Written by R. Todd Mangum Monday, 26 May 2014 00:00

debate at Cairn

I’ve said in the past that I find the optimistic triumphalism of postmillennialism refreshing . . . at least in small doses. As time goes on and the more I study and wrestle with Scripture, the more I’d say it’s the triumphalism that gets old after a while (especially if it’s the obnoxious political variety), not so much the postmillennial view itself.

I’m intrigued and have been influenced by the theology (including the eschatology) of Walter Rauschenbusch. Anybody who writes influential theology after spending 20 years as a pastor in Hell’s Kitchen is somebody I consider worth giving my ear. Rauschenbusch was no stranger to pain and suffering, cruelty and injustice; yet, he was a postmillennialist, believing that the Kingdom of God is one that may make its inroads ever so slowly — but nevertheless surely. He believed that, however harsh and gloomy may be the battle, the church of Christ is on the advance against the kingdom of hell; and the gates of hell will not prevail (but, rather, the unremitting progression of Christ’s mission will. . . .)


Written by Bryan Maier Friday, 23 May 2014 00:00

long term investments

I have been spending a lot of time in the book of Jeremiah lately. In chapter 32, Jeremiah is offered quite the real estate investment and the broker is none other than God himself. One of Jeremiah’s relatives had apparently mortgaged a piece of property and Jeremiah was first in line to redeem it. Normally, this would involve a permanent shift of possession to Jeremiah and his heirs, but because Jeremiah was single and childless, he would only own the land until his death and then it would again revert back to the original owner. On top of everything else, the property was infested with Babylonians (not a big selling point in those days). The city of Jerusalem was under siege by the greatest superpower of that day.

Why purchase property that was under the control of an invading army?


Written by Manny Ortiz and Susan Baker Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Reaching Hispanics

From traditional regions of Hispanic settlements, such as the Northeast, Chicago, the West and Southwest, and South Florida, to less traditional regions, such as North Dakota, Alabama, and South Carolina; the Hispanic population is growing. It is a very diverse population originating from Spain, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. More than six of every ten Hispanics in the U.S. were born in this country, so there are generational issues. It is a very young population with 33.9% under the age of 18 as of 2010.

It has been estimated that for the next two decades, 50,000 Hispanics will turn age 18 every month. On the other end of the scale, only 5.5% are age 65 or older. How can the church plan to meet the needs of this group? To accomplish this goal, the church needs to anticipate issues regarding who, where, and how to be a missional church among this population.


Written by Manny Ortiz and Susan Baker Monday, 19 May 2014 00:00

Reaching Hispanics

The fastest growing population group in the U.S. is made up of Hispanics originating from close to forty different countries, each with its own internal history, its own cultural differences, and its own history of relationship with the U.S. The following table shows the growth of the Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010 both in numbers and in percent of the total population. It also includes projections for 2020 and 2050.

Hispanic Population in U.S.

Source: U.S. Census
2000 2010 Projected 2020 Projected 2050
Population % of U.S. Population Population % of U.S. Population Population % of U.S. Population Population % of U.S. Population
35,305,818 12.5% 50,477,594 16.3% 78,000,000 21.8% 111,000,000 27.8%

The church in the U.S. must consider this population if it is to be truly missional in its focus.


Written by R. Todd Mangum Friday, 16 May 2014 00:00

debate at Cairn

Last week, I participated at Cairn University in a friendly, intra-evangelical debate on eschatology (future things, premill, postmill, amill, and all that); also on the panel were Dr. John Master of Cairn University, Dr. Gregg Strawbridge, pastor of All Saints Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Vern Poythress of Westminster. The whole thing was recorded and is available below:

At one point, Dr. Master forwarded the old dispensationalist point that dispensational, pre-trib rapturist, premillennialists interpret the Bible “more consistently literally” than anyone else, that the key to understanding prophetic literature is to take it literally, rather than metaphorically.


Written by Jeffrey Monk Monday, 12 May 2014 00:00

Work at Work

Part one asked, “What is your theology of work?”. In it we argued that as an image of God, the goal of one’s work should be to reflect God’s creational purposes and to bring about human flourishing through loving creativity within one’s particular occupation.

Relating our work to God’s big story involves not only unfolding the potential that God infused into creation, it also requires that we understand how to respond, given humanity’s fall into sin. Satan deceived Adam and Eve by persuading them that ultimate meaning and fulfillment come through rejecting God’s kingship and setting oneself up as authority (idolatry). God cursed the ground, so that work includes an element of struggle. What does it look like to be “salt and light” in an idolatrous and broken world?


Written by Dan Williams Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

war on poverty

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty that was initiated as a response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. My guess is that 50 years later most would agree that this is a war we have not won. For some reason the poor in many communities seem to be almost invisible, which may be worse than being unemployed or emotionally unstable.

The message of both conservatives and liberals focuses so much on percentages that they lose sight of real numbers, and real people.


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