John McKinley

The Peril of Moral Performance

By John McKinley May. 19, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

As with anything we touch, even good behaviors and initiatives can be twisted to harmful effects in our lives. The Bible holds out many precepts and instructions for right behaviors that are “acceptable” and “pleasing” to God. These guidelines are helpful for Christians to discern how to make choices in harmony with God, instead of in violation of God. The twist is when we mistakenly attempt to leverage the good actions we might do to prop up our sense of our acceptability before God. Many children learn from parents’ responses that behaviors can evoke positive and negative responses; how much of this learning is projected onto our relationship with God, our father in heaven? ...

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Grieving

By John McKinley Apr. 16, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Being a man, I have trouble with most emotions (when I am aware of them in myself or others). Often, my response to emotions is to think about the experience, but that tends to pin feelings down rather than give deeper expression to them. I’ve learned by trial and error to trust feelings by giving them my attention and expressing them momentarily as I sense them. I was able to practice this recently when faced with the loss of Bob Saucy ...

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A Helpful Ecclesiology

By John McKinley Mar. 18, 2015 10:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Theology, Historical Theology

When I offered a new seminar course on Ecclesiology last semester, one of the books we discussed is Gregg R. Allison’s Sojourners and Strangers: the Doctrine of the Church (Crossway, 2012). This is the latest volume in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series edited by John Feinberg. The book has several features to commend it for evangelical readers interested in ecclesiology. One characteristic throughout the book is the clear and well-organized writing style that is a model for students to see how ideas are presented, supported with evidence, and critiqued or nuanced. It is difficult to misunderstand Allison’s meaning and how all of his claims fit together.

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Psychology of Ministry

By John McKinley Feb. 11, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Michael Wilkins recommended these axioms to me. It has taken me several years to figure out and understand what they mean. They have worked like seeds for me. I’m sure he would elaborate on them differently (and better) than I’m doing here. But this is what I see in them ...

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The Difference of One Word

By John McKinley Jan. 21, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The Christian belief system is consistent and coherent. This shows in the way that adjustments in one concept of the system often require modifications in other aspects. Increased clarity about one topic elucidates other topics. The interdependence of my beliefs was again displayed when I came across a common mistranslation of a single word in Luke’s gospel. Once I had been persuaded that the prevailing translation was misleading, I experienced shifts in the ways I view and relate to God, and how I pray and think about God’s involvement in daily life. These implications of a single word have been strong reverberations that I am grateful to experience ...

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Religious Language and Everyday Discourse

By John McKinley Sep. 2, 2014 9:15 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Occasionally I find myself in a conversation with a non-Christian friend. Sometimes, I have to pay close attention to the language I use if the talk turns to things related to God and ultimate reality. I do the same when I talk to my children about Bible things. I want to be understood, but the normal Christian terms are a foreign language to many people, Christians included. The terms are difficult to use when they don’t communicate.

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Remembering Heaven

By John McKinley May. 13, 2014 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology

For whatever reasons in my experiences and personality, I have often looked forward in life to a better situation: I’ll be able to drive, I’ll be finished with high school, I’ll have a job, I’ll be married, I’ll live in my own home, etc. I find myself sometimes weary of the present because of problems that I have to face today, and I sometimes wish I were already ahead in tomorrow. Not least does this occur for my desire to be in Heaven ...

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