Written by Bryan Maier Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00

In light of recent terrorist atrocities, Americans (particularly Christians) have been challenged to recognize and remember that all religions have their violent strains. Therefore, no religion (particularly Christianity) should view itself as any more morally advanced than any other.

Moral Equivalence

One common example cited was the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Were the Crusaders really the moral equivalent of ISIS? Historians will have to answer that question, but to claim that two religions are both guilty of violence in the name of their god (and thus should be slow to criticize each other) is the moral equivalence view.

It is one thing to debate the fine points of medieval history and theology, but in counseling, the moral equivalence view has more immediate consequences, especially if you are dealing with cases like sexual trauma, rape and domestic violence (or the new term, intimate partner violence). Whenever I counsel someone who is guilty of such actions, it is almost guaranteed that they will rationalize their behavior as a normal counterbalance to whatever sin was committed by their victim.

Sadly, society often does too.

 

Written by Chang Hoon Oh Wednesday, 25 February 2015 00:00

We may think that teaching English is simply teaching English wherever we are teaching it. But there are fundamental differences between EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms and ESL (English as a Second Language) classrooms. An EFL classroom is in a country where English is not the dominant language.

Missional Education

Outside of the classroom, students have very few opportunities to use English and have limited exposure to English-speaking culture. On the other hand, an ESL classroom is in a country where English is the dominant language. Outside the classroom, students have extensive daily exposure to English-speaking culture. An ESL classroom is far more likely to have students from many different countries, all with different native languages; whereas an EFL classroom is not.

In an ESL classroom, students gain a sense of confidence when they talk about something about which they are authorities, such as their own country and culture. Therefore, effective lesson planning must take into account the student’s language learning environment.

   

Written by Dr. Larry Anderson Friday, 20 February 2015 12:45

When we look at Revelation 2:1-7 we see the Church at Ephesus fits this description perfectly. Our Lord told this church that He knew them well and He was aware of all that they had been through. He commended them for their appreciation for sound doctrine and godly behavior. So this was a church that worked hard, that knew the Scriptures, that called sin ‘sin’ and that would not let anybody preach who had not been called to do so. Sounds like a pretty stable church, right?

Church of Ephesus

The Ephesus Syndrome

However, in verse four our Lord says, "I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love." (KJV), or "You have forsaken your first love," (NIV) There is a drastic switch in the conversation from complementing to convicting. Forsaken means to give up – Jesus used to be first in our lives but we have removed Him from that position, and He wants us to know that He is aware of the switch. Somewhere along our journey we have put the business of church, the battle for doctrinal purity, and the pursuit of church growth ahead of our passion for God’s presence.

However, Jesus does not dismiss the Church at Ephesus without giving them clear instructions on how to turn this ship around.

   

Written by Dr. Susan Baker Wednesday, 18 February 2015 17:01

The United States is a country of immigrants. Only those of Native American descent can claim to be original residents of this country. However, immigration, especially as it relates to the undocumented immigrant, is a politically hot topic right now. The problem is that the issue of justice is not a priority in all the debate surrounding this topic.

Immigration problem

As an example, there was a family from Mexico who legally entered the U.S., but their oldest daughter had only one more year of high school and chose to stay home with relatives. After graduating she tried to join her family, but because she had just had her 18th birthday, she was not considered a child and was told there would be a twelve year wait for her to be able to come to the U.S. She must endure that long separation or join the growing undocumented population.

On a different note, an immigrant marries a U.S. citizen. After one year the immigrant can apply for citizenship. The government scrutinizes every area of the couple’s life with hundreds of questions to see if they know each other well enough. The government has refused citizenship or even legal status on such grounds as one person not knowing the color of their spouse’s toothbrush or one person saying they have wood floors and the other saying they had laminate (wood laminate) floors.

This is not just

   

Written by R. Todd Mangum Friday, 13 February 2015 00:00

Recognize word in the title? It is an actual scientific term, meaning, “Fear of Friday the 13th.”

Where did the superstition around Friday the 13th arise? . . . No one knows for sure (of course).

Friday the 13th

The first documented instances of superstition around Friday the 13th are from the 19th century – which is actually pretty late for such a superstition to arise. I’m inclined to think the horror movies around the theme – and even by that name (“Friday the 13th”) are what gave “heightened awareness” to this superstition.

One notable theory is that superstitions around “Friday the 13th” arose around Christ being crucified on a Friday; and superstitions around the number “13” were derived from Judas Iscariot being the “13th man” at the table at the Last Supper. (12th disciple, but 13th person represented, if you include Christ.) When “13” and “Friday” combine, in this logic, it represents a double omen. . . .

   

Written by Kelly Pfleiger Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Breakfast with Biblical has long been a tradition here at BTS. With speakers engaging in conversations revolving around missional topics, where else can you go to have a free breakfast, grow with other leaders, and rub shoulders with the faculty of BTS?

Breakfast with Biblical

During the spring of 2014 (man I wish it was warmer as I am typing this) we had eight speakers sharing on a wide range of topics.

Below is a list of the speakers that presented and link to the audio files for each presentation.

Please enjoy the audio and feel free to share this page.

About the Author

Kelly Pfleiger

Kelly Pfleiger

Kelly Pfleiger is the Director of Information Technology and the webmaster here at Biblical Seminary. He and his wife, Amy, have three busy little boys, two of which play baseball. Kelly’s passion for baseball led him to start a website called Fantasy Gameday. You can follow him on twitter.

   

Written by Kyuboem Lee Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00

James Davidson Hunter, in his book *To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World*, has named pluralism as one of the biggest challenges facing the world, and Christianity, today. How is the church doing in rising to the challenge? The results have been mixed at best.

pluralism, segregation and Niche Markets

Take Ferguson, for instance. Ferguson was, among other things, a flare that threw a stark light on the deep faults that run through not only the American society at large, but also through the American church. Conversations—or rather, pronouncements—ensued, and cumulatively exposed our harsh reality.

We live and worship in segregated and divided churches, inhabiting different worlds, at odds with each other, and unable to see what the other can see; we do not live in the one body of Christ giving united witness to the kingdom of God, according to the confession of our faith: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:4-6)

The slippage in these communiqués from different realities told a tale of brokenness that cries out for the gospel of reconciliation under the administration of Christ the Prince of Shalom. We are in desperate need of the gospel at work in our world(s).

However, the tale has not been one of unmitigated fracture and dissolution. As the New Year dawned, I was at a standing-room-only gathering of believers from various congregations in Philadelphia, including Blacks and Whites, Hispanics and Asians. Its purpose was to convene diverse believers who would worship, converse, and pray for the issues of racial divisions that have so recently resurfaced—yet again!—in our society. It provided a flesh-and-blood glimpse of the Christian hope of redemption, and those who gathered gravitated towards this hope with great yearning.

Nevertheless, questions remained

   

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