Written by Dr. Kyuboem Lee Friday, 12 December 2014 10:36

You may never have heard of the Homogeneous Unit Principle, but chances are your church life has been profoundly shaped by it.

Homogeneous Unit Principle

HUP is a key observation of the Church Growth Movement (which enjoyed its heyday in the latter half of the last century) that congregations which focus and tailor their ministry efforts on one homogeneous people group tend to grow numerically the fastest. Perhaps not surprisingly, somewhere along the way HUP transformed from just an observation and a description into a prescription, a strategic principle for churches who sought to grow numerically and for new congregations being planted. One could argue that many of the newer church plants of the last couple of decades were directed by the spirit of HUP.


Written by Dr. David Dunbar Monday, 08 December 2014 18:22

Study and meditation

In a previous blog I looked at the question of whether Christians should practice scripture meditation. In this entry want to think with you about how meditation can be distinguished from the study of the Bible.

To begin with, it is worth noting that the two practices need not be understood as mutually exclusive: study can include or lead us to meditation, and meditation can lead us to study. And yet they are different and should be distinguished.

The study of scripture is primarily an intellectual pursuit

In study we use a variety of methods and techniques to understand the meaning of the text. Linguistic analysis, historical-cultural backgrounds, theological reflection—all these have their place in opening our minds to the truth of God. Evangelical Christians have been particularly adept at the Bible-study approach, not just as a scholarly activity but as a popular aid to devotion and spiritual growth for the average Christian.


Written by Manuel Ortiz Monday, 01 December 2014 12:37

Being Missional

Should we be interested in the global mission of God here in North America, noting that by the end of the 20th century there were more Christians living in the Southern Hemisphere than in Europe and North America? As Andrew Walls asks, “Does it not seem that Africa may have a special place in God’s plan of salvation?” It seems to me that many of our Christian institutions are still functioning as though the world were static and operating out of a post-colonial mindset.

With the decline of Christians in North America and Europe coupled with the enormous growth of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, it would seem that our appetite for learning from our brothers and sisters in the South should be enormous and that we would be quick to listen and learn. As Mark Noll comments, “Africa, Asia, and Latin America have more Christian students desirous of learning but have limited resources; while here in North America we lack students but have enormous resources.”

Now I ask you, how shall we become missional?


Written by R. Todd Mangum Tuesday, 25 November 2014 14:36

Trial in Ferguson

I don’t know what happened on August 9 in Ferguson, MO. I wasn’t there and know only what has been publicly released as testimony and evidence in the investigation.

There are some facts of the case that are undisputed. Michael Brown, known as “Big Mike” to his friends, was 18 years old, and was unarmed. He was black. Darren Wilson, a police officer responding to a report that a convenience store had a box of cigars shop-lifted, noticed that Michael Brown matched the description of the robber: a young, large, black male wearing a white t-shirt and a red hat.

There was an altercation between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson, beginning at the door of the police car, which Wilson had parked in position to stop the pedestrians, Brown and his friend, as well as traffic in both directions.


Written by Steve Taylor Wednesday, 19 November 2014 00:00

Israel Temple

In our last post we discussed the conviction of many evangelicals that the modern state of Israel owns the land of Palestine by a divine grant. In this post we will examine the ancillary claim that modern-day Israel is divinely predestined to rebuild the Temple on its old site.

Ezekiel’s Temple-Shaped Hope

In chapters 40-48, Ezekiel, under the guidance of an angelic intermediary, gives an elaborate description of a future, eschatological temple: its layout and dimensions, its priestly and Levitical staff, and its sanctifying and healing role in a restored nation of Israel.


Written by Stephen Taylor Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00

Israel Palestine

Events in Israel-Palestine have recently been overshadowed by the horrors in Syria and Iraq, but the tragedy of the Holy Land continues unabated. Even today (at the writing, Oct. 28, 2014) The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a brief article on the pledge of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, to continue building in East Jerusalem (p. A5). “[T]hese places will stay in Israeli sovereignty under any agreement,” he is quoted as saying.

Sadly, a majority of American evangelicals continues to regard Netanyahu’s stance as fully justified. With some notable exceptions, evangelical leaders and pundits are reluctant to focus on the suffering of Palestinian Arabs, many of them Christians, in this long ordeal. For some this reluctance is based on a complex set of considerations, but for nearly all – including the minority just mentioned – the prophetic promises to Israel enumerated in the Old Testament play a major role.

The question is: are Bible-believing evangelicals reading their Bibles as Christians should? I don’t think so. And in this and a subsequent post, I will try to explain why.


Written by Charles Zimmerman Friday, 14 November 2014 17:43

The Christian Story

Christianity and the Bible are inseparable! Christianity is centered in the good news of Jesus Christ and the Bible is God’s revelation of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it is essential that we read the Bible and read it correctly. If I were God – and that is a dangerous way to start a sentence – but if I were God I would write the Bible differently than God had it written. I would write it like this:

  • Chapter 1 – all about God – character & attributes
  • Chapter 2 – all about people – assets & liabilities
  • Chapter 3 – all about relationships – finding a great spouse & raising great kids
  • Chapter 4 – all about work – making money & finding meaning
  • Chapter 5 – all about spiritual growth – prayer & other spiritual disciplines
  • Chapter 6 – how to get to heaven and have fun along the way
  • Chapter 7 – all you ever wanted to know about the end times

Lots of people wish the Bible was written that way – lists of stuff to know and rules to practice. Well God didn’t write the Bible that way. The Bible is not a list of correct beliefs and tips for living.


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