Posts in Spiritual Formation

Hunger for Sacred Community, Part 1: Assessing the Health of Our Souls

By Joanne Jung Nov. 21, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Spiritual Formation

It is a sad but accurate appraisal that in our contemporary society we are held captive by television viewing, commercials, and the Internet. We are victims of a repertoire of fast-food menus, instant gratification, and overcrowded, conflicting, and unrelenting schedules. This entertainment-soaked culture, wrestling with boredom, thrills, and materialism, has contributed to the sensory overload common to urban life. Our addiction to and with information technology with its online connections, news and internet communication, websites, blogs, and streaming (to name a few) exacerbates the preexisting flood of intruding must-haves and must-dos that demand our time, attention, affections, and devotion ...

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Church Shootings and Grieving Not as Those Without Hope: Public Space, Safety, Security, and Church

By Andy Draycott Nov. 6, 2017 4:48 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Then Charlottesville, now Sutherland Springs. In contemporary America. Islamabad. Cairo. Worshippers gathered together are met with unprovoked lethal violence. And we mourn. We mourn as fellow humans, we grieve as fellow believers, we mourn as a world-wide church. We grieve as those who hope in the resurrection of the dead assured by our anointed King and Savior Jesus who will come again to establish righteousness and equity through judgment ...

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Grieving Like God

By Betsy Barber Oct. 24, 2017 12:00 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation

When my father died, I grieved. My father died on a Sunday morning, early. His hospital roommate told us that Dad had spent his last night—the whole night—praying softly for his family, person by person, before dying peacefully in the early morning. Even though we’d known that he would die soon from bone cancer, and knew that he was eager to be home with the Lord, it was still a shock. It was still too soon.

Death is like that: it always surprises us and it interrupts our lives. We stop, and we grieve.

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Holes in the Ground: Trials and the Christian Life

By Steve Porter Oct. 19, 2017 11:30 a.m. Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

I just returned from visiting a hole. The last time I met this hole in the ground was twenty-two years ago. I was in my mid-20s and probably in the best shape of my life. I was just beginning my daily 5-mile run and, if I remember right, I was feeling great about myself. I was young, healthy, thriving. As I ran through La Mirada Regional Park in the prime of my life there was a little 6 inches long by 3 inches wide hole under some pine needles up ahead. My foot found the hole or perhaps the hole found my foot and in a fraction of a second I went from a vigorous young man to a pathetic young man, lying on the ground, writhing in pain. As I hobbled back to my house, barely able to walk on my freshly sprained ankle, I found myself keenly aware of how incredibly fragile and vulnerable I was. Of course, the truth was that I was that fragile and vulnerable seconds before the hole, but it took the hole to bring that ever-present reality into awareness. I was painfully right-sized ...

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“Cut and Paste” Biblical Living

By Dave Talley Sep. 20, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Spiritual Formation, Theology

There is no end of opportunities to be blessed with the teaching and preaching of God’s word. Great preachers can be heard on the radio. Podcasts can be automatically downloaded to our phones or iPads. The teaching of God’s word is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on cable television networks. Christian bookstores are full of books by the greatest authors of our day. Electronic books can be carried with us everywhere with ease. Churches have program after program geared toward teaching God’s word, not to mention a worship service every week, which includes a Bible-based sermon. From the cradle to the grave, opportunities abound ...

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Sophomore Syndrome

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 14, 2017 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

About ten years ago, some of my fellow professors and I began to observe a trend among undergraduate Biblical & Theological Studies majors at Biola. We noticed that freshman students arrived on campus eager and ready to learn, but at some point during their sophomore year, these Biblical Studies majors became aware that on average they generally knew more theology than did the average Biola student ...

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What is the Core Reason Kids Leave the Faith?

By Sean McDowell Sep. 11, 2017 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Church Life, Marriage and Family, Spiritual Formation

There has been a lot of discussion recently about why kids leave the faith. People have rightly drawn attention to the role of poor theology, the importance of kids owning their faith, the significance of intellectual issues such as the apparent tension between science and religion, and more.

But there seems to be a core issue that is often overlooked—to develop a lasting faith, kids need to grasp their need for God. Let me explain ...

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