The Portable Seminary. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2006.

King James Version Bible Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2005.

Malphurs, Aubrey. Strategic Disciple Making. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2009.

Putnam, Jim, and Bobby Harrington with Robert Coleman. Discipleshift. Grand Rapids, MICHIGAN: Zondervan, 2013.

 

 

[1] Aubrey Malphurs, Strategic Disciple Making (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2009), 34.

[2] Dave Earley and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making Is…How to live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence (Nashville, TN: B&h Publishing Group, 2013), 276.

[3] 1 Corinthians 11:1 (New American Standard Bible).

[4] Dave Earley and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making Is…How to live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence (Nashville, TN: B&h Publishing Group, 2013), 59.

[5] Jim Putnam and Bobby Harrington with Robert Coleman, Discipleshift (Grand Rapids, MICHIGAN: Zondervan, 2013), 184.

[6] David Horton, The Portable Seminary (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2006), 597.

[7] Jim Putnam and Bobby Harrington with Robert Coleman, Discipleshift (Grand Rapids, MICHIGAN: Zondervan, 2013), 190.

[8] Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (New American Standard Bible).

[9] King James Version Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2005), 742.

 

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Biblical Inerrancy Among Evangelicals from 1900-Present

When one studies the history of the evangelical movement it is fairly easy to see the foundation.  However, it is also beneficial to determine what an evangelical is.  Many today use the term, but they mean it in a different sense than what has been historically understood.  An evangelical is more than a protestant church goer, though it may be part of it.  What is an evangelical?  Regarding the definition theologian Alister McGrath writes the following six convictions that evangelicals hold in common: The scriptures are the supreme authority for what it means to be a Christian, Jesus is the incarnate Son of God and savior of man, the Lordship of the Holy Spirit, the need for conversion, evangelism is a priority for the church and individual Christian, and the importance of fellowship with a local church[1].

Definitions of what an evangelical is vary, but they are people of the book.  They hold the scriptures to be the inerrant Word of God, and through it we derive our doctrine[2].  Biblical inerrancy has long been a staple of the evangelical movement, and is essential to uphold doctrines such as the virgin birth, and the resurrection.  Evangelicals have a long tradition of defending inerrancy from those who see to undermine it.

THE BATTLE FOR INERRANCY

The confession of evangelicals through the ages is that the original autographs of scripture are infallible and without error[3].  This is passed down to the translations we have today because of the overwhelming amount of manuscript evidence that we have.  There are pieces of New Testament manuscripts that date to A.D. 125[4].  There are also whole codexes, such as Codex Sinaiticus, that are closely aligned to what we have today.  There are textual variants, but these variants are in spelling and do not affect doctrine.

Conservative evangelicals say that if scripture is our source for doctrine then we must listen to what scripture says about inerrancy.  Many passages of scripture speak of inerrancy, but there are two main ones used.  The first is 2 Peter 1:20-21 which states, ‘Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture come’s rom one’s own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit[5]  2 Timothy 3:16-17 is more popular and states, “All scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training for righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work[6].”

Historically evangelicals have held very closely to the words the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy.  Paul wrote that scripture is theopneustos, or God breathed.  If we deny what is God breathed then a few things may start to happen.  We may wonder if God can really be trusted, we make our own intellect the final authority, and one may begin to think that scripture is wrong when it comes to doctrine[7].  Biblical inerrancy was the view of, not only evangelicals, but of the fathers of the early church.  Institutions and individuals take extremely high risks when inerrancy is abandoned[8].

 

RISE OF GERMAN RATIONALISM

To better understand the issue of inerrancy among evangelicals it is helpful to discuss what brought on the issue.  Germany has a long tradition of being a nation that loved the scriptures, after all this was the place where the Protestant Reformation was born.  However, in the 19th century saw the rise of rationalism.  This was a movement that started in German seminaries as a way of defending the scriptures on rational grounds[9].  Though the thought had good intentions the results were disastrous.  It had brought into question the authority and inerrancy of scripture.  This was not the intent of those involved.  A famous 19th/20th century church historian, Adolph Harnack, went the way of Marcion and called for the removal of the Old Testament from the canon[10].  Rationalism gave way to the canon of scripture no longer being closed.

The movement would eventually come to the United States where it expanded rather quickly.  The landscape of evangelicalism had drastically changed since inerrancy was changed.  This lead most Protestant leaders to fall into naturalism or modernism[11].  Leaders were now looking for the results of a scientific inquiry instead of the supernatural[12].  This had a paralyzing effect on seminaries, churches, and communities.  In regards to this Edward Gaustad writes, “Faith, one might have argued at such a time, led not to social stability and order but to social unrest and disorder[13].”

 

LIBERAL PROTESTANTISM VERSUS INERRANCY

Rationalism would evolve into liberal Protestantism, and those who held to the new theology became powerful.  They became leaders of seminaries, and were in charge of denominations.  One such example involved the great theologian B.B. Warfield.  He was a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, and was trained by another great theologian by the name of Charles Hodge.  He and A.A. Hodge wrote an article detailing the view of inerrancy and inspiration that would be held by Princeton.  Regarding inspiration and inerrancy Warfield and Hodge write, “Besides this, the Scriptures are a record of divine revelations, and as such consist of words.… Infallible thought must be definite thought, and definite thought implies words.… Whatever discrepancies or other human limitations may attach to the sacred record, the line (of inspired or not inspired, of fallible or infallible) can never rationally be drawn between the thoughts and the words of Scripture[14].”  Though this was written in the 19th century, its influence is widely felt within 20th century evangelicalism.  Warfield would go on to write much more about scripture, and his work would posthumously be published in a ten-volume set called The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture in 1948.  Warfield would teach at Princeton until his death in 1921, and his influence is one reason why Princeton held to orthodoxy as long as it did.  Sadly, that is no longer the case today.

Gresham Machen was a pupil of Warfield and a staunch defending of inerrancy. It was his steadfastness that led to a schism with the Presbyterian Church USA, and forming the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1929[15].  In 1923 Machen wrote a treatise titled Christianity and Liberalism is response to what was going on in Princeton.  Princeton was a Presbyterian seminary and its president, J. Ross Stevenson, said that it had to serve the whole Presbyterian church[16].  This also meant the liberal Presbyterians and those who held moderate views.  Machen was very blunt and stated that liberalism was destroying Christianity, and that accommodating liberals had to end if Princeton wanted to maintain its Christian identity.  In addition to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Machen would also found the conservative Westminster Theological Seminary.

This occurred after publishing Christianity and Liberalism, and he was subsequently fired in 1929.  In what can only be defined as an attack on inerrancy, the Presbyterian General Assembly worked with Stevenson to reorganize Princeton.  They reorganized it in such a way to keep those who held conservative views on inerrancy and inspiration from leadership positions.

On the other side of the country in California a new movement was starting to combat liberal Protestantism.  German rationalism had evolved into a form of destructive higher criticism.  They had rationalized so much that they questioned not only the inerrancy of scripture but the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the divinity of Christ.  They were doing so because science could not prove that these things were real.  In the view of some rationalism had went from the realm of a theory to heterodoxy.  This had the potential of leading souls astray.  Regarding higher criticism, Canon Dyson Hague writes, “Any thoughtful man must honestly admit that the Bible is to be treated as unique in literature, and, therefore, that the ordinary rules of critical interpretation must fail to interpret it aright[17].

To combat orthodoxy, The Fundamentals, was published as a series of essays from 1910 to 1915 by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.  It is known today as Biola University, and is known for its strong Christian Apologetics program.  Subscription to established doctrine was no longer seen, at least among liberals, as a measure of orthodoxy[18].  As previously stated, The Fundamentals, defended the established doctrines and were published in a 12-volume set.  The set contained over ninety essays by sixty-four different authors.  The project was funded by oil tycoon Lyman Stewart and his brother Milton[19].  The work was sent free of charge to pastors, theology professors, missionaries, Sunday school superintendents, and many other Protestant workers to help them defend the faith.  The project was so influential that over 250,000 sets were send out[20].

            Evangelicalism had taken some hits early in 20th century, but reemerged with a vengeance in the middle of the century.  The Evangelical Theological Society, or ETS, was formed in 1949 by professors at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary[21].  From its origins, the members affirm “the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ[22].”  In 1947, Fuller Theological Seminary was founded by Charles Fuller.  Mr. Fuller had a very successful radio show called the Old Fashion Bible Hour, and is said to have 20 million listeners.  He formed the seminary to affirm orthodox doctrine, and brought in the greatest evangelical minds who affirmed inerrancy and the authority of scripture.

In 1972 Fuller softened its stance on inerrancy, and removed it altogether from it statement of faith[23].  One of fuller’s professors. Harold Lindsell, published a pivotal work titled Battle for the Bible.  In this work, Lindsell spoke of the dangers of departing from inerrancy and urged a return to its embrace.  By this point many other schools had compromised on this issue and it was having negative effects.  In regards to this Dr. Lindsell writes, “It is the lesson that once a denomination departs from a belief in biblical infallibility, it opens the floodgates to disbelief about other cardinal doctrines of the faith[24].”

Just a couple years later, in October of 1978, the International Counsel on Biblical Inerrancy hosted a conference with 200 conservative evangelical scholars.  These scholars were Arminian, reformed, Wesleyans, Baptists, Lutherans, and many other denominations.  They had some serious theological difference, but what all of them agreed upon was the inerrancy of scripture.  These scholars would form what is now known as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.  Article eleven of the statement states, “We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses. We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy maybe distinguished, but not separated[25].”

            The scholars in attendance held to their convictions about scripture.  Those that are still alive still hold to this stand, and at times they get criticized for it.  They hold to their stand because scripture in the inspired Word of God.  They also recognized that inerrancy is a key issue that must be defended[26].  The inerrancy debate with liberals shows no signs of going away anytime soon.  More and more books are being released that attack inerrancy.  More denominations are abandoning it.  However, it is still being defended because it is essential.

 

CONCLUSION

The issue of biblical inerrancy is foundational for evangelicals.  In the early days of the movement, around the time of the Great Awakening, scripture was understood to be inerrant[27].  As evangelicals, scripture is our rule and our guide for doctrine.  Scripture is the word of God, and as such it must be held in the deepest regard.  When it is not we begin to rely on our own intellect.  We begin to think that our opinions are superior to scripture, and when that happens we fall into error.  In essence we become our own authority.

In the 19th century rationalism evolved to a corrupted form of higher criticism, and that in turn led to some denying the inerrancy of scripture.  This is seen echoing through the 20th century in various ways.  The liberals at Princeton pulled a power play to remove a conservative scholar for holding fast to the truth.  The authors of The Fundamentals distributed their material at no cost to the recipient to further the cause of orthodoxy.  In the 1970’s well known conservative scholars, who have well established theological disagreement, gathered to defend the inerrancy of scripture.  Scripture has been, and always will be infallible and inerrant.  Evangelicals will always be a defender of that basic truth.  After all, evangelicals are people of the book.

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“About The ETS,” Evangelical Theological Society, accessed March 9, 2017, http://www.etsjets.org/about.

“The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy,” Dallas Theological Seminary, accessed March 8, 2017, http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI_1.pdf.

Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974.

Akers, J.N. Who’s Who in Christian History. Edited by J.D. Douglas and Philip Comfort. Wheaton :IL: Tyndale House, 1992.

Dockery, David S., and Trent Butler. Holman Bible Handbook. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992.

Duffield, Guy P., and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave. Foundations of Pentecostal Theology. Los Angeles, CA: Life Bible College, 1983.

Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

Gaustad, Edwin, and Leigh Schmidt. The Religious History of America. New York:ny: Harperone, 2002.

Geisler, Norman, and William Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. Chicago:il: Moody Publishers, 1986.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.

Hague, Canon Dyson. The Fundamentals:  A Testimony to the Truth. Edited by R.a. Torrey, Charles L. Feinburg, and Warren Weirsbe. Vol. 1. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005.

Henry, Carl F.H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999.

Hodge, A.A., and B.B. Warfield. “Inspiration.” Presbyterian Review. (1881, April 1).

Klippenstein, Rachel, and J. David Stark. “New Testament.” In Lexham Bible Dictionary. Edited by John D. Barry and David Bomar. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016.

Lindsell, Charles. Battle for the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976.

Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006.

McGrath, Alister. Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity. Downers Grove:IL: Intervarsity Press, 1995.

Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1999.

Sproul, R.C. Can I Trust the Bible? Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2009.

Sweeney, Douglas A. The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

[1] Alister McGrath, Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity (Downers Grover:il: Intervarsity Press, 1995), 7.

[2] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 2005), 17.

[3] Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA: Life Bible College, 1983), 15.

[4] Rachel Klippenstein and J. David Stark, “New Testament,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary, ed. John D. Barry and David Bomar (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[5] 2 Peter 1:20-21 (English Standard Version).

[6] 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (English Standard Version).

[7] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 100.

[8] Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999), 379.

[9] Norman Geisler and William Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago:il: Moody Publishers, 1986), 604.

[10] David S. Dockery and Trent Butler, Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 25.

[11] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 157.

[12] Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974), 772.

[13] Edwin Gaustad and Leigh Schmidt, The Religious History of America (New York:NY: Harperone, 2002), 297.

[14] A.a. Hodge and B.b. Warfield, “Inspiration,” Presbyterian Review (1881, April 1): 21-23.

[15] J.n. Akers, Who’s Who in Christian History, ed. J.d. Douglas and Philip Comfort (Wheaton :il: Tyndale House, 1992), 442.

[16] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 168.

[17] Canon Dyson Hague, The Fundamentals:  A Testimony to the Truth, ed. R.a. Torrey, Charles L. Feinburg, and Warren Weirsbe, vol. 1, (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005), 12.

[18] Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 757.

[19] George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006), 118.

[20] Ibid, 119.

[21] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 173.

[22] “About The ETS,” Evangelical Theological Society, accessed March 9, 2017, http://www.etsjets.org/about.

[23] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 177.

[24] Charles Lindsell, Battle for the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976), 104.

[25] “The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy,” Dallas Theological Seminary, accessed March 8, 2017, http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI_1.pdf.

[26] R.c. Sproul, Can I Trust the Bible? (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2009), 1.

[27] Roger E. Olson, The Story of Christian Theology (Downers Grove, IL: Ivp Academic, 1999), 556.

Book Review: The Story Devotional

The Story Devotional is a daily devotional based on The Story Bible.  It contains 365 daily devotions that take one from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis all the way to Revelation.  There is no bouncing around as the devotions go in order corresponding to the Biblical books.

The devotions contain anywhere from one to three Bible verses with a reflection and prayer.  They are fairly short and take around ninety seconds to read through.  It is my recommendation that the reader also read the Bible verses references within the devotion to get a more complete understanding of the message being conveyed.

This devotional is written is simple terms with little to no theological language.  The book s not dated which allows the reader to start whenever they are able.  The devotional is good for new Christians as it is easy to understand.

[Note:  I received this book free of charge from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.]

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