Posts Tagged ‘discipleship’

Prayer, Pentecostalism, and the Political: Renewing the Public Square?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 by Amos Yong

 public prayerWhat does Pentecostalism have to do with the public square or the political? One might think, initially, perhaps not much: classical Pentecostals have by and large been apolitical, although more often than not, such postures have been nurtured less by pentecostal spirituality and commitments than by eschatological ideas derived from dispensationalist theologies otherwise inimical, ironically, to the idea that the Holy Spirit’s charismatic and miraculous work has continued unabated after the age of the apostles. But as people of the book, Pentecostals do adhere to the New Testament injunctions to pray for their governments and political leaders. In political environments in which they are a minority, often this takes on the form of urging divine intervention that makes possible ongoing pentecostal mission and especially local evangelism. In liberal democratic societies, however, especially those which at least in theory support the freedom of religion, pentecostal growth has precipitated other political possibilities and aspirations, and hence also nurtured other types of prayer regarding the public domain. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Friday and Advent

Friday, November 26th, 2010 by Diane Chandler

Last year on Black Friday, a person I know camped outside of a popular electronics store to purchase some big ticket items at sale prices.  His all-nighter was not a solo experience, as proven by the few hundred others who likewise waited in line in this unique communal American experience.

Affectionately termed “Black Friday” by U.S. consumer retailers and popularized by the media, the day after Thanksgiving is the official launch of the retail holiday season.  It is the day that retailers hope that sales will put their businesses in “the black,” rather than “the red” and is supposed to be an economic indicator of the entire holiday shopping season. 

Retailers know the allure of a sale, the ongoing state of the average American’s pocket book, and the inherent tendency of human nature to buy what we do not need but wished we had.  Black Friday has become a quintessential hallmark of American consumerism. 

Last December, I found myself almost entrapped with the same magnetic pull of a great sale for a flat screen television.  Only one problem…our very old TV still worked (although had/has its quirks).  We really did not need a new TV.  The barrage of sale advertisements did not make it easy to decline. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I like a sale just like anyone else and enjoy the pleasure of giving gifts to family and friends at Christmas.  However, I also recognize the seduction of “more,” “bigger,” “better,” and “quicker.” Entrapment to bigger and better is one of the most accepted forms of cultural bondage ~ inside and outside the American church. Read the rest of this entry »

Discipling Against the Gnostic Temptation

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Love creation, not the world

I said in the previous post that I was going to offer a follow up blog entry related to the pastoral implications of the Gnostic temptation. In brief, the Gnostic temptation is…

the attraction of an otherworldly kind of existence when faced with the genuine risk of forming unhealthy bonds with aspects of creation that can lead to addictive and destructive behavior that enslaves.

I now want to discuss some of the pastoral issues surrounding the Gnostic temptation. The purpose is to suggest discipleship practices need to be formulated in such a way as to help individuals avoid this temptation. Believers must

  • Learn to love creation rightly
  • Learn to love their bodies rightly
  • Learn the difference between creation and “the world”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Gnostic Temptation

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Recently I presented a paper at St. Bonaventure University in western New York. The beautiful scenery, coupled with my own paper topic and the questions that resulted, reminded me of the need to resist the perennial temptation to embrace Gnosticism among Christians.

As a perspective, Gnosticism essentially is a denial of the fundamental goodness of creation. It’s appeal is for a wholly otherworldly place and experience. It is the longing for heavenly realities coupled with the struggle with earthly realities that forms the heart of the Gnostic temptation. What turns the longing for the glory of eternity into Gnosticism is simply the overreach. Can you long for glory too much? If that longing turns into a hatred of the human body (including your own), a rejection of food and drink, a rejection of marriage and the goodness of sexuality, a complete disavowing of culture as corrupt in its essence, it may just be too much.

Let me explain what I mean further. Read the rest of this entry »