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 to practical and homiletical studies, but not all ministers need as intense preparation for each facet of ministry. Some focus on teaching while others focus on the more personal and formative d … [Read More...]

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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 statement usually spoken in buildings that are not required to pay property tax because they are deemed by the government to be religious buildings. And those non-property taxed buildings are usually paid … [Read More...]

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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 affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both bod … [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...]

Book Launch: Some Photos

Sharing God's Love - The Jesus Creed for Children launched on Thursday evening. Laura and I are grateful for the excitement and support from friends and family. Ruth Grigson, owner of Carol and Company in Barrington, IL ( hosted the celebration at her bou … [Read More...]

What John Said

What John Ortberg said:I was struck, too, by the language quoted in news reports yesterday to describe this situation. The pastor, the board said, had been guilty of arrogance—along with other attitudes and behaviors associated with arrogance. But had not been charged with “immorality.” When did … [Read More...]

Almighty and everlasting God…

Almighty and everlasting God:In Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations:Preserve the works of your mercy,That your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name.Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with … [Read More...]

Laura’s Book #1!

Laura's book Sharing God's Love hit #1 for Amazon's books for Children's Christian Ministry!Thanks to all who are spreading the word for her.Thanks to Ruth at Carol & Company for hosting the book launch. … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 18 October 2014

A church of many colors? The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said that Sunday at 11 a.m. was the most segregated hour in America. Today, pastors like Mr. Beard are working to change that, with some success. The proportion of churches in the U.S. with mixed-race congregations—where no single g … [Read More...]

A Pastor and Energizing Prayer (John Frye)

By John Frye:A charming mechanical bunny beating a bass drum crosses our TV screen. Known affectionately as the “energizer bunny,” it is hawking long-lasting batteries that have more energy than the competitors. What gives long-lasting energy to prayer?Scot McKnight makes this observation: “A … [Read More...]

Listen to Her

From Arise newsletter, by: Adelita Garza is lead pastor of both the Spanish and English congregations at Puente de Vida(Bridge of Life) Church in Santa Paula, CA. She is passionate about seeing the lost come to Jesus and working toward the unity of the church. She received a BA in church leadership a … [Read More...]

Looking forward to Sharing God’s Love Launch

We are looking forward to tonight's book launch.At Carol & Company.In downtown Barrington.6:30-8pm.Here is an endorsement from Steve Argue:"Parents desiring to raise their children in the Christian faith instinctively want to help their children learn to love God and love … [Read More...]