July 23, 2005

My son and his wife have a little Cairn terrier, named Slater (after the surfer), and that makes us, so they say, “grandparents of a grand-dog.” His favorite activity is to look out windows and give people and animals grief for invading his own territory. Our Bichon Frise finds him mildly entertaining. Lukas and Annika are hanging out at minor league ballparks in Florida, so Slater is with us now. He had to slow down to my sedate lifestyle of… Read more

July 23, 2005

In my 22 years of teaching I’ve had some students with great names, but #1 on that list is a student now: Lightning. Last night Lightning and Sarah invited Kris and me over for dinner and fellowship. They are planning — “plotting” would be a better term — on planting a church, and will both be pastors. We consider it a privilege to be involved in the lives of such students. Pray for them. Read more

July 23, 2005

Kingdom of God is Jesus’ favorite expression for his mission and his aim. But what does it mean?Scholars have gotten trapped into two boxes. First, many are preoccupied with the issue of time: did Jesus think the Kingdom was imminent, inaugurated, or entirely in the future? Far too often what that question of time is settled, kingdom is dropped. Second, others are trapped into thinking the kingdom of God is some kind of “experience” of the divine — as if… Read more

July 23, 2005

I have this week accepted two speaking engagements. One for the Civitas lectures at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, at a Conference called After Evangelicalism, where I will join a set of speakers. My topic, on late Friday afternoon, will be on the Emerging Movement.Also, in February, I will be speaking at the National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego on Feb 22-25. There I will host two workshops, one on the Jesus Creed and one on Embracing Grace. And, on… Read more

July 22, 2005

Stephen Shields pours gentle words all over the recent discussion with Australia. There’s a lot to learn here. Thanks Stephen. Read more

July 22, 2005

In this post on conversion, I want to look at the sixth dimension of conversion: consequences.The first five dimensions, which are not “steps” but dimensions that often are intertwined and dialectical — like any good relationship, are (1) context, (2) crisis, (3) quest, (4) encounter-interaction, (5) commitment, and (6) consequences.One of the issues that has vexed pastors and Christians leaders for centuries is the problem when Church members, believers by all appearances, have little visible consequence of Christian behavior in… Read more

July 22, 2005

In this post on conversion, I want to look at the sixth dimension of conversion: consequences.The first five dimensions, which are not “steps” but dimensions that often are intertwined and dialectical — like any good relationship, are (1) context, (2) crisis, (3) quest, (4) encounter-interaction, (5) commitment, and (6) consequences.One of the issues that has vexed pastors and Christians leaders for centuries is the problem when Church members, believers by all appearances, have little visible consequence of Christian behavior in… Read more

July 21, 2005

In their 2004 book, If Grace is True, Philip Gulley and James Mulholland make a case for universalism and this is their essential creedal contention:I believe — on the basis of their experiences;God — who is the gracious, loving Father Jesus revealed;will — this is what this God wants;save — ultimately, finally, perfect;every person — who has ever lived, is living, and ever will live.Some of you may have read this book and know of some discussions out there. I’ve… Read more

July 21, 2005

In their 2004 book, If Grace is True, Philip Gulley and James Mulholland make a case for universalism and this is their essential creedal contention:I believe — on the basis of their experiences;God — who is the gracious, loving Father Jesus revealed;will — this is what this God wants;save — ultimately, finally, perfect;every person — who has ever lived, is living, and ever will live.Some of you may have read this book and know of some discussions out there. I’ve… Read more

July 21, 2005

In the fifth dimension of conversion (commitment), a person makes it clear that she or he is now committed to a relationship with Jesus. Conversion theorists say they are three “manifestations” of commitment: decision, surrender, and witness.We need to keep commitment all wrapped up in a relational mode instead of wandering into a judicial mode, however important the latter is, if we want to see its full-orbed nature. The decision is a decision to “be with Christ,” and the “surrender”… Read more

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