Posts from May 2011

Prone to Wander III- Battling Doubt

By Jason Oakes May. 26, 2011 8:17 a.m. Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

“Stop doubting!  Just have faith!”  I wish I knew how many times I have heard that advice.  Every time I hear it, my reaction is the same: complete frustration.  I want to shriek, “I CAN’T!  THAT’S THE PROBLEM!”

Yet, we know that doubt must be battled.  Os Guinness, in his book God in the Dark, argues that doubt is the state of being caught between belief and unbelief.  I like to add that doubt is not stationary.  Doubt, if not battled, moves us toward unbelief.  It is like trying to run up an escalator going down.  If you stop climbing, you automatically find yourself descending. 

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Weighing in on Rob Bell, Love Wins

By Kenneth Berding May. 21, 2011 4:46 p.m. Theology

Last night I finished reading Rob Bell’s book Love Wins.  I read it in preparation for an outreach I’ll soon be doing through my local church on the topic of heaven and hell.  Love Wins is a deeply troubling repudiation of certain aspects of orthodox Christian doctrine by a megachurch pastor who is trying to be relevant to a tolerance-enamored generation. 

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Lessons on Leadership from the Pastoral Epistles, Pt. 2-Multiplying Mentorship

By Ben Shin May. 17, 2011 4:17 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament

            The whole mentorship movement continues to increase in popularity especially within the church. Many young people today are seeking out mentors. This even seems to be a value for the younger generation. But in actuality, this movement is not a new one at all but rather one that dates back even to the first century.

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Teaching Deeper, Part IV

By Kevin Lawson May. 16, 2011 6:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education

Over the last three months I’ve described a “right-handed” model for thinking about what we do in Christian education.  It pulls together five “right” aspects of what we need to focus on in our teaching:  right relationship, right knowledge, right passion or heart, right will, and right actions.  For the next few months I want to explore and unpack a “coaching” pedagogy that helps promote real growth, not just increased knowledge.  Let me start with a verse from one of my favorite Psalms and a story.

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“Avoid Every Appearance of Evil!” Toppling a Faulty Moral Pillar

By Walt Russell May. 13, 2011 9:32 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Culture, New Testament

1 Thessalonians 5:22:

“Abstain from all appearances of evil” (KJV)

“Abstain from every form of evil” (ESV)

I confess that whenever I encounter this verse, I picture old, withered saints shaking their bony fingers in younger believers’ faces and exhorting them about some questionable behavior. In this recurring scenario, the godly, mature Christians find it necessary to exhort the younger saints, not because they have done something that is evil, but simply because they behaved in a manner that could have the appearance of being evil. 

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A Day Conference on Missional Ethics -3 June 2011

By Andy Draycott May. 11, 2011 1:25 p.m. Church Life, Ethics, Missions, Theology

‘Missional ethics’ speaks of the missionary dimensions of the life of the people of God and the ethical features of mission.  The connection between mission and ethics is fundamental for how we perceive our common life in the Spirit.

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Humility in Seminary, Part 2

By Rob Lister May. 10, 2011 4:35 p.m. Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

In my previous post, I reflected on a lesson about humility that I learned as a seminarian.  Since then, I have encountered a few folks who have observed that a struggle with spiritual pride is not altogether infrequent in the halls of evangelical seminaries.  Initially, seminary might seem an unexpected place to encounter such a struggle.  Why is it, then, that this temptation is often found in this context?  Is seminary somehow intrinsically antithetical to gospel humility?

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