Archive for June, 2010

I Met Myself on the Plane…

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 by Diane Chandler

My blog last week, entitled “The Simplicity and Power of Testimony,” focused on the transformational power of sharing one’s personal story of God’s goodness with others. Soon after writing the blog, I flew to Vancouver, British Columbia for a work-related conference.

On the first leg of the trip, the gentleman seated beside me struck up a conversation.  After some small talk about our respective vocations and where we were headed, the conversation took an unlikely turn.  We soon found ourselves talking about the impact of fathers on their children’s lives (don’t ask me how).  Himself a father of three young children, he was especially keen on my sharing my story about my own father and how I came to a place of forgiving him several years earlier.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Word in Due Season

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 by James Flynn

I remember getting the call at about nine-thirty in the evening as I was easing into a night at home with my family. I had done John and Sally’s wedding a few years back. Several months earlier, we had gotten the wonderful news that they were expecting a baby. The voice on the other end of the phone this particular evening was John’s mother—Sally had gone into labor unexpectedly and was at the hospital. John’s mom sounded frantic. She asked if I would pray and come to the hospital and wait with them for the outcome. Sally’s pregnancy was about twenty-five weeks along—past the point of viability but in a dangerous zone that meant this baby would be in for the battle of its tiny life. I rushed down to hospital, and the baby was born about three hours later. That night I was introduced to the wonders of neonatal medicine, the pediatric intensive care unit, and the world of trouble that can surround a premature birth.

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Taking Stock: The Blog after Two Months

Monday, June 28th, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Renewal Dynamics has now been online for two months. We have seen a consolidated team efforts of dedicated individuals who poured their heart and faith out into the blog. These are not ordinary blog posts. No lightly written opinion pieces. No quickly summoned wits to fill a page. Often, several hours are quickly gone to prepare a well-put post. Words are important here. They count, both in quanitity and quality. What we write represents in some fashion the School of Divinity and the Center for Renewal Studies at Regent University. But most of all, each post represents us, our thoughts, passions, convictions, and interests. The blog is the product of a good team: Diane Chandler, Dale Coulter,  Jim Flynn, Antipas Harris, Jason Wermuth, myself, and a host of guest bloggers. We love what we do. But in the end, we do not write for ourselves. We write for an audience that should find in this blog what its title promises: dynamic proposals for renewal. The more important question is therefore: Do you love what we do? Read the rest of this entry »

People of the Spirit: Exploring Luke’s View of the Church by Graham H. Twelftree

Sunday, June 27th, 2010 by David Seal

Graham H. Twelftree, People of the Spirit: Exploring Luke’s View of the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009. 269 pp. $24.99

What does the ideal church look like? Graham H. Twelftree, in his recent book entitled People of the Spirit: Exploring Luke’s View of the Church, poses that very question to the author of Luke-Acts. While Twelftree admits his study is not comprehensive he does claim it identifies and explains the major aspects of Luke’s ecclesiology. Given the amount of subjects covered in the book and the controversial nature of some of the material it would be unrealistic to think that Luke and Acts scholars as well as those interested in ecclesiology will not appreciate Twelftree’s nuanced analysis and careful investigation of Luke’s writing. Read the rest of this entry »

Winning Matters – It’s not just about having fun!

Saturday, June 26th, 2010 by Jason Wermuth

Landon Donovan scores winning goal

Have you ever heard a parent tell their child something like this: “it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, what matters is that you have fun?” That might work in little league baseball or bantam hockey, but in the race of the Christian life, winning actually does matter.

At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “Christianity isn’t a competition!” And yea, you are right in one sense … but perhaps wrong in another, or so the Apostle Paul might conclude. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul admonishes the church saying “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (1 Cor 9:23-24). Paul here uses the metaphor of a runner to describe the Christian life. More than that he compares the Christian life to a racer. Some might shudder at the thought that a Christian is supposed to compete like an athlete, but Paul does not. For Paul, the Christian life is a battle and the sinful nature and spiritual principalities of darkness are our competitors. So are Christian’s really like competitive athletes?

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Women and the Churches: Part IV

Friday, June 25th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

If one examines the evidence from the second century, women continue to play prominent roles within Christian communities. At the close of the second century, a change begins to occur slowly in various Christian communities. The movement to consolidate a solid leadership structure in order to deal with the threat of heresy was the beginning of the end for women as office holders. By the end of the third century, they had been effectively removed from offices of bishop and presbyter although in Syria female orders of deacons continued. This was primarily because baptism involved the removal of clothes and women were needed to baptize women.

At the same time, a new opportunity emerged through the rise of monasticism at the end of the third century. Monastic orders allowed women to continue to have leadership roles outside of the structure of offices. From the fourth century through the Protestant Reformation, virtually all of the significant female voices come from women who belonged to a monastic order. It is significant that women never ceased to prophesy, have visions, or perform miracles in the name of Christ. There is a vast array of literature from medieval women, in particular, who wrote down their visions as a way of providing charismatic leadership for their fellow Christians.

My contention is that the role of women and the charismatic dimension of Christianity go together. Even though women were excluded from church offices like presbyter (priest/elder) and bishop by the end of the third century, they continued to function in the charismatic and thus remained teachers and leaders. If the history of Christianity guides the interpretation of scripture at all, then it suggests that the Spirit’s continued calling of women through the charismatic gifts may be God’s way of trying to say something about his daughters. They are the “handmaids of the living God,” whom God has gifted to occupy all offices. Read the rest of this entry »