How Does Ministry Happen? (Part 1)

Introduction: How Does Ministry Happen?             There are ministers who can speak powerfully from the pulpit, moving the saved to action and the lost to repentance. There are ministers who can ease the grief of death somewhat by the gentle touch of a hand on the shoulder of a distraught loved one. There are ministers […]

Is there a pattern for the church?

There are as many different views on the meaning of scripture, it seems, as there are groups that claim to follow Christ. In any given town, one will find building after building emblazoned with the name of a different denominational body. All claim to follow Christ and honor His word. Invariably, however, the groups are […]

How religious pluralism distorts biblical salvation

Introduction There are strange things afoot in the realm of Christianity. Many today who claim to follow Christ seem more reminiscent of the main character in Walt Disney’s film adaptation of the Lewis Carroll novel, Alice in Wonderland: If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it […]

Should ‘Thomas’ be considered a fifth gospel?

In the last few decades, there has been in increasing fascination with the attempt to identify the “real” Jesus. From the so-called Jesus Seminar which sought to take a pen knife to the New Testament to remove “non-authentic” statements of Christ from the Bible, to the work of scholars such as Bart Ehrman and Elaine […]

Paul and the purpose of baptism

by Matthew K. Clifton It is sometimes stated that the writings of the apostle Paul give no particular emphasis to baptism as a command of the gospel. In fact, the average “man on the street” evangelical adherent will claim that since Paul said Christ sent him “not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 […]

On the origin of the Septuagint

by Matthew K. Clifton Introduction If one were to mention the Greek Septuagint to the average modern Christian, chances are good that most of them would have very little idea what it is. And yet, when reading the New Testament, the average Christian will come across approximately 200 quotations[1] directly from this document. The Septuagint […]

Kingdom of God creates “reversal of fortune”

by Matthew Clifton Matthew 19:16; 20:16; 20:20-28 In general, we love to obtain. It seems completely against human nature to give up property. In fact, one of the world’s benchmarks for judging a successful life is how much property and possessions he or she owns. Watching the television the other day, a commercial came on […]

Augustine: Connecting Link Between Gnosticism and Calvinism?

by Matthew K. Clifton There can be no doubt about the fact that among all the early Christian writers, Augustine has had the greatest impact on modern theology. ((David W. Bercot, Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up, Tyler, TX: Scroll, 1999, 137.)) Not only did his writings and theological development shape later doctrines and […]

Is Peter “the rock?”

by Matthew K. Clifton And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be […]

Discipline makes your britches fit

by Matthew K. Clifton There was big trouble in little Israel. Seems God’s chosen people had gotten a little too big for their britches, as the old saying goes. The prophet Amos was delivering a message from God, and things weren’t looking too good. (more…)