Posts from June 2013

Cheating in Sports and Life, Part Two

By John McKinley Jun. 28, 2013 6:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Theology

In response to the ongoing revelations of widespread cheating in professional sports, my earlier blog explored the idea of cheating as compared to New Testament ethics. So much for why athletes should not cheat, and what they should pursue instead. The doping problems in sport raise another question: what is someone responsible to do when she becomes aware of others' cheating? This question extends beyond sport to daily life evils that are preventable if someone in our lives would just speak up once in a while.

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Cheating in Sports and Life, Part One

By John McKinley Jun. 25, 2013 9:31 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Theology

Slowly, more top professional cyclists that were rivals of Lance Armstrong are mumbling confessions of the same carefully-worded sort that Lance released last January.  Some have been coerced by teams or government inquiries (as with the handful of Americans who testified to their own doping as part of implicating Lance Armstrong). The latest is Jan Ullrich, the German cyclist who placed second to Lance three times in the Tour de France. Like many others, Ullrich used the same worn out excuse that “everybody was doing it,” and that his joining the “medical program” was just a way to play on a level field. What are we to think of these things?

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Top Factors in Growing Churches

By Gary McIntosh Jun. 24, 2013 6:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership

A recent check on Amazon.com discovered that over 25,000 books are listed under the category of Church Growth.  This is an amazing number of books given the fact that the North American Church Growth Movement is only forty-one years old.  With such a large number of books written on the topic of church growth, it is only natural to ask if there is any consensus on what factors are found in growing churches in North America. What are those factors?  I thought you’d never ask!

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A Primer on the New Perspective on Paul

By Kenneth Berding Jun. 18, 2013 3:04 p.m. New Testament, Theology

A couple years ago I was asked to lead a discussion for the Talbot School of Theology faculty on “The New Perspective on Paul.”  Now, you should know up-front that (for the most part) I am not very positive about the overall approach that New Perspectivists take when they interpret the letters of Paul (esp. Galatians and Romans) and when they try to set those letters in a reconstructed first century Jewish theological context.  But I also do not believe that it is right or wise for people to be dogmatic about topics that they don’t know very much about.  So, to help you interact responsibly with the New Perspective, I want to revisit the lecture I did for the Talbot faculty try to help you understand the New Perspective on Paul so that you can critically weigh for yourself its merits and demerits.

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Women and Men are Different

By John McKinley Jun. 17, 2013 9:48 p.m. Marriage and Family, Theology

An introduction to the book, His Brain, Her Brain: How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage, by Walt and Barb Larimore (Zondervan, 2008). 

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Long Pastoral Tenure Can Hurt Your Church

By Gary McIntosh Jun. 14, 2013 4:52 p.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership

One of the little known facts of church growth is that pastors can stay too long.  Long pastoral tenure can actually harm the growth of a church.  Generally, the first twenty years of a pastor’s tenure are quite healthy, but it is very rare for a pastor to lead a church through a third decade with vitality and growth.

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A few questions about the doctrine of Hell (4 of 4)

By John McKinley Jun. 7, 2013 6:00 a.m. Theology

This last part in this series on hell is a listing of many of the biblical passages that touch directly on God's punishment of evildoers. I assembled the passages so that I could see them all at once. The repetition of key phrases and patterns stood out in helpful ways for me. I found it very convincing on many of the traditional aspects of the doctrine.

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