Joe Hellerman

When The Group Comes First

By Joe Hellerman Sep. 4, 2014 9:30 a.m. Historical Theology, Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Old Testament

I recently read a fascinating book by Richard Nisbett, who compares and contrasts contemporary Asian and Western worldviews. It just so happens that the strong-group mentality of Nisbett’s Asian culture corresponds in some important ways to the mindset of people in the New Testament world.

 

 

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The Importance of Spiritual Formation - A Personal Story

By Joe Hellerman Jul. 29, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Each August the Hellermans spend several weeks vacationing in the mountains, in Mammoth Lakes, CA. One afternoon, on one of our getaways, our oldest daughter (then thirteen years old) came out of her room with a play she had written. Rebekah has always been into drama. She had participated in a number of children’s theater productions at our previous church. On the home front, Rebekah recruited neighborhood friends and staged “plays” before a captive audience of indulgent parents ... So began an adventure that continues to unfold today, sixteen years later.

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When The Church Was A Family—Even From Town To Town!

By Joe Hellerman May. 19, 2014 9:00 a.m. Theology, Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Missions, New Testament

... Among the unique aspects of early Christianity, when compared to other religious options in the ancient world, are the relationships the early Christians shared across geographical boundaries. The church was a family—not only locally but also from town to town ...

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A Hill to Die On: How Biblical Backgrounds Help Make Scripture More Engaging

By Joe Hellerman May. 15, 2014 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament

Last Saturday evening, my wife and I had a delightful dinner out with two of our very best friends, John and Leah Hutchison. Before we left the house, I had about fifteen minutes to kill while Joann was still getting ready. The nerd in me has something laying right on my nightstand for just such occasions: a volume of Josephus’ Antiquities. I picked it up, intending to read a little Greek, and stumbled across a story that had escaped my memory but is worth revisiting ...

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A “Give-Away” Church

By Joe Hellerman Feb. 12, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, New Testament

I am working on a sermon about the church at Antioch (Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3). As I prepare, I am struck by the open-handed generosity of this church, with respect both to financial resources and personnel.

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Wright On, Part Two

By Joe Hellerman Jan. 16, 2014 9:00 a.m. Theology, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament

I am not particularly enthralled with the spiritual gifts debate that is currently undergoing a renaissance of sorts, via John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference and publications. Been there. Done that. I was a new believer when the same debate was raging back in the late 1970s, and it is a bit discouraging to see the church divided, once again, over a topic that was beat into the ground a generation ago. 

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Wright On?, Part One

By Joe Hellerman Jan. 7, 2014 9:00 a.m. Theology, Historical Theology, New Testament, Old Testament

One of my self-imposed projects over the January break is to read through N. T. Wright’s (most recent) magnum opus, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. The work is actually two separate books (@ 600 and 1200 pages, respectively!). Book I is primarily concerned with backgrounds, and Paul’s worldview vis-à-vis paganism and Judaism. Book II deals with Paul’s theology and more directly engages the text of his letters.

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