Monday, December 15, 2008
What difference does this make?
Friday, December 12, 2008
First, there was great interest in the astounding archaeological find. WOW! The implications.
Then it was declared to be a Fraud by the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Bummer. But even fraudulent cases make good stories. Right?
But now, get this. It is the IAA that appears to have been playing loose with the evidence. They have been embarrassed in the court case over the ossuary.
So now we are back to "WOW, this is an astounding piece of evidence!" And we've added the drama around it of, "HMMM... Someone doesn't want this evidence to be recognized for what it is." Any correlation to Matthew 28:11-15?
One must extend kudos to the Israeli court system that won't accept scientific hanky panky with the facts.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Christian believers have been viewed as intolerant and combative. This is evidence that it doesn't have to be that way.
Way to go all you freethinking & believing Duke Dawgs!
Friday, December 5, 2008
The general explanation is that while we are doing outreach...
- We’ll discover Christians – some who are Connected to a community of believers and growing. Some who are Unconnected.
- We’ll discover Seekers – who are searching for God in their spiritual journey.
- There are individuals who are Open – they are not actively seeking God, but they are generally open, if approached appropriately, if in a safe environment.
- The greatest majority may be the Indifferent. For them it is just not on their radar screen, they aren’t thinking much about it, because it seems irrelevant to how they live.
- Another group is the Resistant . Their resistance is rooted in world-views and beliefs that conflict with the gospel.
- Finally, there are the Hostile. Their hostility could flow out of strong beliefs that conflict with the gospel, but often it flows emotional issues like bad experiences in their past.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom throughout Galilee (Matthew 4:23) and Paul seemed quite comfortable spending two years in Rome proclaiming it. Yet, at that point, if I tried to articulate it myself, well, I wasn't sure what all I would have said.
I found most helpful the writing of George E. Ladd, in particular his book by that name, The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in Kingdom of God, and his A Theology of the New Testament, which has been one of my favorite references through the years. There were other works I dipped into, including Mortimer Arias' Announcing the Reign of God.
But I have found it intriguing that in the years since, more and more voices have been speaking out loud regarding the gospel of the kingdom. Perhaps they were before I simply hadn't heard them. But now it seems quite common, so that young seminarians in the course I teach, might think of the gospel as first and foremost the gospel of the kingdom. (Not all, of course, but some.) This seems quite different than what was true in previous decades. (Okay, I date myself with such a statement.)
Here is a recent expression, from Breakpoint Ministries, entitled "Near Christianity."
What do you think of the authors summary of the gospel of the Kingdom? What about the implications and applications he makes to the contemporary Christian culture in the US?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
The six misconceptions are:
"There are pressing needs right here."What do you say about these?
"Short-termers can do it."
"Let the nationals do it."
"The task has been completed."
"Maybe there are other ways to God."
"Missionaries have been poor witnesses of the gospel."
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The other essential ingredient for a healthy growth environment is the gospel. In its simplest form (what you might call, the essence), the gospel is the good news about Jesus—who he is and what he has done. (See for instance, 1 Corinthians 15:1-5; compare Luke 24:45-48.) It is through this gospel that you came to know and experience Jesus as your Savior and Lord by faith (Romans 1:16, 17). But the Christian life doesn’t start with the gospel and then graduate to something else, to some deeper truth. No, you don’t move on; you go deeper and experience more. The gospel, in its fullness, is the whole truth about Jesus and all that his salvation and kingdom has for us. It is like a vein of gold, the deeper you go the richer you become, not because you are finding something else, but because you are experiencing something more. So, whether the gospel is summarized in its essence through a brief booklet like, Would You Like to Know God Personally? or expounded in its fullness through Paul’s theologically rich letter to the Romans, it is transforming message through which we encounter Jesus Christ our Lord. In the gospel, we find Christ to be the only solution for our fallen condition—our brokenness, sin and shame. In the gospel, we discover Christ to be our life and through his Spirit to be the power we need to live that life. Jesus transforms us, and he does so with his gospel. Therefore, making disciples means helping others to understand and experience the gospel.Thoughts?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
So here is a fascinating article from science:
Person's Geographic Origins Located from DNA
Makes the mind wander...
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Paul's Gospel and Caesar's Empire
By N.T. Wright
If Paul's answer to Caesar is the empire of Jesus, what is an empire
under the rule of this new lord? How does Paul's gospel line up with Caesar's empire?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Trinity is cosponsoring with a Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization Issue Group a conference on 16-19 October at our campus entitled Trinity Consultation on Post-Christendom Spiritualities. The aim of the conference is to address the issues of declining Christianity in the West and emerging spiritualities embodied in contemporary Paganism, Western Esotericism and other religious cults.In our day of increasing religious pluralism manifested not only in the world religions in the West, but in the 3,000 plus religious cults, this conference would be an excellent opportunity for those preparing for ministry in the US or Europe. Because we feel it is such an important conference, the registration of $60 is nominal (food is additional). This price is well worth the event considering the speakers who are coming (Craig Blomberg, Gerald McDermott, James Chancellor and several others). You can see more information at www.tiu.edu/postchristendomconference.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"A mission focus looks first at those who are outside the church before it ever looks at the internal needs of the church."
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
BTW - don't do what the first commenters did and miss the sketches. Click on the company name to see their sketch.
Now you see why I like the Four Circles gospel (below).
Here's an attempt to explain the Christian faith... in three minutes. (It was tough, but I was asked to do it.) Clearly, many details will be left out in such a short amount of time. Let me know what you think.It was recently featured in Christianity Today:
But if you would like to see James in action his videos are on YouTube. Well worth watching.
You can also download this to your iPod from http://www.jameschoung.net/2007/09/17/the-big-story/
He has two upcoming books: "True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In" and "Based on a True Story," published by InterVarsity Press and available at Amazon. I have not seen either.
Monday, June 30, 2008
This worth your time -- money back guaranteed. Okay, I'm not taking a risk, since the web is free. But you're not risking time either, IF you are interested in the Great Commission, missions and the spread of the gospel. This is good. Very good!
It is the report on "The State of the Gospel" that Jason Mandryk gave at the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Malaysia, a gathering of over 500 younger leaders from 110 nations.
I will definite use this in my upcoming Evangelism & Mission class. It's a valuable overview! Kudos to Jason!!!
BTW - If you are not familiar with Mr Mandryk, he is notable for his part with Patrick Johnstone in providing praying world Christians, Operation World, one of the all-time most valuable mission resources. Why do I say that? Because it has stimulated and informed significant Great Commission intercession. More kudos!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
"... having good physical health (listed by 85%), living with a high degree of integrity (also 85%), having one marriage partner for life (80%), having a clear purpose for living (77%), having a close relationship with God (75%), and having close, personal friendships (74%)".
Friday, May 30, 2008
Here is a sample from the latest edition:
Studying Christianity and Culture: Christian Smith, author of Soul Searching has launched a new minor at the University of North Carolina focused on Christianity and Culture. He pushed for the program in part because he believes that students cannot understand western culture without an adequate understanding of Christianity in general and evangelicalism in particular. He also noticed that many incoming freshmen who claimed to be Christians often understood little of their faith. He coined the phrase "moralistic therapeutic deism" to describe the faith he saw in many teenagers in which God exists primarily to make them feel good, but has little impact on their lives. He faults the church which has bought into a culture of excitement and relevance at the expense of the gospel. (Kairos Journal May 8, 2008)
Friday, May 23, 2008
Here is a report from Tony A. on our summer projects:
As of May 15, we have at least 3496 students and staff participating in summer projects.
US Projects: 2175 (1745 students; 430 staff and volunteers)
International Projects: 1321 (1113 students; 208 staff and volunteers)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
His life and ministry has been a model of CoJourners.
Here is the intro:
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
But then my mind wanders forward, ahead by years, maybe decades, maybe centuries, maybe millennia, I’m not quite sure. But somewhere in the future, everything will change, really change. There will be new heavens and a new earth and the morning news (or “olds”) will be quite different, for there righteousness will dwell. Everything will be aligned rightly – no evil or scandals, no wars or crimes, no winners and losers, no misplaced priorities, no broken promises or vows, no abuse or neglect, no peace accords negotiated because peace will reign, no negative campaign advertising, no… The list continues as my mind wanders.
Will this be boring? After all, what captures our attention and generally fills our news today is the very stuff that won’t be in that future. Will it be boring? Only if experiencing and enjoying what your heart has always longed for could be boring. Are moments of true, pure love boring? Then would an eternity of complete, unadulterated love be so? Can joy ever grow old; or life without stress; or relationships without offenses?
As I remember it, as I reflect on it, I know it is worth waiting for. In the meantime, I will read the news. But as I do, perhaps it will remind me of a better world, a better time, a better place. I won’t look for it in the morning news. No, it is too big for that and too abrupt. But I’ll be looking for it, nonetheless. I have Someone’s word on it.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
- Story of Soul – for an outreach meeting
- Soularium in initiative evangelism
- Short Film Festivals as an event
- CoJourners: Conversational Evangelism as a lifestyle
- Battle of the Bands; utilizing both local and Christian bands
- English Speaking Camps – especially for High School students
- EQ Seminars – especially for student leaders
- Life@Large revised for Italy as The Story within The Story
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Under God's economy, nothing really changes until our minds do. Transformation is the the fruit of a changed outlook. First our minds are renewed, and then we are transformed, and then everything is different, even if it stays the same.
Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God (pg 33)
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Then consider Poupko and Guthrie's exchange regarding it:
For a more indepth read of an Evangelical view of the matters, here is The Gospel and The Jewish People: An Evangelical Statement.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Amid a sea of orange and blue T-shirts, campaign signs, fliers and Student Government candidates at Turlington Plaza on the University of Florida campus this week, there stood two 8-foot-tall white signs that boldly asked, "What is the one question you would ask God?"
"It really makes you stop and think," said Ryan Arens, a UF freshman and journalism major. "It's a really unique way to look at faith."
Scribbled all over the signs in black Sharpie were questions like, "Why give us free will?" and "When will the end come?" and even "What happened to the dinosaurs?"
Read the full story...
Monday, March 3, 2008
1. Every person’s life is a story worth telling. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
2. Every person is on a spiritual journey. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Those two statements are worth their weight in gold (actually, words don’t weigh much, do they?) But the point remains; they can stimulate some profound “exploration” for the CoJourner.
The first leads to a simple: “Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What you are studying? Etc.” General conversation enables you to get to know another person.
The second enables you to enter into their spiritual journey. “Tell me more about your experience. What was your religious background growing up? For you was it positive or negative? Etc.”
After listening, ask permission to share some of your life and experience. “Can I tell you a little of my experience?” (That is the opportunity for a brief “faith story” or example of how Christ is transforming your life and experience.)
Or, “Can I show you something that really helps me understand how to experience a personal relationship with God?” (This is the opportunity to share gospel truth with simplicity and clarity.)
Two simple statements; two simple truths. Together they can shape profound spiritual conversations.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Soularium is taking France by storm! :) We have tested this tool locally with staff and students in Toulouse, France and has been great! There have been dozens of people mobilized to share their faith through initiative evangelism, discussion groups, and other ways that we are using it. Students have said that it gives them confidence because it is so easy to transition into spiritual conversations with people and they see that God can use them to share about Jesus with people! We shared our experience at our national conference over Christmas and now several cities have used or are planning to use Soularium as a method to engage students in conversation. Thanks!
More encouraging news. Third print run is now in production...
Friday, February 15, 2008
One story from this week...
A co-worker's daughter (who is a university student) told her dad that this semester she has been using it and has seen 12 people come to Christ through it. She said that she's having the same types of conversations she has always done in evangelism but Soularium has opened doors like nothing else has done.
That is exciting!
BTW - the next production run becomes available in two weeks.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I find myself asking, what would Jesus deconstruct about 21st century evangelism?
Friday, February 1, 2008
But now for the rest of the story...
It turns out that it takes a little more than a listening ear and a box of kleenex. It takes the prospect of $200 if your footage is used in the commercial -- as revealed by our friends at Greenpeace:
So, now I'm even more convinced (from observation and personal experience) that what it really takes is a listening ear and the genuine love of Christ in your heart.
(Kleenex commercials are another media image manipulation. Our witness should never be...)
But it does make me wonder, what would happen if we put a couch on a college campus coupled with a genuinely caring, listening ear? Anyone want to try and let me know what happens?
PS - I really like the song by Starrfadu: Let it Out
Monday, January 28, 2008
A number of years ago, while speaking at a Billy Graham School of Evangelism, I heard Dr. Roy Fish tell the story of Mr. Genor, a little white haired man, witnessing on George Street in Sydney, Australia.
I have become aware of this video of another sharing the same story (thanks, Dan). There are slight differences from the version I first heard, but essentially it is the same (kind of like the Synoptic Gospels -- same message, slight variation on details.)
I, of course, have at times wondered the accuracy, so went searching and found this...
and even more about Mr. Jenner (not Genor)...
But the final reference is more formal & official (It's even got Mr. Jenner's picture):
Makes me want to read the book: Jenner of George Street by Raymond Wilson. Better yet, it makes me want to learn from the man God profoundly used!
But even more intriguing then the author’s, was the title: The God Conversation. Being engaged in equipping believers in conversational witness has instilled a curiosity for new insights, ideas, resources anything that will help. First impression—The God Conversation is likely to be one of those resources I not only profit from myself, but will recommend commonly to those I equip.
Why? In the CoJourner paradigm, the third role we can play in other people’s spiritual journey is that of the Bridge Builder. The Bridge Builder helps those who are stuck on their journey, for whatever reason—intellectual questions, emotional baggage or simply misdirected desires—over and beyond the issues that keep them from coming to Christ. The God Conversation appears to be treasury ideas and illustrations to equip and sharpen Bridge Builders.
I’ll explore more in the days to come…
Each is available through:
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What from the early 21st century will have such enduring value for the kingdom of God?
Feb 12 - A friend just pointed out another article by the same author in First Things:
Now I know I really need to know more about research.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
One commonly used approach to sharing the essence of the of the gospel is with the napkin and a basic diagram.
The Napkin Gospel is one example of these from Craig Siebert, of Priority Associates.
1. Imposition - it is announcing the gospel message, not imposing personal views.
2. Personal Testimony - it is announcing the gospel, not telling one's experience.
3. Social Action and Public Involvment - it is announcing the gospel, not doing good deeds (though obviously the later can prepare the stage for the former.)
4. Apologetics - it is announcing the gospel, not defending the faith (again related, but not the same.)
5. The Results of Witness - it is announcing the gospel, not achieving a desired outcome. (The outcome is not the same as the means.)