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Written by Philip Monroe Friday, 22 August 2014 17:27

Responding to Accusations of Racism: Confessing the Sins of our Fathers (And Our Own)

The news and social media seem are all about race these days. Comments (not necessarily conversations!) range from criticism of police to criticism of the Black community. And surely there are plenty of reasons to criticize. And notice how it is so easy to identify and name the sins of those who are not us! And when others point out our sins, we tend either to get defensive or tell a story. Neither response gets us to where we need to go!

 

Written by Susan Disston Friday, 01 August 2014 10:14

Spiritual Journaling

“One of the best gifts of a journal is that it gives you a place to show up.” Helen Cepero

Journaling as a spiritual practice has deep roots and many practitioners, some of whom struggle with purpose and focus. If you are one of the strugglers or want fresh ideas, Helen Cepero’s Journaling as Spiritual Practice will likely free you to let your journal be all about you “showing up” in God’s presence. Helen is convinced that the “primary wonder of our Christian faith is that God comes to the place where we are and says our name. All spiritual practice, including journaling, is meant to tune our awareness, just as you might tune a stringed instrument, so that we can hear the true note of God’s grace playing through the sometimes discordant chords around us and in us. And then it means choosing to let this graced note bless us and others.”

Helen suggests several ways to “tune your stringed instrument” in your journaling. They fall into three main categories: seeing the present, exploring your life, and silencing your inner critic.

   

Written by Charles Zimmerman Friday, 18 July 2014 10:24

BTS Alum

This month we hear from John Smith, a 1985 graduate of Biblical Seminary. John and I were students together at Biblical, but I haven’t spoken to him since those days. Once in awhile, I would hear John’s name and something good usually followed. John was a senior pastor while he went through seminary, and I always appreciated his discipline and hard work, all the while being able to laugh and have a good time. John is the same today working hard furthering the mission of Jesus and having a good time in the process.

What years did you attend Biblical?

I attended Biblical 1979-1985 (jammed three years into five!) earning an MA and MDiv.

What have you been doing since then?

   

Written by Bryan Maier Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00

Pastor Course
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." ~ Daniel Webster

This was written almost a century and a half ago but is still relevant today. I believe Webster is warning us against the seductive lure of power. How does this happen? What is it about power that changes people? Throughout history leaders who have risen up to overthrow tyranny have often, once they control the reins of power, changed into some form of the very tyrant they fought so hard to overthrow. Is it possible to use power solely for the benefit of others or do we have to get comfortable with viewing ourselves as “above” others in order to minister to those who are “below”? After all, how are we capable of helping anyone if we are not given at least some power over them to do it.

   

Written by R. Todd Mangum Wednesday, 09 July 2014 11:32

Biblical Graduation

The end of June is the end of both our fiscal year and our academic year. This year, it was a banner year for areas of the school. I want to reflect here on the graduation aspect.

Commencement is always bittersweet for me. This is the day that students have worked for, for no less than two years (for the MAs) and, in some cases, for as many as five to six years. Every student represents an investment; every student represents a commitment — with costs and investments for both that student and that student’s family. And, every student represents a Kingdom investment and potential . . . great potential.

It’s the day that students long for, and that we long for — and yet it’s a day that means they are departing Biblical. In some cases, it’s the last day I will see them.

   

Written by R. Todd Mangum Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00

War on the 4th

This is the time of year in which we reflect as a nation on the costs and sacrifices made for our freedoms, and express appreciation — both to God and to those who made the sacrifices.

I want to do the same, but from a different angle — in part because appreciation for the sacrifices made in blood and violence, if we are not careful, can easily degenerate into glamorizing the circumstances that led to making such costs and sacrifices necessary. (It’s a point my Anabaptist brethren have been making for centuries.)

Over the last few days, I have watched a couple of documentaries on World War II, including some that have conducted interviews with those who were there who are still living. The heroism, the extraordinary selfless sacrifice, the raw courage, is just staggering to observe.

   

Written by David Lamb Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

sound of silence

I couldn’t talk for three hours. My wife forbade me. And I always do what she says.

On Sunday, Shannon taught Sunday school at church. She’s been leading a series of lessons on spiritual disciplines. This past Sunday the focus was Silence. She gave the class a challenge to be silent for the next three hours, until lunch. I considered just having a early lunch, but then thought Shannon might think that was a bad idea.

Why be silent?

First, the prophet Habakkuk thinks it’s good to be silent. He declares,

  • The LORD is in his holy temple;
  • Let all the world keep silent before him (Hab. 2:20).

Sometimes, the only appropriate response to God’s holiness is silent, reverent awe.

   

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Written on 22 August 2014 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 01 August 2014 - by Susan Disston
Written on 18 July 2014 - by Charles Zimmerman
Written on 11 July 2014 - by Bryan Maier
Written on 09 July 2014 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 04 July 2014 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 02 July 2014 - by David Lamb
Written on 23 June 2014 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 20 June 2014 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 18 June 2014 - by Derek Cooper

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