Posts in Church Life

The Six “R”s of Prayer

By Dave Talley Dec. 9, 2016 12:00 p.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

I have grown in prayer through the years, although there have been numerous ups and downs. As a result, there are certain practices that have helped me. I want to share one of them with you today, and perhaps add another in a later blog post ...

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Problem Passages in The Message

By Gary Manning Jr Nov. 29, 2016 3:05 p.m. Church Life, New Testament

My friend Ken Berding wrote a recent blog post explaining his concerns about using The Message. As he pointed out, people often treat it as a Bible translation, when it is actually a very loose paraphrase. One of Ken’s observations is that The Message routinely adds meaning to or subtracts meaning from the original Greek and Hebrew text. While doing detailed work in the Greek New Testament and in several English translations, I have repeatedly found this to be true.

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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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Dar gracias en todo

By Octavio Esqueda Nov. 7, 2016 10:51 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership

En los próximos días terminará la campaña electoral para elegir al nuevo presidente de los Estados Unidos. Puede ser que cuando lea estas líneas estemos a pocas horas de las elecciones o quizá las votaciones ya hayan terminado. Independientemente del que resulte ganador, los últimos meses han sido muy pesados y el ambiente social demasiado tenso en todos los sentidos. Expresiones de desaliento, frustración o hartazgo se convirtieron en el común denominador para muchas personas que ven con alivio el fin de la larga carrera presidencial.

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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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¡Todos Somos Pobres!

By Octavio Esqueda Aug. 24, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture

“Todos somos Marcos” se convirtió en una popular frase en México y en muchos lugares del mundo. El primero de enero de 1994 el denominado Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional inició una lucha armada en el estado de Chiapas en el sur de México. El subcomandante Marcos era el líder de este movimiento que buscaba justicia, trabajo justo y equitativo entre otras demandas básicas. El subcomandante Marcos se convirtió en  un personaje carismático y enigmático porque tenía un pasamontañas que cubría su identidad. Para protegerlo y para identificarse con las demandas de este movimiento muchas personas empezaron a decir “todos somos Marcos” y de esta manera borrar las diferencias entre esta persona y ellos mismos ...

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The Call to Love Thy Neighbor: Promoting True Human Flourishing in a Consumer Society

By Karin Stetina Jul. 18, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

In Scripture God bids us to “love our neighbor” no fewer than eleven times. Yet centuries later the church still struggles with its calling to do so. From the pulpit to the pew, Christians interpret this command in a variety of ways. In his book Word vs. Deed, Dr. Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, addresses this struggle writing, “The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and preaching the gospel is inherently a verbal behavior. If the gospel is to be preached at all, it must be put into words” (20). Though this is not a new topic in theology, the Evangelical church in the West is seeing the urgent necessity to find the balance between word and deed in the dynamic culture of the 21st century. The church is more aware than ever of the pressing needs of the world. Technology has given us unprecedented access to seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that exist worldwide. On our smart phones and computers we can watch natural disasters destroy cities and wars and violence destroy lives. While knowledge of the needs of the world is growing, there is a great necessity to understand how the church is to respond. What is the biblical view of how the church is to care for others, particularly in light of the growing awareness of the pressing needs both near and far? ...

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