Posts from March 2011

Dr. Seuss and Revelation

By Gary Manning Jr Mar. 31, 2011 3:03 p.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament

As the father of eight children, I have spent a lot of time with Dr. Seuss. It's scary that I can quote pages of Cat in the Hat from memory. But my time in Dr. Seuss occasionally pays off when I study the Bible. You see, Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist in the 1930s and 40s, and political cartoons are ideal analogies for understanding symbolism in Revelation (an idea that I got from Dr. David Scholer, one of my doctoral advisors at Fuller). What is interesting, and what makes this relevant to the study of Revelation, is that Dr. Seuss' cartoons were immediately obvious to readers when they were printed, but are difficult to understand today unless we study history.

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A Lesson on Humility Learned in Seminary

By Rob Lister Mar. 30, 2011 2:02 p.m. Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

I loved my time in seminary.  The seminary years were formative and growth-filled for me in many ways.  I learned more about God in a concentrated period of time than ever before.  My professors were scholar-pastors.  I was blessed to be part of a healthy church.  I made some of my best (and lifelong) friends during seminary.  And God graciously started and grew our family during those years.

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Shame Removed; Honor Received, Part 1

By Matt Williams Mar. 28, 2011 6:50 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, New Testament

          ▶Jesus' interactions with people in the Gospel of John...and today

I would like to begin a series that looks at stories in the Gospel of John in which we find Jesus interacting with various people who need help—physical help and spiritual help. As we look closely at these individuals, we will often see that they are dealing with shame, though this theme is usually hidden in the historical background of the first century. Thus, over the course of this series, I will explore how Jesus interacts with them not only to take away their shame, but also to raise them up and give them honor!

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The Perfect Storms: Handling Conflict in Marriage

By John Hutchison Mar. 25, 2011 11:33 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life

In a recently posted blog (Marriage: The Power of Communication), I quoted  Ephesians 4:29 to affirm the healing power of spirit-controlled communication between a husband and wife : “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Even with good intentions, however, all marriages encounter conflict. When the “storm clouds” gather, how important it is to understand the role of disagreement in marriage. Where does it come from? Is it all destructive, or are there constructive attitudes that will strengthen a relationship?

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In the Beginning: The Importance of the Prologue to the Gospel of John

By Edward W. Klink III Mar. 25, 2011 12:00 a.m. New Testament

Beginnings of ancient books were important. Ancient writers were well aware of the importance of narrative beginnings. As Morna Hooker explains (“Beginnings and Endings,” in The Written Gospel, ed. Markus Bockmuehl and Donald A. Hagner [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005], 184), “In the introduction … an author would give some indication of the purpose or contents of the book. Some genres of literature – history, biography, scientific, medical, or technical works – begin with a formal preface, indicating the author’s purpose or method.” This narrative function of beginnings, therefore, provided information regarding purpose, method, and contents – key information needed to understand the rest of the narrative.  

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Teaching Deeper, Part II

By Kevin Lawson Mar. 23, 2011 6:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education

Over the next several months, I will be addressing the problem of the shallow impact of many teaching ministries in our churches and ways that we might “Teach Deeper” for greater openness to God’s transforming work.  In this second blog I share the first half of a proposal for how to understand the goals of our teaching to more naturally help those we teach both understand and begin to respond to God’s Word in ways that can lead to lasting change.

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Leading As A Team Of Pastors

By Joe Hellerman Mar. 21, 2011 8:03 p.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership

The following post outlines some of the nuts-and-bolts of leading a church as a plurality of pastors. It is an excerpt from a manuscript tentatively titled, When Pastors Were Servants: Recapturing Paul’s Cruciform Vision for Authentic Christian Leadership.

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