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


Written by Derek Cooper Friday, 06 February 2015 00:00

Several years ago, I attended a family reunion. Although held in Texas, where my father’s side of the family has called home for six generations, relatives from other states and even foreign countries attended. During the two-day event, I spent most of my time with those I had known since childhood—my two brothers (of course), my first cousins, their parents, and my grandparents.

Christian Family Reunion

However, I also socialized with second and third cousins, distant granduncles and grandaunts, and many other relatives reportedly once or twice removed from family members I scarcely knew existed.

At the reunion, I watched videos of great-grandparents who had died before I was born, but who obviously played a pivotal role in my family’s life. I heard heartwarming tales about my ancestors who immigrated to the United States in pursuit of their dreams. I listened to tragic stories about family members who had divorced, died prematurely, or otherwise experienced some calamity that left emotional scars on those closest to me. I held in my hands silver cutlery, porcelain dishes, and other articles my forefathers used. I glanced at photographs of people who looked eerily like me other than differences in hairstyle and wardrobe.


Written by Susan Disston Wednesday, 28 January 2015 00:00

Most—if not all—students would be thrilled to know that their professor’s idea of fun is studying the subject he or she is teaching. Here at BTS our professors enjoy teaching. Most of them have not testified to this in a book. But one professor did.

Church History

Dr. Derek Cooper, professor of World Christian History, wrote:

“The study of church history is one of the most exciting adventures on which one can embark in academia. Unlike some disciplines, the field of church history is constantly in flux and never static. New discoveries of ancient articles drive us toward novel interpretations and revisions of old ones. The geographic extent of church history is immense, encompassing the entire globe. Its ongoing engagement with new cultures, people groups, and worldviews propels it into new sphere of influence and new orbits of thought.

Did you know that about church histor... that church history engages, propels, and orbits…that it encompasses cultures, people, and worldviews? If you missed these things, then like a lot of Christians, you don’t know much about history. Many Christians dismiss church history because they think it’s about “the church-as-institution,” as in doctrine, denominations, disputes, divisions, and so on.


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