Posts in Missions

Poverty Here, There, Everywhere

By Frederick Cardoza Jan. 9, 2017 9:00 a.m. Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Theology

Poverty. It is no respecter of persons. It is a global reality that exists in Calcutta and Compton; Tokyo and Timbuktu; San Francisco and São Paulo. Poverty is seen in nations and neighborhoods. It ravages urban, suburban, and rural areas. And despite the enormous wealth of some areas, make no mistake: poor people reside in Beverly Hills, Dubai, and Midtown Manhattan. Destitution is not limited to places like Dhaka and Detroit. Quite simply, there are examples of poverty everywhere. That isn’t to say poverty is equally distributed or equally affecting. In some areas poverty is more relative and sporadic. In other places, it seems absolute ...

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Is God a Respecter of Businesses? Yes, No, and Yes

By Mark Saucy Dec. 16, 2016 9:00 a.m. Culture, Ethics, Missions, Theology

One of the benefits of being part of a Christian university is the opportunity for collaboration with colleagues across the disciplines. For theologians this is gold. Questions for integration of faith in science, history, politics, or psychology? I’ve got specialists across campus, all with the same mission, who have been thinking about such things for a long time. One recent opportunity in this direction was participating a colloquium with the faculty of Biola’s Crowell School of Business. Among many topics opened that day, one in particular has haunted me these days in the interim. It was a question that revolved around a start-up competition the Business School sponsors. Students are encouraged to submit business plans for the hope of some start up seed money to launch. But what should be the criteria for judging “better” proposals? Beyond certain received best practices for the business side, does God prefer some business plans to others? Following is my original Yes and No answer to the question; what comes after is now another rather late Yes for the conversation. God does prefer some businesses to others ...

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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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7 Reasons You Might Be Struggling to Love Muslims

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 22, 2016 9:00 a.m. Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Spiritual Formation

Following are seven reasons you might be struggling to love Muslims. The seventh reason is probably the most important ...

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Should a Church Sing (American) Patriotic Songs During Its Worship Services?

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 4, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership, Missions

I was serving as a worship pastor in a church in one of New York City’s suburbs when the attacks of September 11, 2001 were launched. Soon after the attacks, a small contingent of vocal church members began to demand that we start to sing American patriotic songs during our worship services. That suggestion didn’t sit well with me so I began trying to work through some of the relevant theological and practical questions one by one. I wrote these questions and answers on September 29, 2001, only 18 days after the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City. The following is by no means the final word on the question, but it might provide categories you can use to think through this subject for yourself ...

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A Different Kind of Love Song

By Kenneth Berding Jun. 28, 2016 7:00 a.m. Marriage and Family, Missions, Spiritual Formation

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. Thirty years ago I vowed faithfulness, friendship, and my entire future to Trudi Lynn Wilson. Apart from following Christ, it was the best decision I ever made. Trudi has shown more love, compassion, and grace than I could have ever hoped for, and far more than I deserve. She has willingly tramped all over the world with me, setting up home, family, and ministry in Portland, Berlin, two cities in Turkey, Los Angeles twice, Philadelphia, and New York. But this post isn’t a veiled attempt to get you to send notes of congratulation (though gifts are welcome). I decided today might be a good day to share a song I wrote for Trudi about five years into our marriage ...

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Underutilized Resources

By Dave Keehn Jun. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Theology

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

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