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The book of Ruth is such a touching love story and such a charming tale of emptiness to abundance that we can easily think there is nothing more to it. Naomi loses her husband, her sons, and her joy, but one of her daughters-in-law sticks with her, gets married, and gives her a grandson. Boaz is one of the good guys and does the right thing even though he risks losing the woman he loves—but he wins her anyway. Ruth is bereaved and bereft, but then meets a man who is kind to her and who ends...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

The four gospels, neatly nestled in the beginning pages of the New Testament, are treasure troves of instruction regarding the person of Jesus Christ. Within these four individual accounts, the reader meets Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, an authoritative teacher, and our redeemer. We are provided with the narrative for his life and ministry, his death and resurrection. As our salvation depends upon the truth of the gospel message found within these four books,...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

As we all know from our nativity sets, some very special guests attended the birth of the Jesus: wise men from the east, bearing gifts for the newborn king. Compared to the Bible’s account of the royal visit, the story we tell is often padded with a bit of extra information. History and tradition have done their part to fill in the details regarding these visitors, including their number, names, and the timing of their arrival. One aspect of the visit that has largely escaped alteration...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

The Bible tells us that Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem, which is just south of Jerusalem. It’s a fact that most Christians and many non-Christians know, due to its inclusion in several popular Christmas carols and hymns. Even if someone only goes to church once a year, there’s a good chance they may hear something about Jesus being born in Bethlehem.  Here are 5 things to know about Bethlehem in the Bible:  1. Bethlehem was known as the city of...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

Over the Christmas season, Santa’s image is everywhere, but do we really understand the history and origin of one of the biggest traditions? When the kids inevitably ask, “Who is Santa?” what do we say? As with any question from our children, we can use it as a teaching opportunity. Let’s take a look at the origin of Santa Claus, the history behind how his meaning has evolved over time, and some of the traditions behind his name.  The Origin of Santa Claus The name Santa...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

Christmas is so full of wonder, meaning and tradition. But, where did all these things that we now call “Christmas” come from? Let’s briefly sketch the origin and development of what we now celebrate as Christ’s birth. Below we will look at the origins of Christmas, holiday traditions (and their Christian significance!), favorite Christmas carols, Scripture about the nativity story and birth of Jesus, and history you might not know: What is Christmas and When...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

I have long heard that our modern date for Christmas, Dec. 25, was chosen in an effort to “Christianize” a pagan holiday. Needless to say, I was surprised to learn the true history of how this date was selected. Was Jesus really born on December 25th? Virtually every month on the calendar has been proposed by biblical scholars. So why do we celebrate his birth in December? When was Jesus Really Born? The tradition for December 25th is actually quite ancient. Hippolytus, in the...

by School Of Life on 26 January 2020

In his recent column in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof pointed to belief in the Virgin Birth as evidence that conservative Christians are “less intellectual.” Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Is belief in the Virgin Birth really necessary? Kristof is absolutely aghast that so many Americans believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. “The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical...

by School Of Life on 20 January 2020

Christians celebrate Christmas, the day Christ was born on earth to Mary, the virgin mother. God doesn’t have to go to great lengths to show His vibrant brush strokes in the world and on our lives, yet He often does. Jesus coming to earth in such a unique way requires faith of those who believe, even to this day. Though Christ said, “blessed are those who have believed and not seen” (John 20:29), there’s no need to have blind faith in Christ. Christmas is the celebration...

by School Of Life on 20 January 2020

The Bible is neither vague nor equivocal on the prophetic promise of Christ’s return. Here are nine reasons from Scripture by which you can be certain of Jesus’ Second Coming. What is the Second Coming of Christ? Scripture is neither vague nor equivocal on the promise of Christ’s return. A large portion (by some accounts, as much as one-fifth) of Scripture is prophetic, and perhaps a third or more of the prophetic passages refer to the Second Coming of Christ or events...

by School Of Life on 19 January 2020