Sunday Schools Ebook

D2D Discipleship Program

VIP Sunday School gives you all of the best tools that you need in order to make your Sunday school into the best one in the whole church! This set includes a series of lessons for the newest believers in your church; make sure that you are able to explain the Bible to them in such a way that makes total sense, and leaves them wanting more and more every Sunday! You will also the D2D (Dare To Disciple) program! This is the more advanced set of Sunday school lessons that takes 7 week; you can make your Sunday school into more than a class; you can make it into a worship and discipleship series. This complete set of Sunday school lessons give you all of the amazing tools that you need in order to have a truly amazing Sunday school!

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The Limits of Evangelism

In other matters too, applying policies designed to respond to Muslims produces potential conflicts between other religious believers and the state. One pending legal crisis concerns religious evangelism and conversion. If European states preach complete freedom of religion, then states should claim no role whatever in decisions to change religion or attempts to promote such conversions. But of its nature, evangelism or proselytizing usually means asserting the superiority of one religious tradition over another, and in the process, disparaging other religions. Now, conversion is big business in contemporary Europe, and both Christians and Muslims engage enthusiastically in the practice.37 This trend has enormous potential for enhancing religious grievances and even provoking violence, since notoriously, a Muslim who deserts his or her faith is worthy of the death penalty. As recently as 2004, moderate Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom urged Prince Charles and other Christian...

Evangelism in the Great White Throne Judgement

At the end of the Millennial Age, all unbelievers (including the goat nations) will rise in their immortal yet still unsaved bodies to enter the Great White Throne Judgement Age. The work of evangelism will continue for Jesus and His Bride as they evangelise these unbelievers in Lake of Fire. Ultimately, all unbelievers will be drawn from darkness into light to understand the full work of the cross, repent and through God given faith freely accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for their salvation. The work of evangelism will continue until all things are reconciled to God the Father and Jesus Christ shouts those glorious words 'IT IS DONE' in fulfillment of God's Plan of the Ages. This is when Father God Himself will descend from heaven unto this cleansed and renewed earth to tabernacle with men and be ALL in ALL for eternity. God has been calling and preparing His Elect, for a special salvation to work with Him in this great and wonderful work of evangelism, which will continue...

Sunday School

The Sunday school is also a relatively recent invention, born some 1,700 years after Christ. A newspaper publisher named Robert Raikes (1736-1811) from Britain is credited with being its founder.' In 1780, Raikes established a school in Scout Alley, Gloucester, for poor children. Raikes did not begin the Sunday school for the purpose of religious instruction. Instead, he founded it to teach poor children the basics of education. Raikes was concerned with the low level of literacy and morality among common children. Many of the children who attended his school were the victims of social and employer abuse. Because the children could not read, it was easy for others to take advantage of them. Although Raikes was an Anglican layman, the Sunday school took off like wildfire, spreading to Baptist, Congregational, and Methodist churches throughout England. The Sunday school movement came to a peak when it hit the United States. The first American Sunday school began in Virginia in 1785....


Originally published in November 1937, just after the closing of Finkenwalde, Discipleship developed a theology of Christian vocation in dialogue with Jesus's Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew. The tone is eschatological, the urgency palpable. The church, Bonhoeffer charges, has become the purveyor of cheap grace - grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate - and remains unwilling to pay the cost of the loss of its power, its privilege, its domination of one another. In its support of warfare, and in its refusal to protest the vengeful urge towards genocide, the church has forgotten that the brother's life is a boundary which we dare not pass. 28 In Discipleship Bonhoeffer made a most remarkable case for claiming that the thing that makes Christians distinct, indeed what is extraordinary about being a Christian at all, is Christ's costly command to love our enemies. Loving one's enemies is what distinguishes not...


Evangelism and evangelists are peculiar to the New Testament. They belong to God's great plan for calling out the elect who are His heavenly people. Israel had her prophets who were patriots and reformers, but no one of their number undertook a ministry comparable to the New Testament evangelist. At the same time, there was no gospel message whatsoever sent from God to the Gentiles (cf. Eph. 2 12). 1. Definition. Evangelism is the act of presenting to the unsaved the evangel or good news of the gospel of God's saving grace through Christ Jesus. It may be a dealing with individuals or with groups and congregations. In any case, the one ideal prevails. Probably the most arresting fact related to this ministry is that it has been committed to every individual who may be saved. The Apostle writes that God hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us we pray...

Aphrahat and the People Which Is No People

To see how a fourth-century Christian theologian addressed the question of who is Israel in the light of the salvation of Jesus Christ, we turn to Aphrahat, a Christian monk in the western satrapy of the Iranian empire we know as Mesopotamia, ca. 300-350, who wrote, in Syriac, a sustained treatise on the relationship of Christianity and Judaism. His demonstrations, written in 337-44, take up issues facing the Syriac-speaking Church in the Iranian empire, enemy of Christian Rome. The relevance of Aphrahat, who lived not in Rome but in Iran, requires explanation. The world he faced placed him squarely in confrontation with the political change effected by the recognition of Christianity as Rome's religion. True, it was not a favorable change, since the now-Christian government of Rome made it clear to the Iranian government that Christians within Iran formed the object of special concern of the Christian emperor. That fact formed a datum of politics that dictated conditions of...

Many Adjustments No Vital Change

White, Protestant Worship and Church Architecture, 129. The Great Awakening of the eighteenth century set the tone for an individualistic faith, something foreign to the first-century church. America was fast becoming a nation of rugged individualists, on this new emphasis sat well with the country (Terry, Evangelism, 122-123).

The Fragments that were Bonhoeffers Life and Work

I am aware that some, reading my account of Bonhoeffer and, in particular, my emphasis on his ecclesiology for rightly interpreting his life and work, will suspect my account of Bonhoeffer sounds far too much like positions that have become associated with my own work. I have no reason to deny that may be true, but if it is true it is only because I first learned what I think from reading Bonhoeffer (and Barth). This is the first essay I have ever written on Bonhoeffer, but it is certainly not the first time I have read him. I am sure Bonhoeffer's Dis-cipleship (Bonhoeffer 2001), which I read as a student in seminary, was the reason why, some years later, John Howard Yoder's The Politics of Jesus (Yoder 1994) had such a profound influence on me. Both books convinced me that Christology cannot be abstracted from accounts of discipleship or, to put it more systematically, that we must say, as Bonhoeffer does in Sanctorum Communio, the church of Jesus Christ that is actualized by the...

The New World Order Creates Billy Graham

Since that first publicity, the Jewish press, Jewish religious leaders, the Federal Council of Churches of Christ, the World Council of Churches and others have been bragging on Billy Graham. For instance, Dr. G. Paul Musselman, Executive Director of the Department of Evangelism of the National Council of Churches, spoke in warm terms about the work of evangelist Billy Graham 'I call Billy Graham the greatest of the ecumenical voices,' 66

Christology Mimesis and the Economy of the Spirit

It is in Mark's Passion narrative that the complex inter-association of Christology, story-telling, discipleship and a theology of history (realised through the working of the Holy Spirit) achieves its most profound expression. The movement of the Spirit through historical contingencies, that has governed the sending and now the handing-over of the Christ, is paralleled by the operation of faith (in the disciples and in the readers of listeners to the narrative). Both movements or economies participate in and foster the continuation of the economy of mimetic desire. The economy of mimetic desire is the power (dunamis) of the story-telling to elicit response (faith) and the power of the representation to promise, partially present and continually forestall the anticipated conclusion,39 the final resolution and demystification. 38 As Malbon points out, ' Watch (gregoreite, fromgregoreo) and risen (egerthe, from egeiro) have a linguistic root in common and thus, perhaps, have some...

The Four Gospels Jesus Prophet and Embodiment of the Kingdom of

To claim that the New Testament offers complete homogeneity in the way in which God and Caesar interrelate would be to ignore many contradictory strands. These are well represented in Luke-Acts. Familiar passages in Luke's Gospel suggest a different perspective from the conventional the insignificant Mary and Jesus' birth in obscurity John's social teaching (3 10ff.) the anointing by the prostitute (7 36ff. cf. Mark 14 3 ff.) the women followers and supporters (8 2 f. 13 10 23 27 23 49, 55) Samaritans (10 25ff. 17 11) the concern with the prodigals (15 1 ff.) - all these in different ways flesh out the manifesto which Luke's Jesus offers (once again peculiar to this Gospel) in 4 16. On the other hand, other texts in Luke offer a rather different slant. For example, Luke's version of the Last Supper includes sayings of Jesus at this point, some of which have parallels in other Gospels. One in particular is instructive. In their teaching on discipleship, Mark and Luke respectively have...

Practical Applications of the Sufficiency of Scripture

In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new sins will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled, for the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of believers will at least seem (to

Holy Spirit According To Chakkarai

The Kingdom of God.27 According to Chenchiah, organized church and organized evangelism are unbiblical and ineffective for the mission of reproducing Jesus in India. He suggests a base in an ashram and active involvement in society to penetrate and infect the new life with a vision for the evolution of the whole cosmos.

On the Eros of the Ecclesial Body

Allow me to step back at this point, because in order to develop this argument in terms of Christology and ecclesiology, I need first to define the formation of a Christian 'enmattered soul', since discipleship implies a formation, a following, a disciplining such that the knowledge attained is a knowledge of Christ. In other words, if the 'enmattered soul'is determined by the body's negotiations with other bodies, then what is distinctive about this determination when those negotiations concern the body of Christ in the threefold sense in which the medievals understood that 'body' as the historical person ofJesus of Nazareth, as the eucharistic elements and as the Church 20 This is where we must return to those Greek and Latin Fathers who reflected upon the relationship between the physical and the spiritual senses and developed, thereby, a theological phenomenology of embodiment. Let us take a passage from Augustine's Confessions as illustrative

The Fifth Interview Ravi Zacharias Dd

Zacharias was educated at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he earned a master's of divinity degree, and he has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. He has been honored by the conferring of Doctor of Divinity degrees from Houghton College and Tyndale College and Seminary, as well as a Doctor of Laws degree from Asbury College. He is the former chair of evangelism and contemporary thought at Alliance Theological Seminary.

The Standing Conference

The movement towards greater cooperation and unity among the Orthodox jurisdictions found renewed expression in the establishment of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOBA) in 1960. Under the leadership of Archbishop Iakovos (1911-2005) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, SCOBA initially brought together the representatives of eleven jurisdictions. Although SCOBA remained a conference and not a formal synod, many came to view SCOBA as a first step towards greater administrative and ministerial unity. Unlike the Federation, SCOBA included the Russian Orthodox Metropolia as well as the Moscow Patriarchal Exarchate. From the beginning, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (the Synod Abroad) refused to cooperate, citing its opposition to those who recognized the leadership of the Church of Russia. Building upon the earlier experience of the federation, SCOBA immediately began to coordinate the various national pan-Orthodox activities that had begun...

Samaritans Purse to Baghdad

When asked whether they would do any evangelizing while performing their relief work, Ken Isaacs of Samaritan's said, We do not deny the name of Christ. We believe in sharing Him in deed and in word. We'll be who we are. Isaacs added, Compassion and service is a vital expression of Christianity. We don't have an evangelism strategy. We don't have a strategy to share our faith We don't have Bibles waiting in the wings, or Christian literature waiting in the wings.

Early Protestant Disinterest In Mission

Protestant interest in mission overseas took some considerable time to develop. During its formative phase, Protestantism seems to have had little interest in the notions of mission or evangelism. Neither John Calvin nor Martin Luther had any particular concern to reach beyond the borders of Christendom. In particular, Calvin's model of evangelism, evident in his approach to the French situation, is primarily that of the reformation of Catholics that is to say, the conversion of people from one form of Christianity to another. Protestantism was initially landlocked, surrounded by Catholic or Orthodox territories reaching the heathen would have been problematic. Both Luther and Calvin were emphatic that Catholicism and Orthodoxy were Christian what they required, they argued, was reformation. Even Calvin, who did not deny the validity of the Great Commission (the traditional term used for Christ's command to take the gospel to all nations Matthew 28 17-20), maintained that the...

Public Sector Attacks

The issue of what constitutes a church arose when the town of St. Petersburg, Florida, ordered the Refuge, an inner-city church, to vacate an area zoned to permit churches. The church's ministry includes worship services, Bible studies, Bible-based counseling, outreach ministries, and evangelism. But because the Refuge ministers to the poor and needy, zoning officials arbitrarily concluded it was a social service agency rather than a church, and thereby required the church to vacate since social service agencies are not permitted in the district where Refuge's facility is located. Making matters worse, there wasn't a single district in the city where social service agencies had an automatic right to locate. The city, in its brief to the court, haughtily argued that a church doesn't become a church simply by labeling itself as one. What's in a name it asked. A rose still smells like a rose regardless of the name by which it is called. But if the rose begins to smell like a stinkweed,...

Critique and Reconstruction

silences, inconsistencies, incoherences, and ideological mechanisms of androcentric records and scholarship (Fiorenza 1996b 172-3) remembrance involves the vital commission to insist on women's inclusion as autonomous subjects, even against the grain of their historical absence and invisibility Women are Church, and always have been Church, called and elected by God (p. 172) and transformation rests on the recovery of the historical evidence of the ekklesia gynaikon, or discipleship of equals, which serves to animate a new paradigm for authentic discipleship and praxis by standing as the normative pattern for continuing communities of inclusive faith and practice. Fiorenza's criterion for authentic sources and norms thus places less emphasis on correspondence with historical events - as archetype - so much as fidelity to the testimony of the past as a prototype upon which contemporary communities should model themselves.

Women in the Coptic Church

The sayings of the so-called 'desert mothers' indicate that women lived as solitary ascetics in isolated areas of Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. The writings of Pachomius and Shenoute show that women's communities existed under the umbrella of these coenobitic leaders through the fifth century. After the Arab conquest, women's monasticism gradually weakened, but persisted until the twelfth century. The modern monastic revival in the Coptic Orthodox Church has touched women as well. Contemplative nuns are now present at six sites in Egypt, leading a cloistered life consciously patterned on the ideals of the Pachomians. Active nuns, belonging to the Daughters of Mary in Beni Suef, may live in the convent or close to the institutions where they work, such as orphanages, clinics, etc. A role for consecrated women appeared in the 1980s. Shenouda III proposed a three stage process (1) consecrated woman, (2) consecration as subdeaconess and (3) consecration as deaconess. The...

The New Evangelical Radicalism

One of the most striking features of the early 1970s was the emergence of a new evangelical radicalism in both the United States and Britain, as well as in many Third World countries. The beginnings of a more socially aware current within the evangelical world can be seen in the founding of the American journal The Other Side in 1965, and in the Wheaton Declaration of 1966 which criticized 'unscriptural isolation from the world'. Similar assertions of the need to hold together the kerygma (the message) and the diakonia (service), evangelism and social action, were made at gatherings at Lausanne (1966) and at Keele (1967), while the Chicago Declaration of 1973 prepared the way for more militant 'radical discipleship' groups to appear (Sider 1974). These groups were rediscovering a lost evangelical heritage, the heritage of Finney and the Oberlin College movement and other early radicals of the Holiness movement (Dayton 1976 15-25). David Moberg's 'great reversal', by which the earlier...

The Sinners Prayer And A Personal Savior

Halliday, The Pagan Background of Early Christianity (New York Cooper Square Publishers, 1970), 313. The giving of milk and honey was borrowed from paganism. The new convert ( catechumens as they came to be called, from which catechism is derived) was typically baptized on a Sunday Passover or Pentecost. The Thursday beforehand the candidate had to be bathed. He spent Friday and Saturday in fasting, and then he was exorcised by the bishop to drive out any demons. By the end of the second century, this was a fairly uniform baptismal ceremony in the West. Gregory Dix points out that the introduction of the creed in Christianity begins in the first half of the second century with the baptismal creed. The creed was made up of a series of three questions dealing respectively with the three Persons of the Trinity. The Council of Nicaea of AD 325 carried the creed a step further. The creed evolved into a test of fellowship for those within the church rather than a test...

Ignatius And The Carmelites

On the surface, it would seem that both the individualism and the passivity are perpetuated in the great Catholic writers of the sixteenth century. Certainly there is little here which directly confronts the social dimensions of grace. However, there has been in recent years a growing recognition of the strength and value of these spiritual guides, and a reappraisal of their work within the contemporary context. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that in these writers there is both an insistence on the integration of prayer and ordinary life, and a stress on the confrontation with illusion. Ignatius Loyola stressed discernment and the need to find and serve God in the midst of the activities of life, while John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila placed the mystical path firmly within the context of ordinary life. Teresa insisted that the foundation of Christian discipleship could not consist only of contemplation, but must also include the practice of the virtues. Without...

B Matt 54348Luke 62728 3236

Form of the saying, and the same teaching seems to have influenced the formulation of 1 Cor. 4.12 and 1 Pet. 3.9.193 It is Jesus, then, who is recalled in the tradition (Q ), drawn on and elaborated by Matthew and Luke, as extending the love command to a hitherto unheard-of application.194 No more here than before is there any cause to attribute such teaching to some unknown disciple of immense influence.195 It is because it was Jesus who is remembered as so teaching, and probably only because it was him, that the teaching has been served.196 In this instance above all we catch a glimpse of how radically Jesus was prepared to press a different motivation and ideal for community and for discipleship under pressure. And not just as an individualistic ethic,197 but as a breaking through of a concept of neighbour love determined primarily by covenant faithfulness.198 Love should be the first and the final criterion for conduct

Faith Active in Love Reformation

For Luther, marriage and family life are Christian callings. His sermons and catechisms made it clear, in contrast to the theology and laws of the medieval church, that home and discipleship are not mutually exclusive. To the contrary, it is precisely in marriage that faithful sexual relations are possible, and religious vocation of loving the neighbor finds

The Bulgarian Church after the Liberation

Conflicts also flared up between the Holy Synod and some government departments. The Holy Synod had to wage a long war before it managed to assume responsibility for religious education in schools and to put in place provisions for financial support of the parish clergy.

Bonhoeffers Recovery of the Political Significance of the Visible Church

It is not hard to see how his stress on the necessity of visibility led him to write a book like Discipleship. Holiness but names God's way of making his will for his people visible. To flee into invisibility is to deny the call. Any community of Jesus which wants to be invisible is no longer a community that follows him (Bonhoeffer 2001 113). Bonhoeffer thought that the holiness of the church is necessary for the redemption of the world, which means Discipleship - a book often interpreted as an exemplification of his spirituality - is the most political of his works. I am not suggesting that when Bonhoeffer wrote Sanctorum Communio, he did so with the clarity that can be found in the lecture he gave at Finkenwalde or in his Discipleship. In Sanctorum Communio his concerns may be described as more strictly theological, but even that early the strictly theological was formulated against the background of Protestant liberal mistakes, and in particular those of Ernst Troeltsch, that made...

Liberal or Conservative

For this reason, Hauerwas' political theology is best understood as a thoroughgoing Christian liberalism. Without doubt, he rejects the liberal ideal of critical detachment. We can never begin by distancing ourselves from that which gives life. We must seek the density of a properly Christian life otherwise, our claims to freedom and reason are fantasies. Only as we fall under the power of another - God - do we participate in practices that will empower us as agents with sufficient ballast and force to act rather than react. But for just this reason, Hauerwas can consistently adopt the vigorously critical tropes of modern, liberal thought. The step forward into a life of discipleship allows us to step back from economic, political, military, and cultural forces that dominate contemporary life, because the church has given us a place to stand. In this way, Hauerwas vindicates the liberal desire to escape the debilitation and diminish-ment of powers presumed and imposed. We can say no...

Neo Ijtihad and Return to the Salaf

Standard of training in the basic tenets of Islam, including the meaning and context of the Koran, is staggeringly poor. Naive literal readings are soldered onto modern preoccupations with the menaces of Zionism, globalisation and feminism, and this third-rate religious education is one of the things that fuels fundamentalist violence.236

Progressive Revelation

Revelation is not progressive in the sense that we can substitute for the revelatory moment of Jesus Christ some other moment in our history and interpret the latter through the former. The monastic movement and the Reformation, modern evangelism and the social gospel, represent no progress beyond the New Testament in the sense that we may understand the latter through the former. Benedict and Luther must be interpreted through Christ and not vice versa modern civilization and modern human life must be regarded as the scene of activity on the part of the Father of Jesus Christ, but Jesus cannot be rightly understood as the son of the god of modern culture. Nevertheless revelation is a moving thing in so far as its meaning is realized only by being brought to bear upon the interpretation and reconstruction of ever new human situations in an enduring movement, a single drama of divine and human action. So the God who revealed himself continues to reveal himself -- the one God of all...

Action Guides And Christian Ethics

Historically there have been strong claims for distinctive Christian morality. Some biblical bases have been alluded to above. The command to love not only one's neighbour as oneself, but also one's enemies the exhortation to live so that conduct is mimetic of the life and death of Jesus and as literal adherence as possible to the 'hard sayings' of Jesus are examples. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship (1959), with its theme of suffering as the mark of Christian life, is probably the most powerful statement of this in our century. Part of the historical legacy has been the distinction between counsels of perfection that are not obligatory for all Christians but are for those with special vocations, and the standards of moral conduct applicable to all persons. Actions beyond normal standards are supererogatory. Countering this distinction have been the claims of some radical Reformation authors that Christians ought not to bear arms, not hold offices in the secular state,...

Preface and Acknowledgements

The volume is divided into two parts. The first part explains the emergence of Christian theologies in different countries of Asia India, Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea. Using an historical framework, contributors identify theological trends and responses to the problems Christianity faces and highlight major areas of debate. The second part deals with theological themes emerging out of Asian Christian experience namely, religious pluralism, hermeneutics, Asian feminism, ecumenical and communal conflict, mission and evangelism, and subaltern theologizing. The authors discuss topics with special reference to particular regions or movements, and also interact with the main protagonists of these themes.

Flames Worms And Gnashing Teeth

There was that torture chamber imagery again. No wonder that's a popular vision of hell, I said. When I was about ten years old, I was taken to Sunday school, where the teacher lit a candle and said, 'Do you know how much it hurts to burn your finger Well, imagine your whole body being in fire forever and ever. That's what hell is.'

Four Stages Of Theological Education

Among them are Viola, So You Want to Start a House Church Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids Fleming H. Revell, 1993) A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve (New Canaan, CT Keats, 1979) and Gene Edwards, Overlooked Christianity(Sargent, GA Seedsowers, 1997). The following books by Watchman Nee are also worth noting. They contain messages given to his younger coworkers during Nee's worker trainings The Character of God's Workman, The Ministry of God's Word, and The Release of the Spirit. Second Timothy 2 2 refers to the concept of training Christian workers that is exemplified in the Gospels and Acts. intellectual and study driven. As one scholar put it, Whether a school was monastic, episcopal, or presbyterial, it never separated teaching from religious education, from instruction in church dogma and morals. Christianity was an intellectual religion. As products of the Reformation, we are taught to be rationalistic (and very theoretical) in our approach to...

Introduction Christian Zionism Defined

Evangelism To be workers with God in his continuing purpose for the Jewish people, both in Israel and world-wide, especially in seeking to lead them to faith in Jesus the Messiah as their only Saviour. Not to be out done by Christian Zionist organisations preoccupied with the fulfilment of biblical prophecy in Israel during what are regarded as the 'End Times', Riggans, under the section of the Report, outlining 'CMJ Issues', and in the context of the primary tasks of evangelism and encouragement, writes, Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) likewise insists on the unconditional necessity of 'Standing with Israel' and bringing blessing to her as a nation, though in their case, primarily through prayer and humanitarian projects rather than by evangelism.

The Minjung theology of Korea

Today, this theology is struggling to survive in South Korea amid strong tides of fundamentalist evangelism originating especially from the United States. One development that has been noted in this context is that the dialogue between North Korean and South Korean Christians is marked by a valiant (though not altogether successful) effort to bring together the Juche philosophers among the North Korean Marxists and the Minjung theologians, against opposition from the evangelists. Juche is a non-theistic and secular surrogate of a liberationist religion which seems to have disowned the Marxist dogma about religion. This dialogue, which has now been going on for some time, seeks to forge an agreement between the political philosophy of Juche and the political theology of Minjung with a view to the reunification of Korea in confrontation with the military and missionary presence of the American imperialists.

History of the term Spirituality

'Spirituality' has become the standard word for the theory and practice of 'life in the Spirit', or of discipleship. However, in its present sense, the word has a relatively short history. The Catholic Encyclopedia, published before the First World War, contained no references to 'spirituality' while The New Catholic Encyclopedia, published in the 1970s, contained eight articles on different aspects of the subject. Standard reference works such as The Oxford Dictionary and Websters International Dictionary offer only one definition out of six that corresponds to spirituality as a religious area of study. This, however, supports a dualistic contrast between concern for 'things of the spirit' and material interests.

Drama and the Christevent

As the church's obedient receptivity gives birth to discipleship, after the manner of the transition in Ignatian spirituality from contemplation to mission, so The Glory of the Lord gives birth to Theo-Drama. It is out of believers' obedience to the one divine Word that the richness and diversity of the many aspects of the Christian church's life are born. Hence the lives of the saints and the classical Christian theologians are not to be seen as pale copies which obstruct our view of the unchangeable reality of the biblical Word. Rather, because it is in the nature of the Word to generate new forms of life insofar as people are obedient and faithful to it, so too we may learn in the study of such lives and theologies to catch sight of the divine glory as it has transformed their lives and in so doing to discipline ourselves in the same obedience. The saints - and most of all Mary as (for Balthasar) the archetype of the believing church - constellate around the form of Christ which...

The Global Expansion Of Protestantism

With the expansion of Protestant sea power, Protestant European nations were able to establish colonies, which allowed the model of evangelism determined by confessionalized churches to come into operation. A colony was a region under the authority of the state therefore, the state church was able to exercise a pastoral and evangelistic mission within this region. We have already noted this principle in operation in the establishment of the Jamestown colony in Virginia. It is thus no accident that the first major Lutheran mission, located in India, was a direct result of a Danish crown colony being created at Seramp-ore. After the establishment of Dutch colonies in Indonesia (then known as the East Indies ), Reformed churches were founded in that region. However, because Britain was by far the most active colonial power, English-speaking forms of Protestantism became widely established through imperial expansion, especially in the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean, and Australasia....

Chilton Comes to Tyler

In Tyler, Chilton once again came under James Jordan's powerful teaching ministry. Jordan was by then the associate pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. It was during Chilton's three-and-a-half year stay in Tyler that he heard Jordan's Sunday School lectures on Trees and Thorns, which Chilton mentions favorably in the Preface. (Unfortunately, this series has not yet been published, but these 12 lectures on Genesis 1-4 that influenced Chilton are available as a series of audio cassette tapes.) 10 Second, his conclusion would have been unwarranted even if teaching had preceded baptizing in the verses. Can teaching, as he writes, alone create a godly civil government and a faithful church Of course not The primacy of worship has always been the fundamental doctrine of the church. We worship God even when we do not rationally understand every aspect of worship. The author has fallen into the trap that Christian philosopher Cornelius Van Til warned against the primacy of the...

The church in evangelical theology and practice

The practices of an evangelical congregation that lives out an escha-tological ecclesiology would include worship and ministries that express trust in God. Even in the language of lament, the congregation voices its security in being created, redeemed, and called by God. In its witness, the church expresses hope for the world. Witness, then, ought to be grounded in the promises of God rather than the fear that has sometimes seemed to characterize evangelism in certain sectors of evangelicalism. Witness that is grounded in God does not deny the ''no'' of God that has been revealed in the cross of Jesus Christ, but it does emphasize the ''yes'' of God that is proclaimed in the cross. In this witness, the standard for ''success'' is not solely or even predominantly quantitative growth or expansion. Rather, the standard for the church's self-evaluation is faithfulness to the patterns of the kingdom of God, patterns that have been revealed to the church in Jesus Christ. 35. Some of Robert...

The Christian Calling Winning Souls To Christ

There is a teaching within the teaching in those scriptures, and that is that it is the gospel alone that saves. Sinners must be confronted with the gospel for their salvation, yet there is a false teaching that persists in the contemporary Church called lifestyle evangelism , which advocates that sinners can be won to Christ by letting them see the exemplary lifestyle of Christians. But as is evident from our study of scriptures here and elsewhere in the Bible, scriptures clearly refute this teaching (CP Psa 22 22 40 9-10 119 13 Eze 33 9 Jn 5 24 Ro 1 16 10 17 1Cor 1 21 4 15 1Ti 4 16 Jas 1 18 1Pe 1 23). These scriptures are not exhaustive but representative of the many that refute lifestyle evangelism. Every one of those scriptures teach that the gospel has to be proclaimed for sinners to receive it and be saved. Nowhere in the Bible is it taught that sinners can be saved by observing the lifestyle of Christians, no matter how exemplary a lifestyle they live. No one lived a more...

Medieval And Modern Views Of Christ As Prototype

In order to be and to portray the truth as a human being, Christ had to undergo a process of development during his earthly life, learning perfect obedience through suffering before being exalted as the prototype (UDVS 250-63 PC 181-4). The life of the prototype thus can be depicted in two ways, either through the image of lowliness and abasement or through the distant image of his loftiness (PC 184). It is decidedly the former, however, that is the basis of imitation, discipleship, or, more literally, following after Christ (Kristi Efterfolgelse)67 in Kierkegaard's theology, although Christ's abasement must always be understood inversely as a sign of his loftiness (238-9). Whereas human beings ordinarily form, via the imagination, an image of perfection or ideal self which they strive to become in life, the Christian's image of perfection is Christ, whose perfection or loftiness appears inversely in the world as lowliness or abasement (186-99). Since for Kierkegaard it holds that As...

The Second Authorship Kierkegaards Authorship from 1846 to 1855

From 1846 onward, however, his writing takes on a different quality. He moves increasingly away from the indirect communication of the earlier works and makes less frequent use of pseudonyms. His writing becomes more overtly Christian and more direct in its address to the reader. The task is no longer that of subtly educating the reader toward Christian existence, but of confronting the reader with the fact that what he or she takes to be Christianity is a parody of the Gospel. Kierkegaard's second authorship is a call to radical Christian discipleship. This faith is made possible by the gracious coming of God to humanity in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. It is the nature of this faith that is the central theme of Anti-Climacus' other work, namely, Practice in Christianity. In this work Anti-Climacus takes up and radicalizes many of the themes treated by Johannes Climacus in Philosophical Fragments and Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Thus, the theme of contemporaneity is...

Spirituality And Liberation

In spite of such witnesses, the influence of dualism and even of Gnosticism, with its view that matter and spirit are opposed, has been considerable. For the Gnostic, both sex and the polis (i.e. socio-political life) were sources of contamination. True spirituality consisted in an ascent from the realm of the carnal and worldly to that of the supernatural. One consequence of this kind of dualism has been a tendency, evident throughout Christian history, to associate 'spirituality' with passivity, and 'Christian discipleship' with social action and struggle, movements of change and reform, perhaps revolutionary political activity. It is widely assumed that a 'spiritual' emphasis is associated with the realm of the inward, and a lack of concern for the transformation of society and that 'social concern' goes hand in hand with a lack of interest in the deeper realms of the spirit. So spirituality comes to be associated with dependence, activism with the assertion of autonomy. Some...

Practical Encouragement From This Doctrine

The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture therefore has a very important, and ultimately very encouraging, practical implication. It tells us that where there are areas of doctrinal or ethical disagreement (for example, over baptism or predestination or church government), there are only two possible causes for these disagreements (1) On the one hand, it may be that we are seeking to make affirmations where Scripture itself is silent. In such cases we should be more ready to admit that God has not given us the answer to our quest, and to allow for differences of viewpoint within the church. (This will often be the case with very practical questions, such as methods of evangelism or styles of Bible teaching or appropriate church size.) (2) On the other hand, it is possible that we have made mistakes in our interpretation of Scripture. This could have happened because the data we used to decide a question of interpretation were inaccurate or incomplete. Or it could be because there is...

Eucharist ecclesial place

Perhaps, therefore, one should draw on Bonhoeffer's suggestion as to the recovery of an 'arcane discipline' eucharistic practice is predicated upon the alteration of nature towards God and thereby towards humanity. Christian discipleship is a reminder of the destiny of all flesh

James Jordans Influence

While I was in Seminary, I attended a class that taught me more about the Bible than all my other classes combined. The class was taught by Jim Jordan. But Jim was not a teacher at the seminary he was a student. And the class he taught was held at the adult Sunday School of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, in Jackson, Mississippi. The understanding of Scripture that I received from Jordan's insights has served as a basis for virtually all my subsequent Bible study and teaching and I believe it will prove to be just as helpful to other Bible teachers.

The effort to purify the Church through the papacy

Could all Western Christendom be really Christian More than once we have called attention to the problem. Western Europe had adopted the Christian name by mass action, usually tribe by tribe. Baptism had become a social convention. A vast distance separated the living of the ordinary Christian from the high demands of Jesus for discipleship. Could that distance be narrowed

Kierkegaards Achievement

Underlying the apparently postmodernist strands of Kierkegaard's thought is the conviction that there is an authentic voice to be heard, a voice that is heard only when the individual withstands the pressures of modernity and embarks upon Christian discipleship.

Creation versus Evolution

In May 2007, Young Earth Creationists opened the 27 million 'Creation Museum' in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky. We are in no doubt that this museum will unleash further ridicule and opposition from educational establishments worldwide against the Bible as the Word of God and further hinder world evangelism. It is a sad and tragic irony that a group of Christians, in their misdirected blind zeal, are the very cause of hindering belief in the Word of God.

Steps towards cooperation and greater unity

These developments were reflected in the gradual increase of pan-Orthodox endeavours. Orthodox from various jurisdictions began to recognize that they shared not only the same faith but also the same challenges and obligations within the American society. They began to establish a number of avenues of cooperation, especially in the areas of retreat work, religious education and campus ministry. New catechetical materials in the English language were prepared. English translations of liturgical texts were made. In addition, there was growing use of English in the liturgy and other services. Bringing together clergy and laity of a number of jurisdictions, joint liturgical services began to become more common in large cities, especially on the first Sunday of Great Lent, celebrated as the Sunday of Orthodoxy. In some cities, pan-Orthodox clergy associations and councils of churches were established. These endeavours were led by clergy and laity chiefly from the three largest...

How can one find his life by losing it

All self-interests and ambitions which are contrary to God's word (CP Col 3 1-4). The other application is that if Christians are put to death for the gospel's sake, they have the sure hope of eternal life (CP Ac 6 8-7 60 Rev 3 5) if through fear of physical death they deny Jesus, God will punish them (CP Mk 8 38 (also Lu 9 26) 2Ti 2 11-12 Rev 21 8). The fearful in Rev 21 8 are professing Christians whose fear of man overrides their loyalty to Christ. This explains the paradox of discipleship - to lose life is to find it to die is to live (CP Mt 10 24-28 Mk 8 35-37 Lu 9 24-25 Jn 12 25-26).

Misunderstandings of the Hope

There used to be a group called postmillennialist. They believed that the Christians would root out the evil in the world, abolish godless rulers, and convert the world through ever increasing evangelism until they brought about the Kingdom of God on earth through their own efforts. Then after 1,000 years of the institutional church reigning on earth with peace, equality, and righteousness, Christ would return and time would end.

The Historical Method of Christian Faith

The great anonymous theologian of the second century spoke in parables of Hellenic wisdom about the gospel of divine grace but he could indicate what he meant by the Logos, the Light, and the Life only by telling again in his own way the story of Jesus Christ. The sermons of Peter and Stephen as reported or reconstructed in the book of Acts were recitals of the great events in Christian and Israelite history. Christian evangelism in general, as indicated by the preservation of its material in the Synoptic gospels, began directly with Jesus and told in more or less narrative fashion about those things which are most surely believed among us of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach. We may remind ourselves also of the fact that despite many efforts to set forth Christian faith in metaphysical and ethical terms of great generality the only creed which has been able to maintain itself in the church with any approach to universality consists for the most part of statements about...

Modern Period Bonaparte to the Present

Property and generally support reform. Cyril V later withdrew his approval and a power struggle between the patriarch clergy and lay leaders continued for decades under several patriarchs. A more harmonious phase in the interaction of clergy and laity began in 1910 with the creation of Sunday schools. Habib Guirguis (1876-1951), an archdeacon, perhaps inspired by Protestant models, steadily promoted them until they became part of church life in every city and village. The Sunday schools included age-group classes, youth activities, teacher conferences, and prayer groups. Many important leaders of the present Coptic Church have emerged from the Sunday school movement, and it is a vital part of the diaspora community. But the vitality shown in these institutions (council, Sunday schools) has been repeatedly threatened by trends in Egyptian society as a whole, especially by Muslim fundamentalism. The British protectorate (1882-1952), in which British troops were stationed in Egypt and...

Beyond The Reformation

The Anabaptists who stressed the social demands of the Gospel, with their insistence on discipleship, community and sharing of goods, their view of the Church as a counter-sign to the world, and their Johannine understanding of salvation as a communion in the divine life. In line with the theology of the Orthodox, the Anabaptists believed in the divinization of humanity through Christ (Beachy 1963 17). Their spirituality was social, hopeful and focused on the power of grace.

Apostles Of The Slavs

The domes of Troitse Sergieva (Holy Trinity monastery), which lies northeast of Moscow, was founded by Saint Sergius in 1345. This monastery has been the center of Russian Orthodoxy for hundreds of years and is an important center of theological study and religious education. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the monastery was closed down it was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1945.

B Absence of Boundaries

The point emerging above highlights a remarkable feature of the discipleship to which Jesus called. As with his initial call to 'the poor' ( 13.4) and to 'sinners' ( 13.5), so with the character of discipleship for which his own practice provided the template. Whereas others sought to protect Israel's special status before Yahweh by drawing tighter boundaries round the people of promise, Jesus sought to break down these boundaries and to create a fellowship which was essentially open rather than closed. His open table-fellowship, so much both constituting and characterizing the community which practised it, made the point more clearly than any other aspect of his mission. How far the point can be pressed is less clear. Presumably Jesus had meals alone with his disciples which were of a private nature and not obviously open,286 and presumably also the last supper (Mark 14.22-25 pars.) was not an isolated occasion.287 But otherwise the fact that the Synoptic Evangelists have made so...

Protestantism And Education

As it began to gain influence in western Europe, Protestantism discovered the importance of education. Populations had to be persuaded of the folly of their older religious ways and beliefs and assisted in gaining a firm grasp of the principles of the new form of Christianity that was gaining influence and momentum. The development of the educational form of the catechism was an important response to this need congregations could be encouraged to learn these by heart. Luther's Catechisms of 1529 proved particularly effective and established the question-and-answer format as normative. Yet more was clearly required. Luther recognized the potential importance of the public school system for educating children in the ways and ideas of Protestantism, yet lacked the professional expertise necessary to exploit this resource.63 As time passed and Protestantism became more securely established, the home began to emerge as the primary focus of intergenerational transmission of faith.64 Family...

From what source come our words

Them, from whatever source, will be sure to bear its legitimate fruit in due time. On this point, the Rev. T. De Witt Talmage has well said You may tear your coat or break a vase, and repair it again but the point where the rip or the fracture took place will always be evident. It takes less than an hour to do your heart a damage which no time can entirely repair. Look carefully over your child's library see what book it is that he reads after he has gone to bed. Do not always take it for granted that a book is good because it is a Sunday-school book. As far as possible, know who wrote it, who illustrated it, who published it, who sold it. It seems that in the literature of the day, the ten plagues of Egypt have returned, and the frogs and the lice have hopped and skipped over our parlor tables. Parents are delighted to have their children read, but they should be sure as to what they read. You do not have to walk a day or two in an infected district to get the cholera or typhoid...

Supplementary Reading

Anatomy of the Sacred An Introduction to Religion. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice-Hall, 2001. An accessible and readable introductory college text that provides in its opening chapter a set of definitions of religion and a description of methods that distinguish religious studies as a discrete field. Lorenzen, T. The Resurrection and Discipleship Interpretive Models, Biblical Reflections, Theological Consequences. Maryknoll, NY Orbis Books, 1995. A useful survey of the dominant modes of interpreting the Resurrection of Jesus in Christianity, and the implications for different views of Christian life.

What does it mean that whoever wants to follow Jesus must deny themselves and take up their cross

These are the conditions of discipleship Jesus has laid down and no one can come to Him any other way. This teaching is also found in Mark's and Luke's gospels (CP Mk 8 34 Lu 9 23). Taking up our cross means being self-sacrificially committed to the service of God, and taking it up daily as directed in Luke 9 23 means that we must continue willing to self-sacrificially serve God daily to the end of our life, not only when it suits us, or when it is convenient or popular, but also when it does not suit us, and it is inconvenient and unpopular (CP Lu 14 26-27). The cross is a symbol of suffering, ridicule, self-denial and rejection, and Christians must be prepared to suffer the reproach, hatred and ridicule of the world for the sake of the gospel, exactly as Jesus did (CP He 13 11-14). Deny himself means that a follower of Christ has to put the interests of God's kingdom above all else and renounce all self-interests and ambitions which are contrary to God's word (CP...

Women in European Islam

One major trend profoundly affecting Europe is the expansion of religious education among women. In traditional Muslim societies, conservatives like India's Deobandis were deeply suspicious of women's involvement in religious life because they saw women as overly sympathetic to superstitious practices and even to syncretism. In some measure, the conservatives were correct an Islam with women leaders is likely to change its emphases, if not always in directions that Westerners would approve. While remaining firmly within the boundaries of orthodoxy, Muslim women in Europe have made much use of the rich educational opportunities open to them. Women have become the mainstays of the Islamic Studies courses that proliferate in many colleges and in which they often constitute a majority of students. Though the courses teach orthodox mainstream Islam, the fact that women are conspicuously gaining expertise in Islamic thought is bound to have long-term consequences. We think, for example, of...

Discourse on the Trinity

The church of the fourth century inherited a tradition of Trinitarian discourse that was pervasively embedded in its worship and proclamation, even if it was lacking in conceptual definition. No less than their Jewish counterparts, the early Christians were strict monotheists who gave unqualified adherence to the Shema of Deuteronomy 6.4 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone.' Yet their belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour was expressed in terms which referred to Jesus as the Son, Word, and Wisdom of God and as the one who grants to his disciples the grace of adoption through the bestowal of God's Spirit (cf. Galatians 4.4-7). The first centuries of Christian theological reflection assimilated the confessions of both the oneness of God and the triadic form of Christian discipleship with varying degrees of concern for conceptual clarity and logical synthesis. The first major instance of a debate concerned with conceptualising the Christian experience of God as Trinity and...

Masonic Control Over The Public Schools

Eidge, in the nairte of education, complete division nf religion I civil authority which our forefathers made. One is to introduce religious education and observance into the public schools. The other to obtain public funds for the aid and support of various private schools'. An eniiufnt educator has said the comprehensive high schools deserve the enthusiastic support of the American taxpayer. The greater the proportion of our youth who Fail to attend oui public schools and who receive their education t'lse where, the greater the threat to our democratic unity. To use taxpayers' money to assist private schools is to suggest that American society use its own hands to destroy itself,

To Stay Or Not To Stay Waiter Or Customer

If you do not know what to do yet, then ask yourself this question Am I a waiter (waitress) or a customer In other words, when you go to the meeting do you perform a part of the service or are you one who is served For instance, teaching Sunday School, singing or ushering would be acting as a waiter. If you are a customer, then there is not much of a problem -- you are free to leave and go to a restaurant (church)

The Inbetween and the Economy of Faith

That process is the process of representation. Discipleship could be described as learning (that is being subject to, disciplined by participation in what is being mediated) how to represent aright. The recognition of one's own participation is also the recognition of being inscribed within what is being mediated of the Father through the Son, Jesus Christ. We are written into a story, a metanarrative. Our recognition is that we are always only in-between. Similarly, one reads of Andrew and Simon entering into a dis-cipleship, but a discipleship that is a continuation of what they have been doing formerly. The verbs of 1.16 18 paragon, amphiballontas, poieso umas genesthai and aphentes are all verbs emphasising transition and movement. Fishers they were and fishers they will remain, for it is while they engage in the narrative of their occupation that they issue into the narrative of Jesus Christ.23 It is not that narrative meets metanarrative, but that narrative is always...

New Approach To Worship

The early church produced followers of Christ who turned their world upside down. Even today, these first-century Christians have much to teach us about how we are to live as we grow in Christ. True discipleship is about bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God based on the development and activation of Christlike character. True disciple-ship is knowing Jesus Christ and allowing Him to live His life in us. It's unfortunate that we have made Christian discipleship an academic exercise as well as an individual pursuit. Across the country we have defined success in spiritual formation in terms of the quantity of knowledge received and retained. We often measure this in terms of programs or courses of study that have been completed. We have lost sight of the authentic aim of discipleship in favor of impractical, passive outcomes that do not reshape who we are and how we live. Yet Jesus never told us that He who dies with the most religious knowledge, wins. Nor did He ever make discipleship...

Conclusion the enduring legacy of Ethiopianism

In 1964, the Nigerian Methodist theologian E. B. Idowu gave a series of radio talks, 'Towards an indigenous church', that sounded like a close reading of earlier Ethiopian themes. The indigenisation project that followed decolonisation so mirrored the design of Ethiopianism that the movement can be said to have nurtured the roots of modern African Christianity. Ethiopianism deployed Christianity as an instrument to reconstruct the development of African cultural and political nationalism. Later African indigenous churches uncovered the Achilles heel of missionary Christianity and also revealed the limits of the Ethiopian response. The legacies of the Ethiopian movement were, however, numerous the quests to appropriate the gospel and modernity with dignity to be both an African and a Christian to express faith from an indigenous world-view and spirituality so that Africans could respond to their own realities and culture in the spheres of liturgy, polity and ethics to tap the resources...

Literacy reading and faith

One of the fundamental characteristics of the Protestant and the subsequent Catholic Reformations was the assertion that no one could claim to be a Christian unless they could account for their belief. Thus, Luther viewed the catechism as 'something each Christian must absolutely know, so that anyone not knowing it will not be considered a Christian and will not be admitted to any of the sacraments'.1 Indeed, a strong link was established between religion and teaching among Protestants and Catholics alike. This link persisted throughout the early modern period, with the catechism, a unique expression in question-and-answer form of the dogmatic truths essential to belief (the Ten Commandments, the creeds, the principal prayers) viewed as an essential work, laid out for easy memorization by children. Luther had even maintained that it should be displayed on tablets (Tafeln), hung both in church, and in the school and home. Based on quotations from the gospel and the Pauline apostles,...

St Athanasius On the Incarnation [55

For too long, Christians have been characterized by despair, defeat, and retreat. For too long, Christians have heeded the false doctrine which teaches that we are doomed to failure, that Christians cannot win -the notion that, until Jesus returns, Christians will steadily lose ground to the enemy. The future of the Church, we were told, is to be a steady slide into apostasy. Some of our leaders sadly informed us that we are living in a Laodicean age of the Church (a reference to the lukewarm church of Laodicea, spoken of in Rev. 3 14-22). Any new outbreak of war, any rise in crime statistics, any new evidence of the breakdown of the family, was often oddly viewed as progress, a step forward toward the expected goal of the total collapse of civilization, a sign that Jesus might come to rescue us at any moment. Social action projects were looked on with skepticism it was often assumed that anyone who actually tried to improve the world must not really believe...

Preaching the Full Gospel of Jesus Christ

We are fully committed to preaching the Good News, which is the full gospel of Jesus Christ, without any fear of man through all means available to us. We believe that God is calling and preparing a core group of people to this great work of evangelism before the return of Jesus Christ. This core group of people will understand and believe in the reconciliation of all things to God the Father Himself through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and they will have the ministry of reconciliation.

Digression 22 The Historical Jesus

- Professor Schlomo Pines claims that the Arabic edition of Josephus' works had been discovered which was almost certain to be the original. The passage referred to above occurs there, but without the obvious doctrinal statements concerning the resurrection and Messiahship of Jesus which were made in the extract given above. This seems reasonable, seeing Josephus was a Jew. Pines first made his findings public in articles in The New York Times , Feb.12 1972, in which he quotes the debated passage of Josephus about Jesus from the Arabic version At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah...

G The Diversity of Faith

118, On the diversity of discipleship disciple response to Jesus see further below, chapter 13. points to the consistency of the impact made by Jesus as attested by that tradition. To put it another way, it is the consistency of disciple-response which gives the tradition its consistency.120 At the same time it is important to remember, given the diversity (and fissiparity) of subsequent Christianity, that the circle of discipleship was not uniform from the beginning and that a diversity of responses could be and was contained within the homogeneity of the overall response, within the discipleship which gave rise in due course to the earliest churches. If Jesus was always the unifying factor, and disciple-faith in him, it was a unity embracing and holding together a diversity of faith responses from the first. But were there not other responses which fell short of discipleship, or which understood discipleship differently, or which stopped short of Good Friday and Easter There are...

ANIM a boGdpgrowt biEDP b2POPF e

Here we are attempting to determine the statistical impact of GDP growth, primary educational level, and the number of females in a population on the presence of high degrees of animism in a society (over 50 percent). We posit a behavioral model, common to the social sciences, where all of the independent variables are shifters to the extent that GDP growth proxies industrial development, a capital labor ratio, and some state of science.'' Note that GDP growth also provides a rough measure of the value of time in a given society as a part of full price. On both counts we expect a negative relation between GDPGROWT and the degree of animism and magic in a society. The higher the income growth rate, the higher the full price of time-consuming animistic religions and the fewer of them we expect. Likewise, as the levels of science and technology rise, less primitive forms of religion are chosen. The level of primary education, EDP, is expected to be negatively related to the degree of...

Living in the Light of the Coming Kingdom

Mark 9.33-37 pars. 10.35-45 pars. 'There is no suggestion of the twelve functioning as priests to others' laitv ' (Dunn, Jesus' Call to Discipleship 106). In Matthew the authority given to Peter to 'bind and loose' in Matt. 16.19 is given to 'the disciples' 'the church' (18.18). Matthew also includes an explicit warning against anv attempts within the community to claim an authoritative status which infringes the authoritv exclusive to God and Christ (23.812). a. His message of the kingdom oriented discipleship firmly by reference to God, God as both king and Father. Life was to be lived out of reverence for, fear before, trust in, and whole-hearted love for God. The generosity of God as Creator in bountiful provision, as the Lord who forgives unpayable debts, and as the Father who responds unfailingly to his children was also to be the pattern for Jesus' disciples. To give God first place would require a reorientation of any ambitions for social advance and wealth accumulation,...

If God will ultimately save all people then why bother evangelising

Let us have no doubt whatsoever that evangelism is absolutely essential because God has purposed that it is through evangelism that every person will be saved and reconciled to God, whether in this age or in the ages to come, before the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth. Evangelism means that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit ensures that the full gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to each and every person for his salvation, through His Elect or by whatever other means God chooses.

Faith Communities and Civil Society

A democratic order implies that there will be a genuine separation of church and state. In many countries in Europe, this is complicated by the existence of established churches, part of the legacy of Christendom. For some of them disestablishment might not be a realistic option, nor would it necessarily make them more effective in serving the common good. But even so, a democracy requires that all faith communities should be respected and treated fairly by those in authority. This has important implications for issues such as religious education in schools, as well as for the broader role which religion might play in public life more generally. Certainly, the separation of church and state need not mean that prayer is excluded from public events, or that a national anthem does not refer to God (after all, Nkosi Sikele' iAfrika, the South African national anthem, was originally composed as a hymn). But it does mean that people of

The Gathering of the Elect

Finally, the result of Jerusalem's destruction will be Christ's sending forth of his angels to gather the elect. Isn't this the Rapture No. The word angels simply means messengers (cf. James 2 25), regardless of whether their origin is heavenly or earthly it is the context which determines whether these are heavenly creatures being spoken of. The word often means preachers of the gospel (see Matt. 11 10 Luke 7 24 9 52 Rev. 1-3). In context, there is every reason to assume that Jesus is speaking of the worldwide evangelism and conversion of the nations which will follow upon the destruction of Israel. We generally think of the apostolic period as a time of tremendously explosive evangelism and church growth, a golden age when astounding miracles took place every day. This common image is substantially correct, but it is flawed by one glaring omission. We tend to neglect the fact that the early Church was the scene of the most dramatic outbreak of heresy in world history.

Forgiving as Forgiven

A further mark of the love for which Jesus called is the readiness to forgive. Characteristic of the discipleship to which Jesus called was the two-sided theme of forgiven as forgiving, forgiven therefore forgiving. The importance of this two-sidedness of forgiveness is alreadv clear in the Lord's Praver 'Forgive (aphes) us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors' (Matt. 6.12) 'Forgive (aphes) us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone indebted to us' (Luke And Matthew underlines the point bv adding and elaborating an emphasis also found in Mark 206


One can look at the pages of the New Testament and find in the synoptic Gospels, the letter of James and the book of Revelation that indomitable, uncompromising spirit which set itself against the values of the present age. Such clear-cut counter-cultural strands are, as has already been suggested, a common feature of early Christian texts. Yet, as the Pauline letters indicate, the new converts, particularly those in the urban environment of the cities of the Empire, had to learn a degree of accommodation with the world as it was, without, somehow, abandoning the stark call to discipleship of the teacher from Nazareth. What is remarkable about the letters of Paul, however, is the way in which this Christian activist maintained the counter-cultural identity of these isolated groups by his traveling and writing. The strange thing about Paul is that the energetic innovator and founder of the gentile church should have been the one who above all sowed the seeds of the acceptability of the...

Recent Developments

Following Bolshevik practice in Russia, the new state authorities of Communist Yugoslavia, after the Second World War, separated the Church from the state and this separation also applied to education. Religious education was taken out of primary and secondary schools and most of the real estate owned by the Church was confiscated. The Theological Faculty was expelled from the University of Belgrade. The schism in parts of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Macedonia is ongoing, and there are similar problems in Montenegro (the Montenegrin Orthodox Church was officially registered in the year 2000). The wars of the 1990s on the territory of the former Yugoslav state, in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Kosovo, destroyed many churches and left empty many monasteries, parishes and archbishoprics.

The Last Things

This uneasiness about the idea of hell has had a significant impact on some evangelical approaches to evangelism. One common evangelistic strategy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was to present the gospel as the only way of escaping the horrors and pain of hell. Edwards's famous sermon ends with a plea to those who have not yet come to faith to awake and fly from the wrath to come. Echoes of this approach can be found in the early preaching of Billy Graham, widely regarded as the twentieth century's most prominent Protestant evangelist. Yet the weakening of the cultural belief in hell which is generally regarded as having been in decline in the West since the 1960s38 has diminished the power of this approach. In response to this development, many Protestant evangelists now base their appeal primarily upon the love of God or the capacity of the gospel to make sense of life and transform it. It makes little sense, they argue, to have to persuade people of the existence of...

The Herrnhuters

Church on Sunday mornings for worship and went to Moravian meetings, often devoted to congregational singing, on Sunday evenings.11 Moravian theology, with its emphasis on the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, the consciousness of sin, repentance, conversion, grace, joy witnessing, and martyrdom for the sake of Christ, made a strong impression on young Soren and figured importantly, both pro and con, in shaping his understanding of Christianity12 What seems to have impressed him most about the Moravians, however, was the way they put their beliefs into practice, especially those who were willing to leave everything to preach the gospel in foreign lands and to become martyrs for their cause.13 Their examples of dedication and discipleship stood powerfully in the background as Kierkegaard later formulated his own understanding of Christian witnessing and martyrdom.

Disciples of Jesus

A third feature of discipleship naturally follows from the third element of Jesus' call the call to 'follow me' ( 13.2c). 'Disciples' were those who responded to that call they had become followers of Jesus. This is not to ignore again the likelihood that Jesus' call to repent and believe was addressed to all Israel ( 13.3), nor to forget that there were many who 'followed' who should not be described as 'disciples' ( 13.2c) or that 'circles of discipleship' ( 13.8) which merge into 'the poor' and 'sinners' of within Israel cannot be delimited with any precision. But neither should we underplay the clear recollection that Jesus called for a personal following.57 He was at the centre of the circles of discipleship. Whatever other relations were involved in that first discipleship, it was determined primarily by the relation of the disciple to Jesus. The discipleship for which Jesus called was discipleship of Jesus. Martin Hengel, whose richly documented study on The Charismatic Leader...

Love as Motivation

In Jesus 'Call to Discipleship I suggested a distinction between principles that are applied in the light of circumstances and rules that are to be obeyed whatever the circumstances (84). But the shift in kingdom perspective implied in Matt. 11.11-12 Luke 16.16 is not reducible to neat epigrams, even if the rhetorical character of the latter text also needs to be recalled ( 12.5c 4 ).

Literary Romanticism

Eliot dispenses with the theories of amalgamation or affinity between Christianity and Judaism. The hero of Daniel Deronda is not a Christianized or 'gentilized' Jewish national hero who discovers his Jewish heritage under the influence of non-Jews. Nor are there appeals to Anglican England to follow the example of Cyrus and help to bring a Jewish return to Palestine. Eliot's debt to Shaftesbury and Evangelism (sic) though unacknowledged, must be considered. The gentile author created in Daniel Deronda a true Zionist hero who discovers for himself his Jewish nationality and heritage. The novel represents the apex of non-Jewish Zionism in the literary field, the culmination of a long tradition that began with the Protestant idea of Restoration, but had initially demanded the conversion of the Jews as a first step towards the Palestine goal. Then it was allowed that conversion might happen after Restoration and, by the 19th Century, conversion had been completely dropped as a necessary...

Limitless Worship

All Christians consider the work of evangelism, or spreading the Gospel, to be part of their faith. Many Protestants, like these in Guatemala, are very active evangelists. They often worship and preach outdoors, so their congregations are not limited by the size of a church building, and everyone who passes by can hear their message.

Catholic Church

That in many respects the agenda of Vatican II did not concern them. The more progressive bishops, like Helder Camara from Recife, Brazil, were committed to the idea of the 'Church of the poor', but they were a minority among Latin Americans. The Council was in danger of passing Latin America by* There was little cohesion at Vatican II between the Latin American bishops. Yet the Conference of Latin American Bishops (CELAM), the body designed to bring them together, had been in existence for ten years. In 1955 they had met for a 'conference' during the Eucharistic Congress in Rio de Janeiro. This was a novel type of meeting, unprecedented in Church history. It was summoned by the Holy See, presided over by a Cardinal Legate, Adeodato Piazza, named by Pope Pius XII, and its conclusions were revised by Rome before being published. This meeting of seven cardinals and ninety bishops was devoted to a 'new pastoral programme'. Four questions prevailed the priest shortage, religious...


We therefore substantially agree with Dr. A. C. Kendrick, in his article in the Sunday school Times To infants and children, as such, the language cannot apply. It must be taken figuratively, and must refer to those qualities in childhood, its dependence, its trustfulness, its tender affection, its loving obedience, which are typical of the essential Christian graces. Logically, how could our Savior s assign, as a reason for allowing literal little children to be brought to him, that spiritual little children have a claim to the kingdom of heaven The persons that thus, as a class, typify the subjects of God s spiritual kingdom cannot be in themselves objects of indifference to him, or be regarded otherwise than with intense interest. The class that in its very nature thus shadows forth the brightest features

The Contributors

WALTER HOLLENWEGER was ordained in the Swiss Reformed Church in 1961. He gained his doctorate in theology from the University of Zurich in 1966. From 1965 to 1971 he was Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and from 1971 to 1989 he was Professor of Mission at the University of Birmingham. His books include Evangelism Today Good News or Bone of Contention (1976), Erfahrungen der Leibhaftigkeit Interkulturelle Theologie 1 (1979, 2nd edn 1980), Umgang mit My then Interkulturelle Theologie 2 (1982, 2nd edn 1992), Geist und Materie Interkulturelle Theologie 3 (1988) and The Pentecostals (2 vols, 1988 and 1995). His articles include 'Towards an Intercultural History of Christianity' in International Review of Mission (October 1987) 'Interaction between Black and White in Theological Education' (September 1987), 'Healing Through Prayer Superstition or Forgotten Christian Tradition' (May 1989) and 'Music in the Service of Reconciliation' (July 1989) in Theology,...

Federal Attacks

The IRS has also been known to set its sights on Christian publishers. It challenged Christian Service Charities' (CSC) deduction of Sunday school materials for overseas use, saying they are religious and have no real value. CSC's Joel MacCollam said the IRS claims that faith-based material (in this case, Sunday School and Vacation Bible School publications) has no intrinsic impact on human lives or development programs to warrant a corporate donor claiming tax deductions because the material is religious in content. The IRS's position, essentially is that gifts-in-kind of religious items are not deductible. Reverend Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, denounced this as religious bigotry, saying the challenge against allowing tax deductions for charitable Christian materials is a direct attack on faith-based charities and the work of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a First Amendment violation.

Other Story Lines

109 Ellen Badone, ed., Religious Orthodoxy and Popular Faith in European Society (Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press, 1990) K. S. Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Seven Vols. (London Eyre & Spottiswood, 1937-1945) Jane Schneider and Shirley Lindenbaum, eds., Frontiers of Christian Evangelism. American Ethnologist (Special Issue) (1987) 14.

Balles Catechism

Of the main tenets of the Christian faith.18 It was from this book that Kierkegaard received his first formal theological instruction. Balle's catechism was authorized for use in all Danish schools in 1794 and remained the standard text for the religious education of Danish children until 1856, when it was replaced by a new one. Structured differently from most catechisms, which are usually organized as a series of questions and answers, Balle's text was intended to be used in conjunction with Luther's Small Catechism.19 It was divided into eight chapters that gave a systematic, theologically conservative, and somewhat rationalist account of the accepted doctrines of the Lutheran tradition, with particular emphasis on spelling out one's duties to God, self, and neighbour and in particular relationships (man wife, parent child, master servants, authority subjects, teachers students).20 The deep impression this catechism made upon Soren may be glimpsed in a poetically transmuted...


Reconciliation, Barth's chosen metaphor for the whole work of Christ, requires forgiveness. Forgiveness, we saw, can be understood as requiring Christ's death, or it can be understood as the result of life practices, being traditioned by God's Word, which make forgiveness possible. Beginning with this second sense we understand the church as a counter-culture based, to use John Milbank's terms, on an ontology of peace rather than an ontology of violence (Milbank 1990). Gregory Jones has argued that forgiveness is not letting someone off the hook but a remorselessly difficult option, a craft that may take a lifetime to learn (Jones 1995). Effectively Jones is talking about discipleship, and here we can introduce the much misunderstood idea of the exemplary theory of the atonement. The nineteenth-century historians found the origin of this in Abelard's urging that we were led to love by Jesus'example. It was certainly paradoxical that this view should be championed in 1915 by Hastings...

Life Together

Life Together recollects the daily life at Finkenwalde and the theology of community undergirding it.35 This is no monastic retreat from the world, nor does it imply a turn away from the costliness of grace demanded by The Cost of Discipleship. Rather, here Bonhoeffer had the chance to live out in intentional community his theology of sociality, putting into practice, like the community at Mirfield, a worldly and engaged spirituality, belief hand-in-glove with obedience.

Unequal Access

But despite the Equal Access Act, the court's validation of it, other cases permitting Bible clubs to meet, and the unambiguous Department of Education Guidelines, many public school administrators continue to act as though they are required to discriminate against Christian students. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), for example, denied requests from the San Fernando Valley of Child Evangelism Fellowship to form a Bible club called the Good News Club. Liberty Counsel's Mathew Staver, representing the group, said, The LAUSD seems to think it's above the law. A policy excluding persons or groups because of their religious viewpoint is unconstitutional. This underscores that educators need education. LAUSD policy, said Staver, permits groups or individuals to meet and discuss any subjects and questions which appertain to the educational, political, economic, cultural, artistic, and moral interests of the community in which they reside. Yet the school concluded that a Bible...

Jesus Remembered

The primary formative force in shaping the Jesus tradition was the impact made by Jesus during his mission on his first disciples, the impact which drew them into discipleship. (1) The initial formative impact was not Easter faith. The impulse to formulate tradition was not first effective in the post-Easter period. The tradition available to us. particularly in the Synoptic Gospels. has certainly been structured and regularly retold in the light of Easter faith. But again and again the characteristic motifs and emphases of the individual traditions show themselves to have been established without and therefore probably prior to any Easter influence. The initiating impact was the impact of the pre-Easter call to faith. (2) We can certainly hope to look behind that impact to the one who made that impact. But we cannot realistically expect to find a Jesus ('the historical Jesus') other than or different from the Jesus who made that im