Written by Kyuboem Lee Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00

Multicultural Worship

What is the cost of a church that embodies gospel reconciliation? More than we might realize.

A recent story in The Boston Globe highlights a worship controversy at Gordon College surrounding changes introduced by Bil Mooney-McCoy, the college’s new director of Christian life and worship. Specifically, the controversy revolved around the cultural style of worship during the mandatory chapel services. Mooney-McCoy would often lead chapel services in a style widespread among African-American churches--spontaneous, demonstrative, often encouraging the congregants to express their worship through dance, using gospel songs and hymns.

After these changes were introduced, many students began to express their discomfort and disapproval. Via social media and student surveys, some said that chapel felt to them more like performance than true worship; others said that the worship leader was hogging the limelight and drawing attention to himself. In response, students who welcomed the change saw these criticisms as racially motivated, coming from those who were opposed to the inclusion of minorities.


Written by Susan Disston Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00

Esperanza Health Center

Writing and speaking on all-things-missional is largely conducted by church planters, pastors, and theologians — or at least that’s the way it seems when scanning blogs, new books, and conference programs. But not so long ago, New Growth Press released a missional book edited by Dr. Sam Logan called Reformed Means Missional that aimed to broaden the conversation partners. While Sam was working on this book, he was on Biblical’s faculty and enthusiastically shared the themes that would appear in the chapters. One of the themes was health care. He enlisted Dr. Susan Post, president of Esperanza Health Center in Philadelphia (now a member of Biblical’s board of trustees), to describe missional health care as it is practiced in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Esperanza Health Center was founded in the late 1980s by a physician who desired to use her medical training in the poor neighborhood where she and her husband chose to live.


Written by Kelly Pfleiger Monday, 03 March 2014 00:00

Breakfast with Biblical

Twice a year we run a Bible study series called Breakfast with Biblical. Today we are releasing all the audio recordings from the fall series entitled Finding Jesus in Unexpected Places. Included in this series is Dr. Frank James’ first teaching as the new President of Biblical Seminary.

As we release the recordings from this past session of Breakfast with Biblical, I thought it would be really cool to find an old recording of our former president, Dave Dunbar, teaching. So I found this recording from 1995. Yes, you heard me, a recording from almost 20 years ago.

Back in 1995, several professors spent five weeks reviewing segments of the book of Proverbs. Dave’s talk, entitled Wisdom Cries in the Streets was the first in the series and covers the idea of wisdom in the first two chapters of Proverbs.

So please, sit back and enjoy Dave’s teaching…


Written by Manny Ortiz and Susan Baker Friday, 28 February 2014 00:00

missional curriculum

Institutions as well as individuals will have to respond, with integrity, to the dividing walls that are all too often common in many of our Christian institutions. Racism, ethnocentrism, classism, sexism, and in some parts of the world, tribalism—are real and are often more hidden than overt. An urban missional curriculum must recognize its role in preparing men and women to wrestle with these issues by adjusting and re-establishing curriculum to biblically deal with ills of society.

How can we reach the nations in this global world without intentionally becoming aware of how it has affected our lives and institutions?

There will need to be honest searching, asking what truly is in our hearts in matters of race, ethnic, class, and gender relations. How can a missional curriculum take an honest and intentional approach with these issues that continue to plague our country and Christian institutions? Do we even see the need to confront the injustice that these issues bring up? How do we go about addressing these issues? What do we need to do to promote reconciliation?


Written by Charles Zimmerman Wednesday, 26 February 2014 12:44

Rev Darryl Lang

Alumni Update – Darryl Lang class of 1980

Where have they gone & where are they now?

Darryl Lang graduated before I arrived at Biblical, but I have gotten to know him these past 17 years as a colleague and friend. Darryl is a pastor, who shepherds the students he recruits as well as the matriculated students at the seminary. I have always appreciated the fact that Darryl is genuinely interested and concerned with all of our students. Besides his admissions work, Darryl sometimes leads Monday morning worship at Biblical. Here is his story:

33 years of service...


Written by Daniel LaValla Monday, 24 February 2014 00:00

Driving While Black

February is Black History Month in the U.S. and Canada, and is celebrated throughout the month of October in the U.K. It is an annual observance for the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. While the European diaspora was predominantly characterized by voluntary emigration from various European nations to the Americas; Oceania and Africa, the African diaspora was predominantly marked by the involuntary emigration of enslaved Africans to South America and North America.

We are experiencing the fact that three centuries of racial and ethnic injustices resulting from the slave trade are not easily corrected by legislation that developed out of our country’s Civil Rights Movement. Racial tensions in our country persist, and racial and ethnic discriminatory practices, while now illegal, continue. One specific injustice to address here is racial profiling.


Written by Dr. Dan Williams Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00

Black History Month

This is the time of year when Mud cloth and Kente cloth patterns emerge within churches as celebrants of Black history reflect on collective and individual accomplishments historically.

It was Carter G. Woodson as a student at Harvard, who established the observance of “Negro History Week”, designated for the second week in February. He purposefully linked the week to the birthdays of President Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the African American abolitionist. The week’s acceptance and continuing recognition ultimately became known as “Black History Month.”

Celebrations within some African American congregations still occur to identify and commemorate the role members of the African Diaspora played in the development of our nation. John Henry Clarke suggests that history “tells a people who they are and where they come from and where they are going” and affirms that history is always current.

Maybe it’s time to end the celebration.


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