Written by R. Todd Mangum Monday, 22 September 2014 00:00

Back to School

A new school year. As I write this, I’m coming off a number of “first this year” meetings and interactions – new student orientations; first faculty meeting; first Cabinet meeting; first community faculty-staff meeting. As the new school year kicks off, and as the schedule fills up, it’s easy to get focused on the business of busyness.

But then . . . there are the students. And thinking about them, particularly as I think about each one . . . brings a new (re-)focus.

This past June, 80+ students walked across the platform at graduation. Last year, another 80; and the year before that, too. The year before that, and so on. I’ve been teaching at Biblical and watching these students graduate since 1998. For some, it’s the last time I ever see them.


Written by R. Todd Mangum Friday, 19 September 2014 09:58

Christians in Iraq

We’ve seen the reports of ISIS/ISIL, the depravity of their taking captive journalists and humanitarian workers and beheading them before a camera to be broadcast on the internet. Not surprisingly, what they’re doing off camera is even more horrible.

We just got word from missionaries in northern Iraq that, in one town taken over by this terrorist group, they’re identifying the Christians by systematically going house to house.

And what are they doing?


Written by Philip Monroe Friday, 22 August 2014 17:27

responding to reacism

Responding to Accusations of Racism: Confessing the Sins of our Fathers (And Our Own)

The news and social media seem to be all about race these days. Comments (not necessarily conversations!) range from criticism of police to criticism of the Black community. And surely there are plenty of reasons to criticize. And notice how it is so easy to identify and name the sins of those who are not us! And when others point out our sins, we tend either to get defensive or tell a story. Neither response gets us to where we need to go!

Pointing out the sins of others (individuals and groups) fails to promote healing and reconciliation. As Jesus calls us, we must start with our own log before removing the speck in the eye of the other (Matthew 7:3f). And our own log exists beyond our own specific misdeeds. We must also acknowledge the ways we have participated in and benefitted from the sins of our “own kind” (culture, ancestors, etc.)


Written by Susan Disston Friday, 01 August 2014 10:14

Spiritual Journaling

“One of the best gifts of a journal is that it gives you a place to show up.” Helen Cepero

Journaling as a spiritual practice has deep roots and many practitioners, some of whom struggle with purpose and focus. If you are one of the strugglers or want fresh ideas, Helen Cepero’s Journaling as Spiritual Practice will likely free you to let your journal be all about you “showing up” in God’s presence. Helen is convinced that the “primary wonder of our Christian faith is that God comes to the place where we are and says our name. All spiritual practice, including journaling, is meant to tune our awareness, just as you might tune a stringed instrument, so that we can hear the true note of God’s grace playing through the sometimes discordant chords around us and in us. And then it means choosing to let this graced note bless us and others.”

Helen suggests several ways to “tune your stringed instrument” in your journaling. They fall into three main categories: seeing the present, exploring your life, and silencing your inner critic.


Written by Charles Zimmerman Friday, 18 July 2014 10:24

BTS Alum

This month we hear from John Smith, a 1985 graduate of Biblical Seminary. John and I were students together at Biblical, but I haven’t spoken to him since those days. Once in awhile, I would hear John’s name and something good usually followed. John was a senior pastor while he went through seminary, and I always appreciated his discipline and hard work, all the while being able to laugh and have a good time. John is the same today working hard furthering the mission of Jesus and having a good time in the process.

What years did you attend Biblical?

I attended Biblical 1979-1985 (jammed three years into five!) earning an MA and MDiv.

What have you been doing since then?


Written by Bryan Maier Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00

Pastor Course
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." ~ Daniel Webster

This was written almost a century and a half ago but is still relevant today. I believe Webster is warning us against the seductive lure of power. How does this happen? What is it about power that changes people? Throughout history leaders who have risen up to overthrow tyranny have often, once they control the reins of power, changed into some form of the very tyrant they fought so hard to overthrow. Is it possible to use power solely for the benefit of others or do we have to get comfortable with viewing ourselves as “above” others in order to minister to those who are “below”? After all, how are we capable of helping anyone if we are not given at least some power over them to do it.


Written by R. Todd Mangum Wednesday, 09 July 2014 11:32

Biblical Graduation

The end of June is the end of both our fiscal year and our academic year. This year, it was a banner year for areas of the school. I want to reflect here on the graduation aspect.

Commencement is always bittersweet for me. This is the day that students have worked for, for no less than two years (for the MAs) and, in some cases, for as many as five to six years. Every student represents an investment; every student represents a commitment — with costs and investments for both that student and that student’s family. And, every student represents a Kingdom investment and potential . . . great potential.

It’s the day that students long for, and that we long for — and yet it’s a day that means they are departing Biblical. In some cases, it’s the last day I will see them.


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