DNA: Foundations of the Faith

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Overview

DNA: Foundations of the Faith is written with the urban reader in mind. Through the use of familiar concepts and illustrations, D.A. Horton offers an invitation to dig into the Scriptures and learn foundational truths that believers in Christ need to know as they live on mission in our world today.

Written in a workbook style, readers will explore key scriptures and record all that is discovered as each person is equipped to live out the ...

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Overview

DNA: Foundations of the Faith is written with the urban reader in mind. Through the use of familiar concepts and illustrations, D.A. Horton offers an invitation to dig into the Scriptures and learn foundational truths that believers in Christ need to know as they live on mission in our world today.

Written in a workbook style, readers will explore key scriptures and record all that is discovered as each person is equipped to live out the truths they learn.

Whether attending ReachLife Institute, studying with a small group or going through this workbook alone, lives will be enriched as the study of these foundational truths are learned and applied to life.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

DA Horton is an urban pastor, church planter and theologian who provides ministers of the Gospel with a tool for helping people understand systematic theology with depth, breadth, clarity and brevity. Written with the urban reader in mind, Horton's book began as, and will be, a perfect guide for those who want to expand their biblical knowledge or theological study. 

- Kevin Ezell, President of the North American Mission Board

A masterful yet highly accessible work -this is a rare and timely gift to urban ministers and church members alike. Horton takes on the difficult task of taking the seminary to the streets without compromising the content or context on either side. Written concisely and comparatively to Ryrie's Basic Theology, yet packaged in such a way that the average un-churched, and often under educated, young adults of today's urban centers will find manageable.  I've found DNA: Foundations of the Faith to be a helpful must have for all inner city ministries.

- Steve M. Ross II, Director of Multicultural Student Advancement, The Master's College

Damon is a Godly young man with a vision based on a proper theological foundation that has something to say. As an author he is a communicator that writes with passion and clarity. I highly recommend this book to you for your own enrichment and spiritual development.

- Dr. James Clark, PhD., President, Calvary Bible College & Calvary Theological Seminary

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802408686
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


D.A. HORTON currently serves as Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, a non-profit ministry of Reach Records. Prior to serving at ReachLife, D.A. worked as an urban church planter and Lead Teaching Elder in Kansas City, MO for 5 years. D.A. was also an Adjunct Professor at Calvary Bible College where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Studies. He earned his Master's Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary, and is currently working on his D.Ed.Min at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr.
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Read an Excerpt

DNA

Foundations of the Faith


By Damon A. Horton

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Damon A. Horton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-8713-1



CHAPTER 1

What Is the Bible?

Many books have been written throughout the history of mankind, and I can assure you that until the end comes, there will be many more.

Claiming that one book is the best of all time would start as much debate as asking a hip-hop head what's the best album of all time or who's the greatest emcee to grab the microphone! The answer to those questions are based on personal preference. However, the good news for Christians is that when we say the Bible is the greatest book of all time our claim is more than an opinion; it's a fact. It's in a class all by itself. Peep it, all other books have been written by people, but the Author of the Bible is God Himself.

To better understand why the Bible is one of a kind, let's unpack Bibliology, the study of the Bible. We will uncover:

• the meaning of the word Bible

• how God reveals Himself to humans

• how God used people to record His Word without error

• how the books of the Bible were chosen (canonization)

• how to study the Bible


The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. Psalm 19:7–9


THE MEANING OF THE WORD BIBLE

Bible comes from the Greek word for paper scroll or book, biblion. It contains 66 separate books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Old Testament was written mainly in Hebrew, with some parts in a language called Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek. Koine is used to describe the everyday language of the common person who lived in the area of the world dominated by Greece during the lifetime of Alexander the Great.

As Alexander conquered more and more territory, the language and culture of Greece spread. By God's sovereign plan, this took place in order to set up a worldwide platform for the preaching of the gospel (Galatians 4:4–5). In our day, we must embrace the worldwide platform available to us and advance the gospel as the first-century believers did and without compromising it.

A modern parallel to Koine is the language of ebonics, which was birthed in the mid-1970s and comes from the merging of two words: ebony and phonics. Ebonics has spread throughout the world thanks to technological advancements and hip-hop culture. Rap music, the most recognized and vocal element of hip-hop culture, has broken down cultural, socioeconomic, and racial walls worldwide.

As God used the spread of Greek civilization to later advance the gospel, so is He using ebonics and rap to spread the Good News today.


HOW GOD REVEALS HIMSELF

General Revelation

Revelation happens when God gives us snapshots of His character and His will. There are two types of revelation seen in the Bible: general (or generic) revelation and specific (or special) revelation.

Creation: God reveals truths about Himself using general revelation through both creation and our conscience. In His creation or nature, we can think of it as an artist putting his work on display in a gallery. God is so bangin' that His handiwork is all of creation, and the world we live in is the gallery He has placed us in to admire His work in order to seek Him out to give Him props for what He's done.

Two passages that have to do with general revelation are Psalm 19:1–6 and Romans 1:18–20, so let's take a few moments to break these passages down.

Psalm 19:1–2 tells us general revelation expresses glory to God every moment of every day. In what ways does creation express glory to God?

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Psalm 19:3 presents a bangin' truth. Read this verse and explain in your own words why creation does not need language or words to glorify God.

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Psalm 19:4–6 tells us the praise of creation is everywhere on the planet earth, leaving every person without any excuse to know that God exists.

If the general revelation of creation can "speak to" every person who has ever lived, why do you think people ignore creation's witness?

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Conscience: Romans 1:18–20 says people "suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

This passage explains why nonbelievers refuse to acknowledge God's existence even while creation is declaring praise to Him nonstop every day. The word ungodliness describes the behavior of those who do not fear and respect God, and the greatest demonstration of ungodliness is living life as if God is not alive and real.

Before you came to know Christ as your Savior, what were some ways you lived your life that demonstrated you had no fear and respect for God?

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Specific Revelation

Sometimes we have to go back and remember the mindset we were in before Christ saved us to understand where nonbelievers are. It's easy to talk down to those who reject God when we forget that we too were once the same way. Real talk, never forget that the real reason the ungodly reject the testimony of creation is because they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

The word suppress means to restrain or hold down, and it was used to describe someone who took the steering wheel of a ship and turned the ship in the opposite direction that the wind was blowing. Paul used this word to describe how the ungodly turn away from the testimony of general revelation, and to show that when they stand before God they will have no excuse for continuing to live like He did not exist.

The questions we have to ask now are, can the ungodly be saved by looking at creation alone? or does God provide humans with more information on how they can be saved? What do you think?

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The answer is that the ungodly need more than creation in order to be saved. God revealed specific truths about His character and His will so we might come to know Him. Everything God revealed in this way we call specific or special revelation.

Theophany: There are many examples of specific revelation in Scripture. The first examples we'll peep are some of the visible manifestations of God in the Old Testament called theophanies.

Read Genesis 3:8. What does it say about God chillin' with Adam and Eve?

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Peep Exodus 34:5–8 and in the space provided, write down the description this passage gives about God's appearance to Moses.

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Pre-incarnate: We read in the Old Testament of Christ appearing and interacting with humanity before He clothed Himself in flesh and lived among His very own creation. (We use the term incarnation to describe God the Son coming to earth as a human.) Read Genesis 16:7–13. Notice how God the Son, here called the angel of the Lord, speaks in first person telling Hagar He has heard her cry. He then gives her instructions regarding her son, Ishmael, and receives her worship inverse 13.

Read Judges 13:2–7 and reflect back on what we read in Genesis 16. What similarities do you see between these two passages?

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Dreams and Visions: Another example of specific revelation is God speaking to people through dreams and visions. Read Genesis 28:12. Notice how this passage records the details of Jacob's dream that included a description of angels going up and down a flight of stairs as they carried out the will of God.

Read 1 Kings 3:5–14. What did God communicate through this dream?

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Now peep Genesis 15. Notice that God spoke specifically to Abram by declaring him to be righteous, promising him a seed (child) and land (a piece of property) for his children and their children to live in. In this same passage notice how God ratified or confirmed His covenant with Abram.

The Bible: Another example of specific revelation is the Bible. Jeremiah 1:2 declares that it is the actual Word of God that is being spoken through His prophets and recorded by humans.

Jesus Christ: The final example of specific revelation is the God-man Jesus Christ.

Read John 1:1–14. Write down your thoughts on who you think the Word is that John is speaking about.

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This passage put us up on the fact that Jesus Christ is the Word John is choppin' about. The Word has always been and will always be eternally God, equal with God, and essentially God. John 1:14 tells us the Word dipped from heaven to set up shop on earth to live among us so He could live a perfect life sinners could never live in order to save them. As we've said, we call Jesus' dippin' out of heaven in order to clothe Himself in human flesh the incarnation. What we must not conclude is that Jesus was 50 percent God and 50 percent man; rather, in the incarnation God the Son remained fully God while clothing Himself in full humanity by rockin' human flesh like we do 501s, T-shirts, and snapbacks. We must be clear in understanding Jesus never stopped being God at any point of His incarnation. At His incarnation He was both fully God and fully man. We call this truth the hypostatic union.

Read Hebrews 1:1–3. Explain in your own words how this passage describes Jesus as the best example of specific revelation.

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Jesus accomplished His mission of putting humans up on the fact we were born in sin, have lived in sin all our days, and are totally unable to have a right relationship with God unless we embrace Him as the only qualified Savior (John 14:6).


HOW GOD USED PEOPLE TO RECORD HIS WORD WITHOUT ERROR

If God spoke, and humans were used to write down His message, how can we trust that they didn't mess up what God said? The answer to this is summed up in two words that describe the process God used to write the Bible: inspiration and inerrancy.


Inspiration

When we say the Bible is inspired we are saying that every time God breathed out new revealed information to humans who recorded it, God the Holy Spirit kept them from writing anything false. In order for revelation to be new it must be revealed by God alone since He alone is the one who kept it concealed previously.

Read 2 Peter 1:19–21. In verse 20 Peter says that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. The word for interpretation in Greek means to unloose or untie something, like the laces on a shoe. What Peter is saying is that no human that God used to write Scripture untied and unloosed what God revealed to them. The writers God used didn't discover on their own what God was revealing; it was God who put them up on what He wanted to communicate. We know this is what Peter meant, because in the next verse he says that "no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." So we learn that the source of Scripture did not come from man but originated from God alone.

As men recorded what God said, God the Holy Spirit moved them or carried them along to make sure what they wrote was true to what God spoke. They were still free to use their personalities, native languages, and life experiences to relate it to the people God was telling them to write to. Think of it like a sailboat that raises its sails. As the wind blows and moves the boat along the water, the Holy Spirit moved the men along in their recording of what God spoke to them.

Verbal Plenary: When speaking of inspiration, the words verbal plenary are used to bring even more clarity to this teaching. To say the inspiration of Scripture is verbal is to say it was verbally spoken by God Himself.

Read 2 Samuel 23:2; Isaiah 30:8; and Jeremiah 26:2. Write down how each of these passages identifies God as the one who is verbally speaking.

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When we say Scripture's inspiration is plenary we are saying that every word of Scripture is true and full of inspiration. Real talk, there's no expiration or time limit on the inspiration of Scripture. Scripture is not like milk that spoils after a certain date. With this being said, we must remember that the Bible is as relevant today as it was when God verbally spoke it to His human writers.

Read Romans 15:4. Write down what Paul said to remind his readers about this fact.

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Read 2 Peter 3:1–2. What does Peter say about the writings of Paul?

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Read 2 Peter 3:15–16 and in the space provided below, write down your thoughts on how Peter put the writings of Paul on the same level with all the Old Testament Scriptures.

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Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13. What do you think Paul is saying about the words of the apostles?

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Just to recap, verbal plenary means God verbally spoke every word of Scripture, which is full of timeless truth.


Inerrancy

In addition to being inspired, the Bible is also inerrant. Inerrancy is the teaching that says every Scripture in the Bible is true and should not be cliqued up with anything that's false.

Read 2 Timothy 3:16–17. How does this passage support the teaching of inerrancy?

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The word inspired in 2 Timothy 3:16 means God-breathed, so Paul is saying God is the one who put the writers up on game what to write as He breathed out new revelation. We must understand that since Scripture is God-breathed it's a reflection of His character.

Read Numbers 23:19 and Hebrews 6:18. What do we learn here about God's character?

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Since God is the one who breathed out all of Scripture, and since God cannot lie, we can be easy with the fact of every word in Scripture being absolutely true.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from DNA by Damon A. Horton. Copyright © 2013 Damon A. Horton. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What Is the Bible?

Chapter 2: Who Is God?

Chapter 3: What Is Sin?

Chapter 4: How Can Mankind Be Saved?

Chapter 5: Who Is the Church?

Chapter 6: What Are Angels and Demons?

Chapter 7: What Happens in the End?

Chapter 8: What is Personal Evangelism?

Chapter 9: How Do I Live This Out?

Notes

Thebonic Glossary

Acknowledgments

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Lizzie

    Hi.

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  • Posted March 14, 2013

     Being able to see Horton speak, I know the passion that he has.

     Being able to see Horton speak, I know the passion that he has. His book “DNA: Foundation of the Faith” is an example of that passion! Horton writes in a way that is easy to understand and perfect for any Christian to develop a solid foundation of understanding Christianity. Horton talks about everything from, what is the Bible? To, how do I live this out? With writing “DNA” it would be easy to not even open up the Bible itself. But Horton didn’t forget that the Word needs to be read. Throughout the book you will have many opportunities to write about different passages of scripture, almost as if you are doing a personal bible study, while reading a book. Don’t understand a big word? No problem! There is a great word bank in the back to help you with those tough words. You not only learn about the Bible itself, but you get to open the Bible and learn more about God. “DNA” is a very practical, educating, spiritual book all at the same time. 
    This is an awesome tool for young Christians, from early teens to late twenty’s, youth groups or small groups, individual usage, and new believers.  It’s geared for the urban reader, but I believe that once you understand some of the lingo, you will be able to use it in any setting. 
     I personally felt that some of the language that was used was not needed. I am not from an urban setting, but I compare the language to my Dad trying to use language of my generation. 
    I really liked some of the books that Horton suggested to read about different topics. Some very good authors are given as suggestions to read more about certain subjects.

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