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  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    It is not uncommon for pastors to be distressed over a discussion that suggests worship attendance is the key reflector of church health (see my post of April 17, 2012). They may respond with something like: “We are not an old-fashioned 'attractional' church, and don't define success on how many people come to us. We are a 'missional' church, and define our success on how many people we go to.”

  • The Good Book Blog

    Moyer Hubbard — 

    The biblical story, from beginning to end, can rightly be described as an epic of new creation. As its prologue opens with God’s creation of heaven and earth, so its epilogue closes with the dramatic appearance of the new heaven and the new earth—a place where sorrow and death are no more, and where the dwelling place of God is with his people. But this grand inclusio, while hopeful in its preface and jubilant in its finale, brackets a history of pain and toil, agony and tears. As early as Genesis 3 the battle lines are firmly fixed. The creature has shunned the creator, the creation groans in bondage to decay and posterity is left with a legacy of despair. It is worth recalling, however, that the biblical story is a drama of redemption. And while the plot is not without its twists and turns, it does reach a fitting and moving climax in the passion narratives.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kenneth Way — 

    A frequently asked question from my graduate advisees is this: How do you keep up with the latest scholarship in your discipline? Or, how do you stay on the “cutting edge” in your academic field? There are at least five maintenance disciplines that come immediately to my mind.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    Have you taken the Wal-Mart test? If not, it is time to do so. One day this week drive to the Wal-Marts in a twenty-mile radius of your church, and see who is shopping there. If you do not have a Wal-Mart in your community, drive to a local mall and check out the people walking around inside. What you find may surprise you. The United States is dramatically more diverse than it was only ten years ago, a fact often missed by church leaders.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Octavio Esqueda — 

    Formal education at educational institutions has become in many ways the most popular understood form of education that in general we have the tendency to equate our ability to learn with our GPA or success at school. In this way, if adults earned good grades at educational institutions, it is assumed they “know” how to learn because they were good students. For this reason, this kind of people perceive favorably words like “Bible study” or “Sunday school” and usually they like to be involved in them.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    One of the Church Growth Movements contributions to our understanding of evangelism is the discovery of the principle of receptivity. This principle basically states that people vary in being open and closed to the gospel message. Thus, people who are open to the gospel message today may not be tomorrow. Those who are closed to the gospel message today may be open tomorrow.

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I heard recently that the Jewish and (East) Indian mentalities expect life to be full of difficulties and pain as a matter of course. The American mentality expects the opposite: a happy life overall, and usually an improvement over the previous generation. Americanism includes the idea that we may, through hard work, ingenuity, and divine blessing, avoid pain and lack that others suffer. Some American Christians have even preached that material prosperity in this life, including healing of all physical ills, is God’s will for His people. Reality, however, counts against the so-called prosperity gospel.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Nell Sunukjian — 

    How does one raise a daughter? What does a young girl need from her parents? What does she need from her mom?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    Pastors and church leaders have experienced the frustration of seeing someone make a personal decision for Christ and then quickly disconnect from church. Why is it that people connect with Christ but not a local church? How can local churches be more effective in keeping new believers?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Uche Anizor — 

    After a semester of teaching an undergrad course on Scripture and Tradition, a number of things emerged in our discussions that might be worth reflecting on regarding the Bible and its interpretation.

  • The Good Book Blog

    David Talley — 

    Many books hit the market regularly, and we are bombarded by the “latest” trend and the “best” resources and the “proven” strategies, all with the promise of making us more successful in our ministries or in life. I highly recommend a book that is powerfully simple and biblical: The Trellis and the Vine, by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, published by Matthias Media (2009). It is an easy read with only 12 chapters and 196 pages.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Michelle Barnewall — 

    Last year a well-known auto insurance company ran a creative commercial warning drivers about the importance of having good car insurance (especially theirs). An actor starring as “Mayhem” rides on the left panel outside a woman’s car, right where her blind spot would be. He introduces himself to the viewers by saying, “I’m your blind spot. And my job is easy. Hide big things.” As the woman checks her left side to see if it is safe to switch lanes on the freeway, Mayhem mischievously tells her, “You’re good!” and gives her the thumbs up while simultaneously blocking her view. Of course, there is a truck in the next lane, and the woman gets into an accident as a result of his bad advice. The commercial ends with Mayhem urging the viewers to buy insurance from the sponsor so they can be protected from situations like the one he just created.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kenneth Berding — 

    I recently led a seminar for students at Biola who are studying to become church worship leaders entitled: “Hidden Agendas in Worship Leading.” I had them break into groups and discuss what sorts of hidden motivations sometimes lie under the surface in the process of planning and implementing times of worship. When we came back together we drew up a list on the white board. Here are some of the elements that made it onto that list...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    Fifty years of research reveals that most pastors serve plateaued or declining churches. Yet, some pastors are able to lead a church to revitalize its ministry. What types of pastors are able to lead turnarounds?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Mick Boersma — 

    On a visit to the old mission district in San Juan Capistrano some years ago, my wife Rolane and I were fortunate to happen upon one of California's oldest adobe houses when the curator of the structure was present. A bronze sculptor by trade, this man had just been chosen from among a host of hopefuls to restore the over 200 year old home to its former glory. At once this man's zeal for his task was evident. In an animated discussion lasting well over a half hour, he described the ambitious plans to completely recreate in exacting detail the historical and cultural realities of the days of Mexican rule over what is now Orange County. What struck me about this fellow, aside from his storehouse of knowledge, was the passion with which he was engaging this challenge. He was in the process of taking a dusty old building and transforming it into a living and vibrant piece of California's past. There was no doubt in our minds that here was an individual who was enjoying his life and work to the fullest. What a refreshing encounter!

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kenneth Way — 

    I was recently reflecting on my doctoral training and I realized that I learned a few things (ten, to be precise) beyond the actual subject matter of my discipline. For starters, I learned that footnotes can be overdone.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    How much time should a pastor spend preparing to preach? My research has found that the most effective pastors spend a minimum of fifteen hours each week on sermon preparation.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary Manning Jr — 

    Earlier this semester, my good friend Ken Berding and I were discussing the different views on Romans 7:14-25 and decided that we would each write a blog post summarizing our reasons for holding opposing views on the passage. Last week, Ken gave a great defense of the view that Romans 7:14-25 is autobiographical and is thus about the Christian struggle with sin. I found Ken’s reasons 3, 6 and 7 very strong (Ken also gave a fine experiential discussion of that struggle in an earlier post). As Ken pointed out, there are many smart people on both sides of this issue, so this is not a “slam-dunk” interpretational problem. Throughout Christian history, there have been several opinions about what Paul meant in this passage. The two main options are 1) Paul is referring to his own experience as a Christian, and therefore the general Christian experience; or 2) Paul is referring to the experience of a pre-Christian Jew trying to obey the Law.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Mickey Klink III — 

    In an earlier post I mentioned a book on biblical theology that my colleague and I had nearly finished writing. The book is finally finished, and is entitled: Understanding BIblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice (Zondervan).

  • The Good Book Blog

    Gary McIntosh — 

    What sounds like a simple task at first often turns out to be much more difficult in practice. Such is the situation when attempting to define a multiethnic church. For example, a brief survey of the current literature reveals four words that are commonly used to describe churches where the people come from diverse backgrounds: “multinational,” “multi-racial,” “multi-ethnic,” and “multicultural.”

  • Biola Magazine

    Biolans Up Close: Spring 2012

    Kevin Willson (’01), award-winning commercial director

    Biola Magazine Staff — 

    Kevin Willson (’01) has worked his way into the big leagues — of commercials, that is. In February, the director’s now-famous “Sling Baby” ad won...

  • Biola Magazine

    Biola Magazine Staff — 

    Alan R. Niquette (’67) is the founder and director of Dramatic Difference Ministries, an Oregon-based nonprofit corporation that celebrated its...

  • Biola Magazine

    Alumni Files: Spring 2012

    No Slip ’n Slide for Biola!

    Rick Bee — 

    As alumni director, I receive a number of letters and notes from graduates who have questions about Biola facilities, students, faculty and staff....

  • Biola Magazine

    Biola Magazine Staff — 

    Drew Hall (’98) is familiar with TV sets like those for The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live, but he won’t be found on...

  • Biola Magazine

    Get to Know: Spring 2012

    Stewart Oleson, ‘comedian-at-law,’ broadcast journalist

    Biola Magazine Staff — 

    “Life is an improv.” That’s what Stewart Oleson, associate professor of journalism and broadcast journalism advisor, tells his students. How else...