Posts from December 2011

God, the Master Craftsman: A Christmas Meditation

By Ashish Naidu Dec. 23, 2011 10:40 p.m. Culture, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Wonderful is the word that encapsulates the world of horology. The more I read about the art and craft of watch making, the more I reflect on the infinite complexity of the divine mind, particularly the wondrous design and the meticulous plan of salvation—conceived in eternity—but executed in time and space.

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The Night Before Christmas in the Middle East

By Kenneth Berding Dec. 21, 2011 11:54 a.m. Missions

Years ago when Trudi and I lived in the Middle East I wrote a poem using the structure of “The Night Before Christmas.”  I share it with you at this Christmas season.

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Understanding Biblical Theology

By Edward W. Klink III Dec. 16, 2011 12:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Theology

My colleague (Dr. Darian Lockett) and I are almost finished writing a book that we want to read – due to the publisher by January 15, 2012! This is not to say the book is really well written; it is saying, rather, that it is a book that addresses an important and complex topic that we have always wanted help to explore. That topic is Biblical Theology.


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Blessings: A Meditation On A Common Valediction

By Bruce Seymour Dec. 14, 2011 4:02 p.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Let me start with a warning—I am at the stage in life when men can become a little grumpy. This little meditation might come across that way, so I begin with a request for patience because, truly, as a word guy, I have been provoked. Let me explain.

Today I got another one, another email that ended with the ubiquitous “blessings.” When I was in school this part of the letter was called the complimentary close and was an abridged phrase we used to close the letter, just before the signature. 

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Justification: a parable of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector

By John McKinley Dec. 9, 2011 6:00 a.m. Spiritual Formation, Theology

Two college students, Marc and Sue, sit together in the church on a Saturday evening service. It’s time to observe communion today. The pastor speaks slowly. “Let’s take a few moments to reflect on where we are with God and one another. Paul instructed the church at Corinth to examine themselves when they participated in the Lord’s Supper.” This invitation cast Marc into his memories of the past month. Like signs planted along a road that he drove along quickly, sins flashed to mind in rapid succession. Three weeks ago, he’d borrowed his roommate’s research paper from a geography class the semester before. Marc used the paper to write his own version for the same class this semester. He told himself that he was still learning by doing it, so it wasn’t really cheating.

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Keeping Holiday

By Rob Lister Dec. 8, 2011 6:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

I love reading good children’s literature to my kids.  I especially love it when a great narrative for kids comes packaged together with really good theology.  Such is the case with Starr Meade’s Keeping Holiday (Crossway, 2008)—a book so satisfying narratively and theologically that we are re-reading it to our kids this holiday season.  The best way I can describe it is to say that Keeping Holiday is part Narnia and part Pilgrim’s Progress for kids.

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My Professor is Wise

By Octavio Esqueda Dec. 6, 2011 10:13 a.m. Christian Education, Ministry and Leadership

Several years ago I had a Latin professor who made us memorize a phrase that it has been in my mind ever since. The Latin expression is “magister meus doctus est” and means “my professor is instructed or wise.” Obviously, my Latin professor was teasing when he made us memorize that phrase, but in reality, those words describe an important and profound truth. Everybody expects that professors are wise enough to guide their students. It has been commonly assumed that only those who know more can lead others in the right path because we know that nobody can give something without first possessing it. I have been a teacher in different countries and settings for twenty years now and I can testify about the accuracy of this general perception.

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