There has been somewhat of a stigma that too much theological learning, too much questioning, or too much interaction with those who might question some orthodox beliefs will lead one to lose his/her faith. Sometimes Acts 26:24 is even cited poorly as an attempt to credit those claims. We recently asked Dr. Craig Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and author of over 20 books ranging from works for the church to dense theological tomes, how he understands the intersection of faith and learning.
There is a vast dialogue in the public square between different people groups and the church about so many vast and complex issues. However, there is one concept that is heard over and over: we must learn to tolerate one another. But is tolerance the paradigm that we as Christians and members of a society and a culture can rely on?
Emery has been a staple in music for many who grew up in the church but wanted music that was outside of the typically accepted realm of what some would call “Christian”. Being a Christian in a band that was not quite the accepted medium of art, Toby Morrell offers great insight into the real of music, art, faith, and the church. Toby, while still touring and making music with Emery, is now a worship pastor, blogger, and curates a popular podcast and brand entitled “Bad Christian”.
In light of Jesus’ attitude toward money, we as Christians are forced to confront the question: “What role does money play in our lives?” I think if we were really honest with ourselves, we may find that we often brush off the statements Jesus makes concerning how we deal with money. How should we as the church understand money and wealth in light of Christ?
Many American Christian leaders recognize their influence and have turned to the Bible to find support to persuade their followers in their voting and action. However, is this what we are called to do as pastors (and as the church)? Understanding our impact through our commitment to following Christ may offer a more productive way to influence our nation.
“The stories that we construct are not a special way of perceiving the world or of making sense of everything we hear or read. It is the only way we can make sense of the world” The tighter we remain connected to the biblical story, our foundation, the greater will be our confidence and security that is found only in an obedient relationship with our Creator as expressed by the biblical story.
Jesus experienced a vision of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Spirit amidst a significant feast in Jerusalem; he saw a day coming when the Spirit of God would flow through human lives. Resisting the promptings of his family and others to merely “make an appearance” in Judea as a good publicity effort, he instead delayed his visit. When he finally appeared in the city, he lifted his voice with a shout at a most unexpected moment.