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Written by Jeffrey Monk Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00

Work at Work

What is your theology of work? In his marvelous book God at Work, David Miller observes that “many people of faith live bifurcated lives, compartmentalizing their faith teachings apart from their workplace demands.”

Shortly after completing my M.Div, degree and accepting my job as Counselor at Redeemer Counseling Services in NYC, I was deeply challenged by a talk given by Catherine Leary Alsdorf, former CEO and pioneering leader of Redeemer’s Center for Faith and Work. She said, “You who are going into church work need to understand the different challenges people encounter in their work if you are going to help them understand how to live out the Gospel in their callings.”

If a businesswoman in your church asked, “Can you help me understand how to relate my career calling to God’s big story?,” how would you answer her?

Would your answer begin with God’s original purposes in creation, or would you simply go back to the Fall and talk to her about how to more effectively win her co-workers to Christ?

 

Written by Derek Cooper Monday, 17 March 2014 00:00

Unfollowers

It’s never a good day when you realize you have quite a bit in common with the villains of the Bible. It’s even worse when you’ve made this discovery while in seminary.

I always used to identify with the heroes in the Bible. Who wants to be the villain? If ten out of twelve spies didn’t want to invade Canaan, I’d surely be one of the two who trusted God to lead the way. If the entire nation of Israel turned to Baal worship, I’d be hiding in a cave with Elijah’s 7,000 faithful Israelites. If nine of ten healed lepers failed to follow Jesus, I’d be the one who returned to say thank you.

It never occurred to me that I could have anything in common with the crowds who yawned at or mocked Jesus’ message. Even worse than that, how could I have any similarities with the opponents of Jesus?

   

Written by Kelly Pfleiger Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00

As Jesus “went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness,” He was moved with compassion when He saw the crowds of people, “because they were…like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)

In the same spirit, Bill Campbell, a Biblical alum with an MA in Ministry 2010, shares his heart for the people of Paris and calls us to fervent prayer for the great work God is doing there.

While Bill is quick to praise God for His great faithfulness and blessing upon their ministry in Paris, he longs to see spiritual walls broken down, open doors for home discipleship groups, more workers for this “plentiful harvest” and boldness, protection, and blessing as the Word goes forth in a mighty way.

In Bill’s own words, please pray “for God’s strong hand upon us in our evangelism outreaches, for conversions, healings, deliverances, for the Kingdom to come to bear tangibly as we proclaim Christ.”

Bill is grateful for his seminary education that prepared him for his calling. This short video provides a window into his ministry world.

   

Written by Philip Monroe Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

Genocide

Why are there genocides? Why does one group decide to systematically eliminate another group from existing on this planet? Why did Nazis gas Jews? Why did extremist Hutus slaughter their neighbor Tutsis? Why were Armenians, Bosnians, Cambodians, and Sudanese targeted for elimination?

Asking the “why” question is easy. Answering will be just a bit harder. I suppose we could simply state that genocide is the direct result of the Fall. Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they sought their own power and wisdom apart from God, and so all of creation is damaged and broken. Jealous Cain murders Abel and so on it goes until one people decides to eliminate another people.

Sin as the answer for genocide leaves me rather unsatisfied and with quite a few questions. Since sin is pervasive, why doesn’t genocide happen more often? What are the building blocks of genocide? Does it just happen or are there a common set of conditions that set genocide in motion?

   

Written by Philip Monroe Monday, 10 March 2014 00:00

Trauma Training (Courtesy Heather Drew)

This past week the Seminary’s Global Trauma Recovery Institute co-sponsored (with the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute) a trauma healing training for church leaders in the Philadelphia area. As Diane Langberg has taught us, trauma is an open mission field of our present time. Trauma is worldwide: wars, ethnic conflicts, rape, domestic violence, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis, accidents, and more. Being aware of trauma and how it impacts individuals and community; being able to help those who are traumatized offers great opportunities for ministries of mercy, discipleship, and evangelism.

   

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.

   

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