I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois: Sparta. Our family of seven was religious but did not go to church - instead, we had a Bible study at home every week. I eventually began attending a church after I moved away, and then I went to a Bible college, and eventually a seminary. Now I work for Grace Communion International, and teach part-time at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. My interests are the Gospels, the epistles and theology of Paul, and ethics.
In this collection of articles, we present 10 basic doctrines of Christianity, with an explanation of the basic features of each biblical teaching. We follow each doctrinal article with two articles explaining how the doctrine makes a difference in our lives - how it encourages us to respond in a certain way. This series has been designed as a discipleship manual for new Christians.
Almost 2,000 years ago, a Jewish carpenter began to preach. He was popular with some people, but he made others angry. Officials said he was a threat to national security, and they arranged for his death. His only weapon was his message. The crowds liked it, but “good” people didn’t. He said it was about love—so why did anyone hate it? What was the message that got Jesus killed? Do we need it now?
Many Christians find it easy to "picture" the Father and the Son. But the Holy Spirit is a puzzle, a question mark, not able to be put into a picture. What does the Bible say about the person and work of the Holy Spirit? In part 2, we consider the related question of speaking in tongues. Many Christians say that this is the sign of the Holy Spirit. Should all Christians seek this sign?
An Adventist magazine published an editorial titled "Why the Seventh Day?" Michael Morrison responded with letter of praise and critique, and with an outline of why the seventh day is not commanded any longer. There is an essay about whether the Sabbath is a moral law or a ceremonial law. Also included is the bombshell sermon of Joseph W. Tkach, explaining why the WCG would stop being sabbatarian.
In the books of Moses, God told his people to keep several annual festivals: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Are these festivals still required for Christians? We analyze the biblical evidence and conclude that no, we do not have to keep them. Then what were they for? We look at how these festivals had details that symbolized the work of Jesus Christ.
When Christians read the Old Testament, they are often puzzled. They find many laws that seem to be part of Christianity, and yet they also find many laws that no one obeys. Laws of sacrifice, rituals and civil laws are mixed together with laws that tell people how to get along with others. This series of Bible studies explores how a Christian can know which laws to keep.
In this lay-level commentary, we cover one verse in James and four chapters in 1 & 2 Peter; that is all we have now. But what we have, we offer to you for your encouragement and instruction. We just look at what the Bible says, and don't get bogged down in controversies that can't be resolved or don't make much difference in our lives.
In this lay-level commentary, Michael Morrison examines the story-flow of the epistle to the Hebrews, showing the author's rhetorical strategy and its significance for Christians today. Two additional chapters focus on the question of the validity of Old Testament laws for believers today. Dr. Morrison wrote his dissertation on the book of Hebrews and now teaches at Grace Communion Seminary.
In this lay-level commentary, Michael Morrison, instructor in New Testament at Grace Communion Seminary, walks through the letters of Paul chapter by chapter, showing how Paul presents the gospel of salvation - given to us by Jesus Christ out of his love for us. This affects who we are and how we live.
In this lay-level commentary, Michael Morrison, instructor in New Testament at Grace Communion Seminary, examines Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus. All chapters of 2 Timothy and Titus are covered; the work is not done on 1 Timothy.
In this lay-level commentary, Michael Morrison examines the purpose and flow of 1 Thessalonians, from 1:1 to 5:13. An overview of 2 Thessalonians is given, with extra chapters devoted to the rapture and the man of sin.
In this lay-level commentary, Michael Morrison explores the details of Paul's letter to the Colossians and to Philemon. In Colossians, Paul insists that Christ is fully sufficient for our salvation; we do not need to add any extra knowledge or rules to qualify for the kingdom. In his letter to Philemon, Paul asks Philemon to treat a slave as a brother, and to send him to help Paul.
In this lay level commentary, Michael Morrison, instructor in New Testament at Grace Communion Seminary, examines the story-flow and each verse of Philippians. Paul encourages the believers in Philippi to imitate the self-sacrificing love of Jesus, and he points out several examples of people who have done so.
In this lay-level commentary, Dr. Michael Morrison examines the overall structure and purpose of the Gospel of Luke, explores the limits of its accuracy, and highlights the birth narratives and some of Jesus' best-known parables.
In this lay-level commentary, we look at an overview of the book of Matthew, take a closer look at the Sermon on the Mount, parables about the kingdom of God, and several other notable parts of Matthew. Some chapters are by Tim Finlay and Jim Herst, Paul Kroll, and Joseph Tkach.
In this lay-level commentary, Michael Morrison goes through the entire letter to the Romans, commenting on what it means for us today. The focus is on what we do know, not on controversies that have no resolution.
Guilt is so thoroughly engrained in religious culture that many people cannot imagine the gospel without a focus on guilt. They present the gospel as a transaction: you will be forgiven IF you accept the gospel. But Jesus already paid for your sins and you are already forgiven. There is no IF. Sin is forgiven, but it still messes up relationships. The gospel needs to focus on our relationships.
Bible prophecy is an often-misunderstood and abused subject. How should we approach the topic - is there something that can give us an overview? What about the millennium, a topic that divides many scholars of equal ability and equal respect for Scripture? Is there any common ground for us all?
Word is a powerful program, with lots of options. But you have to know how to use them. The default settings in Word are not well designed for academic papers. This tutorial will show you how to get Word to do what you want it to. Although this tutorial is focused on academic papers, it will help anyone who would like to use Word more effectively. There are almost 100 pictures to show the steps.
Christians sometimes wonder why the Old Testament and New Testament are different. Some theologians stress similarity, but others stress differences. In this book, we examine every biblical occurrence of the Hebrew and Greek words for covenant. We also look at related subjects: "the law of Moses," whether tithing is commanded for Christians, and the role of the Ten Commandments in Christian ethics
This collection of articles examines key biblical passages about speaking in tongues - Acts 2, 10, 1 Corinthians 14, and others. The Bible neither forbids nor requires tongues-speaking; tongues are sometimes inspired by God, and other times not. Suggestions are given as to how this unusual phenomenon may best be used.
Galatians, one of Paul's earliest letters, clearly states the gospel of salvation by grace without any need to keep the laws of Moses. But this does not mean that Paul does not care about how a Christian lives - he includes numerous instructions about it. Dr. Michael Morrison, Professor of New Testament at Grace Communion Seminary, explains how it all works together. Written for lay readers.
Sometimes Jesus talked about the kingdom of God as if it were already here, and sometimes he talked as if it were far in the future. Which is it, and how does it affect life right now? Another way to approach the question is to observe that Jesus preached about the kingdom of God, but his disciples preached about Jesus. Why this difference in focus, and why does it matter for us today?
What is human life for? Just to live a few years and then go into nothingness? Or is it to live forever? Even if we could live forever, would we want to live the way we are now, or do we want a better life? The Bible says that we were made in the image of God, and that Jesus is the image of God, and we are being made like him. We can't do it, but God can do it in us.
A systematic examination of each scripture about the Sabbath, with careful attention to what it says and what it does not say. Special attention is given to Genesis 1, the teachings of Jesus, and the practice of Paul. The book concludes with a summary chapter addressing the most common arguments. Conclusion: Christians are not required to observe the seventh-day Sabbath.
In 2004, Grace Communion International began a thorough examination of women in church leadership positions, such as pastors. A careful study was done in Scripture, with special attention to certain key NT texts. Both complementarian and egalitarian scholars sometimes push the evidence further than is warranted. With a cautious approach, we concluded that women may serve as pastors.
Can we trust the Bible? How was it inspired, preserved and collected? How are we to read it today as conveying a message for us today? How do we deal with literature that was written in a far different culture, with various literary styles?