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Tag Archives: orthodox

Learning from the Global Church

I have loved studying church history and global Christianity for well over 30 years. This passion has been fed by my thirty-year friendship with Scott W. Sunquist, a gifted scholar who now serves as a Dean at Fuller Theological Seminary. While God led Scott into PhD work and seminary teaching, God led me to pastor a local church. Yet our different paths, along with our common passion for Christ and His mission, have served as an “iron sharpening iron” experience over the years for us. Scott recently released an important book entitled – The Unexpected Christian Century – that captures some important insights as we consider the work of God today. Consider the following image: The graphic illustrates the following: Christian faith has deep roots going back to Creation and the work of God in Israel over the centuries. What holds The Church together is Jesus (God incarnate who has entered our world as. Read more.

Listening to the Church in the World

As part of the inauguration of the new President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an afternoon symposium was held called “Windows on the Church in the World.: A U.S. and Global Panel.” There were many things for us in the West to hear from the church around the world, but the following were my take-aways: 1. David Zac Niringiye, a bishop and teacher from Northern Uganda, spoke about the church, power, and the cross. He talked about standing up against corruption in Uganda, his arrest by the government, and the silence of the church. He shared about how many churches in Africa support corrupt dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in exchange for access to power and perks like free land. He challenged us, “You want to talk about our dictators in Africa. We want to ask you, ‘What about your President Bush who went to war in Iraq on false pretenses and you didn’t say a word?’” He challenged. Read more.

Listening to the Church in the World

As part of the inauguration of the new President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an afternoon symposium was held called “Windows on the Church in the World.: A U.S. and Global Panel.” There were many things for us in the West to hear from the church around the world, but the following were my take-aways: 1. David Zac Niringiye, a bishop and teacher from Northern Uganda, spoke about the church, power, and the cross. He talked about standing up against corruption in Uganda, his arrest by the government, and the silence of the church. He shared about how many churches in Africa support corrupt dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in exchange for access to power and perks like free land. He challenged us, “You want to talk about our dictators in Africa. We want to ask you, ‘What about your President Bush who went to war in Iraq on false pretenses and you didn’t. Read more.

10 Trends for 2013

Where we live impacts us. I have been the pastor of a multiracial, international church in New Life in Queens, NY for the more than twenty five and a half years. It is the soil out of which I see the world and the larger church. Thus, I offer the following trends, or concerns, that I believe we need to carry to God in prayer: Evangelicalism will continue to lose young people in their teens, 20’s and 30’s who are genuinely searching for an authentic transformative experience with God. The issue of same-sex marriage and partnerships will increasingly dominate our youth ministries. We will be very slow to equip our youth leaders and ministries with a well-thought, nuanced, theological response. There will continue to be little interest for Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox believers to learn from one another. Marriage discipleship will remain non-existent or superficial in our churches. The high divorce rate, along. Read more.

The Way to the Future is through the Past

In preparation for our Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference I spent a lot of time reading of about the impact of social media/technology on our formation in Christ along with the importance of learning from other spiritual traditions outside of contemporary evangelicalism to root us deeply in Christ. What are the lessons I learned? 1. We need to learn from Roman Catholics, Orthodox churches and church history. Remember, Luther was anti-Semite. Calvin drowned an Anabaptist for believing in baptism by immersion. Jonathan Edwards had slaves. Azusa Street, in 1906, split on racism.  While my church historian friend, Dr. Scott Sunquist, reminds me that the roots of evangelicalism in the 18th and 19th century was marked by a generous spirit towards other traditions, that is not the case today.  We are often deeply judgmental and narrow. Our church family genogram since Pentecost has many riches and warts. By studying this history, we can see better what. Read more.

Your Calling, Your Work and Your Life

Can you imagine with me what it might be like if every Christian in our churches understood their identity as the following: “I am in the full-time ministry and I am a first grade teacher.” “I am in the full-time ministry and I am a nurse.” “I am in the full-time ministry and I am a mom at home”? Last week I began a series on Your Life, Your Work and Your Calling. It is one of those truths I have believed my whole life, but recognize that I have not fully integrated into my own life or leadership. The main points of our calling, from Scripture, are simple. 1. Every Christian is fully called. 2. Your calling is your whole life. 3. All your work and life is holy/sacred/spiritual. Everyone, everywhere in everything, by God, to God and for God. The division of sacred and secular spheres has a long, long history (going. Read more.