Kenneth Berding

Speaking in Tongues in Church

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 11, 2017 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Theology

A few years ago I received an email from a former student (now a young pastor) asking some questions about speaking in tongues during corporate worship. Let me excerpt his e-mail and then include my reply (with his permission):

Dr. Berding, I am emailing you because I have a question about ‘service of worship’ for the church. Recently I have taken upon myself to work out some position papers on where I stand on a few ecclesiology topics. I have spent time reading from Horton, Grudem, Bloesch, and some of Clowney's works on ecclesiology. However, recently at our corporate worship one of the elders prayed in tongues and this was followed by what appeared to be an interpretation. As I have been reading through these books and wrestling with scripture, I have come to wonder if tongues plays a role in corporate worship or not ...

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What Pliny the Younger Learned When He Interrogated Christians (ca. A.D. 110)

By Kenneth Berding Jun. 15, 2017 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Evangelism, New Testament, Historical Theology

For many years I have been curious about a Roman governor known to us from history as Pliny the Younger. My interest initially arose because I resided for four years in one of the principal cities he governed—not to mention that one of my four daughters was born in that city. Moreover, since I have expended significant effort studying the writings of the earliest Christian authors after the period of the apostles (those authors known as the “Apostolic Fathers”), I continue to be intensely interested in learning anything I possibly can about the lives of Christians who lived during the first half of the second century ...

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How to Remain a Truly Christian University

By Kenneth Berding Jun. 6, 2017 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership, Historical Theology

I just finished reading Owen Strachan’s book, Awakening the Evangelical Mind: An Intellectual History of the Neo-Evangelical Movement. He has some good words for how to keep evangelical universities, well … evangelical. These three paragraphs are worth the three minutes it will take you to read them ...

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Why So Many Metaphors for the Holy Spirit?

By Kenneth Berding Apr. 27, 2017 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Why does the Bible use so many metaphors and analogies to describe the Spirit’s activities and our relationship to those activities? Why not employ concrete language to teach us what we need to know about the Holy Spirit and our relationship to him? ...

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It Must Have Been So Painful

By Kenneth Berding Apr. 3, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation

Have you ever experienced pain from someone you deeply love? I have. Few things in life are harder. The hurt penetrates even deeper when the person who has spurned you also turns his back on the Lord. Following is a list I drew up in my journal some time ago during a period when I was facing rejection from someone I deeply loved. This list helped me remember that there are examples in the Bible of others before me who experienced relational pain from close family members, friends, or mentees, but who continued to look to the Lord in the midst of their sorrow ...

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Biblical Necessities? or Theological Explanations?

By Kenneth Berding Mar. 16, 2017 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Philosophy, Theology

In recent years, I have been helped in my study of the Bible by employing an informal distinction between “biblical necessities” and “theological explanations.” Of all the classes I teach at Talbot/Biola, this distinction has been most helpful to students taking a class I teach called Pauline Theology: Romans. Since some of my students have benefitted from this distinction, I thought you might appreciate reading about it today.

A biblical necessity is a truth that you find yourself compelled to affirm after a careful reading of Scripture that pays attention to the appropriate literary, historical, and canonical contexts. You may not know how to explain all the what-abouts of the subject, but you cannot get around the fact that this particular teaching seems clearly supported by Scripture. The thing that you must affirm after a careful and contextual reading of Scripture is a biblical necessity ...

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How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

By Kenneth Berding Feb. 6, 2017 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Actually, there are lots of ways to kill a prayer meeting. Display bitterness or hostility to someone just before you start praying; that’s sure to do the job. Or thoughtlessly rush into a prayer meeting, without any spiritual preparation, cracking jokes up until the moment you bow your head. That, too, has a good chance of killing a prayer meeting ...

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