Written by Kyuboem Lee Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:55

Juxtaposed in my mind at the moment are at least three different impressions: the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage, the astonishing response of Emanuel AME to the Charleston massacre, and the stories I heard at a recent gathering for Lausanne Movement. I am prone to refract my observations through the prism of global urban mission, so allow me to share a couple of thoughts from that vantage point.

SCOTUS Gay Marriage

One has to do with the North American evangelical church’s strategy in reaching the culture, which has been largely anti-urban. The SCOTUS ruling signaled what would appear to be a stunning victory for the LGBTQ community and sexual revolution, and a resounding defeat for the evangelical church and its agenda for traditional sexual mores. It is not my intention to enter into the fray of how one falls on which side of the line here. Nor do I wish to repeat the observation that should by now be all too obvious—USA is not the homeland of Christendom; it is a mission field. For my present purposes, I simply want to point out that a vital strand in the narrative of the LGBTQ activists’ success, which may go unnoticed, has been their strategic focus on cities, coupled with a long history of the evangelical church’s abandonment of cities.


Written by Chang Hoon Oh Tuesday, 07 July 2015 16:39

America’s Declaration of Independence is as much a declaration of dependence on Divine Providence. So, we must always declare our dependency on the one true and living God, the Father Almighty, and the Sovereign King. Then how can we do that?

Independence Day

It is through “faith.” When I meditated on a Bible verse “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” a thought came into my mind that the negative is often the simplest way of suggesting the positive.

If it is impossible to please God without faith, the opposite is also true that faith is what pleases God. If I am warned that without faith it is impossible to please God, I can infer that with faith it is possible to please God. So, I would like to clarify what ‘‘faith” means to live by faith on a daily basis. It can be summarized with an acrostic, FAITH.

Familiarize God and His Word

I believe that the first thing in faith is knowledge. A man cannot believe what he/she does not know. Besides, he/she must also agree with what he/she knows. So, in order to act on faith, it is necessary that I should not only read the Scriptures and understand them, but also receive them in my soul as being the very truth of the living God.


Written by David Lamb Thursday, 25 June 2015 13:29

The faculty of Biblical Theological Seminary (BTS) went on a tour in North Philly recently to visit the area that surrounds our Hunting Park extension site. You will never guess what we found there.

Bikes and Art

We were surrounded on all sides by walls covered with art created by local kids as Lauren Fisher of Orange Korner Arts, described how they were teaching, training, and raising up the next generation of young artists in the Hunting Park area of North Philadelphia. My favorite section was the impressive wall of super-heroes, but I was curious about the back section which included art made from bicycles.

While we were listening to Dan Helms of Simple Cycle explain how they sell bikes, train residents in bike repair, and reward kids who diligently work on repairs with free bikes, a group of five boys busted through the doorway, needing parts and guidance. Bikes that can’t be made useful as forms of transportation become recycled into forms of art.

BTS board member Susan Post took us on a tour of Esperanza Wellness Center, which caters to all the health needs of Hunting Park residents. The center includes a committed group of administrators, nurses, and physicians, but since it isn’t just a health clinic. They are focused on providing for a much broader array of wellness needs with, among other things, classrooms, an exercise room, and a cafeteria which serves healthy meals.

Why were we doing this?


Written by Derek Cooper Friday, 19 June 2015 10:49

Who says you can’t go medieval in Philadelphia? Last Saturday, I took our World Christian History II class on a medieval field trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

Medieval Church Philly

The field trip was dedicated to all things medieval.

First, the class received a guided tour of medieval manuscripts at the Free Library of Museum. All writings in the Middle Ages — including the Bible, of course — were painstakingly written by hand, often by monks. Many of these manuscripts were illuminated with beautiful calligraphy, bright colors, and stunning illustrations. Students saw Bibles and other Christian writings that were copied by hand from around the 1100s to the 1600s.


Written by Derek Cooper Tuesday, 16 June 2015 15:48

Most every spring, a cohort from Biblical’s LEAD Master of Divinity program prepares to attend what is called our Intercultural Ministry Experience, an international course designed to extend the learning process from the classroom to a completely different cultural and historical context. This year, Cohort 22 traveled to Turkey and Greece!

Turkey Ministry

What did we do? First, we studied on campus, then we traveled and listened while on location. Our preparation for the trip included reading and discussing books on Christian history in the Byzantine Empire, cultural intelligence, pilgrim spirituality, and the politics of modern Turkey.

The first part of our trip to Turkey and Greece was confined to Istanbul, “the land of 2,500 mosques.” Today, Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the world, boasting a population of close to 15 million. At the heart of Old Istanbul, in an area called Sultanahmet, stands what used to be the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, two of the most influential kingdoms in all of world history, which ruled large parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. While the Byzantine Empire (330-1453) was Christian, the Ottoman Empire (1099-1923) was Muslim. Both used the city of Constantinople (what is now Istanbul) as their capital—and for good reason. Not only was this city geographically strategic, but it is one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in the world.


Written by Rick Houseknecht Thursday, 11 June 2015 11:03

Between Us

I grew up as an avid fan of the group Rush. While each member of this power trio is an excellent musician, Neil Peart, the band’s percussionist, is considered a legend in his own time.

Neil Peart

In addition to his drumming prowess, “The Professor” (as he is affectionately known to his bandmates and fans) is also a very thoughtful lyricist. The words to his song Entre Nous, “Between Us,” have taken on new significance for me as I have been reflecting on the missional conversation over the past several years.

Although Peart is not a fan of Christianity, the song lyrics (especially the chorus below) are pertinent to a fundamental challenge believers have struggled with historically and continue to confront.

Just between us I think it’s time for us to recognize the differences we sometimes fear to show

Just between us I think it’s time for us to realize the spaces in between leave room for you and I to grow


Written by Kyuboem Lee Tuesday, 09 June 2015 15:59

A couple of months ago, I heard about a Youth Alpha ministry going on in the Esperanza Health Center gym in the Hunting Park neighborhood of Philadelphia from my wife Christe, who works at the Health Center, and from my church planter friend Matt Lin, the pastor of One Hope Community Church.

Missional Lessons

I was hearing about some wonderful energy for ministry among the mostly Hispanic neighborhood teens. I wanted to find out more, so I sat down for a chat with Jeremy Chen, a Biblical student and an intern at One Hope.

What I found out was that the HP Youth Alpha program cannot be perceived as a stand-alone program in a vacuum. Rather, it must be properly situated in the context of a relational network that has been built over many years by incarnational churches and individual Christians within a particular urban community. The story being told is a story of partnerships, presence, and prayer.


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