Posts in Theology

Responding to Objections with Truth and Love

By Dave Keehn Aug. 31, 2015 9:45 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, New Testament, Theology

As a parent, my favorite word to say is “yes.” Saying this word puts me in a favorable position with my children. The look of joy on their faces when I say “yes” compels me to say it more and more. I even struggle saying “yes” when I know it would be wiser to say “no” due to budget restraints (“yes, take my last $20”), or health concerns (“yes, eat the whole gallon of ice cream”), or just common sense (“yes, you can play in the street”). My children expect a “yes” when they ask because I love saying “yes” so often. So when I say “no” they are surprised by my objections to their request. However, my disapproving “no” is just as loving as my “yes,” and many times it is a much more compassionate response ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #11: What About All the Hypocrites?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 27, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I think I’ll never find a church I can take my family to.

Jim: WHY NOT?!

Michael: There’s just too much hypocrisy!

Jim: I have to agree with you there.

Michael: (not listening to Jim’s answer) … I know it’s hard for you to hear this, since you’re in the ministry and everything … (all of a sudden catching on) … did you say you agree?!

Jim: Of course I do ...

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Social Justice in Amos

By Tom Finley Aug. 26, 2015 10:45 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Old Testament, Theology

Amos has much to say about oppression and the plight of the poor in Israel, so it is only natural that his book has become a focal point for discussions about social justice.[1] At least three aspects of the issue dealt with by Amos concern the nature of God, the role of the individual, and the role of the social system ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #10: Christians in the World: A Triumphal Church or a Persecuted Minority?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 25, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I admire your courage. But I still think that what you’re trying to do is almost impossible.

Jim: That’s one of the reasons we’re trying it. God is the one who makes the impossible possible. What do you think, Michael? Is the church a triumphant church, or are we just a band of persecuted idealists?

Michael: In your case I’d say that you look more like a group of persecuted idealists. At the same time, the church does seem to be making strides in many places in the world ...

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From Slave to Queen to Nun: Advancing the Kingdom of God Through Vocation

By Joy Mosbarger Aug. 24, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Spiritual Formation, Theology

For many of us who are not pastors or missionaries, integrating our walks of faith and our vocational callings can be a challenge. Throughout church history, there have been some remarkable men and women who have excelled at meeting this challenge. One such example lived in the early centuries of the church. Her name was Bathild (c. 630-c.680), and she found herself in various vocational situations at different stages in her life. In each of those situations, she found opportunities to be a blessing to others and to advance the kingdom of God ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #9: Do We Make Decisions through Wisdom or Guidance?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 20, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: The issue, as I see it, is this: Are we supposed to make decisions according to wisdom or should we look for special guidance from God?

Michael: That’s the question.

Jim: Proverbs tells us that we’re supposed to seek after wisdom in every area of life.[1]

Michael: So wisdom is obviously important.

Jim: Definitely. But Paul describes the believer as one “led by the Spirit.”[2] This description may be broader than simply the internal processes in decision-making, but also probably includes those as well. The Bible also presents many examples of God giving specific guidance to individuals for specific situations by various means ...

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Questions Over Breakfast #8: How Do You Know If You’re Doing Okay in Your Spiritual Life?

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 18, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: How do you know things are going well? How do you know you’re not actually doing badly in your walk with God and that you just don’t realize it?

Jim: What kind of question is that?

Michael: A question to frustrate you.

Jim: Thanks ...

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