Posts from October 2012

The Shortest Verse in the New Testament

By Kenneth Berding Oct. 30, 2012 10:29 a.m. New Testament

What is the shortest verse in the New Testament?  Did you respond “Jesus wept”?  (Buzzer sound)  No, that is the third shortest verse in the New Testament.

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Necesitamos al Espíritu Santo

By Octavio Esqueda Oct. 24, 2012 2:38 p.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

El Espíritu Santo es esencial para la vida y enseñanza cristiana. De hecho, no creo exagerar al afirmar que sin la ayuda y poder del Espíritu Santo todos nuestros esfuerzos tanto para agradar a Dios como para enseñar a otros a hacerlo carecen de sentido y, por lo tanto, los resultados son insignificantes. Desgraciadamente, en muchas ocasiones el Espíritu Santo es olvidado, minimizado o incluso relevado a solamente una teoría teológica que creemos porque se encuentra en la Biblia, pero que no tiene ninguna relevancia en nuestra vida diaria. De hecho, llegué a escuchar a un profesor de un seminario afirmar que muchos cristianos de forma práctica creen que la santa trinidad está compuesta por el Padre, el Hijo y las Santas Escrituras. De esta manera, la presencia del Espíritu Santo es totalmente olvidada.

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The "Why?" of Internships for Ministry Preparation

By Dave Keehn Oct. 23, 2012 8:17 p.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership

Mentoring may be a “buzz-word” in the business world, but the practice of developing another person for specific purposes of skill or leadership development has been around since the beginning of civilization.  It is evident throughout Scripture – especially in the ministries of Jesus and Paul.  However, the integration of mentoring for ministry preparation within academic settings has built in problems. SO WHY BOTHER?  For many reasons... 

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Halloween Meditation

By Joy Mosbarger Oct. 22, 2012 1:11 p.m. Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays.  Somehow I seem to be lacking the creativity gene necessary to enjoy thinking up and assembling an ingenious costume.  For me that process is not enjoyable; it is a laborious chore.

It wasn’t always that way.  Of course, as a young child, we don’t have much of a choice about whether we dress up for Halloween or what we wear.  Our parents make those choices, and their primary criterion for a costume seems to be cuteness.  And how hard is it to make a little child look cute?

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Pictures of Jesus

By Gary Manning Jr Oct. 19, 2012 11:51 a.m. New Testament

The latest news on historical Jesus research can now be found in… Popular Mechanics? I’m used to perusing Popular Mechanics to see flying cars, homemade submarines, and ads for power tools. But Popular Mechanics published a reconstructed picture of Jesus (quite a while ago, but I just noticed it!). I’ll show you the picture and explain it in just a bit. But first, I want you to see some of my favorite portraits of Jesus. My students have become accustomed to seeing these non-traditional pictures of Jesus decorating my powerpoint lecture notes.


This picture of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (from the Via Latina catacomb, ca. 340-350) was painted by a Roman, so Jesus and the woman both have Roman hairstyles and clothing. No beard on Jesus!

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Every Question Paul Asks in Romans

By Kenneth Berding Oct. 18, 2012 12:47 p.m. New Testament

A few weeks ago I put up a post with the title:  “Something About the Book of Romans that will Really Help You ‘Get’ It.”  (Click HERE to read it.)  I rounded out that article with a list of questions from Romans to help people see the importance of the ethnic issues going on in the background of the letter to the Romans.  Some people expressed surprise that there were so many questions in the book of Romans—it’s not something that they had noticed before.  Well, there are a whole lot more questions in Romans than the ones I listed.  Questions are one of the ways Paul moves his argument forward.  Do you want to see how many questions there are?

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Henri Nouwen and Being "The Beloved"

By Michelle Lee-Barnewall Oct. 15, 2012 10:48 p.m. Spiritual Formation

Recently I found myself thinking back to an article in Christianity Today by Philip Yancey in which he profiled the late Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen.  Nouwen, a prolific and well-known spiritual writer, had taught at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard before leaving academia to be a priest in residence for a community for the disabled in Toronto called Daybreak.  On the surface, Nouwen’s decision might seem impulsive and irrational.  After all, he left teaching at some of America’s premier universities to devote his time to people who did not have the ability to appreciate his tremendous intellectual gifts, who in fact could barely understand the most basic aspects of faith.  But despite his academic success, Nouwen left those prestigious academic institutions because he felt that the busy schedule and intense competition were suffocating his spiritual life.

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