The Merciful Minimalist: Clement of Alexandria on Living Minimally

The contemporary minimalist movement is deeply invested in practicing a renunciation that coincides with the reorientation of one’s desires. Its aim is to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. According to two prominent leaders of this movement, Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the primary goal of minimalism is to live a meaningful life. While contemporary minimalists draw from the wells of Greek stoicism, there are deep resources that the earliest Christians of North Africa provide when addressing the topic of wealth and simplicity. The Christian theologian and teacher Clement (his name meaning merciful) of Alexandria (150-215 CE) developed a rich understanding of renunciation. This week’s article explores his vision of the Christian life focused on the reorientation of a person’s desires such that simplistic living, where giving becomes normative in one’s personal and communal practice.

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The Groaning of a Prisoner

Grace can cost everything you have to offer and more, but in the end you will declare with Paul, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” (Rom. 8:18, NASB). In this week’s discussion Dr. Margaret de Alminana, associate professor of theology at Southeastern University, shares her rationale of spiritually rescuing prisoners based on her many years serving as Senior Chaplain of Women at the Orange County Jail.

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@preachersnsneakers (pt.1)

Amassing over 120 thousand followers in a three week time span, the instagram account @preachersnsneakers has hit the Christian social media world by storm. In today’s feature, Aaron Ross, assistant professor of theological studies at Southeastern University, enters this relevant conversation with a valuable perception that seeks to provide context and answers behind why this new account has escalated so rapidly – even more rapidly than the insta-following of the celebrity pastors themselves.

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The Church and the Academy

While some believe differences should separate the Church from the Academy, others disagree claiming that, in the interest of faith communities, the two function best intertwined. In this week’s discussion, Dr. Ben Gomez, assistant professor and director of youth ministry studies at Southeastern University, presents evidence explaining why the church should unite with the academy and disregard the common either/or stigma.

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The Burden (and Peace) of Jesus

“Jesus, I don’t see you like I used to. I don’t feel you as I did before. I can’t hear your voice.” Where are you!?” Often times, that is my prayer when I’m having a hard week and I have had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Jesus’ response to me is always a boldly stated “I’ve been here! Where have you been? I’ve been here waiting on you!” This week, Hazel Johnson, graduate student at Boston University, takes a look at how we as the church should think about the burdens we place on ourselves. How can we be both responsible, active Christians and rest in the peace of Christ at the same time?

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Two Common Myths about Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are all supernatural in the sense that the Spirit is involved. The Bible affirms, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:11). Join this week’s discussion as author Andrew K. Gabriel, Ph.D., deconstructs common myths behind spiritual gifts and how a church’s capacity multiplies when it chooses to invest in members’ development.

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Is Auto-Pilot Dominating Our Liturgy?

It seems like every week a worship band outputs a new album. We frequently are flooded with new Christian music; yet, when you enter a typical church on Sunday, the worship team often still sings “Oceans.” Michael Steiner, MBA, compares and applies one of the basic theories of behavioral economics, the dual-system theory, to the repetitive nature found in contemporary worship services and suggests how this negative posture can impose on congregants’ spiritual experience.

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Profoundly Lonely

According to recent research, about half of all Americans could be considered lonely. Young people in the United States are profoundly lonely. Yet, the loneliness that is plaguing so many young people is not temporary, not born out of a particular event, not a reflective or contemplative isolation. It is a deep, abiding, and cyclical alienation from other people. In this week’s article, Master of Divinity candidate at Boston University School of Theology and a United Methodist Director of Children and Youth Ministries in New England, Dominic J. Mejia explores ways the church as loving community can serve as a means of grace in the lives of folks who feel alienated and disconnected.

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A Kinder and Gentler Nation: A Tribute to George H. W. Bush

At his inauguration in 1989, Bush implored that Americans have a responsibility “to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.” In this week’s discussion, Dr. Zack Tackett reminisces the impact of George H.W. Bush’s presidency on our nation and dispenses a powerful parallel to how the church may learn from his gentle, political posture.

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Cultivating Divine Interaction in Christian Craft

As the Church, we understand that vocational ministry is not the only outreach method that facilitates Gospel distribution to those in need of hearing it. Another effective outreach system contextualizes the Good News for a culture through media. In this week’s student feature, Asia Lerner, senior Biblical studies major at Southeastern University, discusses her research intertwining the Divine with modern artistry and cultural engagement.

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