Kenneth Berding

How to Love Your Wife When You’re Not With Her: 10 Ways

By Kenneth Berding Jan. 17, 2017 12:00 p.m. Marriage and Family

Is it possible to love your wife when you're not with her?  Here are 10 ways:

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Why do We Sing in our Worship Service?

By Kenneth Berding Jan. 3, 2017 9:39 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Theology

I started the New Year by worshiping, fellowshipping, and preaching at Taft Avenue Community Church in Orange, California.  At one point in the service, Pastor Bob Burris read aloud a short explanation of why Christians sing during times of worship.  I appreciated what he read and want to share it with you today.  The reading was adapted from a blog post by Kevin DeYoung, cut down to a length that could be used in a worship service.  Why do we sing when we worship together?

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Conscience: What It Is, How To Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ

By Kenneth Berding Nov. 29, 2016 9:53 a.m. Apologetics, Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Missions, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

The title of this post is the exact title of a new little book written by Andrew David Naselli & J. D. Crowley and published by Crossway.  This new book is intended for a general Christian (non-academic) audience, addressing an oft-neglected subject: the conscience.  Discussions of this topic have been few in recent years, despite the fact that the Greek word for “conscience” (συνείδησις) appears 30 times in the New Testament (20 times in the writings of Paul).  The book is short (142 pages without the appendices and indices).  Thankfully, it is also clearly written.  One can easily imagine a book dealing with the so-called grey areas being less-than-clear.  The authors have done a fine job in making a complicated subject easy-to-understand.

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Why We Should Stop Using The Message

By Kenneth Berding Nov. 2, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, New Testament, Old Testament

It’s time we stopped reading, buying, and recommending The Message.  We who hold to a high view of Scripture—that the Bible is the very word of God, inspired by God, inerrant in all it affirms—need to carefully reconsider our use of The Message.  There actually wouldn’t be a problem at all if The Message were sold and treated as an interpretation of the Bible, or an expansive reading of the Bible.  But as long as The Message continues to be marketed and used by preachers and teachers as a Bible translation, it is imperative that we ask the question of whether it is an accurate translation or not.  I believe that the answer to this question is:  The Message is not an accurate translation of what the original authors wrote.

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A Turkic-world Connection in The Chronicles of Narnia?

By Kenneth Berding Oct. 4, 2016 1:55 p.m. Culture

Each time I have read through The Chronicles of Narnia I have been struck by some apparent linguistic and cultural allusions to the Turkic-world in C.S. Lewis’s beloved series for children.  Two of these seem beyond any reasonable doubt to be allusions to things Turkic, others seem very likely to connect somehow, and still others feel to the present author like connections, but may not in fact be. 

As a non-specialist, I list these for the consideration of those who are more familiar with linguistic/cultural influences on Lewis than I.  I am a professor of New Testament who happens also to fluently speak and read modern Turkish.  Moreover, I genuinely admire Lewis’s writings.  These are my only qualifications.  Readers who understand Lewis can research my suggestions further.

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Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 19, 2016 3:21 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen.  Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well:  “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.”  The one who walks in the Spirit will not give in to the desires of the flesh.  Walking in the Spirit and carrying out the desires of the flesh are mutually exclusive ideas; you cannot do one at the same time as you engage in the other.

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Is the Bible Clear?

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 8, 2016 1:46 p.m. Apologetics, Culture, New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he had started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from his own, he became increasingly unsure about whether the Bible on its own was clear in what it taught. He was considering changing to a church tradition that could interpret the Bible for him. Since, in his thinking, we can’t be certain what the Bible actually means when we read it, we need an authoritative guide. Let me assure you, there are people out there who will gladly tell you what the Bible means if that’s what you want!

Another conversation with a different student also comes to mind. She wasn’t sure whether she could really give herself to Christ in faith because she didn’t know if the message of the gospel was actually true. But the more we talked together, the more I realized that she wasn’t struggling with which truth claims were correct and which were false; she was struggling with whether anyone could know something was true at all. So whenever I appealed to the Bible I didn’t get any traction in our discussion because she didn’t think we could actually come to know truth through a written text.

Both of these students were struggling with whether the Bible was clear.

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