Written by Philip Monroe Tuesday, 01 December 2015 00:00

Not long ago Dr. Diane Langberg (clinical adjunct faculty at BTS) gave a twenty minute challenge to her audience about the dangers of confusing culture and Christendom with Christ. In her talk she explores the deception we fall into when we mistake Christendom as the church. When we do, we fall prey to blind guides and to the temptation to protect institutions over being the hands and feet of Christ to the vulnerable. We fall prey to seeking power (or maintaining it) over speaking and being truth.

And for those who are not tempted to mistake Christendom for Christ, another danger exists. It is easy to become jaded with the church and want to abandon her as unhealthy. We can trust in our shrewd critique of the wrong things within the church. Yet, she calls us not to be toxic or arrogant. That will not serve the church well.

Watch the video and post your thoughts below


Written by Kyuboem Lee Tuesday, 24 November 2015 00:00

Syrian Refugee Child

I found the photo below in the Oct 19, 2015 issue of Time, which covered the movement of some 60 million refugees on the move worldwide right now. I found this photo and others in the magazine documenting the masses of refugees trying desperately to get to safety and a chance to start over in a new country, riveting.

I have a 9-year-old son. If I had been living in Syria or Turkmenistan, Abdullah could have been my son, or I may very well have been one of the countless fathers who recently piled their families on overloaded boats, hoping against hope for the best. I could have been the father of the 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi whose little body washed up on Turkey’s shore couple of months ago and riveted the world’s attention on the massive humanitarian crisis that has been playing out in that region of the world for some years now.


This would have been the case especially if I were a Christian in Syria or Iraq. Targeted by the ISIS and other extremists, many Christians have had to flee the only homes they have known, join the throngs on the move, and try to make their way to a new life elsewhere.


Written by Chang Hoon Oh Thursday, 19 November 2015 00:00

I just moved. I am getting to know my neighbors, introducing myself and asking questions to them. They do not show their interest in me. Maybe, they are not ready to speak with a foreign person yet. Hopefully, it will happen soon. But, they always show me their smiles whenever I encounter them. That is enough for now.

Missional Is Intercultural

To be “missional” means to be sent into the world; we do not expect people to come to us by going out rather than just reaching out in order to engage the world the same way God does. Thus, a missional church is an incarnational church. The church must go forward to an incarnational ministry like Jesus. To be “incarnational” means to be more than “multicultural” or “cross-cultural.” It means to be “intercultural.” In many cases, multicultural communities, cross-cultural communities, and intercultural communities are frequently used interchangeably. However, intercultural community hopes to take us deeper than multicultural or cross-cultural models of community.

In multicultural communities, people live alongside one another. People not only value tolerance, but also celebrate one another’s culturally distinctive costume, food, music, literature, ethnic heritage, value, tradition, language, history, and related outward expressions of culture. A multicultural community has often been described as a salad bowl or cultural mosaic. However, it is not necessarily mean that each person from community belongs to different cultures. Thus, only superficial and polite social interaction is required in multicultural communities.


Written by David Lamb Thursday, 12 November 2015 00:00

Don’t you feel bad for the book of Numbers?

Seriously, the fourth book of the Bible gets no respect. I think the primary reason the book gets ignored is its name. Who wants to read about Numbers? Perhaps there are a few, the type of people who enjoy reading books by Stephen Hawking (i.e., my family), but other than that, most people avoid numbers and Numbers.

The Blessing of Numbers

However, I’m teaching the book of Numbers right now, and I’ve been blessed as I gain a greater appreciation for this much ignored text.

Curiously, the title for the book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible is bemidbar, or in English, “In the wilderness” which actually is a better title for the book, since the entire book is set in the wilderness. Yes, there is a census of the nation of Israel at the beginning of the book and at the end (Num. 1, 26), but most of the book is not about numbers. There are poetic sections, and legal sections, but the book is dominated by narrative sections (set in the wilderness). Many important stories, the ones where you ask, “Now where is that?” are located in the middle of Numbers.


Written by Philip Monroe Thursday, 29 October 2015 00:00

In recent weeks, I have had several students ask me about the pros/cons of doctoral programs in psychology. I would point those who know they want to attend a traditional clinical psychology program to this book by the APA. It offers lots of helpful data on programs and what they require.

Doctorate in Counseling or Psychology

For those not sure what they want to do or if they should pursue a Doctorate in Counseling or Psychology, consider the following questions. If you have additional questions we should consider, post them in the comments section, and I will try to give an answer.

  • What career doors do I want to open that are not available to me now?
  • Do I want to teach?
  • Do I see myself in private practice?
  • Do I see myself in a research job?
  • Do I see myself in the business world?

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psych from an APA accredited program (and with an APA approved predoctoral internship) probably opens the most doors of all. This degree allows you to teach in both undergrad and grad departments, work in research settings, government settings, private practice, etc. There are specific kinds of jobs that it might not help: such as an area focusing entirely on social psychology or developmental psychology.

One caveat.

If you want to teach in an MA Counseling program that is either seeking or already obtained CACREP accreditation (counseling accreditation sponsored by the ACA), you will need a Ph.D. in Counselor Education (which entitles you to work towards an LPC credential). This is a recent and troubling change (turf warfare with psychology) if you don’t think CACREP should be the only standard for MA level counseling education.

Part of your work dream should answer whether or not you are looking to work in either a secular or faith environment. Now, you can change your mind but there will be some doors that are easier to open with a secular degree and other doors that a Wheaton/Fuller/Regent degree will open more easily.


Written by Deborah Foulkes, Ph.D. Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

During the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to Africa for the first time as part of Biblical Seminary’s Global Trauma Recovery Institute program. As the plane touched the Tarmac, I was not expecting the huge rush of emotion that overwhelmed me. My eyes welled with tears as I experienced the feeling of “coming home”.

Rwanda Coming Home

Landing in Uganda on the way to Rwanda, my intended destination, I experienced connection and joy, thinking “this is the land of my fathers.”

Rwandan culture is rich in tradition and customs. Great respect is given to elders. For example, the role of the aunt within the family structure is one who provides wise counsel to family members. Such traditions cause me to reflect on my cultural traditions. I can see hints of these traditions present even now despite the fact that I am a product of the African Diaspora during the period of the Atlantic slave trade.

But I also wonder what rich traditions were lost as a result of the severed ties to Africa many generations ago.


Written by Charles Zimmerman Thursday, 22 October 2015 00:00

A couple of blog entries back, I wrote that a good translation must be faithful to the original and natural to the reader. That principle not only works for a written translation of a text, but the same also applies when it comes to communicating and living out the gospel. We have to work hard at balancing faithfulness to the gospel and relevance to our culture.

Resident Aliens

That balance comes right out of our identity as Christians. In writing to first century Christians, Peter says: Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles…

What Peter has in mind cannot be completely conveyed by any one English word. Our status can be more accurately understood as resident aliens.

On the one hand, we are residents and not tourists. We live here. You could say that we have our cultural green cards so we belong and we should act like we belong. We are to be part of the society, culture and community in which we live. We are to know the language. We are to hold jobs and work well. We are to make friends and be good neighbors right where we live.


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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.
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