Seeking Deeper Discipleship

Seeking Deeper Discipleship

I teach two Bible studies each week. It is really the same Bible study that is just offered at different times, so more people can engage the Scriptures and our understanding of faith. Teaching is not something I thought I would enjoy when I entered ministry, but it has become one of my favorite things that I do each week.

What I love about Bible study with other members of the church is that I get to gather with different groups of people to talk about faith, life, and contemplate upon what does it mean to the love the Lord and live for God. I love that part of the life of faith!

One of my ministry principles when it comes to teaching is that we should not be afraid to wrestle with difficult and hard things about faith and life. I believe this leads us to a deeper faith, and discipleship, because it moves us from just accepting something at face value and to, truly, engage what it is that we believe about God, humanity, and the life of faith.

What is involved in not being afraid to deal with difficult and hard things about life and faith? Continue reading “Seeking Deeper Discipleship”

Fan or Follower: Followers Share Light and Hear God’s Word

In our modern world, we are accustomed to the availability of light. A simple flip of a light switch can overcome any amount of darkness and will instantly bring light into our lives.

Of course, it hasn’t always been this way. For the longest time, darkness was an overwhelming part of life. Once the sun went down darkness would consume our lives. As a result, families, businesses, and others would use any means they could to provide a bit of light into a dark world. We have used fire pits, candlelight, and kerosene lamps with the attempt of providing some amount light. None of these options, unfortunately, provided any amount of long-lasting light.

By the late 1800s, several inventors sought to find a way out of darkness. They wanted to find a permanent solution that would offer a permanent light source. Projects would come and fail until Thomas Edison arrived in the late 1870s with his attempt at creating a light bulb.

Edison’s attempt at the light bulb project would be the one that would stand the test of time. In 1879, Edison successfully tested a carbon filament bulb that glowed for 13 hours when used. The test inaugurated a new era and led to a revolutionary change in the world. Darkness would no longer be an obstacle. A simple flip of the switch would provide a light in every room. Light now drowns out the darkness. Continue reading “Fan or Follower: Followers Share Light and Hear God’s Word”

Characteristics of the American Gospel

In my engagement with public theology, especially in the American context, it has become clear to me that what many claim as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is something else. For the most part, what many see as the good news is ultimately something that is counter to the true hope of Jesus Christ. It is also a gospel that is cultural in its message and application.

That gospel is an American Gospel. This gospel has its own unique characteristics and definitions that often comes near apostolic faith in Jesus Christ, but often runs counter to the true hopeful message. Instead of proclaiming Jesus Christ, it is a gospel that often props up self over community, the teachings of the Founding Fathers above all else, and political party as the main interpretive tool.

The dangers of the American Gospel are many and the consequences of its message are being felt, I believe, in churches and communities throughout our country. In order to understand these consequences, one must understand what comprises the American Gospel. What follows are what I consider to be characteristics of the American Gospel. These are ideas that are often expressed in churches and theological discussions as being true to faith, but are counter to what God truly desires. This is not a complete list, but a sampling of views that can hinder apostolic faith in Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Characteristics of the American Gospel”