Posts in Christian Education

Questions Over Breakfast #12: Can One Person Change the World?

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 1, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim comes to a close:

Michael: But what if it doesn’t happen the way I hope? What if I set out on a course of action and my impact turns out to be minimal?

Jim: I don’t believe that anyone who lives a life of whole devotion to God will only have minimal impact. But it’s not until eternity that we will be able to see all that has occurred through our lives. In other words, we don’t always see fully now. But, let’s say that you really don’t make an impact; you can’t even see a dent. Even then, you’ve lived life according to the purpose for which you were created, and that can never be called an empty life.

Michael: But if your ministry is unsuccessful, you haven’t succeeded.

Jim: Not necessarily ...

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Responding to Objections with Truth and Love

By Dave Keehn Aug. 31, 2015 9:45 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, New Testament, Theology

As a parent, my favorite word to say is “yes.” Saying this word puts me in a favorable position with my children. The look of joy on their faces when I say “yes” compels me to say it more and more. I even struggle saying “yes” when I know it would be wiser to say “no” due to budget restraints (“yes, take my last $20”), or health concerns (“yes, eat the whole gallon of ice cream”), or just common sense (“yes, you can play in the street”). My children expect a “yes” when they ask because I love saying “yes” so often. So when I say “no” they are surprised by my objections to their request. However, my disapproving “no” is just as loving as my “yes,” and many times it is a much more compassionate response ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #11: What About All the Hypocrites?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 27, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I think I’ll never find a church I can take my family to.

Jim: WHY NOT?!

Michael: There’s just too much hypocrisy!

Jim: I have to agree with you there.

Michael: (not listening to Jim’s answer) … I know it’s hard for you to hear this, since you’re in the ministry and everything … (all of a sudden catching on) … did you say you agree?!

Jim: Of course I do ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #10: Christians in the World: A Triumphal Church or a Persecuted Minority?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 25, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I admire your courage. But I still think that what you’re trying to do is almost impossible.

Jim: That’s one of the reasons we’re trying it. God is the one who makes the impossible possible. What do you think, Michael? Is the church a triumphant church, or are we just a band of persecuted idealists?

Michael: In your case I’d say that you look more like a group of persecuted idealists. At the same time, the church does seem to be making strides in many places in the world ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #9: Do We Make Decisions through Wisdom or Guidance?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 20, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: The issue, as I see it, is this: Are we supposed to make decisions according to wisdom or should we look for special guidance from God?

Michael: That’s the question.

Jim: Proverbs tells us that we’re supposed to seek after wisdom in every area of life.[1]

Michael: So wisdom is obviously important.

Jim: Definitely. But Paul describes the believer as one “led by the Spirit.”[2] This description may be broader than simply the internal processes in decision-making, but also probably includes those as well. The Bible also presents many examples of God giving specific guidance to individuals for specific situations by various means ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #8: How Do You Know If You’re Doing Okay in Your Spiritual Life?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 18, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: How do you know things are going well? How do you know you’re not actually doing badly in your walk with God and that you just don’t realize it?

Jim: What kind of question is that?

Michael: A question to frustrate you.

Jim: Thanks ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #7: Are Self-Disciplined People More Spiritual?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 13, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: Even in areas of sin, simple confession is often not enough to rid you of the habit that has been formed through patterns of sin. Sin has two main dimensions, the rebellion side and the habit side. Rebellion is dealt with through confession. Ungodly habits are usually eliminated by putting good habits in their place. And the only way to develop permanent good habits is by implementing self-discipline.

Michael: (looking frustrated) By raising the issue of discipline, you’ve really hit a sensitive nerve with me. I’ve heard countless messages on self-discipline and am extremely uncomfortable whenever I hear them. Is a disciplined person like you more spiritual than a lazy bum like me? ...

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