2009 Photo by Lambert Wolterbeek Muller, flickr

Written by Philip Monroe Friday, 20 June 2014 00:00

war trauma

As one who directs the Seminary’s Global Trauma Recovery Institute, I can say this: trauma recovery is kind of sexy these days. And that isn’t always a good thing.

Here’s what I mean: it seems everyone is talking about the problem of trauma, whether the traumas of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, ethnic tension, urban violence, or military service. Organizations and cities are becoming “trauma-informed.” But awareness of the problem of trauma on individuals and communities is not just for secular organizations and mental health professionals. The church too is getting that trauma is the mission field of our time (as per Diane Langberg) with pernicious impact on faith and spiritual vitality.

Don’t get me wrong; this attention to the previously hidden problem of trauma is a really good thing. Those with hidden and previously considered too shameful problems can now have their struggles validated. Traumatized individuals can feel their problems aren’t “just in their heads.” We may not know what to do to help some victims, but we do know we can support and encourage those who are in significant emotional pain. Hear me: this is a very good development.

But…sometimes we can jump on certain bandwagons in ways that end up harming the very people we want to help. Sometimes our motives are pure; other times not so much. Let me point out two particular ways we can add to the hurts of those who suffer with trauma symptoms.


Written by Derek Cooper Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:30

Gettysburg BTS

Recently, BTS’s Doctor of Ministry program took students on a field trip to Gettysburg, PA. The trip was connected to the DMin class titled “Missional Theology,” taught by Dr. Paul Metzger from Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, OR. The purpose of the class trip was to reflect on the significance of the Civil War on Christianity in America, and specifically to discuss the impact of race, slavery, and war on biblical interpretation, ecclesiology, and theology.

In preparation for the trip, students were encouraged to read either Mark Noll’s The Civil War as Theological Crisis or George Rable’s God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War. On the bus ride to and from Gettysburg, students discussed thought-provoking questions related to the Civil War and Christianity, such as: Is the Civil War still being fought in America? Did Lincoln die in vain? The great ethnic diversity of the DMin class—with an almost equal number of African American, Asian American, and Caucasian students—greatly enhanced the discussion. In one of the group discussions of which I took part, which included students from Germany, Sierra Leone, and the United States, we heard insightful comments about a range of issues ranging from race to slavery to missional theology and culture.


Written by Kyuboem Lee Monday, 09 June 2014 00:00

Liberty New York

The Asian Diaspora identity in the US brings with it much angst and alienation; does it have redemptive value in God’s kingdom?

Amy Tan opens her “The Joy Luck Club” with a mini-story about a Chinese woman who leaves her homeland for the US, full of hope for her daughter who will grow up fully American, speaking “only perfectly American English.” In the new land, unlike herself back in China, the daughter “will always be too full to swallow any sorrow.” The woman got her wish—but it wasn’t what she had expected. Her daughter “grew up speaking only English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow.” The woman, now old, was still waiting for the day when she could tell her daughter about all her hopes and dreams for her, “in perfect American English.”


Written by Charles Zimmerman Friday, 06 June 2014 00:00

BTS Alums

This month we hear from Young Kim, a 1992 MDiv graduate. Young is a seasoned church planter in Philadelphia, who planted a church that has already planted two other churches. He is a passionate communicator of the gospel and a tireless pastor. I have very fond memories of Young falling asleep in class on Monday mornings, not because it was monotonous and boring, but because like many of our Korean students he had been doing ministry Friday evening, Saturday morning, and all day Sunday.

Today, I consider Young a friend and a partner in ministry. Here is his story:

When did you attend Biblical?

I attended Biblical from September 1989 to the spring of 1992 when I graduated with a Master of Divinity.

What have you been doing since then?


Written by R. Todd Mangum Monday, 26 May 2014 00:00

debate at Cairn

I’ve said in the past that I find the optimistic triumphalism of postmillennialism refreshing . . . at least in small doses. As time goes on and the more I study and wrestle with Scripture, the more I’d say it’s the triumphalism that gets old after a while (especially if it’s the obnoxious political variety), not so much the postmillennial view itself.

I’m intrigued and have been influenced by the theology (including the eschatology) of Walter Rauschenbusch. Anybody who writes influential theology after spending 20 years as a pastor in Hell’s Kitchen is somebody I consider worth giving my ear. Rauschenbusch was no stranger to pain and suffering, cruelty and injustice; yet, he was a postmillennialist, believing that the Kingdom of God is one that may make its inroads ever so slowly — but nevertheless surely. He believed that, however harsh and gloomy may be the battle, the church of Christ is on the advance against the kingdom of hell; and the gates of hell will not prevail (but, rather, the unremitting progression of Christ’s mission will. . . .)


Written by Bryan Maier Friday, 23 May 2014 00:00

long term investments

I have been spending a lot of time in the book of Jeremiah lately. In chapter 32, Jeremiah is offered quite the real estate investment and the broker is none other than God himself. One of Jeremiah’s relatives had apparently mortgaged a piece of property and Jeremiah was first in line to redeem it. Normally, this would involve a permanent shift of possession to Jeremiah and his heirs, but because Jeremiah was single and childless, he would only own the land until his death and then it would again revert back to the original owner. On top of everything else, the property was infested with Babylonians (not a big selling point in those days). The city of Jerusalem was under siege by the greatest superpower of that day.

Why purchase property that was under the control of an invading army?


Written by Manny Ortiz and Susan Baker Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Reaching Hispanics

From traditional regions of Hispanic settlements, such as the Northeast, Chicago, the West and Southwest, and South Florida, to less traditional regions, such as North Dakota, Alabama, and South Carolina; the Hispanic population is growing. It is a very diverse population originating from Spain, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. More than six of every ten Hispanics in the U.S. were born in this country, so there are generational issues. It is a very young population with 33.9% under the age of 18 as of 2010.

It has been estimated that for the next two decades, 50,000 Hispanics will turn age 18 every month. On the other end of the scale, only 5.5% are age 65 or older. How can the church plan to meet the needs of this group? To accomplish this goal, the church needs to anticipate issues regarding who, where, and how to be a missional church among this population.


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