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Called to Wealth, Safety, and Comfort

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I first heard the story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-22) when I was a child, and it wasn’t long before I heard the excuses. The excuses did not come from my parents, I should note, as they lived pretty close to the final command: Go, sell, give.

I have a […]

What Have They Seen in Your House?

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Yesterday the Scripture for my Sunday School class was Isaiah 40:21-31. The daily readings in the student guide included the first 20 verses of the chapter as well. Those acquainted with critical scholarship on the book of Isaiah recognize this as the opening of 2nd Isaiah, chapters 40-55.

At first I was […]

Nobody Ever Thinks They Are Creating a New Denomination

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Revelation 2:5

Christopher Ritter is complaining, though only in the nicest, most creative way, about critics of the new Wesleyan Covenant Association. It’s interesting how efforts to reform often end up creating new denominations, even when the leaders don’t intend to do so. Just look at the example provided by Ritter in his post.

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A UMC House Church

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One of the points I have tried to make in my series regarding the books Seven Marks of a New Testament Church, Thrive: Spiritual Habits of Transforming Congregations, and Transforming Acts: Acts of the Apostles as a 21st Century Gospel is that one can follow these “Jesus principles” of church leadership under many different formal […]

Seven Marks: Fervent Prayer

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The sixth mark Dave discusses in Seven Marks of a New Testament Church is fervent prayer (pp. 39-42).

There are a variety of views of what it means to be “the church” or what it means to be Christian. For some, it’s a matter of holding the correct set of beliefs. One knows that certain […]

Caring about Credibility

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I’m sometimes disappointed with posts that don’t attract comments compared to those that do. I’m not talking about my site, where comments are few and far between. Right now I’m looking at a post on the Energion Discussion Network, titled Credible Christians for a Credible Gospel. It was written by Allan Bevere, and makes an […]

Seven Marks: Christ Centered Gatherings

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It has been some time since I posted my last installment of my discussion of the book Seven Marks of a New Testament Church by David Alan Black, along with some commentary from the books Transforming Acts: Acts of the Apostles as a 21st Century Gospel, by Bruce Epperly and Thrive: Spiritual Habits of Transforming […]

Same-Sex Marriage, Moving Candlesticks, and the Judgment of God

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My instinctive reaction when I disagree with people on major issues is to come out swinging. Despite this instinct, I believe I am called to be a facilitator, to try to help people talk intelligently and communicate effectively about controversial topics.

So if you’re looking for a statement about what I believe regarding same-sex marriage, […]

Is There Such a Thing as a New Testament Church?

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I’m planning to finish resume and complete my blog series on Seven Marks of a New Testament Church with added commentary from the books Thrive: Spiritual Habits of Transforming Congregations, and Transforming Acts: Acts of the Apostles as a 21st Century Gospel. This process was interrupted by SBL, by some bug I picked up in […]

Seven Marks: Genuine Relationships

The fourth mark of a New Testament church that Dave Black finds in Acts he calls genuine relationships. The early believers devoted themselves to the fellowship, to their community. There are so many words for it.

In America today we rarely think of the church as a community and even more rarely as our community. […]