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InDepth
The True Lord’s Prayer, Part IV


Statue_of_Jesus_Christ_in_Prayer

The first installment in this series described how the true Lord’s Prayer is recorded in John 17 which is often called Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. The prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 is really a model prayer given to us, not one that Jesus would pray. In John 17, which Jesus did actually pray, He structures His prayer in John 17 around three sections: (1) the first section in which Jesus prays for Himself—17:1-5; (2) the second section in which Jesus prays for His soon-to-be apostles, or “sent ones”—17:6-19; (3) the third section in which Jesus prays for us and for all of His future disciples—17:20-26.

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Learning from African Christianity: Am I My Brother's Keeper?


The October 2014 issue of Christianity Today reports on a new study that polled 8,000 African Christians across their continent as to whom they were reading. The disturbing findings suggest that few if any Africans are reading books by African Christians, but instead read “foreign” authors such as John Maxwell, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, and John Stott. And if that is the case for Africans, it is all the more likely for most Christians in North America. Most of us cannot even name one African Christian author. Yet African Christianity is brimming with vibrancy. Is there another way we can learn from these, our brothers and sisters?

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The Lord’s Prayer of John 17 Part 3: The World


Earth

Three Uses of “World”
One of the principles of serious Bible study that Robert A. Traina describes in Methodical Bible Study is the principle of repetition, or how often a term, phrase, or clause (among others) might appear in a given text. Repetition is one of the tools that helps us determine the meaning of a given text.  In the true Lord’s Prayer of John 17, one word which Jesus repeats frequently is the word “world” which appears 18 times in 13 verses out of a total of 26 verses. The preface that Jesus uses for His specific section in which Jesus prays for His disciples reads, “I am not praying for the world.” Instead , He is praying “for those whom you [the Father] have given me.”

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In All the Scriptures: Reading the Bible Missionally (7)

Taking It to the Streets



So, if you’re reading this last installment of the series, you may have a question at this point: does reading the Bible missionally really matter in practice? I believe it matters immensely.

The Bible: All about me?
The late missionary Vincent Donovan in his book Christianity Rediscovered, makes the observation, “The salvation of one’s own soul, or self-sanctification, or self-perfection, or self-fulfillment may well be the goal of Buddhism or Greek philosophy or modern psychology. But it is not the goal of Christianity.

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In All the Scriptures: Reading the Bible Missionally (6)

He Explained the Scriptures



It’s theology’s job to unlock the Bible to us
Imagine that someone (your own version of the Rich Young Ruler) approaches you and inquires, “Good Sir, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” What do you do next? Hand him a Bible and say, “Good luck with all that”?

I certainly hope not. I hope you’d do what Jesus did with the disciples fearful and doubting disciples on the Emmaus road. He “explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” He didn’t hand them a pile of scrolls and leave them to their own devices. Drawing from Moses and the Prophets, Jesus gave them a framework of understanding that opened the Old Testament as a whole and in all its parts. By the way, that’s the task of theology. Theology helps explain the Scriptures.

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Gaining Wisdom through Undergoing Various Tests, Part 2


The 18th-century English jurist John Dunning Ashburton once stated  the law to a jury in court when Lord Mansfield, clearly disturbed by Ashburton’s citation, interrupted him and said, “If that is a law, I’ll go home and burn my books.” Ashburton, assured of his citation, replied, “My lord, you better go home and read them.”

We indeed should heed this solid advice and read the law as given to us in this little epistle of James. The word “law” is an important word in James’s vocabulary; he uses it eleven times in 7 verses (1:25 twice, 2:8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 4:11 four times). In 1:25, James calls the Greek word for law “the perfect law” as well as calling it “the law of liberty.” In 2:8 he calls it “the royal law.”

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