Point Loma Nazarene University

Last weekend (Friday evening, Saturday) I was at Point Loma Nazarene University in glorious San Diego for a spiritual retreat for students. This wasn’t my first time at Point Loma but that didn’t stop us from being stunned by the beauty of that campus overlooking the Pacific on the hills of Point Loma peninsula. So thanks to Mary Paul and Melanie Wolf (and recently departed Mark Carter) for the kind invitation; Kris and I loved it.

Chapel was my first stop where I “gospeled” on the King Jesus gospel project I’ve discussed here many times. It is always a delight to talk to college students and, now that I’ve moved to Northern Seminary, getting to be with college students was even more significant to me. We had a great lunch discussion with some student leaders, leading to a relaxing afternoon… so I could be ready for the retreat on campus.

We spent our afternoon on the beach at The Del (Hotel del Coronado), walking and basking in the beauty of the Pacific. (Saturday afternoon we walked the boardwalk/walk on Shelter Island, punctuated as it was by the occasional pergola decked out in bougainvillea.) Ah, San Diego, we love ya.

The focus was spiritual disciplines, and that led to three separate sessions and conversations: Friday evening on the Jesus Creed as a recited prayer that can shape our day; Saturday morning on the value of learning how to pray (and pray better) through the use of prayer books, beginning with the Psalms and then on to the various prayer books in the church; and then our closing session was on fasting, where I have a general policy that I discourage anyone — especially young adults — from fasting until they have been given clearance by a medical professional. Yes, I have a book on each topic – The Jesus Creed and Praying with the Church and Fasting — so it was an especially intense time for me as I sought to bring out the essential ideas of each project for the students.

Great questions and conversation with those PLNU students.

Now our thanks to Mary and Melanie, and then to Melanie and Phil for taking us out for a wonderful dinner at Buon Appetito in San Diego … and to the whole PLNU community for its education and focus on discipleship. I’m a fan of the Nazarene movement and so this was a good time for me to be with them again.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • RJS

    Sounds like a great weekend and a great retreat.

  • James Petticrew

    Glad you are a “fan” :-)

  • Jeff

    The Nazarenes are one of the few Evangelicals to not hold to inerrancy which is a good thing. I would be a member but their beliefs on the Spirit are odd –

    From their website – “We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.

    It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service.

    Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.

    This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect love,” “heart purity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.”

    I am confused. Entire santification is provided by the blood of Jesus but is still separate from our salvation which is also by the blood and is called “heart purity”, but then later they say that having a pure heart is not the same as having a mature character. Is your head spinning yet?


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