Klaus Issler

Learning from Jesus’ Example About Our Emotions and a Way to Resolve Conflict

By Klaus Issler Jul. 20, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

One early evening at six, my wife Beth’s brief comment—"Remember, I'll be needing the car at seven tonight"—suddenly stirred up my inner parts and brought about an energized outburst. I yelled, "You didn't bring this up when we were coordinating our schedules last Saturday!" Where is all that unexpected display of energy and irritation coming from? Why would I react so strongly to that comment? Various factors contributed to this surprising flare-up. I would have to rearrange my schedule and thus not make progress on an important project I was working on. Coupled with a few other similar setbacks earlier in the week unrelated to Beth's involvement, this schedule change had finally set me off ...

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An Orientation to Four Pervading Themes of the Christian Life from Dallas Willard

By Klaus Issler Mar. 9, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

Dallas Willard (1936-2013) has been one of the key evangelical interpreters and provocateurs regarding the important doctrine of formation into Christlikeness. Willard was professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California and a former Southern Baptist pastor. Sometimes due to Willard's spearheading the importance of spiritual practices among Protestants, he is viewed as having said little else on the topic of Christian formation (Richard Foster claimed that Willard was his mentor on that particular subject, in the acknowledgement section of Foster’s classic book, Celebration of Discipline, HarperSan Francisco, 1978). But there is much more. ... Four pervading themes in Willard’s writings on Christian formation are briefly developed below, mainly with quotations from Willard.

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Closing the Sunday-Monday Gap: Recognizing the Importance of Our Work Life as Christians

By Klaus Issler Feb. 26, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Christians desire guidance for how to integrate their God life with their work life—especially those in the business sector. “Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31, NIV). Listed below are three insightful perspectives on this issue. The first two frameworks overlap in some ways, but they also bring out distinctive contributions, and offer particular guidance to help close the Sunday-Monday gap. Some may tend to compartmentalize work life as a second class necessity, and that the real action of Christian living takes place within the church facilities. We want to bring our whole life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, on Sunday and the rest of the week.

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The Christmas Story that Didn’t Happen

By Klaus Issler Dec. 19, 2012 1:56 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

The Christmas story is about Jesus being born into the family of Mary and Joseph. Have you ever considered what other options there were for which type of family Jesus could have been born into? We could explore these possibilities by asking, “What early life experiences do we think could best prepare Jesus for his later public ministry?”  Let me suggest a context for this kind of musing. Imagine you were invited to observe that special planning session in eternity past when the Godhead considered creating this world and mapping out a plan for our redemption. Of course this couldn’t happen, but pretend this divine session was like one of our committee meetings. The topic on “today’s” agenda is  “What is the best early life experience preparation for Jesus to be formed for his distinctive divine-human role as Messiah and Savior of the world?”

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Six Favorite Movies About Jesus

By Klaus Issler Feb. 28, 2012 2:32 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

Cinematic portrayals of Biblical stories can be a helpful means to encourage our Christian walk. Especially is this the case for me when I watch a movie about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Of course, not everything in a film will be theologically accurate—but no film can accomplish that task.  A movie is the director’s and actors’ interpretation of the Gospel events. I have appreciated the following six movies about Jesus. There are sections in each film that touch me deeply and nurture deeper appreciation and love for our Lord.  Perhaps one or more of these films will benefit you in the same way.

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