Top 6 Posts From the First 6 Months

Thinking Theologically turns 6 months old this month! In honor of the 6-month milestone, I’ve placed links to the 6 most-read blog posts below!

#1 Of Crawfish and Bacon: Christians and Those Quirky Old Testament Laws

This post examines why Christians feel free to disregard so many Old Testament laws. In Louisiana, shellfish such as crawfish and shrimp are a delicacy; however, the Old Testament forbids eating shellfish, along with other popular dietary staples such as bacon. This post explains why Christians feel free to disregard the Old Testament’s teachings on things from food to tattoos, clothes to slaves, and farming to shaving.

#2 Calvinism is Not the Gospel

Calvinism is increasingly popular in American evangelicalism. Though not all Calvinists make this claim, some Calvinists claim that Calvinism is the gospel. In this post, I examine what the gospel is according to the New Testament. Then, I compare the essential elements of the New Testament’s gospel to the essential elements of Calvinism and argue that Calvinism is equal not the gospel.

To understand this post, it will help to read #4 below first.

#3 What is Arminianism?

Calvinism and Arminianism are two of the main models for understanding the entire process of salvation from a Protestant perspective. While many people know what Calvinists believe, we rarely discuss Arminianism; in fact, some people may not know how to pronounce the word “Arminianism!” Nevertheless, many Christians are Arminians but don’t know it.

In this post, I examine what it is that we Arminians believe. The central tenet of Arminianism is God’s desire to see all people saved. We believe that, through Jesus, God has both opened the door and extended a legitimate invitation for all people to come to saving faith in Christ.

#4 What is Calvinism?

As I’ve already said, Calvinism is increasingly popular in American Christianity. While I disagree with Calvinism on numerous fronts, I greatly appreciate the contribution that Calvinists have made to Christianity and recognize them as my brothers and sisters in Christ.

In this post, I do my best to provide an honest description of what Calvinists believe. I even explain how some popular-level charges levied against Calvinists are off base.

#5 What Every Pastor Wants

Pastors are like teachers in three ways: First, just about everyone knows or has known a teacher and a preacher at some point in their life. Second, since they’ve had a close relationship with a teacher and with a preacher, most people assume that they know what teachers and preachers do for a living. Finally, teachers and preachers are alike in that they are two of the most misunderstood professions in all of society.

In this post, I briefly examine what the Bible says about the pastor’s job. I argue that the pastor’s primary responsibility is quite different from what our culture often assumes. Instead of entertaining crowds and meeting people’s needs, the pastor’s job is to lead the local church in its mission of knowing Christ and making him known.

#6 Who’s Messing with the Bible? The NIV and Those Missing Verses

Evangelical Christians revere the Bible: We preach sermons that center on the Bible, we host Bible studies every week in our churches, and we set aside chunks of time during the day to read the Bible. We love the Bible! Thus, we get nervous when modern translations such as the NIV begin removing words and entire verses.

In this post, I explain a few things about the Bible: First, I explain how we ought to think about the Bible. Then, I explain how we get our different modern translations and why some translations leave words and verses out. Finally, I argue that the reason that modern translations leave words and verses out of the Bible is that the translation teams have an extremely high view of scripture.

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