Isn’t it annoying when someone insists they know what you believe, and won’t take your word that you do not? A friend of mine who worked in a Muslim setting often heard, “You Christians believe in a trinity of Father, Son, and the Virgin Mary!” In this case, the Christian should have the first say,... Continue Reading →
The Public Reading of Scripture in the Early Church in the Church of Today
A presentation given at an ESEPA conference in April 2021. The original Spanish version is found on my other blog under the title “La Lectura Oral de las Escrituras en la Iglesia Primitiva y en la Actualidad.” And you may download it as a pdf file: oral-reading-of-scripture-in-the-early-church-and-todayDownload Summary: In the early church, extensive oral scripture... Continue Reading →
Certificate with an Emphasis in the Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Violence, by Karen Shogren
Warm greetings from San José, Costa Rica! I am Karen Shogren, a professor in the certificate program of ESEPA Seminary here. Next week we are beginning an entirely new program called Certificate with an Emphasis in the Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Violence. This topic has been in the news recently, in many countries around... Continue Reading →
Has church become a “show”?
In another place I have written about two churches I have visited that gave a broad weekly invitation for all members to participate in leading worship. I have also written on the related theme of the Priesthood of all Believers. As we hear so often, “The church is not the building, but the congregation.” That... Continue Reading →
An Isolated Apostle – Can God still use him?
Someone in Costa Rica asked me to preach about “John in Patmos.” And I realized that, it’s an excellent subject for bored, shut-in, and isolated people during COVID! First, a little background. John wrote that he was on the island of Patmos “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1:9b).... Continue Reading →
Why do Christian men and women get stuck in pornography?
What do we do with this? 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn. 87% of Christian women have watched porn (at some time). The percentage of all women (Christian or not) who watch porn is... Continue Reading →
Do Visitors To Your Church Feel Welcomed?
The Gospel Coalition just published a very interesting article, one which seemed to resonate with at least one friend. The author writes: Do you make visitors feel conspicuous in the worship service? Stop it. Seriously. Please stop. Some visitors don’t care and will actually appreciate the attention. But many of them will not. This will be... Continue Reading →
So: you love the Church, but are indifferent about the people in it?
"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." 1 John 4:20 NIV In John's language, "hate" isn't necessarily anything so vile as loathing, or despising, or cursing -... Continue Reading →
The Emperor Constantine the Great – a villain or a hero, or something in-between?
Download the article as a pdf: Shogren_The Emperor Constantine the Great – a villain or a hero, or something in-between To many, the Emperor Constantine was a saint: in the Orthodox church he is one of the “Equal-to-Apostles” (isapóstolos) a title given to people (such as Patrick, Cyril the evangelist of Russia and others) who were... Continue Reading →
Why didn’t I drop out of church?
Post after post announces that young people are leaving the church. I’ve read some good insights on the problems and the solutions. But it makes me ponder: Why didn’t I drop out? Full disclosure: I first went to church because that's what the family did; later I came to believe that it was part of my new... Continue Reading →