Monday, April 30, 2007
May we return to a deep hunger, respect and zeal to study God's Word.
Friday, April 27, 2007
For more information see the following link: http://www.projectbridges.org/welcome.html
This is a short note to remind you of two exciting upcoming events that explore the biblical and Christian roots of Leadership.
May 8, 2007:
Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable
June 15-24, 2007:
Studies Abroad: In the Footsteps of St. Paul and St. Francis of Assisi
(Italy: Rome and Assisi)
We still have limited space available for both of these events, so now is the time to register online or contact me at email@example.com for more information.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
"In April 2000 I had the privilege of speaking at a JESUS Film Conference in San Diego, California. There are many things I could say about the conference, many reports that gave me goosebumps, but let me just tell you about Gladys and Esther Staines. Nanci and I and our daughters had dinner with them one night and got to know them through various conversations.
In January 1999 Gladys’s husband and sons, Esther’s father and two brothers, were martyred for Christ in India. (Graham Staines, a missionary from Australia who specialized in work with lepers, had showed the JESUS film to many, thus the connection with the JESUS Film Conference.)
On January 23rd of 1999, Graham and his two sons, Phillip (11 yrs.) and Timothy (6 yrs.) were murdered by a large mob of militant Hindus. They had gone to a Christian camp in the jungle, where Graham was ministering. At midnight the mob attacked, setting fire to the jeep in which Graham and his sons were sleeping. They were burned alive. When the fire finally cooled, they found the charred body of Graham Staines with his arms around the bodies of his sons.
Graham served the Lord in the jungles of Orissa for over 34 years. He was described as 'a wonderful, gracious, self-effacing man of God, full of faith, confidence and humility; warm-hearted, and a wonderful father.' At his funeral, the streets were thronged with masses of people—Hindus, Muslims and Christians. They were there to show respect for Graham and his family and to show their solidarity against the actions of the killers. Despite the fact that persecution of Christians has increased in recent years, the president of India came forward and said, 'that someone who spent years caring for patients of leprosy, instead of being thanked and appreciated as a role model should be done to death in this manner is... a crime that belongs to the world’s inventory of black deeds.'
The response of Gladys and Esther was on the front page of every newspaper in India (with one billion people, soon to pass China as the most populous nation on earth). Gladys said, 'I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. But I have one great desire: that each citizen of this country should establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who gave his life for their sins...let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ’s love.'
Gladys shocked nearly everyone, because people assumed she and Esther would move back to Australia or somewhere else in the west. She said no, God had called them to India, and she would not leave. (In fact, she’d been very hesitant to even come to San Diego, as she didn’t want to leave the work even for a brief trip.) She said, 'My husband and our children have sacrificed their lives for this nation; India is my home. I hope to be here and continue to serve the needy.' When asked how she felt about the murder of her dad, Esther, as a thirteen year old, said (in words that sound straight off the pages of the book of Acts), 'I praise the Lord that He found my father worthy to die for Him.'
After Gladys spoke at the conference, an Indian national leader stood up and said that the impact made by the response of Gladys and Esther has been amazingly powerful, with many Hindus coming to Christ because of their witness. The people of India have looked at this situation and asked, 'Why would a man leave his wealthy country and serve lepers in India for 34 years? Why would his wife and daughter completely forgive the killers of their family? Why would they choose to stay and serve the poor? Who is this God they believe in? Could it be that all we’ve been told about Christians has been lies? Could it be that Jesus really is the truth?' The people of India are seeing embodied in the Stains an otherworldly perspective and strength in Christ.
I look forward to meeting Graham, Timothy and Philip in the world for which we were made, the one made for us. And if I get there first, I’m putting in a request to be there for their reunion with Gladys and Esther.
The words of Hebrews 11:35-38 are appropriate not only of Graham and the boys but of Gladys and Esther. The passage speaks of the sufferings of God’s people: 'Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them.'
The world was not worthy of them....
Please pray for Gladys and Esther, as well as funding for the forty-bed leprosy hospital Gladys is hoping to be built in memory of Graham, Philip and Timothy.
If you would like to contribute toward the leprosy hospital, 100% of designated gifts to EPM will be sent directly to the Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home for the new hospital."
For more information on Randy Alcorn's ministry and the legacy of the Staines family see: www.epm.org
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
What does Christian faith have to do with modern science? How does the worldview of Christian renewal fit, if at all, with a contemporary scientific worldview? What is the relationship between renewal theology and the religion-and-science dialogue?
The Regent University School of Divinity’s Ph.D. program in Renewal Studies announces its first forum on renewal and science. With funding provided by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers has been brought together to explore the questions at the intersection of renewal Christianity and science. In conjunction with this research initiative, three public lectures will provide an opportunity for these scholars to interact more broadly with the Regent, Hampton Roads, and wider southeastern area communities on these issues.
Tuesday, June 19, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
“Screening the Spirit: Resonances between a Charismatic Epistemology and the "Supermedium" of Film”
James K. A. Smith
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College
Friday, June 22, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
“Beyond the Battlelines: Why Christians Need to Engage with Science and How We Can Do It Successfully”
Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the Claremont Graduate University, and visiting professor Harvard Divinity School (2006-2007)
Thursday, June 28, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
“Divine Healing, Religious Revivals and Contemporary Pentecostalism”
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Akron
All events will be held at the:
Regent University Library Auditorium
1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23464
For more information: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 757-226-4400
Leading scholars from around the world and from both within and outside the movement will join Regent faculty and Ph.D. students in a year-long colloquium designed to look at the historical struggles, contributions, current trends, and future challenges related to this issue which is vital to the future of the renewal movement.
The symposium on Women in Pentecostal/Charismatic Leadership is the first in a five-part series reflecting on major trends within this vital movement which has shaped not only American, but world Christianity in the 21st century.
Global Perspectives (June 9, 2007)
Gaston Espinosa, Ph.D. – Dr. Espinosa is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Claremont McKenna College. He is a graduate of Princeton (M.Div.), Harvard (M.Ed.), and UC Santa Barbara (Ph.D.). He served as manager of the $1.3 million Pew Charitable Trusts-funded Hispanic Churches in American Public Life (HCAPL) project, which surveyed the religious and political attitudes of 3,000 Latinos across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Espinosa is the author or co-author of four books, nineteen refereed articles, book chapters, and reviews, 54 encyclopedia entries, 76 scholarly keynotes and presentations, has made eight television and radio appearances, and has served as the director of six conferences. In 2002 he spoke at the National Hispanic Presidential Prayer Breakfast with President George Bush and Senator Joseph Lieberman. In recognition of his work, the Generations Center of Princeton named him one of the nation's 100 Positive Men of Color.
Paper title: "Third Class Soldiers: A History of Hispanic Pentecostal Women in Ministry in the United States"
Pamela M. S. Holmes, Th. D. (candidate) – Pamela Holmes is an ordained pastor who has ministered in Edmonton, Alberta, Ottawa and Trenton, Ontario. Spurred on by concerns arising from both her own and other women’s experiences, Holmes returned to school to work on an advanced degree in systematic theology focusing on the possibilities of a dialogue between feminism and Pentecostalism. Her dissertation entitled “Feminist Critical Theory of Religion and Pentecostal Spirituality and Praxis: An Examination of Select Themes” explores the relationships between ideology and power particularly as it influences and affects Pentecostal women in leadership positions. Currently she is teaching and overseeing the Field Education programme at Queen’s Theological College, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario an ecumenical, United Church of Canada college. Pamela and her husband, Tom, reside in Trenton, Ontario and are the proud parents of two sons and two daughters-in-law and one baby granddaughter.
Paper title: "Canadian Pentecostalism and its Ministering Women: A Pentecostal Feminist Critique"
Deidre Helen Crumbley, Ph.D. – Deidre Helen Crumbley is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies at North Carolina State University. Her forth coming book, Sprit, Structure and Flesh: Gender and Power in African Churches, explores the interplay of gender, power, doctrine, and ritual in African Instituted Churches (AICs). Her current research project focuses on the intersection of race, gender, migration, and religious innovation in the rise of an African American, female-founded storefront church. In addition to her terminal degree in anthropology from Northwestern University, Dr. Crumbley also holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She is on the editorial board of Religion, an international and interdisciplinary journal, and she is an active member of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion.
Paper title: "Sanctified Saints – Impure Prophetesses: A Cross-Cultural Study of Gender, Purity, and Power in Two Afro-Christian Spiritual Churches"
Julie Ma - Ph.D. - Julie C. Ma served as a faculty member of Anthropology and Biblical Theology of Missions at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio City, Philippines (1996-2006), while serving as a field missionary with her husband, Wonsuk, since 1981. She has also served as editor of Journal of Asian Mission (2003-2005), published When the Spirit Meets the Spirits (Peter Lang, 2000) and Mission Possible: Biblical Strategies for Reaching the Lost (Regnum, 2005), and edited with Wonsuk Ma, Asian Church and God's Mission (2003). She is now preparing a third book, Pentecostal Mission in Asian Context. Her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Intercultural Studies and Theology are from Fuller Theological Seminary. Currently she is serving as Research Tutor of Missiology at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.
Paper title: "Phenomenological Change of Woman's Image in Global Setting and It's Influence on the Role of Women in the Church"
Here is a link to this Colloquium: http://www.regent.edu/acad/schdiv/newsandevents/women_colloquium.shtml.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Here is a link to Czövek's dissertation abstract: http://www.ocms.ac.uk/abstracts/pdf/2002_czovek.pdf
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The self-denial that Jesus is speaking about is the denial of the false, illusion-driven self that shadow us, self created in our quest to be the source of our lives. Thomas Merton in his great book, "The New Seeds of Contemplation" gives a great description of the nature of the false self and how it is the origin of dysfunctional, sin behavior: “All sin starts from the assumption that my false self, the self that exists only in my own egocentric desires, is the fundamental reality of life to which everything else in the universe is ordered. Thus I use up my life in the desire for pleasures and the thirst for experiences, for power, honor, knowledge, and love to cloth this false self and construct its nothingness into something objectively real. And I wind experiences around myself and cover myself with pleasures and glory like bandages in order to make myself perceptible to my self and to the world, as if I were an invisible body that could only become visible when something visible covered its surface.”
Who do we struggle to focus on the inner presence of Jesus as the source of our lives? For me, one of the better descriptions of this often misdirected focus on that which is outward and external, is found in the lyrics of Sam Phillips' great song, "Five Colors" (from Fan Dance - 2001). Even though Phillips is obviously speaking about her own struggle within the music industry, the lyrics do speak poetically about the futility of following the "false self" and the promise of the "small, forgotten road":
Circling the seed of light
I've been greedy for some destination
I can't get to where are you?
Turning reverie to perfect solids
Bone and shells to hide ourselves
I tried but can't find refuge in the angle
I'll walk the mystery of the curve
See the world inside
Raise the dead and bury all my fears
Listen to the rain
And the bells that ring in my dreams
Turning time to break it's line from here
To the small, forgotten road
Where we see the concrete world disintegrating
Authentic Christian Leadership starts with the denial of the "false self" and the acceptance of the "true self" created in the Image of God through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul gives us clear directions: "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. " (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from You.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to You.
That with Yours saints I may praise You.
Forever and ever. Amen
Friday, April 06, 2007
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish which once was bright as morn!
What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace.
What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever; and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.
This year we must make a decision: Are we going to settle for just being "religious," or will we really be born again, and let Jesus make us into the person God originally made us to be? Will we crucify Him by our stubborn adherence to vain religion, albeit under the name of "Christian" or "Catholic," or will we "let go and let God" by allowing Him to raise us up as a new creation-- a new man, a new woman? That process will help bring about a return to the original purpose of spiritually rich religion.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
- Retrace the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and Saint Francis of Assisi
- Explore key historic sites through private tours.
- Examine biblical perspectives, archaeology, theology, religion, humanities and the arts.
- Gain spiritual insights and a deeper understanding of biblical leadership and its contemporary applications.
- Enjoy the program as a leisure traveler or enroll for optional graduate-level credit (M.A. or Ph.D.).
For the first few years, the Leadership Study Abroad Program concentrated on the work, ministries, and leadership of the Apostle Paul in Asia Minor and Greece, covering most of the sites of Paul's first, second and third missionary journeys. The 2007 PROGRAM brings us to Italy, where we will walk in the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul and Saint Francis of Assisi.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable aims to provide a discussion and research forum for scholars, researchers, practitioners and ministers that work in leadership from a biblical perspective.
About this Roundtable
Representing the multidisciplinary fields of biblical, social-science, historical and leadership studies, the Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable hopes to explore, engage and extend the field of knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of leadership as found within the contexts of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
The following are a few of the topics that the Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable hopes to explore:
- The use of exegetical methods to explore leadership
- The relationship between scripture, faith, theology and leadership
- Models of biblical spirituality and leadership
- Models of tribal and other forms of leadership in the Pentateuch
- Models of ruling, leadership, governing and organizational structures in the history of early Israel
- Leadership values in the wisdom writings of the Hebrew scriptures
- The relationship between prophecy and contextual leadership in the prophetic material of the Hebrew scriptures
- Comparative studies of leaders and leadership models across the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
- Historical studies of leaders in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
- Group dynamics in the Gospels
- Historical Jesus and leadership research
- Pauline perspectives in leadership
- Organizational design and dynamics in the early faith communities of the Christian scriptures
- Follower-leader relationships in the Christian scriptures
- Organizational and leadership values in the Christian scriptures
- Models of spiritual and leadership formation in the Christian scriptures
- Models of future studies and strategic foresight in the apocalyptic material of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
To stimulate scholarly debate and a free flow of ideas, the proceedings from the Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable will be posted online and papers of high quality will be considered for the Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership (JBPL).