Posts in Spiritual Formation

Using a Daily Devotional Book

By William Lane Craig Jul. 14, 2017 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Spiritual Formation

Dr. Craig,

I have noticed something that troubles me while surveying common devotional books and guides that many Christians rely on in their daily lives. I have noticed that a common template for your average devotional tends to quote a Bible passage but then follows it with a well-meaning anecdote, or inspirational messages that are vaguely relevant to the quoted passage, or sometimes even trite aphorisms re-packaged with Christian overtones ...

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A Lesson from the Last Moments of Jesus’ Life, Luke 22-23

By Dave Talley Jul. 5, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

Overall point: The major battle we face in this life is not what is seen, but what is not seen—Satan is intensely and intentionally opposed to what God is doing. AND the greatest defense we have is not our offense, but rather our dependence. Jesus is prayerful and successful; the disciples are prayerless and careless ...

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Can There Be Forgiveness Without Repentance? Part 2

By John McKinley Jun. 28, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

In Part 1, I observed that Christian forgiveness includes several conditions leading to reconciliation of a relationship that was violated by one person sinning against another. Jesus’ commands that the person wronged must “show him his fault” (Matt 18:15) as the first condition, to be followed by his repentance, and then we may respond by forgiving him. Common Christian talk about forgiveness tends not to include the necessity of repentance; consequently, many Christians attempt forgiveness and yet fail to live in it. Along with this claim that repentance is necessary to forgiveness, I am aware of the need for at least four caveats ...

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Can There Be Forgiveness Without Repentance? Part 1

By John McKinley Jun. 21, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

The problem I notice is that many times Christians have ongoing difficulty in forgiving those who have wronged them. The strain may go on for many years even as they keep trying to forgive. They frequently assume that there is something wrong with them as being hardhearted and otherwise unloving. They fault themselves for not being able to forgive others. Perhaps these unforgiving Christians are trying to do something that God has not called them to do. Perhaps one-sided forgiveness is actually impossible in the absence of a necessary condition for forgiveness ...

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5 Game-Changing Books to Read this Summer

By Sean McDowell Jun. 8, 2017 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

love reading. And what better time is there to read than summer? While there are certainly plenty of good books to read, here are five of my personal favorites. While they tend to be in the category of apologetics and culture, these books were all “game changers” for me that either led me to act or see the world differently ...

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Dualism, Non-Reductive Physicalism, and the Spiritualization of Death

By Steve Porter May. 30, 2017 9:00 a.m. Culture, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Recently I was in discussion with a friend who was concerned about the tendency of some Christians to spiritualize death and dying by appeal to the afterlife. To “spiritualize” death and dying is to utilize spiritual beliefs to avoid dealing with unwanted feelings over the loss of a loved one. “I just try to think of how happy she is with Jesus.” “When we see him again in heaven it will seem like no time has passed.” “I am just glad she’s finally at rest in Jesus’ arms.” To spiritualize death and dying in these and other ways is a defense mechanism. It is a way to defend against experiencing some painful part of reality as it actually is ...

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El Pecado de la Adicción al Trabajo

By Octavio Esqueda May. 29, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Cada vez estoy más convencido que ser un “trabajador obsesivo” es la adicción más común entre las personas que están en el ministerio cristiano. Evidentemente esta condición se presenta entre todas las personas sin importar su ocupación o religiosidad. De hecho en inglés el término “workaholic” ya forma parte del vocabulario común ya que representa una realidad cada vez más presente en nuestras sociedades. Pero es fácil convertirse en un trabajador obsesivo y disfrazar esta situación con piedad y buenas intenciones. De la misma manera es muy atractivo sumergirse en el trabajo y echarle la culpa a Dios o a la obra de Dios como excusa por esta situación ...

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