Archives for October 2013

Issues Worth Addressing in Youth Groups

From Aaron Crumbey: 1. Bullying: (Source: – Bullying is still prevalent as it has always been, but with social media it has increased. Now students can be bullied 24 hours around the clock. 91% admit to being a victim of bullying. 2. Texting and Social Media: (Source: – 57% of teens credit their mobile device with [Read More…]

Reading the Old Testament (RJS)

There was an interesting and often enlightening, occasionally frustrating, conversation on my post Tuesday Should Reading the Bible Make One an Atheist? A number of people agreed with Jillette, at least partially … especially with regard to the Old Testament. Jillette characterized it as tribal. One of the commenters noted that “it is tedious, tribal, [Read More…]

Monotheism in a Christian Framework: NT Wright

At the heart of Paul’s theology is classic Jewish monotheism (not so much later philosophical and theological monotheism), and NT Wright opens with a sketch of Jewish monotheism and then shows how Paul reframes Jewish monotheism. First Century Jewish Monotheism Wright begins with Akiba being martyred, and in the act of dying reciting Shema as [Read More…]

Gentling of Ambition

By Michelle van Loon: Have your ambitions “gentled” over time? How so? What have you learned about those old ambitions? I was in a room with a bunch of young pastors-in-training, and commented to a friend that I could feel the testosterone in the air even though there were a number of women present. “That’s [Read More…]

Calvin vs. Wesley on the Church

“The root of ignorance,” Don Thorsen says, “is ‘ignoring,’ and too many Christians intentionally ignore the beliefs, values, and practices of others, including those of other Christians and churches” (Calvin vs. Wesley: Bringing Belief in Line with Practice, 89). On this Thorsen is not only right but a model of its opposite: he patiently explains [Read More…]

Thom Rainer’s 5 Stages of Pastoral Ministry

Thom Rainer: Though I have attempted to name the stages in the past, I offer in this article the “why” behind each stage. Year 1: Honeymoon. Both pastor and church have a blank slate and they enter the relationship hoping and believing the best about each other. Perhaps the pastor was weary of his previous pastorate, [Read More…]

Sleeping Through the Night

What have you done to sleep through the whole night? Kris is now trying tart cherry juice, something she read about and it seems to help a bit. When I awake and know “I’m not going back to sleep real soon,” my trick is to stand near a favorite green on a golf course and [Read More…]

Should Reading the Bible Make One an Atheist? (RJS)

Over the last few weeks I have put up links to a couple of videos placed on YouTube by Big Think. The video of Francis Collins on science and faith has received something like 12,000 views on YouTube, the video of Tim Keller on a literal reading of scripture 15,000. In contrast the following video [Read More…]

From Worldview to Theology, NT Wright

From Worldview to Theology NT Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, volume 2, opens up with a sketch of his plan, which I will sketch briefly before we get to Wright’s own proposal: Paul’s theology is thoroughly Jewish from top to bottom, and it therefore revolved around three major themes: Monotheism: God is [Read More…]

Women’s Ministries: Halee Gray Scott

From Halee Gray Scott, a salvo: This week, I received a third announcement about your ministry. Well, maybe not specifically your ministry, but from three different women from three different churches in three different denominations who run the women’s ministry exactly like you. The first was a notification that you designed a ministry especially for [Read More…]