Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 by Diane Chandler

I am so excited to invite you to The Holy Spirit & Christian Formation Conference to be held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia over Fri. and Sat., March 20-21, 2015! Sponsored by the Regent Center for Renewal Studies with the support of the Regent University School of Divinity, the School of Psychology and Counseling, and the College of Arts and Sciences, the conference will draw those within the church and the Christian academy.

With a renewal of interest in Christian formation blossoming within the church, the Christian academy and published literature, what is readily apparent is that the Christian life is integrated and holistic in nature, as directed by the Holy Spirit, yet requiring our cooperation. This conference will address several dimensions of Christian formation: spiritual, ethical, emotional, relational, intellectual, vocational, and physical health and wellness.

How does the Holy Spirit shape us into the image of Jesus?Renewal Dynamics graphic

What is the role of the emotions and psychological well-being related to overcoming emotional wounds and gaining emotional freedom?

What role do relationships in the family, friendship, and the body of Christ play in shaping believers into Christlikeness?

How does intellectual formation (i.e., the mind) contribute to Christian formation?

Why does one’s sense of life purpose and calling impact vocational development and direction?

Why is care of the physical body a vital component of Christian formation?

Four plenary speakers will address key topics relating to Christian formation. Best-selling author and protégé of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, James Bryan Smith will address spiritual formation. Psychologist M. Elizabeth Hall will address the role of suffering in emotional formation. Stanley Hauerwas will discuss how the Holy Spirit ethically develops believers as it relates to holiness. Stephen G. Post’s presentation will focus on the pneumatology of health and healing related to the body, mind, and spirit within the context of godly love. Plus over thirty parallel paper sessions likewise will address strategic formational dimensions.

For more information and to register, go to The Holy Spirit & Christian Formation website. The early bird registration deadline is Feb. 15. So register today!

The Renewal of the Political? The Holy Spirit and the Public Square

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by Amos Yong

religion-politicsThe legacy of what historians now call “Christendom” certainly casts a long shadow in the ongoing discussion of Christianity and its relationship to the public square (by which I mean the all-inclusive spaces of the political, economic, social, civic, and international). Some commentators have certainly been, especially recently, very critical of the “Christendom” posture, and for good reason. When Christians have wielded political power, -going back to Christianity becoming the religion of the state in the post-Constantinian West, they became enmeshed in the politicking mechanisms of statecraft which focus mainly on worldly matters with little capacity to appreciate, much less account for, the spiritually important aspects of human life. The blurring of lines between church and state, with all of the difficult consequences that played out through the medieval, Reformation, and early modern periods, is testimony to how, even with the most sincere leaders in both domains, the commitments and priorities of church and state often pulled in contrary directions. This is not to say either that “Christendom” itself is irredeemable or that it cannot be managed more successfully under different circumstances. Certainly its achievements can be appreciated, as Oliver O’Donovan has so eloquently argued. It is to say that because the documents of the New Testament were written by those situated in very different political circumstances, it is difficult to clearly articulate a biblically-informed “political theology of Christendom.” Read the rest of this entry »

Is American Christianity Giving in to Juvenilization?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Dale M. Coulter

Recently, Thomas Bergler, a professor at Huntington University in Indiana, released a book in which he argues that American Christianity has been largely co-opted by youth movements during the latter part of the twentieth century. He has also summarized the main arguments in a piece for Christianity Today.

As a product of the Marsden-Noll “school,” Bergler’s arguments remain largely historical with some analysis in the final chapter of the book. His arguments have also received positive endorsements from other historians of American religion, such as John Turner who blogs at The Anxious Bench.

What Bergler attempts to do is track an important trend in twentieth-century evangelicalism (mostly) and its impact, positive and negative, on worship practices, doctrine, church structure, and other features of evangelical Christianity. The argument is sophisticated and should be taken seriously. I find much to agree with, and yet, there are some nagging suspicions I have and from which I cannot escape. My suspicions cause me to wonder about, in Paul Harvey’s words, the rest of the story. . . .

Read the rest of this entry »

Hierarchy and Patriarchy in the Complementarian/Egalitarian Debate

Monday, June 18th, 2012 by Dale M. Coulter

Hierarchies are almost always symbolized by pyramid structures although both egalitarians and complementarians would be uncomfortable with the cultural way of defining such structures. Should the church and home imitate a business model with a CEO at the top? Should they imitate class structures?

In the previous post, I offered three points in response to Joe Carter’s update on the debate between egalitarians and complementarians. My purpose was to clear away some misconceptions and misperceptions by the complementarians to suggest that these missteps occurred on both sides. I want to continue along the same lines by clarifying ideas surrounding patriarchy and hierarchy.

My central claim is that both egalitarians and complementarians embrace hierarchy and both reject patriarchy albeit in different ways. Read the rest of this entry »

Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, and Generating Confusion

Friday, June 8th, 2012 by Dale M. Coulter

Recently I read a string of posts that attempt to update evangelicals on the egalitarian/complementarian debate. As I turned to the most recent post by Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition, it became clear to me that there are plenty of misconceptions and misperceptions flying around. While I have never met Carter in person, I have appreciated his work at First Things and his stand on various issues, and have had several positive email exchanges. With that being said, I think he gets a lot wrong on the nature of the debate and perpetuates common mistakes that seem to be taken for “truisms” by folks. While it is no surprise that he thinks complementarians are winning the debate, even this conclusion rests on misperceptions about the evangelical world.

Let me illustrate what I mean by responding to just three points Carter makes or reiterates from other bloggers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Charles Colson: A Personal Reflection

Monday, April 30th, 2012 by Dale M. Coulter

There have been numerous tributes and reflections on the life of Charles “Chuck” Colson since his passing from this life on April 21. For this reason, I will not rehearse here many of the details given elsewhere –three particularly poignant reflections on Chuck’s life are given by Michael Gerson, Bill Bennett, and Timothy George. Instead, I want to indulge in a bit of personal remembrance. It’s really only when someone exits this life that we gain a glimpse at the numerous ways in which the individual’s history intersected with and impacted events and others. While biographers attempt to distill a more complete historical account into a few hundred pages, it is in detecting the threads found amidst the myriad voices that we begin to see the complex way in which a person’s own history impacts human history. With this in view, I offer my own thread about Chuck Colson from two vantage points. Read the rest of this entry »