When left unchallenged, our dialogue with God can become the way by which we measure our relationship with him, and often leads us to believe that God’s love and presence is limited to the functions of our behavior. In this week’s article, Jordan Montgomery, senior practical ministries major at Southeastern University, highlights how painful deprivations press upon a believer’s spirituality and how to overcome the darkness rooted from internalized suffering.
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.
Faith can, will, and should be challenged from outside ourselves. A humble faith recognizes contrasting voices as valid even if the value of their claims is up for debate. In this week’s discussion, Jordan Reed, a seminary student at Boston University, provides a personal reflection examining his transition from undergraduate learning into a more diversely opinionated institution and how it has influenced his current theological perspectives.
How are we to deal with certain brutalities found in the Old Testament? How do we know what is and isn’t worthy of God? The good news is that God means to put us in that difficult place. He means to save us not from interpretation but through it. Dr. Chris Green, professor at Southeastern University, provides four approaches on how Christians today should perceive and interpret God’s seemingly violent Old Testament acts in a rather confounding context.
Since antiquity, human beings have been entertained by and seemingly infatuated with violence. For the Ancient Greeks and Romans this hunger would have been satiated by gladiator fights and tragic plays. Today, these forms of entertainment have been replaced by professional sports and violent films. While the modern equivalents are not perfect translations of these ancient activities, the parallels between them cannot be denied. How then should Christians respond to different representations of violence in all forms of entertainment? What duty do we have as Christ-followers in response to violent entertainment?
Rest. As a practice this word remains irrelevant to some people, and it occupies a marginal amount of space in the lives of others. We barely need to look around us to recognize how busyness is ingrained into not only what we do, but also virtually into who we are. How can we take time to step back from working, and reflect on the “daily grind”?
I believe we can think of our lives as an integration between physical and spiritual qualities. There is an all-important point to keep in mind in our discussion and that is that “God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). However, in what ways can this understanding of God affect business decisions?
One of Donne’s more famous poems is “At the round earth’s imagined corners.” This title, also its opening line, demonstrates a hallmark of his poetry–the ability to combine elements of our experienced world (“the round earth”) with powerful and often Biblical imagery (its “imagin’d corners,” a reference to Revelation 7:1) to produce startling insights into the relationship between this world and the next. But what exactly connects the vast and expansive “there” of heaven with the lowly “here” of earth and what are the practical implications for our lives as Christians?
The parable of the Good Samaritan is a compelling story to reflect on for Black History Month. The story, based on conflict between Jews and Samaritans, speaks to us about prejudice, stereotypes, and the power of love across ethnic lines. Reading this story this month, we might encourage one another to reach, like the good Samaritan, out to those who may disdain and slander us because of our ethnicity. When it comes to black history, who has played the role of priests, Levites, and the Good Samaritan? Who, after seeing people in dire need, has passed by on the other side?
The new Martin Scorcese film Silence (set at the end of the era of Jesuit missions in Japan in the mid-16th Century) is loaded with theological elements from various sects within and beyond the Christian traditions. Scorcese effectively and powerfully puts the viewer into the mind and heart of the Jesuit priests and the Japanese Christians, each of whom is asked to renounce their faith in Christ or suffer. Would Christianity today be able to survive the same persecution from several centuries ago?