To Whom Do You Preach?

Helmut Thielicke, perhaps Germany's post influential-in-America pastor-theologian of the 20th Century, when shuffled to an area for pastoring for which he was not prepared -- he was an academic sort who suddenly had to start communicating with more ordinary folk -- relates what he learned about preaching in that first experience: Even as early as my first attempts at preaching, I had a good feeling, and my enjoyment increased each time I mounted the pulpit. Gradually I also acquired a certain … [Read More...]

Northeastern Seminary and Kingdom Conspiracy

My recent travels have revolved around my new book Kingdom Conspiracy, including some of my speaking to the American Baptist pastors network of northern California (Growing Healthy Churches) and an event with the Churches of God, General Conference event at Winebrenner Seminary in Findlay OH. I have simply not had time to record observations about each event, so I offer some summary observations today.My most recent event was paired with Missio Alliance and Northeastern Seminary, and I have … [Read More...]

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Unanswered Prayer (John Frye)

This post is by John Frye. What John is talking about in this first paragraph was a long-time coming and I'm grateful to pastor after pastor who has helped me "get it." Thanks John.I have often felt in Scot McKnight’s writings that he has a genuine pastor’s heart. This is not to detract from his exceptional scholarship in Jesus studies and New Testament commentary. I believe his pastoral sensitivities enhance his calling as a scholar-professor-author. Portions of Scot’s Story of God Bible Com … [Read More...]

Reformation Revived in Disillusionment

At the heart of European Protestant theology's revolutionary developments in the 20th Century was the rediscovery of the transcendence of God that challenged and replaced the identification of historical processes and progressivism (liberal theology) with the ways of God. This theology challenged … [Read More...]

Coffee, Exercise, Caloric Intake

Ashley Mateo:The study basically simulated your average morning: a mug of coffee to wake up, a little gym time, another cup with breakfast, followed by lunch. Fourteen participants completed two moderate workouts on a stationary bike: one where they took caffeine (equal to two 8-ounce cups of c … [Read More...]

Jesus Creed: For the Whole Church

Some of you know our Jesus Creed project now can tap into all the major ages of church ministry: children, teens, adults, and a daily devotional, as well as Paraclete's fine production of a CD for Sunday School classes. Some 4000 churches have used one or more of these dimensions of the Jesus Creed. … [Read More...]

NOMA and Rocks of Ages (RJS)

A topic that comes up often in the discussion of science and religion is Stephen Jay Gould's concept of non-overlapping magisteria or NOMA. I've read many papers and books that refer to this principle - sometimes agreeing, more often  disagreeing significantly from both sides. There are those who … [Read More...]

When God Asks the Question

Have you ever pondered the many questions God asks people in the pages of the Bible? I mean questions from God (Father) or questions from Jesus? And the questions angels ask?Don Johnson, pastor of Montecito Covenant Church in Santa Barbara (tough location for that calling, ahem), has pored over … [Read More...]

Northern’s New MA in New Testament

Ministry in North America requires both preparation and experience and increasing number of ministers are deeply involved in experience and finding it nearly impossible to attend seminary full-time. A seminary curriculum focuses on the scope of the minister’s calling, from biblical and theological t … [Read More...]

Not Religion but a Relationship? (by Luke Norsworthy)

Jesus didn't come to start a religion. But if Jesus' coming hadn't started a religion you would've never heard of him. –Brian ZahndEvery time I hear a Christian say, “We aren’t religious, we just have a relationship with Jesus.”  I’m nauseated by the self-contradiction.We hear this trite stat … [Read More...]

The Bible’s Special Word about Singleness

In his opening editorial to Mutuality [Autumn 2014, p. 3], Tim Kruger cites this set of lines from the apostle Paul about singleness: I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the … [Read More...]

Northern’s New MATM (and MANT)

From Geoff Holsclaw and David Fitch:Leading a church in mission is difficult, requiring much more of pastors than the maintenance of activities. Beyond the ministry skills of preaching, teaching, counseling and evangelism, pastors need the skills of theological reflection, cultural analysis, and … [Read More...]

The Embrace of Evil (RJS)

Having explored the Old Testament view of God and of the nature of humanity in chapters 3 and 4, Iain Provan (Seriously Dangerous Religion) turns to the age old problem of evil and suffering in chapter 5. If there is a personal, benevolent God why do evil and suffering mark the world? Genesis 3 … [Read More...]

Rethinking “Youth” Ministry

What does it mean to "do theology" with youth? or in youth ministry? Andrew Root has been exploring this question for years and he points the way in today's post by showing how Bonhoeffer was a theological kind youth pastor. Not one who so much taught theological answers but one who introduced youth … [Read More...]

If They Ask for My Sermons, I’ll Give Them All to Them (Allan Bevere)

From my friend, Allan Bevere:In an unprecedented move, the city government of Houston, Texas has subpoenaed sermons preached by some pastors in Houston who have spoken out publicly against a recently passed city ordinance on equal rights.Sarah Pulliam Bailey for the Religion News Service w … [Read More...]

A Modest Plea for Coaches to Stay Pastors (by Geoff Holsclaw)

Geoff Holsclaw is my colleague at Northern Seminary, a fine young pastor and professor, and this post gets right to the heart of what I have myself been observing about too many young pastors -- leaving pastoring to become "coaches." Read and drop a comment.By Geoff Holsclaw, A Modest Plea for … [Read More...]

What does it mean to “Encounter” God?

Tim Keller, as we have noted in an earlier post, sees prayer as a conversation, but this conversation has a particular shape: God speaks in the Word (the Bible) and we respond in learning to communicate with God in light of that word-y revelation. Thus, Timothy Ward has shown that the words of God … [Read More...]