Archive for the Philosophy Category

Wielding the Sword [ARTICLE – Josiah Jones]

Principles of Preaching Cross-Culturally The engine in your automobile has thousands of parts. It will only run if the parts do their job. It can be argued that a single washer or bolt is less important than a piston or crankshaft; it certainly costs less. However, every part has its purpose; if the engine is going to last 100k, 200k, or even 300k miles, your engine must have its parts in working order. The same is true of the ministry–whether overseas or in the homeland: emphasis should not be given to one area of ministry to the detriment of other areas. In this way, I am burdened that we, as preachers and, particularly, as missionaries, be vigilant against an imbalance where too little emphasis is given to biblical preaching. Some have said that missionaries “cannot preach themselves out of a wet paper bag.” If this assertion is even slightly true,

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Is Sunday School Biblical? [ARTICLE – Bill Rench]

“Is Sunday school biblical?”  Usually, such a question means: “Is it right?”  In other words, should it be practiced?  Should we participate in it?  Is it the will of God?  Should it be supported, promoted, and encouraged as an essential part of the ministry of a church?” There has arisen in recent days a concerted effort by some groups in our country to cast aspersions on the ministry of the Sunday school.  This movement was, in part, at least, inspired by some very real and legitimate concerns about what passes for “youth ministry” across the “evangelical” world. Much of what is called youth ministry is about as far from a biblical definition of ministry as one can get.  Young people do not need more entertainment with a pinch of religion thrown in for accent; they need to be challenged to step up, take up the cross, and follow the Lord

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Be What You Are, Not What You’re Not [ARTICLE – Tim LaVere]

For most of my time in Heartland’s undergrad program and now in graduate school, I have been a server at Cracker Barrel. I understand that just referencing Cracker Barrel may have made you hungry, but bear with me. The following explanation of Cracker Barrel policies is headed somewhere. As a server at Cracker Barrel, I am required to know Cracker Barrel’s “One Best Way” policies. By “One Best Way,” I mean that Cracker Barrel has a specific way its employees are required to do their jobs. Servers, in particular, have Guiding Principles and Server Absolutes. The Guiding Principles are exactly what they sound like–principles that guide. Hospitality First. It means to be friendly with a smile, to be aware and respond to guests needs, and to have a positive and “pleasing people” attitude. Urgency with a Purpose. This consists of moving quickly at all times to serve the guest without

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The Value of a Timothy Project [ARTICLE – Ben Sprenger]

The Value of a Timothy Project [ARTICLE - Ben Sprenger]

A Consideration of Vocational Ministry Internships In 2012, Pastor Steve Foster of New Heights Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas, began a grass-roots movement to better invest in the next generation of gospel preachers by starting what he called the Timothy Project.  Essentially, the Timothy Project represented an endeavor to grant practical vocational ministry experience to young men desiring to serve God in vocational ministry.  Aside from contributing thousands of dollars to facilitate such experience for young men in states from sea to shining sea (literally, support was sent for young men interning in Washington state and New York), New Heights Baptist Church began a summer internship of its own that is doing what it can to impact young men to be successful for the long haul in the gospel ministry.  You see, I interned at New Heights Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas, and gained great experience in preparation for the

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House Church: Skip the Sermon, Worship at Home? [ARTICLE – Bill Rench]

Skip the Sermon. Worship at Home. That was the headline of a recent AP article in The Californian, our local newspaper. The story went on to tell of a group movement that is afoot to reject the church as it is defined by an organized entity with pastors, deacons, a doctrinal position, gathering for worship, instruction, preaching and carrying out the Great Commission.  In its place is a get-together in someone’s home with no more than 12 to 15 people for “sharing what’s going on in their lives,” according to the article. One such gathering was described as follows:  “It was a lively, sometimes chaotic event, with noisy and mostly happy young children flitting about.”  There was a fellowship time, then “to the kitchen table to observe the Eucharist with prayer, pinched-off pieces of sourdough bread and red wine in plastic cups.”  Celebration continues with a potluck meal.  Then they

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Diet 2.0 [HEALTH ARTICLE #3 – Chris Chadwick]

By Pastor Chris Chadwick Editor’s Note: This article is the third of a four-part series of articles on health. The previous articles can be found here: The Habit That Could Change Your Life [Dan Preston] O How Sweet It Isn’t [Chris Chadwick] “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” I appreciate that quote from Henry Ford on many levels. First, it reminds me to encourage everyone I can. Second, it reminds me that any success achieved is a corporate effort. I am thankful for the many people who have helped me along the way.  This is a reiteration of the biblical principle on serving others, found in Philippians 2:4: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Since writing the article, “O How Sweet It Isn’t,” I’ve had many positive and engaging responses, as well as many expressing

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Ministering Among the Tumbleweeds [ARTICLE – Noah Downing]

By Noah Downing You know you’re in a rural Texas town when you notice that first tumbleweed bounce through town. You know you’ve settled in when you don’t notice them  You’ve fully embraced the atmosphere when you bring it into your home and decorate it for Christmas. (They may not be druids, but in so many ways I could be convinced that “Texas” is a cult…) By the grace of God, and the home interior savvy of my wife, we are planted, firmly, in “stage two.” Previously, I had occasion to write about the Lord leading my family to Wellington, a farming community in the Panhandle region of Texas. From the moment there was even a hint that this could be our assigned territory, a question lingered in the back of my mind, “What would God do with little farm-town church?” Right off the bat, let me go ahead and address the

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Reasons To Read [BAPTIST TIMES – Troy Dorrell]

  By Troy Dorrell. This article first appeared in THE BAPTIST TIMES, a publication of the Global Independent Baptist Fellowship. Click here to subscribe.   Over the course of my professional and vocational career, I have been a reader. I enjoy books and the learning process, and I have found that few things in life have benefitted me as much as my time in good books and what I have extracted from them. During and after college, I spent many hours reading technical journals, scientific literature, and books about both science and Creation. My undergraduate degree was in biology and chemistry, and to this day I have a love for the natural world. As my education and career progressed, I found myself reading books on education, administration, and business organization. My doctrinal thesis was about organizational drift and how both profit and non-profit institutions lose their way because of both external and internal

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You Are What You See [ARTICLE – DJ Hernandez]

When working with youth, it doesn’t take long to find that there are only a few different types of teenagers.  Let me introduce you to them. The Squirrelly One. Normally in junior high, they never seem to know exactly what’s going on, but are incredibly excited about it anyway. The Know-It-All. Always the first to correct what someone said with some little-known, random fact (a.k.a. Grammar Nazis, Nerds, etc.). The Ultra-Talented has the uncanny ability to excel in any given area almost overnight with very little effort. The Sports Enthusiast is either extremely athletic and dominates every sport in existence, or has no athletic ability but knows every fact about every player in every major-league sport in the U.S. The Gamer will spend the entire all-night youth activity playing their own video games and talking about the graphic updates in the next version of their favorite game. The Quiet One–the

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Channels Only [ARTICLE – Josiah Jones]

By Josiah Jones, Missionary in Mexico   The congregational singing is finished, the assistant pastor wraps up the weekly announcements, and now an individual approaches the podium to bless hearts in special music. The song choice is appropriate; the message of the song is spot-on. However, one thing seems to steal what would be an otherwise perfect presentation of special music—the singer is full of himself. We all recall instances when this scenario played out in our own experiences. Some of us recall, perhaps, being the person singing. While there are many elements that contribute to music’s fulfilling its purpose in honoring God, the heart of the musician can make or break a presentation of God’s Word through song. Moreover, this theme carries far beyond the context of church music. Yes, the heart of the musician is critically important, but so is the heart of the preacher, teacher, soul-winner, deacon,

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