Archive for the ‘Christian 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!

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 »

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 »

Where are the Prophets — The Real Ones?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 by Antipas Harris

Today is a very sad day in South Georgia. After a long fight to prove his innocence, Troy Davis faces the death penalty tonight. From my view of the television, largely Caucasian American Law Enforcement Officers are on post to maintain order outside the chambers with tons of people, appearing to be mostly  African Americans, standing in protest, awaiting the Supreme Court’s final decision whether to execute him or acquit him.

Then, word comes back — “The Supreme Court Denies Davis Appeal.” Gosh! The scene on the television screen is way too reminiscent of the scenes from the 1960′s Civil Rights Movement. Some scenes and situations need not be repeated — this is one of them!

Davis is accused of murdering a police officer is 1989. The evidence has been weak to prove that he is guilty. Yet, he has found it difficult to prove his innocence. It is not surprising that Davis is African American. Researchers like University of Iowa law professor, the late David C. Baldus  has proven that racism permeates the death penalty and has done so since it was re-instated in America.

I have no desire to protect the guilty at the expense of the violated. Yet, the death penalty is problematic on so many levels. I cannot address all of them here.  However, I will say that research proves that the practice of the death penalty represents strands in American fabric that are racist at the core. There are similar racist strands that seem to weave through the educational system, job markets, Plan Parenthood’s abortion clinics, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering 9/11 (10th Anniversary)

Saturday, September 10th, 2011 by Diane Chandler

We will never forget the moment we learned of the 9/11 terrorist attacks ten years ago.  The destruction of the four hijacked US airliners carved out an indelibly memory in our minds – the two burning infernos prior to the collapse of the Twin Towers in NYC, the section of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. ablaze, and the mammoth hole left by the fractured airplane of United Flight #93, after it dove into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at over 500 m.p.h..  Unadulterated evil crashed into our doorstep.

During the time of the attack, I was driving to a meeting to discuss my upcoming publication related to strengthening Christian leaders in their mission to share the love of Jesus around the world.  What complete irony, considering that destructive leadership had invaded my homeland.

As I was stopped at a traffic light, news on my car radio announced the collapse of the South Tower (2).  After arriving at my destination, I learned that the attacks were likely attributed to terrorists.  My host and I questioned if we should postpone our meeting.  Considering the nature of our discussion, we decided to shorten the meeting in our feeble attempt to fight evil with good, and then spent considerable time in prayer.  

Within 72 hours, all of the 19 hijackers had been identified as being associated with Al-Qaeda, the militant group founded by Osama bin-Laden; and since that time we have learned their stories.  Their worldview, contorted into religious knots of extremist Muslim ideology, deception, and hatred, so contrasted with the scores of people who sacrificed their lives for others on that 9/11 morning.  The psyche of the American spirit, as well as the conscious of the world, was forever shaped by their terror.  But it has not been overcome by it.

The true heroes who risked and sacrificed their lives include the valiant flight attendants and passengers of United Flight 93, who knew that this fourth plane was headed for the Capital or the White House. Also included were the hundreds of fire fighters, police personnel, and everyday people who ran into harm’s way to save others, not destroy them.  Notable among them, were the brave firefighters from NYC’s Ladder 6 who risked their lives to save 60-year old Josephine Harris.  Their story is told on this week’s Dateline NBC special, America Remembers.

A few days ago, the Washington Post featured the untold story of Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, one of two pilots flying unarmed F-16 fighter jets dispatched to down United Flight 93.  Given the 60-minutes needed to equip the jets with weapons, both she and her colleague, Col. Marc Sasseville, made the snap decision to enter a suicide mission of a different nature – to ultimately save lives.  They never had to complete that mission.

With September 11, 2011 being tomorrow, I am reminded of Jesus’ words: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) and prayer after being crucified on the cross for the sins of the world, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:20).

The heart of being followers of Jesus Christ is infused in these verses.  Last evening, for the first time in 10 years, I forgave those 19 terrorists.  Have you?

Women in Ministry Position Statement

Friday, March 18th, 2011 by Diane Chandler

In my last few blogs, I have focused on women in ministry leadership. In order to clearly state the position of the Regent University School of Divinity, our dean suggested that a position statement be drafted and presented to the divinity faculty. I had the privilege of drafting the statement along with two colleagues, Dr. Mara Crabtree and Dr. Lyle Story. The statement was then approved by the divinity faculty on October 8, 2010. I provide this statement below and invite your comments.

 

Introduction

The School of Divinity is committed to the education, formation, and training of students for all contexts of vocational ministry without preference to gender. We encourage all seminarians to develop and use their God-given gifts for the benefit of the Kingdom of God in the family, seminary, church, and society. In accepting women into the School of Divinity, we affirm their personhood, giftedness, and calling for full participation in all spheres of ministry.

Foundations for Inclusiveness

We believe that women and men are created in the “image of God” as co-heirs and equal partners to enjoy respect, mutuality, and honor, without competition or domination by one gender. The gospels are replete with stories of how Jesus interacted with women by respecting them as persons; honoring their value, purpose, and call; and commissioning them in his extensive ministry, including his post-resurrection encounters with them. The finished work of Christ opened the door of redemption for all people without regard to gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, or socio-economic status. As a result, people are set free from former bonds. At Pentecost, the outpouring of the Spirit empowered both men and women for the privilege and joy of ministry. The subsequent ministry of Paul and others indicates the comprehensive nature of the freedom available to all believers: freedom from prejudice and control, leading to an abundance of life and a call to full participation in all aspects of the “life of the Spirit.” Both the Old and New Testaments affirm God’s impartiality and uphold the value of unity in the Holy Spirit among God’s people. Church history likewise reveals the stories of countless women who have been proactive and effective in every context of Christian ministry and mission (e.g., leadership and renewal of the Church and academy, missionary service, evangelism, and social reform). Our “lived-theology” within the Church and seminary confirms that an inclusive atmosphere leads to mutuality, joy, respect, and honor.

Implications for the School of Divinity

While recognizing that the role of women in ministry leadership positions is a controversial issue in many churches, denominations, and parachurch organizations, we commit to working for social justice and to fostering responsible dialogue with those who hold alternate views, while encouraging discussion within our seminary context. At the same time, we will not use the authority or the context of the classroom to challenge the giftedness and calling of any student on the basis of gender. We expect that all who teach in the School of Divinity will honor our commitment to women’s full participation in ministry leadership and to promoting this vision in our classrooms, teaching, and scholarship. Since we are committed to holistic formation and ministry preparation, we will seek to foster an atmosphere of acceptance and respect, as demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit. We envision a future in which all believers will be encouraged to exercise their God-given gifts for God’s glory, missional purpose, and the joy of serving God and others, with the full support of the entire Christian community.

We hope that this statement will foster mutual respect and authentic gender equality, while upholding the dignity of both women and men as co-laborers for the glory of God.