Posts in Spiritual Formation

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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Is Satan Real?

By Clint Arnold Oct. 31, 2016 6:00 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

This was a question posed to me by NBC News reporter John Larson a few years ago.  The interview was part of a Dateline episode that explored the topic of Satan, evil spirits, and supernatural evil.  As often happens in the editorial process, only a small portion of the 45-minute interview was included in the show.  I thought I would share a more complete account of the interview.

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Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 19, 2016 3:21 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen.  Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well:  “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.”  The one who walks in the Spirit will not give in to the desires of the flesh.  Walking in the Spirit and carrying out the desires of the flesh are mutually exclusive ideas; you cannot do one at the same time as you engage in the other.

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Is the Bible Clear?

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 8, 2016 1:46 p.m. Apologetics, Culture, New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he had started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from his own, he became increasingly unsure about whether the Bible on its own was clear in what it taught. He was considering changing to a church tradition that could interpret the Bible for him. Since, in his thinking, we can’t be certain what the Bible actually means when we read it, we need an authoritative guide. Let me assure you, there are people out there who will gladly tell you what the Bible means if that’s what you want!

Another conversation with a different student also comes to mind. She wasn’t sure whether she could really give herself to Christ in faith because she didn’t know if the message of the gospel was actually true. But the more we talked together, the more I realized that she wasn’t struggling with which truth claims were correct and which were false; she was struggling with whether anyone could know something was true at all. So whenever I appealed to the Bible I didn’t get any traction in our discussion because she didn’t think we could actually come to know truth through a written text.

Both of these students were struggling with whether the Bible was clear.

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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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Epic Failure: My Biggest Evangelism Mistake

By Sean McDowell Aug. 10, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Evangelism, Spiritual Formation

During a trip to Breckenridge, a beautiful ski town in the mountains of Colorado, a friend and I decided to get our hair cut at one of the little shops downtown. As we waited our turn, I read another chapter of the book I had brought along with me, a book whose title clearly indicated my interest in spiritual things ...

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Pokémon Go and Jesus

By Steve Porter Jul. 28, 2016 12:15 p.m. Culture, Spiritual Formation

By now, most of us know about the Pokémon GO craze. My son downloaded the app on my cell phone the week it came out and while I don’t play much, I understand enough of the game to capture Pokémon and cash in on the rewards dished out at PokéStops (for the uninitiated, Pokémon are monsters of various species that appear on the game display based on where players are physically located and PokéStops are places where players can collect needed items—thus, people play this game on the move). So, the other day while on a prayer walk in a local park, I had my Bible app open to Colossians 3 and my son’s Pokémon GO app open as well. It turns out that parks are fruitful places for capturing Pokémon.

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