• Is it really being soft on the gospel to not use the word “sin”?

    Is it really being soft on the gospel to not use the word “sin”?

    If you pay attention to certain theological circles, you’ll have heard someone say something like this: “Preachers who do not use the word “sin” in their sermons are watering down the gospel. If you aren’t willing to name sin, than you are deceiving people and offering a people-pleasing message.” There is certainly reason to worry […]

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  • Dastardly Pastors

    Dastardly Pastors

    Y’all remember this archetypical villain, right? Snidely Whiplash, twirling his handlebar moustache and cackling maniacally as he planned deviously devilish plots that would make even The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns faint due to their pure and unadulterated evil. Strangely enough, you may have noticed in recent years that it’s become popular to portray Pastors & Theologians […]

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  • House Churches and History

    House Churches and History

    I’m not sure that house/organic/simple churches are the complete answer for reviving or “greening” the American Church. Historically, I can think of several movements in which small groups or house churches played a very positive role. For example, while the early Church met in people’s houses (see 1 Cor 1:11, Col 4:15, and Philemon 1:2), […]

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  • Yes. It’s hard to be a Christian (pt. 2)

    Yes. It’s hard to be a Christian (pt. 2)

    I’m not saying “It’s hard to keep the Christian rules…” The hard part about being a Christian is not something like, “Now that we’re Christians there are lots of rules and laws that we are supposed to keep.” Most religions are full of rules, and many people have a self-imposed set of rights and wrongs […]

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  • Prophecy: You’re Doing It Backwards

    Prophecy: You’re Doing It Backwards

    In the Old Testament, prophets had the unenviable position of telling people news that they usually didn’t want to hear.And in many cases, “shoot the messenger” was the response they received, even if what they were saying really was what God wanted them to say. But the real problem wasn’t the unpopularity of the message […]

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  • How’s Your Church’s “On Ramp”?

    How’s Your Church’s “On Ramp”?

    As we’ve entered into the fall, our attendance at Trinity Christian Fellowship has been growing and we’re seeing new and old faces, together. It’s beautiful to see Jesus’ community gathered to experience the Spirit’s presence/empowerment. This past week, as I stood facing the congregation, several new people caught my eye and I found myself briefly […]

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  • Biblical Studies Needs Theology…

    Biblical Studies Needs Theology…

    I recently was told by someone that they didn’t need theology because they just needed the Bible. N. T. Wright responds in The New Testament and the People of God as follows: “Biblical studies needs theology, because only with theological tools can historical exegesis get at what the characters in the history were thinking, planning, aiming […]

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  • Missional Five – Part Five: Gospel

    Missional Five – Part Five: Gospel

    There are two traps that await the overwhelming majority of Christians: A church full of the already-convinced, preaching a message designed for seekers who aren’t there. (Joe Aldrich once called this “having a message but no audience” in Lifestyle Evangelism.) An “outside the four walls” ministry in our communities that does a lot of great serving, but […]

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  • So You Want to be a Scholar? Here’s What They Won’t Tell You…

    So You Want to be a Scholar? Here’s What They Won’t Tell You…

    So you want to be a scholar? You likely already are aware of the fact that you are going to be reading a lot and writing heavily footnoted academic papers while engaging in discussions about methodology while analyzing and assessing arguments. You’ve probably weighed the challenges to actually getting a job after you’ve finished graduate school and […]

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Biblical, theological, & practical reflections from the trenches.

Biblical Studies

Radical Biblicism is Actually a Bad Thing (Part 4 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

Radical Biblicism is Actually a Bad Thing (Part 4 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

#4. Radical Biblicism is actually a bad thing! Before you burn me at the stake as a heretic, let me just make clear what I did not say. I did not say that a great reverence for or a high view of scripture is a bad thing. I did not say that believing the Bible […]

Is it really being soft on the gospel to not use the word “sin”?

Is it really being soft on the gospel to not use the word “sin”?

If you pay attention to certain theological circles, you’ll have heard someone say something like this: “Preachers who do not use the word “sin” in their sermons are watering down the gospel. If you aren’t willing to name sin, than you are deceiving people and offering a people-pleasing message.” There is certainly reason to worry […]

Reading The Bible as Story (Part 3 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

Reading The Bible as Story (Part 3 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

#3  The Bible is story. This includes both individual stories in the varying “books” of the Bible, as well as an underlying story of God’s plan for redemption of creation (a.k.a. redemptive history). To tell the truth, I kinda already talked about this a lot in last week’s post on reading The Bible as Literature. […]

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Theological Studies

Is nature in conflict with scripture? – Some reflections on the Gungor drama.

Is nature in conflict with scripture? – Some reflections on the Gungor drama.

Well, last week was a typical week in a world where Christian celebrity, social media, and theological convictions collide. A well-known Christian musician voiced his evolving theological conclusions, convictions, and even doubts about things like a real first-couple named Adam and Eve, a six-day creation (which he was taught happened 6,000 years ago), and a version of […]

I Think the Word “Church” Should be Abandoned.

I Think the Word “Church” Should be Abandoned.

I attend a church. I am also a member of that church. In fact, I serve that church as a pastor. I often invite people to visit that church or to visit our church’s website. As you can tell, the church is a big part of my life. I love the church and spend a […]

Karl Barth Recognized Churchianity as Opposed to Community

Karl Barth Recognized Churchianity as Opposed to Community

Karl Barth writes: “When theology confronts the Word of God and its witnesses, its place is very concretely in the community, not somewhere in empty space. The word “community,” rather than “Church,” is used advisedly, for from a theological point of view it is best to avoid the word “Church” as much as possible, if […]

Reviews

Citizens of the Kingdom: Mount Up!

Citizens of the Kingdom: Mount Up!

In 1989, David Bebbington wrote of four qualities that defined Evangelicalism and one of them was “activism.” Evangelicals were, according to Bebbington, committed to expressing the gospel through their efforts in society. Unfortunately, Evangelicalism has received (earned?) a reputation of not doing much beyond talking about the gospel. Those who want to revitalize evangelical identity certainly need to […]

Reviewing a book on Mentoring Women

Reviewing a book on Mentoring Women

This review, to be honest, is a bit awkward feeling. How can a man review a book on women mentoring women? On one hand, I have a great mother, five sisters, three daughters, and a fantastic wife who is involved in mentoring women. On the other hand, I’m a dude. Nothing I write will change […]

Keeping Jesus in Seminary

Keeping Jesus in Seminary

Any seminary graduate (or attendee) worth his salt has been warned about the “danger” of attending the cemetery. We are told that if we attend theological education, we’ll lose our passion for Jesus and will embrace ideas that undercut the foundations of the Christian faith. Therefore, the argument goes, avoid that place like it is […]

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Practical Theology

A Conversation on Homosexuality & the Church (2 of 6)

A Conversation on Homosexuality & the Church (2 of 6)

Per our mission of fostering theological conversation, ThinkTheology.org is hosting a conversation between Bill Hoard and our very own Luke Geraty in regards to homosexuality and the Church. This is a six part series where Bill will offer a perspective and Luke will respond (see the first exchange). If you have any questions or comments, […]

Dastardly Pastors

Dastardly Pastors

Y’all remember this archetypical villain, right? Snidely Whiplash, twirling his handlebar moustache and cackling maniacally as he planned deviously devilish plots that would make even The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns faint due to their pure and unadulterated evil. Strangely enough, you may have noticed in recent years that it’s become popular to portray Pastors & Theologians […]

House Churches and History

House Churches and History

I’m not sure that house/organic/simple churches are the complete answer for reviving or “greening” the American Church. Historically, I can think of several movements in which small groups or house churches played a very positive role. For example, while the early Church met in people’s houses (see 1 Cor 1:11, Col 4:15, and Philemon 1:2), […]

General

“A God to call Father” – A Father’s Day Reflection

“A God to call Father” – A Father’s Day Reflection

Have you ever heard someone refer to God as “The Man Upstairs,” or perhaps more piously, “The Lord?” Certainly, the Bible is full of titles and descriptions of God, which are appropriate to use when we refer to Him. But there is one sense in which God reveals himself which truly shows the depth of […]

Interview with Kevin Scott…

Interview with Kevin Scott…

A few months ago I posted a review of Kevin Scott’s absolutely fantastic book ReCreatable (review here). Kevin was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and I want to again encourage you to pick up his book! It’s excellent. ************************************ Luke: Kevin, thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions! If you wouldn’t mind, […]

A Broken Wall – A Poem on Ecclesiastes 10:8b

A Broken Wall – A Poem on Ecclesiastes 10:8b

This post will go on record as my first attempt to share some original poetry inspired by my own reflections on some texts that mean a lot to me. Here’s my first, entitled – “A Broken Wall.” Enjoy ——————- A Broken Wall by Kenny Burchard Ecclesiastes 10:8b “…whoever breaks through a wall, will be bitten by […]