John McKinley

Triggers for Change in Economics and Sanctification

By John McKinley Jul. 11, 2016 9:00 a.m. Spiritual Formation

When reading the book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor ... and Yourself,[1] one passage stood out to me as an important analogy for understanding God’s providential work in sanctification. We often wonder why God allows, directs, or initiates difficulties and trials in our lives. The Bible is full of these promises that we will have to face many troubles (e.g., Rom. 8:17; Acts 14:23; John 16:33). Paradoxically, Scripture also assures us that we can count such problems in a positive way since we understand that God is doing good to us by means of the negative things we suffer (James 1:2-5). I decline to give a facile explanation of the problem of evil (more needs to be said than what can be done here). I aim to take on difficulty of God’s providence in our sanctification by looking at the observation of Corbett and Fikkert about helping the poor in economic development ...

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More than a Carpenter

By John McKinley Apr. 14, 2016 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology

In response to Klaus Issler’s article, “Exploring the Pervasive References to Work in Jesus’ Parables,” I offer two conclusions that are valuable for Christology and a Christian vision of economic activity. Jesus’ demonstrates two kinds of work productivity, and Jesus knows workplace temptations that afflict us all. In advance of exploring these conclusions, I will review how Issler’s analysis includes three important ideas that overturn common misconceptions about Jesus ...

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Metaphors Revealing the Holy Spirit, Part 3: Oil as a Metaphor for the Holy Spirit

By John McKinley Mar. 28, 2016 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology

In part three of this series, I will present the third biblical metaphor revealing the Holy Spirit: oil. We need to discern what the metaphor is, and what its meanings are within the biblical and ANE framework. I will be drawing some details from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. My goal is to recognize patterns of meaning that may be intended to expand our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in subtle ways hinted at through metaphors.  

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God and the Future

By John McKinley Mar. 16, 2016 9:00 a.m. Philosophy, Theology

The topic of God and time is complicated and unclear. Christian theologians and philosophers disagree about God’s relationship to time. Theorists disagree about whether only the present moment exists, or if the past and the future are equally real. One question that comes up in teaching theology is God’s knowledge of the future: how does God know the future, and how does God’s knowledge fit with human freedom, God’s providence, and the reality of the future? ...

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The Theology of the Cross in Personal Life

By John McKinley Dec. 21, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

This devotional is a reminder that God works through us as his instruments in ways we don’t choose. While there are many valuable things of research and teaching that God works through us in various ways, a primary mode of God’s work is easy to forget.

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Metaphors Revealing the Holy Spirit, Part Two: The Wind as a Metaphor of the Holy Spirit

By John McKinley Nov. 18, 2015 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology

In part 2 of this blog series, I present the second biblical metaphor revealing the Holy Spirit: the wind. We need to discern what the metaphor is, and what its meanings are within the biblical and ANE framework. I will be drawing some details from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. My goal is to recognize patterns of meaning that may be intended to expand our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in subtle ways hinted at through metaphors ...

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Joe’s Glory Story: Reflections for Reformation Day

By John McKinley Oct. 31, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Spiritual Formation, Theology

... Deeper than the recent history, we seem to be pushing against the same thing that Martin Luther identified as the theology of glory. Luther recommended to us the contrast of the theology of the cross ...

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