Kenneth Berding

Questions Over Breakfast #3: Let Go and Let God? Or Trust God and Try Hard?

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 30, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: Haven’t you noticed that some preachers concentrate on themes of forsaking all to follow Christ, personal discipline, faithfulness in prayer, radical discipleship, the lordship of Christ, and the like, while others exhort us to let go of our self-reliance and learn about the inner joys of the life that God offers?

Michael: I’ve never really though of it that way, but you’re right.

Jim: Which should they be preaching?

Michael: I’m not sure.

Jim: I’ve got a theory ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #2: Is the Christian Life Easy or Hard?

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 28, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: But isn’t there any way that I can have the joy and peace of the Christian life without the necessity of suffering, pain and personal discipline?

Jim: You want to have your cake and eat it too?

Michael: That’s not what I mean.

Jim: What do you mean?

Michael: What about all those people who talk about the peace and joy they experience as Christians? Their lives don’t seem to be all that difficult. Perhaps I should aim at that type of life ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #1: Is a Relationship with God Really Like my Relationship with You?

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 23, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Two men in their in their late 20’s walk into a coffee shop around 7:00 a.m. In college they had been good friends, but over the past few years had gotten out of touch. Having lived in the same dormitory for three of their four years at City Christian College, they still had many fond—and a few not-so-fond memories—of their time together in college. Just by accident (or so Michael thought) they had run into each other in a hardware store about three weeks before, and had set up a time to talk over breakfast. Jim thought of their accidental meeting as a divine appointment. He considered any accidental meeting to be a divine appointment ...

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Advances in the Study of Greek

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 21, 2015 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Old Testament, Theology

This weekend I had the privilege of reading Constantine Campbell’s brand new book, Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament. I had fun reading this book. It’s possible that this says more about me than it does about the book(!), but I must honestly acknowledge that for me it was a truly enjoyable experience to read this new volume. Advances in the Study of Greek is a good way for people who already have some training in Greek to get up-to-speed on inside discussions happening between Greek Geeks…that is, umm, Greek linguists and grammarians. Here is a short run-down on its contents ...

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Why Translators Shouldn’t Translate “Walk” as “Live” in Ephesians 4-5

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 14, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament

Recent English Bible translators have increasingly opted to translate the Greek word peripateo, whenever it is used metaphorically to describe one’s way of life, with the English word “live.” The other option at translators’ disposal is to retain the metaphor and translate it into English as “walk.” The motivation for the decision to translate with the word “live” instead of “walk,” apparently, is the fear that readers might not grasp the metaphor, and thus might either interpret verses that employ the metaphor literalistically (describing the manner in which you put one foot in front of the other), or, more likely, that readers might simply find themselves confused by the metaphor. Let me show you some verses from Ephesians 4-5 where this matters, comparing the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible, both of which tend to use “walk” in such contexts with the New International Version and New Living Translation, both of which tend to use “live” (or something similar).  Then let me offer a critique.

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Who is the Best Biographer—and Who Isn’t? A.W. Tozer Weighs In

By Kenneth Berding Jun. 17, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education

Before launching into his own biography of A. B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, A. W. Tozer reflects a bit on what kind of person makes the best biographer.  As one who enjoys reading biographies, I appreciate the wisdom in Tozer’s words and offer them to all of you who have benefitted and grown as a result of reading the stories of others’ lives and journeys.  So who is the best person to write a biography, and who probably shouldn’t write a biography?

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Paul’s 4th Missionary Journey (And I Don’t Mean His Trip to Rome)

By Kenneth Berding Apr. 14, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Historical Theology

“Paul’s fourth missionary journey? I thought he went on three missionary journeys!” Yes, according to Acts, Paul embarked on three missionary journeys. Then he was imprisoned in Palestine for a couple years, transported under guard via ship to Rome (a journey that included a shipwreck on Malta), and spent a couple more years under house arrest in Rome. End of story? No. That is where the book of Acts ends, but it is not the end of the story. There are enough biblical and historical hints floating around to allow us to reconstruct some of what happened next. As a result of such a reconstruction, perhaps we ought to start talking about Paul’s fourth missionary journey ...

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