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Only biblical truth about Jesus counters errors, Akin writes


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–In a society that hates or waters down the truth about Jesus, Christians must have a clear understanding of what Scripture actually teaches about Him, says the author of a new book on the Jesus of the Bible.

“Our postmodern, pluralistic culture values a certain form of tolerance above all else. Exclusive and ultimate truth claims about Jesus Christ are not welcomed,” says Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and author of “Discovering the Biblical Jesus,” a new doctrine study from LifeWay Christian Resources.

“Answering the Jesus question has provoked heated and spirited debate throughout the history of the Christian church and the controversy continues to rage today,” Akin says. “In Discovering the Biblical Jesus, we engage the debate head on, looking to God’s inerrant and infallible Word to see Jesus clearly and to understand who He is.”

False teachings about Jesus let people think they can avoid giving Jesus the honor He is due, says David Haney, an editor at LifeWay.

“Postmodernism says there is no truth. Universalism says Jesus is just one of many ways to God. Inclusivism says people can be saved by Jesus without personally trusting Him,” Haney says. “Cults try to redefine Jesus. Liberal theologians deny a large number of the biblical accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings.

“Discovering the Biblical Jesus tackles the issues believers face in explaining Jesus to an unbelieving, pluralistic society.”

CLEAR UNDERSTANDING NEEDED

Christians must have a clear understanding of what Scripture actually teaches about Jesus if they are to avoid being deceived by the way lost society pictures Him, says Akin, who also is the author of the New American Commentary on the Epistles of John and the Holman Old Testament Commentary on Song of Songs. He also served as pastor of churches in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Virginia and was dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., prior to becoming Southeastern’s president in January.

“With false portraits and inaccurate caricatures so prevalent at the beginning of the 21st century, it is imperative that we clearly see and fervently embrace the Bible’s teaching about Jesus of Nazareth,” Akin says. “What we believe about Jesus — who He is and what He did — will greatly shape what we believe about the Bible, God, humanity, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church and last things [related to His second coming].”

Discovering the Biblical Jesus focuses on the central doctrine of Christianity — the person and work of Jesus Christ. The study marshals the biblical evidence about Jesus’ identity, divinity and resurrection and explains His saving work on the cross, His ascension and His lordship over Christian lives.

The book intends to not only help readers understand the biblical teachings about Jesus but also to equip them to present the truth about Jesus to those who need to know Him.

SIX APPROACHES

Discovering the Biblical Jesus takes six approaches to the topic, variously examining:

— the Old Testament promises of the Messiah that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

— the Gospel accounts of the ways Jesus’ life was utterly unique.

— the New Testament witness to both Jesus’ deity and His humanity.

— the New Testament teaching about His atoning death as the sole source of salvation.

— the evidence that answers doubts about the resurrection and proves it is a historical fact.

— the biblical truth that counters false teachings about who Jesus is.

OVERFLOWING HEARTS

Akin’s prayer is that the study will give Christians a renewed appreciation for Jesus — and that hearts will well up with thankfulness for His sacrifice.

“From Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is the great theme of the Bible,” he says. “With bold and beautiful strokes, Scripture paints an incomparable portrait of the Word who ‘became flesh and took up residence among us.’ Discovering the Biblical Jesus examines these wonderful truths biblically, theologically, historically and devotionally.

“In seeing the biblical Jesus, may we be awed and driven to our knees in gratitude and worship at the magnificence of our Savior,” he says. “May God use this study to cause us to fall in love with Jesus all over again so that our lives will overflow in gratitude and thanksgiving for Him who loved us so.”

Discovering the Biblical Jesus is the newest installment in the long-running series of studies prepared for Baptist Doctrine Week, which this year will be April 19-23. However, the six-chapter study can be conducted any time with either small or large groups. The teaching guide for Discovering the Biblical Jesus contains the full text of the book, as well teaching suggestions, masters for overhead cels, study sheets and ideas for teaching posters.
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For more information about Discovering the Biblical Jesus, visit http://www.lifeway.com.

    About the Author

  • Mark Kelly