Written by Derek Cooper Thursday, 16 April 2015 09:13

My friend, co-author, and Biblical alumnus (class of ’05) Ed Cyzewski has written a book that I think you might be interested in reading. It’s called A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifeline to Faith and Growth. In the past, Ed and I have written two books together, Hazardous and Unfollowers, in which we attempted to describe and personalize the challenges that accompany Christian living in the twenty-first century.

Christian Survival Guide

In A Christian Survival Guide, Ed has picked up the theme of Christian living once again, providing a glittering array of humorous yet clever observations — what I call “Ed-isms.” (Ed, it should be made known, has never met a pun he doesn’t like, and he spends the quieter hours of his day dreaming about puns the same way bakers dream about croissants and cookies.)

I love the back cover description of the book, which is so characteristic of the writing ministry to which Ed has been called: “A Christian Survival Guide provides a lifeline for followers of Jesus who are tired of pat answers but need a solid foundation for their faith. Written in a conversational style, this book takes on big questions without getting bogged down in big theological terms.”

Do you ever feel like you need a spiritual lifeline thrown your way?


Written by Kyuboem Lee Tuesday, 14 April 2015 15:03

Lately, I’ve been hearing the term “justice churches” to refer to those congregations that have chosen as one of their core goals the pursuit of social justice. Is this a helpful term?

Justice Church

Perhaps not, since implicit in the label may be the assumption that “justice churches” are departing from the core gospel ministry—that they are becoming “more justice than Jesus,” to use another turn of phrase.

Another assumption could be that pursuing justice, while laudable, should not properly be the main focus of a church’s work of gospel proclamation.

When ministry to the poor or solidarity with the oppressed are brought up, the first concern is that the preaching ministry or discipleship or teaching biblically faithful doctrine could be compromised.

Gospel Relating to Justice

How does the gospel relate to justice in such circles? (Let’s call them “gospel churches” but that might be a problematic label too, as outlined below.)

The most sophisticated answer I’ve heard is that social justice is an implication of the gospel, but not the gospel itself. The pursuit of justice flows from the gospel message, but the gospel proper is nothing more than the message of Jesus crucified, buried, and risen, that demands our faith. In other words, gospel ministry is word ministry, to be distinguished from deeds ministry.


Written by David Dunbar Thursday, 09 April 2015 13:05

For the most part Christians tend to think of prayer as our speech to God. The words we use may be audible or inaudible, but the direction is from us to God. We speak and he listens. The idea is that prayer is a response to the prior speaking of God to us objectively in creation, or in Christ and the Scriptures.


The problem with this understanding is that it tends to lose the dynamic quality of an ongoing conversation between God and ourselves.

The thought is that God has already said what is necessary and important. Dallas Willard has termed this understanding of God’s relationship to believers as “Bible deism”:

Classical deism, associated with the extreme rationalism of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, held that God created his world complete and perfect and then went away, leaving humanity to its own devices. There was no individualized intervention in the lives of human beings, no miracles. Bible deism similarly holds that God gave us the Bible and then went away, leaving us to make what we could of it, with no individualized communication either through the Bible or otherwise (Hearing God, p. 107).

The Risks of Bible Deism

The risk in this approach is that we may lose a significant dimension of a mature spirituality. Think of the experience of being around small children who talk incessantly but do very little listening . . . how soon we yearn for conversation with an adult! Of course, some adults can put us through a similar ordeal, but we generally regard them as rude or narcissistic.


Written by R. Todd Mangum Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:38

Probably because I’m serving as advisor for a DMin dissertation on a church plant that arose from the death (and closure) of the previous church, I may have a heightened sensitivity to signs of death and signs of life in ministerial organizations these days. My own home church has been through a lot; we’ve been seeking to make the missional turn for at least a dozen years now. We’ve had turmoil, turnover, leadership struggles, fits and starts, transition.

Church numbers

This past Sunday, my family of four arrived and went down to our “usual row,” only it was full; so we had to split up to all get seated. My son, now a seminary student here at BTS and himself quite astute to the “signs and signals of transition,” said with a grin, and fully tongue-in-cheek, “There’s too many people.” I said right out loud: “No, no, no . . . I’ll take this problem!” Later I said to the chairman of the elder board, that’s like saying, “The offering plate’s too full. No worries. We can get bigger plates!”

Numbers Are Not the Only Measurement

Now . . . I know that numbers are not the only measurement, and never the most significant measurement. In fact, part of the vision casting of our transition is about focusing on getting healthy as a church body; not getting bigger. We are not an attractional church, we’re a missional, incarnational church. All good stuff.


Written by R. Todd Mangum Thursday, 02 April 2015 11:34

I’ve heard the expression, It'll Pass since I was a kid – invariably from people at least the age of my grandparents; i.e., from people who lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and enough of the trials of life to know that one of the greatest secrets to living life well, troubles and all, is recognizing its transiency has an upside. “It’ll pass.” Or, “This, too, will pass” (a line made famous, actually, by Abraham Lincoln).

Jesus Passion

What is temporary? What is permanent?

Much of wisdom, much of folly, is discerned by sorting out what is what and which is which in these two questions. Solomon got one or two whole inspired books in the Bible essentially pursuing these two questions.

This Passion Week, it might be good to focus our contemplations around these two questions – “What is temporary? What is permanent?” – in light of the pain and affliction and death, (only then) followed by resurrection, glory, and victory, that is encapsulated in the very rhythms of this week.


Written by R. Todd Mangum Tuesday, 31 March 2015 09:46

I understand that sometimes a person seeking to be faithful to the end has to “endure suffering” – put up with it; patiently accept it; close your eyes, suck it up, and wait for it – pray for it – to be over. Scripture sometimes talks about suffering just that way (e.g., 1 Pet 2:20).

Christ Suffered

But there’s another strand of biblical teaching on suffering, too, often overlooked, and rarely emphasized, especially in our day and in our culture. Several of us on the faculty were confronted with this oft-neglected strand recently when we went over to the Coptic church in our area, and met with and prayed with the leaders there in the wake of the martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christian men in Syria.


Written by Susan Disston Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:13

Sitting in a pew at Rosemont College in suburban Philadelphia, a young woman student looked up and around at the stained glass windows that rose high above the sanctuary floor. She saw saints who burned at the stake, who kneeled to clean Jesus’ brow, or who suffered the indignity of prison for their faith.

Woman Ministry Matter

As she looked more closely she was startled to discover that the saints were all women — St. Barbara, St. Cecilia, St. Ursula, St. Joan of Arc, St. Veronica, and St. Rosa of Lima.

Inspired by what she saw, then senior Laura Bunyard joined up with several other students to record the story of the windows and why they depicted twenty women saints instead of the disciples or other men. The students found out that the women were chosen by nuns in the late 1930’s and relate to Rosemont’s educational and religious mission. The nuns chose martyrs, mothers, royalty, and a woman who went on to become the first Native American saint.


Page 3 of 28

Sign-up Today

Join thousands of students, faculty, and staff who are following Jesus into the world. You will receive notification when a new blog is posted, and be receive help in your place in life.

Follow Biblical

Follow us on the following sites and receive notifications on upcoming events and blog entries:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on Twitterg+_64_black

Latest Blog Entries

Written on 01 December 2015 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 24 November 2015 - by Kyuboem Lee
Written on 19 November 2015 - by Chang Hoon Oh
Written on 12 November 2015 - by David Lamb
Written on 29 October 2015 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 27 October 2015 - by Deborah Foulkes, Ph.D.
Written on 22 October 2015 - by Charles Zimmerman
Written on 06 October 2015 - by Derek Cooper
Written on 17 September 2015 - by Manuel Ortiz and Susan Baker
Written on 01 September 2015 - by R. Todd Mangum

Previous Blog Entries

Contact Admissions

800.235.4021 x146

215.368.5000 x146

215.368.4913 (fax)



Stay Connected with Biblical

Follow us on the following sites:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on TwitterFollow Biblical on YouTubeg+_64_black
Or simply call us at...
800.235.4021 x146 or 215.368.5000 x146

Support Biblical by Giving

800.235.4021 x130

215.368.5000 x130

215.368.2301 (fax)