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Holmes helps to elucidate the connection between the message of faith in the scriptures and compassion required to convey this through the oratorical exhorting of observation.
This helps to highlight once key area of continuity between preaching in Paul's time and in our own. That is, preaching remains a powerful avenue through which to encourage social action, to discourse on political realities and to further distinctly Christian collective goals. In fostering these objectives today, preaching remains deeply connected to its own evolution. Accordingly, Knowles suggests that the evangelical drive to share the gospels is frequently received by those in the greatest need of social, political or economic advocacy. According to the text by Knowles, "in addition to heralding a clash of values between church and state, this is a significant observation in light of the way that evangelism and mission are sometimes conducted, with relatively disadvantaged listeners professing Christian faith…… [Read More]
In a, insightful, gaduate level, I a book eview Peaching Fed Caddock.
Caddock, F. (1985). Peaching. Abingdon Pess
Fed B. Caddock's book Peaching is designed to be used as a textbook fo seminaians enteing the ministy and a guide fo peaches cuently speading the gospel. It is intentionally designed to be used simultaneously an inspiational text and a 'nuts and bolts' guide to witing and deliveing semons; it guides students who wish to lean moe about the pocess and encouages peaches to make thei cuent deliveies moe effective and esonant with congegants. Even non-peaches could lean fom the wisdom Caddock offes in egads to becoming a bette listene in chuch. Peaching is a complex activity, both pivate and public in natue. Fundamentally, peaching is aticulating the views of a faith community as filteed though the peceptions of the peache (Caddock 1985: 18). Peaches engage in self-disclosue and offe subjective…… [Read More]
Preaching to a Shifting Culture" by Gibson
In his informative and intriguing compilation titled Preaching to a Shifting Culture:
Perspectives on Communicating that Connects, editor Scott M. Gibson deftly assembles the writing of many renowned preachers, including Haddon Robinson and ryan Chapell, into a practical framework designed to guide both current church leaders and the next generation of clergy. Employing a direct yet casual style, Gibson communicates directly to readers through the book's Introduction, and when he states unequivocally that "the purpose of this collection of essays is to explore some of the issues confronting evangelical preaching at the turn of the millennium,"1 Gibson provides a clear statement of his fundamental thesis. The concept that gradual cultural shifts have occurred while escaping the notice of preachers and churches is not novel by any means, but the way in which Gibson manages to capture this sentiment is entirely unique, as he…… [Read More]
If I was a preacher who was having a difficult time being 'biblical', then the above statement would make complete sense to me. The fact is that the iblical Scripture does incorporate numerous concepts, values and regulations that cannot be treated or understood out of the context in which they are presented. Also, the context in which they are present is also intertwined with each other in an intricate web which also needs to be understood first to fully understand the background of the principles thus formed and the guidance given thereof.
In case that this is not done efficiently, the preaching can be a mere backdrop of excerpts of Christ's life and death as well as the incidents in his life without having any really or authentic impact on the lives of the modern community. The downside here, however, is that Long, despite making a valid point, is very…… [Read More]
Of course this book is about preaching and worship services, and all that takes place within those contexts as the congregation gathers together and responds to the message from the pulpit. All Believers in the audience are there to smoothly, spiritually make the transition from the worldly issues outside to the heart of what God wants people to do. The book goes into great detail about the participation of those in attendance, about the importance of singing together, of praying together, and about the symbolism of breaking bread, which is "…a visible metaphor of how God's word works among the assembly" (Quivik, 14).
But moreover, this book opens the door to understanding and tugs on the sleeves of alert readers to reach out and find new meaning based on the truths, the metaphors, the imagery and the gospel that is presented by the author. Readers are challenged to…… [Read More]
Christ Preaching or La Petite Tombe
Christ Preaching by Rembrandt
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn was a prolific artist from seventeenth century, producing at least six hundred paintings, three hundred etchings, and two thousand drawings. His works are known for being dramatic and devoid of the formality that was common among his contemporaries. Rembrandt was born in The Netherland, and later achieved fame in Amsterdam. Having studied at the University of Leiden and as an apprentice under Jacob van Leiden, he opened his own studio by the age of twenty-one, and began taking on his own students. Marriage into a wealthy family brought him into social circles where his work was held in high esteem. After his wife's death, Rembrandt had a child out of wedlock and he was given an official reprimand by the church. Despite "living in sin," Rembrandt's work was often of religious or biblical content. One of…… [Read More]
Preaching is speaking the truth about the word of God. In the Second Edition of McDill’s now classic text, The 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching, the author revises the original text to make it relevant to the next generation of preachers and to the general public interested in the fundamentals of delivering the good news. Just as scripture itself needs to be continually revisited to remain relevant to contemporary believers, so too do Christian commentaries and guides like The 12 Essential Skills. McDill’s primary audience is would-be and aspiring preachers, but anyone, Christian or not, can gain essential wisdom from this text. The 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching is divided into four sections, plus the two prefaces (that of the original edition plus a new preface to the second edition), introduction, conclusion, and appendices. In its entirety, the book is only 300 words, offering a concise overview of…… [Read More]
preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. oe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16). Preaching the gospel is a Christian imperative. Yet in a heterogeneous, diverse, and often secular world, the obligation to share the message of Christ can become more challenging to fulfill than it had ever before. Engaging non-Christians with the Bible nevertheless remains a core component of faith, as those who have not heard the ord of God have no opportunity to be saved. Paul repeats this essential Christian value throughout his texts, noting again in Romans, " I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish," (Romans 1:14). Preaching the gospel is critical from an eschatological and theological perspective, whether the audience is "foolish," and perhaps unready to accept the truth of Christ or whether the audience has been…… [Read More]
Three Books on Preaching
How to be a Better Preacher according to Saints
We Speak the Word of the Lord: a Practical Plan for More Effective
Preaching by Harris; How to Make Homilies Better, Briefer, and Bolder by McBride and Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart by Wallace all have the same objective in mind, which is to improve one’s preaching. However, their approaches are different and the areas on which they focus reveal the preoccupations of their authors. This paper will discuss the main ideas of the books, their similarities and their differences and show how they all compare and contrast with one another.
The main idea of the book by Harris is to approach the job of preaching from a practical standpoint. The argument that Harris makes is that preachers lose sight of their immediate objective when they lack a practical plan for their…… [Read More]
The Call to Preach
The divine call to preach is a special message that one receives, and it is different from other divine calls. Some people receive a call—i.e., have a vocation to be a servant of God in a manner that does not involve preaching or caring for souls in that manner. Some are called to be brothers or sisters, contemplatives, or laborers in the vineyard (Matt 20:1-16). There are many types of vocations, and preaching is a special type of vocation that must be tested and tried and affirmed through the assistance of one’s spiritual advisors. This paper will analyze what it means to be called to preach and show how the characteristics of this divine call can be discerned.
A divine call in most cases is more than just a message that one receives and immediately responds to. It is more like a process, or an evolution,…… [Read More]
The prophetic text of Ezekiel offers important clues to the meaning of the ministry of Jesus. Ezekiel presents one of the central metaphors that Jesus would later use, particularly that of the shepherd leading the flock of the righteous to salvation. Ezekiel discusses the role of the shepherd in two different ways. First, the shepherd is responsible for searching for flock that has scattered or for flock in need of rescue. “I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness,” (Ezekiel 34:12). Second, Ezekiel refers to the shepherd’s role in discerning between the proverbial sheep and goats, administering justice according to measures like obedience. “I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice,” (Ezekiel 34:16). These passages in Ezekiel offer insight…… [Read More]
A uniquely firm and strong message, James 5:1-6 also lends itself to misinterpretation. As Pilch points out, “James does not really denounce wealth as such,” but rather, “condemns the injustice and inhumanity that so frequently accompany it,” (p. 367). James refers to atonement for labor exploitation, for example, and for unbridled greed at the expense of others. It is fully possible to preach compassion, tolerance, and inclusivity while also warning against the pitfalls of materialism. Pilch also shows how the James passage denounces social status and advocates for a true Christian community.
The Pope’s writings reflect the balanced perspective related to gospel readings that can be reinterpreted as harbingers of their era. Pope Francis speaks of our living in a “turning point in history,” marked by tremendous income and status disparities (p. 38). As much material and technological progress that has been made, the vast majority of the earth’s inhabitants…… [Read More]
Communicative Theory of Biblical Interpretation
Any theory is a composite of residual aspects of earlier theories and fresh compositions illuminated by the present context. The several theories that have been applied to the study of Scriptures are no exception, and this discussion will explore how several theories have come to coalesce in the communicative theory of Biblical interpretation. The relation of literary criticism, structural criticism, and reader-response criticism to the Biblical interpretation as seen through the lens of communicative theory will be discussed. Aspects of contextualization, relevance theory, and speech-act theory are explored with regard to the influence of these constructs on the development of modern communicative theory.
Communicative theory. The written word is a special form of communication -- a mysterious way for people to experience the inner thoughts of another being. The Bible, as a written record of the experiences and history of ancient Israelites and Christians, provides…… [Read More]
religion entered the 18th Century and with it a revival. The growth of the revival was overwhelming.More people attended church than in previous centuries. Churches from all denominations popped up throughout established colonies and cities within the United States. Religious growth also spread throughout England, Wales and Scotland. This was a time referred to as "The Great Awakening" where people like Jarena Lee got her start preaching.
Evangelism, the epicenter of the movement, preached the Old and New Testament summoned forth parishioners. Churches were erected, both grand and small by the rich and poor, however at this time, it did not matter which class system was inside; everyone was finding comfort in church attendance and the hearing of the word. The largest Protestant groups consisted of Presbyterians, aptists and Methodists. Those denominations (Anglicans, Quakers, and Congregationalists) established earlier were unable to keep up with this growing Protestant revolution.
In 1787…… [Read More]
I just wanted to be silent with you." Yet after that simple moment of stillness, silence, and mutual understanding, the young man and his spiritual mentor had a new bond of understanding and oneness in Christ, because of their mutual acknowledgement of need and fulfillment. This shows how the presence of God through the presence of another human being, or the stillness cultivated in one's own soul can be an effective form of self-teaching and teaching others, as effective as a more open and obvious discussion of doctrine. Westerhoff does not discount more conventional communal religious practice, but he regards such moments of silence that take place as essential in getting the maximum benefits from spiritual worship during a ceremony. In short, one cannot be a 'once a week' or 'once a year' Christian, the simplest, apparently secular acts of life must have a sense of connection to a larger…… [Read More]
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” (Ephesians 5:21). This outstanding sentence clarifies one of Paul’s main objectives in outlining the household codes of Ephesians. Christ is the head of the Church, to which all Christians belong. However, Paul quickly shifts focus to the patriarchal marriage union to model Christian social norms: “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything,” (Ephesians 5:24). Paul therefore uses the household code partly as an opportunity to provide a “theological justification and motivation for the subordination of wives, children and slaves to the head of the household,” (MacDonald, n.d., p. 341). Yet somewhat mysteriously, Paul switches back again and states, “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church,” (5:32). Modern readers should not take Paul’s message about marriage customs and gender roles seriously, but should pay close attention to…… [Read More]
With St. Paul, Luke traveled to several different destinations including Samothrace and Philippi -- where he appears to have lingered to guide the Church. The duo then reunite in Troas and Luke is with St. Paul during the latter's stay in a oman jail. As Paul says: "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11).
Exactly what Luke did with Paul during this time is debated: "St. Jerome thinks it is most likely that St. Luke is 'the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches' (2 Corinthians 8:18), and that he was one of the bearers of the letter to Corinth" (Knight, 2011).
Luke also brings special awareness to the importance of mercy and forgiveness, with the parable of the Prodigal Son and the tale of the woman whose sins were forgiven because she bathed Christ's feet in her tears.
But this special awareness is also…… [Read More]
plea to the hearts and minds of people who are being knowledgeable of the distinctive qualities and assert from the Episcopal Church. The charm from the Church tends to be realized all over our land. Its extensiveness of empathy for every situations of people, the highly convincing perspective regarding the joys of life, the liberty from peculiarity of practice and faith, have unveil the Episcopal Church to the awareness of a lot of people whose religious association have been interfered with or destabilized. e always come across some evident problem, Steve Klein (2007), which makes a lot of people not to join the Episcopal Church. The Church tends to be rather odd, or cold, or complex. It tends not to fulfill the condition that training which is done earlier results to majority anticipation in a church. The services are somehow rigid and obscure; the ways are complex; it has strange…… [Read More]
The Christ-hymn, or Christological Canticle from Colossians, contains several distinguishing features in its content and structure. One of the most unique elements, which has been a point of contention for Christians, is that the hymn points to Christ’s role in creation (cosmology), and Christ’s role in reconciliation (soteriology). The Canticle can be interpreted to show that Christ serves effectively as a “unifying principle, holding the universe together at its head,” (MacDonald, n.d., p. 65). Christ also holds together the church: positioning Christ clearly as the symbolic head and the Church as the body of Christ (MacDonald, n.d., p. 66). As MacDonald (n.d.) also points out, the cultural and historical context of the Christological Canticle informed some of its more mystical and symbolic dimensions. Extended to the global Christian community, the Christological Canticle from Colossians offers clear focus for how to worship, and particularly, how to worship within a Christian community.…… [Read More]
This dance was very powerful as it did scare the European people. They did not fully understand the reason behind the dance and the religion, but they were very clear as to what the apocalypse was and they wondered if the Indians were somehow summoning the end of the world. Not soon after this Ghost dance caused such a commotion, an Indian by the name of Handsome Lake who was a leader for the Seneca tribe brought a new message to the Iroquois people. His message was to end the drinking. The Iroquois people had began to drink a lot of alcohol that was often offered to them from the European people during the fur trade. Handsome Lake believed that many of the problems that the Iroquois people faced was related to the alcohol. Many of the Indian people were drunk when they were trying to handle problems of poverty…… [Read More]
exegesis and demonstrate what is needed in order to do a proper exegesis of a passage of scripture. In doing so name at least three different methods of scriptural criticism and explain how they assist in the exegetical task.
In a strictly definitional sense, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, to conduct an "exegesis" merely means to embark upon a critical explanation or analysis of a text. (American Heritage Dictionary, exegesis, 2000) However, this neutral term contains, within its innocent sounding syllables, contains a long history of contentiousness, regarding scriptural interpretation. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "exegesis" within the context of scriptural criticism is the branch of theology that investigates and expresses the true sense of Sacred Scripture. (Catholic Encyclopedia, "exegesis," 2001) The true sense is not merely understood, even by the devout, as a unified study, however.
To conduct an appropriate exegesis one must first understand the literal meaning…… [Read More]
" It caused missionaries to deal with peoples of other cultures and even Christian traditions -- including the Orthodox -- as inferior. God's mission was understood to have depended upon human efforts, and this is why we came to hold unrealistic universalistic assumptions. Christians became so optimistic that they believed to be able to correct all the ills of the world." (Vassiliadis, 2010)
Missiology has been undergoing changes in recent years and after much serious consideration Christians in the ecumenical era "are not only questioning all the above assumptions of the Enlightenment; they have also started developing a more profound theology of mission. One can count the following significant transitions:
(a) From the missio christianorum to the missio ecclesiae;
(b) the recognition later that subject of mission is not even the Church, either as an institution or through its members, but God, thus moving further from the missio ecclesiae to…… [Read More]
Huckleberry Finn is the closest we have to a national hero. We trust the story of a boy with no home and who is restless as the river -- The genius of America is that it permits children to leave home; it permits us to be different from our parents. But the sadness, the loneliness, of America is clear too.
What is odriguez telling us about a central feature of the American Character, and about tensions within our core values? What reasons, what causes, might contribute to this national tendency? Which authors and/or other course materials support your ideas?
There is a tension within the American character. On the one hand, we pride ourselves so our individuality. On the other, we seek to conform, fit in, be a part of the 'melting pot'; but we are forever lonely.
Individualism has been an intrinsic part of the American myth. It is…… [Read More]
The covenant is the central motif in Jewish identity and consciousness, representing the unique relationship between the Jews and God. Although there are several instances during which the Jewish people engage in covenant with God, the most significant and momentous is the covenant God forms with Moses, who in turn communicates God's will to the Jewish people. As Boadt (1984) points out, the covenant is also significant from literary and historical perspectives because "all of biblical history may be called a theology of the covenant," (p. 174). The covenant represents a bilateral relationship and form of communication, a sort of mutually beneficial agreement in which both God and the Jewish people agree to specific behaviors that are expressions of mutual trust, love, and loyalty. Essentially, the covenant is a binding contract between God and the Jews, which outlines the parameters of the relationship and what is expected of both parties.…… [Read More]
1. What were the historical contexts for the composition of the J Source, the E Source, the D Source (briefly) and the P Source?
Based on their different styles, biblical scholars original believed that Moses combined two different sources to write the early chapters of Genesis, 200 years of research by 539 BCE determined that there were four different authors, termed J (Yahwist which describes as "primitive anthropomorphic view of God), E (Elohist which "shows a deeper awareness of God's distance), D (Deuteronomist which "reflects the later and more sensitive concern of the prophets to the ethical demands and oneness of God over the whole world") and P (Priestly which "brings together the complex institutional, cultic, and legal aspects of Israelite faith") (p. 97), respectively, a system that is still followed today.
2. How did that affect the content and message of each?
The four different authors of the early…… [Read More]
.....servant" and the Servant theme is in a series of poetic verses contained in the Book of Isaiah known collectively and alliteratively as the "suffering servant songs." They are dubbed the "suffering servant songs" because the motif of suffering suddenly seems to reach a new level of importance in the consciousness of the Jewish people, especially through subsequent series of exile experiences. The analogy of the Servant is one that is highly complex and explored in depth through the "suffering servant songs," which eloquently and lyrically define the special relationship between God and His people.
Throughout what are not necessarily chronological but thematic verses, the theme of the Servant is explored in depth, suggesting a fundamental shift in religious consciousness regarding the relationship between God and humanity. Whereas the Christian worldview would later ascribe the Servant identity to Jesus, the Jewish worldview views the Servant as being the Jewish people…… [Read More]
Paul's First Missionary Journey
The conversion of Paul from Saul on his way to Damascus marked the beginning of his evangelical work.
Paul and arnabas were believers in the newly established church in Antioch of Syria.
They received the calling from God while in church praying alongside leaders of the church.
Paul was dogmatic, without proper strategy and planning for his missionary journey.
The first missionary journey of Paul
Paul's first missionary journey began at Antioch of Syria
He sailed with arnabas, and john Mark as their helper.
John Mark made his decision and left them as they arrived at Pisidia
Paul travelled through the following places, preaching the Good News and making disciples; the island of Cyprus, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra and Derbie
Through his missionary work, he received mixed reception, some places acceptance and others wild rejection, to the point of being stoned.
Paul's strategy in his…… [Read More]
Kaiser's Toward An Exegetical Theology And Goldsworthy's Preaching The Whole ible As Christian Scripture
oth Walter Kaiser and Graeme Goldsworthy take very different approaches to the ible in their respective works Toward an Exegetical Theology and Preaching the Whole ible as Christian Scripture. The former examines Scripture using more of a syntactical-theological method, providing a framework for everything from contextual analysis to syntactical, verbal, theological, and homiletical analysis. Kaiser also covers the use of prophecy, narrative and poetry in expository preaching. His approach, in short, is more academic than that of Goldsworthy's, who comes at the subject of Scripture from the perspective of the evangelical preacher, and thus delivers a more practical approach. For this reason Preaching the Whole ible as Christian Scripture consists of two basic parts: the first, which addresses essential questions regarding preaching and Scripture; and the second, which addresses practical issues related to applying biblical theology…… [Read More]
Greidanus' Preaching Christ from the Old Testament and Merrill's Everlasting Dominion: A Theology of the Old Testament may be compared and contrasted on the grounds that both approach the Old Testament Scriptures, though each does it a different and unique way. Greidanus' method of examining the Old Testament is to approach it from the perspective of the New Testament -- namely, to show how Christ is evident all throughout the Old Testament Scriptures and why and how the latter link directly to the coming of the former. Specifically, Greidanus' objective in his book is to show that Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Merrill, on the other hand, takes a much more immersive approach to Old Testament and examines it thoroughly and in great detail, looking at everything from the creation of man to the fall to the prophets, the kings, the covenants and the commandments. It is,…… [Read More]
To combat subjectivity, he called for interpretation to be subject to church authority, which was the voice of reason. Reardon (1981) echoes this interpretation: "Hooker sets out to refute the puritan contention that in religion holy scripture affords the sole and absolute authority and rule" (p. 280). Hooker shows that the narrow principle of sola scriptura "disregards the larger context of the divine law in creation within which even the scriptural revelation must be placed if we are to understand its proper scope and purpose" (Reardon, 1981, p. 280). Not far from the Reformers, they upheld the idea that the directly inspired written word contains supernatural revelation. There is perhaps less emphasis on preaching and proclamation in the Anglicans than in the Reformers.
hat is the status of the creeds and traditions? In Anglicanism, the Nicene, the Athanasius, and the Apostle's creeds are stressed as true because they are taken…… [Read More]
Preacher and the Ancient Text
This was an extremely technical text which offers deeper insights for anyone who desires to have a deeper understanding of all biblical issues and literary themes. This is because this text is able to offer a more nuanced perspective of major biblical pillars in terms of their own historical and literary viewpoint, while interlacing it with strong theological content. One of the deeper insights that were gleaned from studying this text was the fact that this book offers a superb means of explaining some of these more intricate pillars.
One of the more lucid insights that were gained from studying this book was as a result of the fusion developed from the hermeneutics and homiletics and the holistic approach that was engaged in. All insights gain were as a result of the link that Greidanus is able to forge in regards to the different arenas…… [Read More]
The literary genre in the Bible can make a significant different into the interpretation of the passage. hat the grammatical form of a word is, or what the role of a word or phrase is in relation to the sentence as a whole (syntax), are important considerations in determining meaning; but it is also important to consider that every statement in Scripture is part of the total context of the canon of Scripture and as such no single statement can completely reveal all of divine truth on any topic, the whole counsel of the ord of God is important for understanding the individual statements in the Bible (Taylor, 2012).
hat are some instances of interpreting a biblical passage apart from its immediate context. Give an example of how ignoring the immediate can lead to an erroneous understanding or application of the text? Cite the specific passage you are discussing…… [Read More]
Yet, before one can understand Johnson's call for a taking back of the feminine Christ, one must first understand how the feminine Christ was lost.
The starting point is with the ministries of Christ and to the point of his resurrection. This short period of time is the only time that Jesus himself was in charge of defining his philosophy, although even he recognized the fact that history would define him and not himself.
Jesus' ministry involved numerous acts of kindness, preaching and forgiveness. Many of these acts are seen as miracles, or "Signs" as the Gospel of John refers to them. These included exorcisms, walking on water, turning water into wine, and raising people from the dead. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus' ministry lasted for a period of three years. The major event of the ministry phase was the giving of the Sermon on the Mount, where…… [Read More]
Greidanus, Sidney. "The Modern Preacher Ancient Text." Eerdmans Publishing: Grand apids, 1988. Please write separately pages shown.
Chapter eview: 1, 6 &
According to Sidney Greidanus in his book The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text, although we in modernity often like to say that talk is cheap, words are the way in which God communicates with human beings and preaching is an extension of this fact. The earliest preachers, the apostles, acted as representatives of God on earth and used words to transmit their messages. "Preaching is the proclamation of Christianity to the non-Christian world." [footnoteef:1] Preaching, however, is not merely the musings of the preacher 'off the cuff' or personal ruminations but must be securely grounded in Christian texts. It is very important that all forms of Christian preaching are yoked in their intention and scope to the Bible. [1: Sidney Greidanus, The Modern Preacher and the Ancient…… [Read More]
interviewed the pastor of Grace Life Baptist Church in uby Michigan, USA.
Would you say that your congregation (or the people within your particular department or area of ministry) is "Thinking Like Jesus" (i.e. Unity, Humility, Selflessness) as they interact, serve, and minister to/with each other? How specifically do you as a ministry leader teach, cultivate, and maintain "The Mind of Christ" in your area of ministry?
What we preach to the followers is to be like Jesus and to be like the Lord, one has to think like Him. It is not enough to know the right but also to believe that it as a way of life. Like Jesus, we preach that one should think of the heart and hence the sermon: "as he thinks in his heart, so is he." This essentially means that we should live in our hearts and think in the heart and this…… [Read More]
Genesis 12:10-20 and the Modern World:
Genesis 12:10-20 is a text about Abram and Sarai in Egypt that is considered as one of the great epos narrated in the ook of Genesis. efore the narration of this story, Abram is portrayed as an individual with several positive attributes including righteousness and humility. However, the story highlights several troubling concerns and questions regarding Abram's character, beliefs, and behaviors in relation to God and Sarai. These troubling questions and concerns have become the subject of interest and study throughout the ages. Actually, the concerns have been examined in various commentaries, adaptations and interpretations, and plot extensions. The story has mainly been examined from two schools of thought starting with a description of Sarai's beauty, attractiveness, and sexuality from the male perspective
. The second school of thought is typical expressions of male sexual discourse in light of Abram's disturbing behavior. Therefore, Genesis…… [Read More]
let us begin by analyzing the Pharisees.
The term itself is derived from a Hebrew word which literally means "separated." Right from the ethimological interpretation we can deduce that the Pharisees were a group of people who saw things differently compared to the majority. This difference was manifested in the religious area, but also in the political area and the social one.
The Second Temple was the period in which the Phariseean philosophy flourished. It is worth underlining that it is this very philosophy and religious thought that put the basis of the contemporary forms of Judaism.
During the reign of the king Antiochus Epiphanes in which numerous pressures were being made in order to impose the Hellenistic culture and polytheist religion, an anti-Hellenistic Jewish movement was created in order to defend the traditional views.
This movement was called the Hasidim and the Pharisees are one of the group's successors.…… [Read More]
On the whole, it can be said that the first verses of Chapter 9 (Luke, 9: 1-6) are a summary of the main ideas of the entire Gospel of Luke. Even more, it makes the connection to other passages from the Gospel while at the same time explains in a more explicit manner their meaning. This is due in fact to the comprehensive, yet concise way in which the most important ideas are expressed, ideas that had been mentioned and developed before in the biblical text.
Firstly, the focal points that are mentioned relate to the authority with which the apostles were invested by Jesus. They have been given the "power and authority over all demons." (Luke, 9: 1) This idea however is seen before in the Gospel of Luke. Thus, the theme of exorcising demons is present also in Luke 4:33-37, which presents Jesus and one of His Acts…… [Read More]
Life of John the Baptist
John the Baptist was the son of a Jewish couple by the names of Elizabeth and Zachariah; they were both associate of the Jewish priesthood division. Both where well on in years and they still had no children because Elizabeth was barren. All of his life, Zachariah had prayed to the Lord God to give him a son. Then, one day, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him not to be afraid of him, he told him that his prayers had been listen to and they were about to be answered.
Zachariah was then told that his wife Elizabeth, despite of her age, would bear him a son and that they would name him John. The angel also told Zachariah that his son John would be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit from the very first day of his…… [Read More]
In the context of these visions, any admixture of Jewish identity with foreign ways represented not only just such a hypocritical failure to trust God in all things but, ultimately, a decision to vanish from history. First, Ezekiel reminds his audience, the nations closely related to Israel failed through jealousy, pride, and treason.
Next, he prophesies that the great merchant cities of Phoenicia
are eventually doomed to ruin in the fullness of time -- whereas Israel itself will be regathered into its own land again.
This reminder of the election of Israel must have come as both a bitter challenge to the exiles (who had seen their nation brought low and their connection to it severed) and an argument that, even in such challenging circumstances, fidelity to the Covenant would ultimately reap much greater rewards than any attempt to attach themselves to a foreign civilization.
Significantly, Ezekiel's prophetic vision singles…… [Read More]
Dulles proposed five models of the Church in his former book "models of the Church.' The first model sees the Church as "a divinely established society with definite articles of belief and binding law" (254). As a single, organized, visible order, salvation can be found in only one place -- the Church, inside it and not external to it, and to Roman Catholics inside one place and one place only and that is the RC church.
The second model postulates that the church is the communal site for an atmosphere of love and grace that is wrought through the Holy Spirit and is evidenced both between the community members themselves (between fellow and fellow) and also between worshipper and God.
According to the third model, the Church embodies within itself the Grace and spirit of Christ. In that sense, it serves -- or is -- a sacrament, a visible sacred…… [Read More]
The popularization of the idea, though was somewhat linguistic in that when speaking of God and the Holy Spirit, different words were used that could mean "person," "nature," "essence," or "substance," -- words that were part of a longer, and far older tradition, but not adopted by the new Church .
Later, to echo this interpretation, the French Dominican Yves Conger, wrote that the Spirit of God was equal to the Spirit of Wisdom -- intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle
However, we must realize, too, that there was a long and rich tradition within the Ancient Near East. Whether one subscribes to the idea that essential mythos was something common arising out of civilization and being passed forward, or that each individual religion of the Ancient World was divinely inspired by its own set of beings, the concept of the Trinity is neither new, nor linked inexorably to the New…… [Read More]
At first like the Christians, those who practiced Islam (i.e., the Muslims) were persecuted for their beliefs which resulted in Islam failing to spread much beyond the city of Mecca, but as Muhammad gained many converts, Islam began to spread to other regions of the Middle East, mostly due to the teachings in the Holy Quran which taught that all men are equal in the eyes of Allah and are brothers in God.
The spread of Christianity and Islam was also due to a number of factors related to socio-economic and political conditions within the Middle East. For example, when Christian churches were established in some of the major cities within and outside of what is now Israel circa the 4th century a.D., many of the believers were very poor and poverty-stricken and were searching for ways to relieve their suffering, and once these believers decided to move into the…… [Read More]
By that preaching, Luther emoted to Albrecht, "O great God! The souls committed to your care, excellent Father, are thus directed to death (Sobolewski,2001, pg 57-58)."
To present his position to the church, Martin Luther met with the Augustinian Order in Heidelberg (Sobolewski,2001). This became known as the Heidelberg disputation. During this disputation Luther was told that he needed to retract the statements made in the theses. However Martin Luther refused to take back any of the positions that he presented. The catholic authorities were very dismayed by his decision and he was viewed as a traitor and eventually he was excommunicated (Sobolewski,2001).
In addition to being excommunicated Martin Luther was labeled a heretic and criticized severely for the stances that he took. At the time of his assertions and throughout the centuries following his death, Martin Luther was viewed by many as a heretic who had no respect for…… [Read More]
His followers claimed He had risen as He said He would, bodily appeared to them and then bodily ascended into Heaven, as Elijah prophesied. This experience emboldened them to come out of hiding and they gathered at the upper room of the Cenacle on the Day of the Pentecost. From then on, they openly preached the radical ethic taught by Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is the origin of Christian worship and prayer and it directly links Jesus to God and Jesus has been called Lord, the Christ, the faithful and true witness. His followers who observed and advocated His teachings of the Good News were called Christians. Christianity was later founded and spread by the Roman soldier, Saul, who persecuted the Christians but was converted into an apostle by a direct encounter with Christ on Saul's way to Damascus. He was later renamed Paul.
Jesus as a Jew demanded…… [Read More]
Their primary duty is that of guiding the spiritual and religious aspects of the lives of their community members. They should give the highest priority to their duties towards the community including church service, counseling and other ceremonial functions required by their profession. As part of their professional and ethical duties, pastors are also required to show an interest in community development and increase their participation in community activities. This has become a necessity in modern culture because people expect institutions to take an interest and an active role in the community development efforts. Institutions cannot expect to benefit from the resources of the society and not give back. This is why business organizations, universities and even political parties make community development a part of their organization's commitment to the society and the people they serve. eligious institutions like the church are also expected to follow this example. The pastor,…… [Read More]
A few thousand people gathered at the venue that evening, and when Dr. Martin Luther King took up the mike and spoke that he was 'tired' of being discriminated against and segregated all the time and that it was time to start changing. The principles to use, he stated were those of non-violence and non-co-operation, and these would bring about justice and freedom for his people who were undergoing constant humiliations at every step in their lives. Persuasion, and not coercion, and Christian love, and a basic desire to listen to one's own conscience and act according to the dictates of the conscience must be the motto to be followed, he said, and this would bring about more results than those of violence and bloodshed. During his speech, Martin Luther King Jr. stated that if his people would protest against these constant indignities with courage, and not with violence, with…… [Read More]
Very little reliable information is available on John Knox's birth and early childhood, but it is supposed that he was probably born and grew up in a district of Haddington called Gifford Gate. This is about 17 miles outside of Edinburgh. His early education was received at the grammar school of Haddington. After his schooling, Knox attended the university at Glasgow, where he proved himself able to aptly dispute and debate theological issues. This was a time during which reformed Christian theology was beginning to make its appearance in the general Christian education of the time. The type of education Knox received was therefore mainly theological, with an added element of dispute, which was indicative of the paradigm of his time.
John Knox is known best for his role in the reformation of the church, and for his gifted preaching. The reformer first appeared prominently in this capacity…… [Read More]
John Knox, the Scottish Reformer, is hailed as one of the fathers of Protestant church reform. His undying passion for his beliefs as well as a strong bond of friendship with several religious women, sustained him in his work until he died. His work comprises a number of sermons and religious writings that carry on his legacy to this day. There is some disagreement regarding the year of his birth, but critics believe this event to be somewhere in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The Dictionary of National iography for example places Knox's birth at round about 15141, while Miles Hodges places it at 15052.
According to the Dictionary, Knox was born at Cliffordgate in Haddington. An interesting fact is that he occasionally adopted his mother's maiden name, Sinclair, as an alias when he found himself obliged to hide from persecutors. His father, William Knox came from…… [Read More]
Here we have an account of the definitive formation of the twelve-tribe league incorporating people who may well have had ancient ties with Israelite tribes but who only now pledge their undivided allegiance to the God of Israel."
Thus, Shechem is, according to Hillers, one of the most important place for the Covenant renewal, since it was the first that was witnessed by the united Israelite tribes.
John Van Seters, on the other hand, offers a different explanation for the origins of the text in Joshua 24. He concludes that the resemblances in form between the Covenant at Shechem and the Deuteronomy Covenant makes it plausible that the Joshua 24 has to be just an addition to the Deuteronomy work:
There is only one solution to this dilemma and that is that Joshua 24.1-27 was composed as an addition to the Dtr. work. It is post-Dtr. And was inserted before…… [Read More]
hat does this passage say about the relationship with God?
Robert Imperato observes that "Matthew connects Jesus repeatedly to Jewish prophecy throughout the text" (17). The point he emphasizes, however, is that the Jews had a special relationship to God, through the Mosaic covenant contained in the Old Testament.
Yet, Jesus makes it clear, according to Imperato, that He is giving "a new interpretation of the Law" (17). In fact, Jesus is fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies, identifying Himself as the Son of God, and the Messiah in whom the prophets must place their trust if they seek salvation.
Therefore, Christ sets out the guidelines for the new relationship with the Lord that all must have who do indeed wish to cry out, "Lord, Lord." The Lord, through Christ, is showing that the way to salvation is not through legalism, or through adherence only to the Old Law,…… [Read More]
Justo L.Gonzalez, The Story Christianity, 1 volume (preferably 2010 edition) ii.
The Crusades -- interpretation and history
There is much controversy regarding Crusades, their purpose, and the general effect that they left on society. Largely accepted as conflicts that started with the purpose of protecting the Byzantine Empire and Christianity as a whole, Crusades have taken place over the course of several centuries and have had a strong influence on religious ideologies in the Middle East. Although there were many individuals who actually fought in the name of what they perceived as being divinity, a large number of people took advantage of these conflicts by exploiting believers and by gathering wealth that was being brought from the East. In spite of the fact that they were religious in character, the Crusades were also meant to strengthen political and economic conditions in Europe by securing its place and influence in the…… [Read More]
Are sign gifts for today or have they ceased? What is the purpose of the sign gifts, and if they are being practiced today, are sign gifts being practiced in a biblical manner?
Debate among Christians ranges on whether the spiritual gifts entailing; miracles, healing and prophecy are for today. There is consensus among Christians that the gifts were part of the first century church. The latter is a held in consensus among believers that the Bible is the word supreme being (God). The debate on Gifts and Signs for today looks at the more visible occult gifts which leave people asking does perform miracles through the special emissary individuals. The debates do not question whether God is still powerful, rather whether he demonstrates his powers through those who claim to be doing his work. The argument among this people is what signs the gifts are meant to…… [Read More]
Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty
Major Schools of Thought and Actors
In Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty, Elaine L. Graham addresses Traditional, Postmodern, Empirical, Liberation and Feminist perspectives on Theology and ultimately on Pastoral Theology. In order to address these perspectives, Graham traces the historical development of each, current theological realities, and prospective "horizons." The result is an extensive review of the Pastoral Theolog (y)(ies) of the Church and its faith communit (y)(ies), viewed very strongly through the feminist pastoral perspective.
As presented by Graham, the Traditional perspective is built on Scripture that is rife with patriarchy and an overarching patriarchal hierarchy. hile providing conventionally binding values and norms, the Traditional perspective is decidedly male-centered: traditionally-based pastoral theology tended to focus on the traits of a good male pastor and was essentially restricted to the pastoral ministry of ordained males.…… [Read More]
Jesus as Healer in First Century Judaism
This is a paper that analyzes Jesus as a healer at the time when he had to deal with first century Judaism.
Jewish law in the Old Testament prevented idolatry practices that prevailed before Judaism had an influence over people. Pagan rituals often consisted of worshippers making sacrifices to idols, and the initial prophets went through hardships to help these people change their ways. To begin with, the task of changing their beliefs was momentous, as preaching about a God that cannot be seen was difficult and opposed easily. However, with the grace of God, the prophets succeeded after persisting for many years.
As a result of the efforts of the prophets that came before Jesus, the Jewish world was well-versed in all the laws that they were given through the prophet Moses. These laws were rigid because they aimed at ameliorating the…… [Read More]
As her meetings became increasingly well-attended (men and women participated) they also became controversial because she was teaching religious and spiritual values that bucked the system.
Those that supported her theories and her right to hold these twice-a-week meetings became polarized from those who questioned her right to go against traditional church teachings. If you questioned the Church, then you also questioned the State, Reuben explains. She was put on trial, accused of heresy and of doing acts that were "not fitting for her sex" (women were supposed to be subservient to men), and was banished from the Colony (Reuben, p. 4/6).
The challenges that Hutchinson put forward to the Church's fundamentally strict tenets through her preaching were bold and in hindsight, they were absolutely correct. She was a person well ahead of her time, and did not fear being banished because her beliefs were so strong. The historical record…… [Read More]
Theology: The aptism Debate
Peter's encouragement sermon on the Day of Pentecost -- "repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) has been the source of raging debate, marred by conflicting views on i) whether Peter was referring to spirit or water baptism; and ii) whether through the phrase 'be baptized…the forgiveness of sins', Peter was identifying baptism as a requirement for salvation[footnoteRef:1]. In other words, should Peter's exhortation be interpreted at face value, or should it be understood some other way? This text purposes to interact with the opposing views on these issues, examine their theological and syntactic viability, and then conclude with an interpretation that aligns with both the immediate and the larger contexts of the verse in question. [1: 1 ruce Compton, "Water aptism and the…… [Read More]
Failure of Family: The Irony of the Vicar of akefield
Tolstoy states that every happy family is the same (Tolstoy 1). He says this because happiness is the effect of a life well lived and not of any other cause, which is also the philosophy of Plato (Plato 47). Unhappy families, however, are unhappy mainly because they have failed to live well, or virtuously. That is the case of the Primrose family in The Vicar of akefield: the family undergoes terrible misfortunes mainly because it fails to live for the good or to understand its own place in the world. The primary responsibility for the misfortune falls on the parents who fail to recognize their own faults and do not raise their children correctly. The parents also fail to realize who they are in social terms and thus deceive themselves as to their actual social value. This paper will show…… [Read More]
Paul dealt with the various issues of the Thessalonian church in both a practical and theoretical manner. He chose to deal with grief and loss by enabling discussion and explanation of the Second Coming and the concept of resurrection. He provided comfort and guidance to his members, a social aspect of associations and clubs often witnessed within their cities. In addition, he preached a ministry of pleasing God to prepare for the day when Christ returns.
Greek city life often involved clubs and associations. This meant most Greeks participated in social clubs and activities. Paul operated within a club or association context. He knew this was a practical way to appeal to the Thessalonians as clubs and associations allowed members to participate, created a sense of community, and even covered funeral expenses. Paul also knew the omans would not view the synagogue as a threat if it were seen as…… [Read More]
When examining the Prophet Muhammad in a religious-historical context, it is helpful to compare him to another central religious figure in the history of the West in order to highlight how he is unique. For example, while Christ plays the role of God-Man in the Christian religion, Muhammad simply plays the role of man—though a very special one, of course.[footnoteRef:1] As the Qur’an notes: “Muhammad is no more than an apostle: many were the apostle that passed away before him.”[footnoteRef:2] However, Muhammad’s nature is unlike that of other men, for he is recognized in Islam as having the “most perfect nature” and as being “like a jewel among stones.”[footnoteRef:3] Similarly to the way in which Christ is beloved of the Father in Christianity, Muhammad is “the beloved of God (habib Allah), whom the Quran calls an excellent model (uswah hasanah) to emulate.”[footnoteRef:4] Another distinction that can be made is…… [Read More]