Karin Stetina

What the Reformation Did and Didn't Do for Women

By Karin Stetina Oct. 31, 2017 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Historical Theology

About half the world is made up of women. Books such as Half the Sky (Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn) and Half the Church (Carolyn Custis James) highlight how important it is for the Evangelical church to consider God’s vision both locally and globally for women. In the light of the Gospel, the church during the Reformation also wrestled with women’s place, in the church, marriage, and society. While the Protestant Reformers did not set out to define women’s roles, as they fleshed out their theological convictions of sola Scriptura and the priesthood of all believers, they were faced with addressing the question of how women are to participate in the church and the world as both receivers and conveyors of the Gospel. Did the Reformers’ responses result in “constraining” women by moving their ministry from the convent to the home (as Jane Dempsey Douglass argues), or did it provide them with “new dignity” (as Stephen Nichols suggests)? The answer to that question is complicated ...

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Have You Been Asking the Right Question?

By Karin Stetina May. 16, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, New Testament, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

What is my purpose in life? This is a question that plagues each and every one of us. The Westminster confession puts the question this way: "What is the chief and highest end of man?"

Countless books and blogs have addressed this question. But are we really asking the right question? ...

 

 

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Whatever You Do: Stewardship and the Purpose of Life

By Karin Stetina Jan. 30, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

What is the purpose of life? How does work fit into the purpose? As a college student I spent many hours contemplating these important questions and many others, such as:

  • Do we have free will or are we predestined?
  • What is the best form of worship- hymns or praise songs?
  • How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Maybe you have asked some of these same burning questions? ...

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The Call to Love Thy Neighbor: Promoting True Human Flourishing in a Consumer Society

By Karin Stetina Jul. 18, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

In Scripture God bids us to “love our neighbor” no fewer than eleven times. Yet centuries later the church still struggles with its calling to do so. From the pulpit to the pew, Christians interpret this command in a variety of ways. In his book Word vs. Deed, Dr. Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, addresses this struggle writing, “The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and preaching the gospel is inherently a verbal behavior. If the gospel is to be preached at all, it must be put into words” (20). Though this is not a new topic in theology, the Evangelical church in the West is seeing the urgent necessity to find the balance between word and deed in the dynamic culture of the 21st century. The church is more aware than ever of the pressing needs of the world. Technology has given us unprecedented access to seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that exist worldwide. On our smart phones and computers we can watch natural disasters destroy cities and wars and violence destroy lives. While knowledge of the needs of the world is growing, there is a great necessity to understand how the church is to respond. What is the biblical view of how the church is to care for others, particularly in light of the growing awareness of the pressing needs both near and far? ...

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How Do We Truly Help Those in Need?

By Karin Stetina May. 5, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Missions

As the Gospels proclaim, the poor will always be with us (Mt. 26:11) and we are called to help those in need (Mt. 25:31-46). The problem is—how do we do that without causing more harm than good? Anyone who has served in charities in a long-term capacity can recognize a common pattern that author Bob Lupton points out in Toxic Charity ...

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The Culture of Complaint: Moving from Complaining to Gratitude

By Karin Stetina Mar. 23, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation

This past fall a friend shared an article from the New York Times entitled The Microcomplaint: Nothing Too Small to Complain About. It was amusing to read about all the silly complaints that celebrities tweeted to the world. Everything from the misery of only decaf coffee being available to what the writer deemed a “complaintbrag” of not being able to buy a Persian rug with cherub imagery. This habit, however, does not appear to be limited to celebrities. Cruise ship directors have received equally amusing complaints. For example, one passenger reported that the sea was “too loud” while another passenger grumbled about there being no celebrities on the Celebrity Cruise ship. In the past complaining was something often reserved for private ears. Today, however, it is not only acceptable to publically complain about the littlest inconvenience, it is often encouraged. It has even been identified as a communication style, particularly of Americans, who frequently see themselves as victims. Are Christians exempt from “microcomplaining” or are we part of the “culture of complaint”? What does Scripture have to say about complaining? ...

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