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Category: Opinions

Why Do We Stand and Greet during Service?

There are many different elements to a Christian worship gathering. The practices we perform on Sunday mornings (or whenever the church decides to meet) have a purpose. Participating in the Lord’s Supper serves as a reminder of Christ’s death, which Paul says is how we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) Baptism is, despite the church’s many controversies, an act that signifies a person’s initiation into the church. These acts are connected to many different accounts recorded in the scriptures besides Christ’s death and resurrection, such as the blood over doorways in Exodus for communion...

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A Talk with a Buddhist Part 4 of 4

Recently, I was tasked with an assignment at seminary that called for me to interview someone with a different religious belief from mine. The purpose was to get to know someone and engage in a conversation that revealed what beliefs they had specifically. What follows is the fourth part of a series of posts that will describe my interaction with a self-proclaimed Buddhist. Click here for part 1, part 2 or part 3.  In the end, it seemed Carrie is melding some agnostic, postmodern tendencies with Buddhist philosophy. It is a syncretism of philosophies rather than religions. She made clear that she didn’t see Buddha as a god and didn’t see...

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A Talk With a Buddhist Part 3 of 4

Recently, I was tasked with an assignment at seminary that called for me to interview someone with a different religious belief from mine. The purpose was to get to know someone and engage in a conversation that revealed what beliefs they had specifically. What follows is Part 3 of a series of posts that will describe my interaction with a self-proclaimed Buddhist. Click here for part 1 or part 2. A phrase Carrie kept using was “I really believe that.” That led me to wonder if she really did, or if she was trying to convince herself of it. I think what she was trying to get across was that peace was the thing we...

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Theology of Ministry

Biblically Accuracy: A Perspective for Life A theology of ministry begins with the source of truth in the 21st century: The Living God revealed in Christ Jesus.  He most specifically reveals himself through Scripture in the 21st century.  This must shape our worldview. A worldview translates into ministry with the recognition that all of humanity was created to be in a relationship with God (Gen 2-3).  Sin changed that.  However, our relationship with God is restored in Christ (Col 1:15-20; John 1).  Salvation comes only in a restored relationship with God found through faith, repentance, baptism, and obedience in...

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A Talk With a Buddhist Part 2 of 4

Recently, I was tasked with an assignment at seminary that called for me to interview someone with a different religious belief from mine. The purpose was to get to know someone and engage in a conversation that revealed what beliefs they had specifically. What follows is Part 2 of a series of posts that will describe my interaction with a self-proclaimed Buddhist. If you have not read part 1 please click here. “What really drew you to Buddhism anyway?” I asked. Carrie told me that she has a fine arts degree, has travelled quite a bit, and “just became open to whatever.” She moved to California...

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A Talk With a Buddhist Part 1 of 4

Recently, I was tasked with an assignment at seminary that called for me to interview someone with a different religious belief from mine. The purpose was to get to know someone and engage in a conversation that revealed what beliefs they had specifically. What follows is Part 1 of a series of posts that will describe my interaction with a self-proclaimed Buddhist. Part 1 I arrived on a Dallas Buddhist temple ground to interview a local Buddhist about their beliefs. Oddly enough, the first person I encountered was a Thai monk wearing an orange robe. The problem was he only spoke Thai.  I knew I...

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Three Roles of a Worship Pastor

Recently, I was given the privilege of teaching a class of young worship leaders. I was asked to talk with them about something I wish that I had learned before I graduated. I am sure over the course of my education that the topic of worship pastor was covered, but I don’t know if I ever truly understood the weight until much later. What I wish I had understood was that the role of a worship pastor is threefold: pastor, theologian, and musician. And I believe that it is important to understand that musician should always come last.Over and...

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Not So Serious—Or Not What You Were Expecting: A Theological Approach to Capitalization

Yes, capitalization. " We’ve all faced it—the moment when the brain freezes on what job titles to capitalize. I wrestle with it, too. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone by down-styling their job, and I certainly don’t want to be guilty of the sin of inconsistency, dreaded by all of us jot-and-tittle-minded proofreaders. American usage on capitalization is in flux. Business and legal documents have their peculiar styles, and those spill over into other realms, and soon everyone is confused. We could solve things by going back to the Germanic roots of English and capitalize all nouns, as...

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Education Students Reflect on Student Teaching Experience (3 of 3)

Senior student, Kyle Spurgin, reflects on his first year of students teaching: One thing that I will never forget about my year of student teaching was the love that the kids had for me. In fact, for some bizarre reason, one student would always randomly call out my name, “Spurgin!” Eventually, this got all of 8th grade doing the same thing. Walking down the hall, you’d hear “Spurgin!” If they tossed a paper ball in the trash can–“Spurgin!” If they scored a goal, “Spurgin!” It got so bad that teachers would come up to me and say, “So you’re the...

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Education Students Reflect on Student Teaching Experience (2 of 3)

Nicole Garza, doing her student teaching at Carrollton Elementary in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, reports the following about her experience so far: I have a first-grade class of 19 students—15 boys (rambunctious and impulsive) and 4 girls (quieter but sly). It has been a real exercise in patience! I have learned that the more you get to know your students, the more their behavior stops being random and troublesome, and the better class morale becomes. I have learned how much home life affects the classroom, and I have had my heart broken—and mended—by God on how to show love...

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