Thought for the Week “We are intensely attached,” Matthew Kelly observes, “to being perceived in a positive light, even by people we don’t know and …A Different Kind of Mask
What if we as Christians redefined our current understanding of “holiness” to match what God intended in Genesis, and Christ demonstrated in the gospels?Continue reading
Online Version https://forms.gle/xraVo3KsSSQ5npTV8
This worksheet is designed to help you achieve victory over the spiritual and psychological “curses” that prevent you from living the abundant life God intends for you. Specifically, it provides a structured format for us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:6). The idea of making petitions to a heavenly judge is inspired by the idea of literal heavenly courts as taught by Robert Henderson and others, but you can also use it metaphorically as an advanced Twelve Steps program for taking ground in other aspects of your life.Continue reading
O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
We praise You because You are a good God. In a world that seems filled with brokenness and evil, thank You for taking all that upon Yourself through the cross, so that we might be made whole.
Our hearts go out to the people of Charlottesville, and all those wounded physically and emotionally by the tragic violence of August 12th. We pray especially for the family and friends of Heather Heyer and the police who were killed, that they would experience Your peace and comfort.
[Jim Yost, a missionary from the Philippines associated with Cityteam International, spoke in San Jose last Saturday (January 21st) at an event hosted by The Gathering by The Bay. The following are notes from Greg Hosclaw as posted on the d-church mailing list.]
“Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Matthew 26:13 (NLT)
April 1st, 2024 A.D.
By now, one-quarter of the way through the 21st century, almost everyone has heard of the San Francisco Revival. While skeptics question its longevity — and theologians its validity — there is no denying the impact it has had on the city and the region: the eradication of homelessness, conversion of red light districts into family neighborhoods, stadiums full of young people dedicated their lives to Jesus, legions of techies quitting their VC-backed startups to pursue social entrepreneurship, etc.
There has also been endless coverage both lauding and critiquing the organizations responsible for shepherding and publicizing the Revival: YWAM SF, TBC, and of course Harvest Evangelism. Regardless of how you feel about their methods, you have to admire those organizations for having the foresight and courage to invest in the region and move quickly to capitalize on this strange phenomenon, despite the enormous risks.
Yet there is another, deeper story that still hasn’t been told. Unlike the general public, scholars are well aware that the revival first started in the South Bay before spreading up the Peninsula to San Francisco and beyond. But even most of them are unaware of how it all began.
Allow me to explain.
Inviting all men
who consider themselves disciples of Jesus
to join me in a movement
to uproot shame from the entire Body of Christ
by the year 2040 A.D.
I belive the primary reason the church in America is not impacting the culture is that we expend most of our time, energy, and money doing many things badly instead of the right things well. We are amateurs competing against professional culture-makers.
To address this imbalance, I believe the church needs to “Go PRO.”
- Prioritize making disciples of Jesus who do all (and only what) He asks of them
- Recommission pastoral teams as missionaries to their community
- Outsource the business of church to professional management that does it efficiently at scale
I am confident this would unleash a flood of talent and resources that would turn the world upside down — or rather, right side up!
[NOTE: the official syllabus is now on the “Lead” page; this post is obsolete, but kept for the sake of historical continuity].
[Yes, I should probably have written this before the first lesson, but better late than never…]
In thinking about it, I ought to take my Curriculum one step further, and actually identify the passages and key learnings for each lesson. Not only will this help ensure I’m on the same page as my pastor, but it would enable others to write some of the lessons (since class starts on September 4th!).
I’ve also cross-referenced these lessons against two common systematic theology books:
- Wayne Grudem‘s condensed Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings (under “Doctrine“)
- R. C. Sproul‘s classic of Reformed systematic theology, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (pdf) (under “Essentials“).
In addition to providing a sort index to the topics covered, this allows students and teachers to use those as supplementary textbooks.
- Draft 1 – Sunday, 24th August
- Draft 2 – Tuesday, 26th August: Added “Doctrine” “Essentials” chapters for each lesson
- Draft 3 – Friday, 29th August: Added “Doctrines” chapters for each lesson
Still, it only takes me about four hours per class, which is two late night waiting-to-feed-Rohan sessions (assuming he behaves), so I should be able to keep up.
The real problem is that my lesson topics have gone in a completely different direction that originally envisioned. More, my pastor has a slightly different vision for how things should fit together. Given the time timeframes, it is essential we get on the same page (and stick to it, if possible).
Here’s my current vision for what is now being called “Theological Foundations”. Hopefully my pastor and I can converge on this syllabus soon (once he’s no longer busy with his new grandson 🙂
[Updated and ratified 8/19 with John Isaacs]
The format I’m proposing for LEAD! is what I’m calling a “Transformational Small Group Bible Study”. This builds on my many years in InterVarsity Small Groups during eleven years of college, as well as numerous “home groups” in churches since then. The key aspects are:
• Bible Study
History and philosophy have their place, but for sheer impact nothing beats digging directly into the Word of God. The primary method of teaching is working inductively through a specific passage of Scripture, with additional resources acting as supplements. In addition to implicitly teaching good study skills, this also opens the door for the Holy Spirit to provide insights beyond the wisdom of the original author (i.e., me :-).
• Small Group
The best way to learn is in a small, focused team of 6-8 people (or, more broadly, 3-12). This provides both a sounding board for digesting information as well as accountability and encouragement for living it out.
The ultimate goal of the group is not so much to acquire information, but to be personally and corporately transformed — by and while transforming the world around us.
Below is a suggested format for achieving that…
[Reposting an essay by my cousin, at his request. — Ernie P.]
Even though I haven’t posted for a while, I’ve been thinking a lot about Comprehensive Theological Education. In particular, I’ve been trying to identify the key “success factors” necessary to improve upon traditional methods. Here’s my current list. Any thing you’d like to add, Gentle Reader?
Before I return my copy of Transformation: A Unifying Vision of the Church’s Mission to Milan Telian, I wanted to blog a few more key insights on the nature of Transformation, excerpted from the last several chapters.
Some excerpts and summaries below…
Which is why I was so thrilled to run across the writings (excerpted below) of Episcopalian professor Dr. Russell Reno of Creighton University in Nebraska. His writings display that rare combination of:
My only regret is that — at least in his writings — he seems, well, sad; almost a Jeremiah tenaciously clinging to faith amidst the ruins of contemporary Christendom. I wonder if contact with Transformationalists from other countries might help buoy his spirits…
Today, the term is used largely as pejorative, such as when it is applied to Christian Reconstructionists. However, the underlying concepts bear a strong family resemblance to the kingdom theology underlying Transformationalism, which implies we need a clear differentiator. Thus, I feel it necessary to stake out a concrete alternative to classical Dominion Theory (DT), which I have labeled the “Theory of Love’s Dominion” (ToLD).