Finding I AM – Bible Study Book: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart

Title: Finding I AM: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart
Format: Paperback
Author: Lysa TerKeurst
Publication: January 2, 2017

What is the deep cry of your heart? The ache in your soul that keeps you up at night? The prayer you keep repeating? Jesus not only cares about this deep, spiritual wrestling, but He also wants to step in and see you through it.

Join Lysa TerKeurst on the streets of Israel to explore the seven I AM statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. Through this interactive, in-depth study we will be trading feelings of emptiness and depletion for the fullness of knowing who Jesus is like never before.

Features:

  • Leader helps to guide questions and discussions within small groups
  • Five weeks of personal study segments to complete between six weeks of group sessions
  • Four days, with an optional fifth day, of study within each week of personal study

Benefits:

  • Find freedom in difficult circumstances by learning how to shift from “slave mentality” to “set free mentality”
  • Discover how Jesus is the key to satisfaction by learning the crucial significance behind each of His I AM statements
  • Trade feelings of emptiness for the fullness of knowing who Jesus is
  •  Grow in biblical literacy with this exploration of the Gospel of John

Lysa TerKeurst is an author, speaker, and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. In the midst of her busy schedule, Lysa is an everyday woman who simply seeks to glorify God through her life and family.



Passing the Torch: Mentorship in Ministry

by William N. Downie III | If intentional effort to pass the torch of ministry by training up those to follow is not taken by Christians, then in one generation the Church will be ill-equipped to survive at best, and dead at worst (Liberty University Senior Honors Thesis, https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/honors/335/).

Mentorship is a key function of the Church. If intentional effort to pass the torch of ministry through mentorship is not taken, then in one generation the Church will be dead or crippled. Though much has been written on mentorship, most have approached the topic by matching their methods with biblical teaching rather than starting in the Bible and developing their methods from it. A search for examples of mentorship that exist in the Old and New Testament will synthesize to form methods and principles which biblical characters used. These methods and principles are evaluated and then contextualized for the modern Christian to form a foundation which can be used as a strong basis for the creation of any mentorship program.

The Need

Raising up leaders in the next generation is crucial to the survival of any group, and especially to the Church. If intentional effort to pass the torch of ministry by training up those to follow is not taken by Christians, then in one generation the Church will be ill-equipped to survive at best, and dead at worst. Because of the enormous weight that rests on the matter of mentoring the next generation of Christians, the topic should be seriously considered. Christians have published thousands of books and articles wrestling with the matter of mentorship; however, few are products of exegesis (drawing out a message first from Scripture),1 but rather eisegesis (reading one’s own desired meaning into Scripture).2 Fewer yet are products of a survey of the entirety of Scripture’s teaching on mentorship, but rather a case study of one particular instance. As such, there is a need to add such a collection of research to the field of biblical mentorship.

The Solution

Because of a lack of coverage elsewhere, there is a need to research how to train the next generation of Christians to follow in ministry. Looking for biblical principles from a purely biblical evaluation of various portions of both the Old and New Testaments is the best way to make up this deficit in research. After this, it will be easier to synthesize timeless methods and principles for mentorship and examine how the principles can be used in both a positive and negative sense. If followed, these biblical methods and principles will be able to inform Christians in ministry how to effectively pass the torch of ministry to the next generation of Christian leaders.

Framing the Issue

For almost 2000 years the church of Jesus Christ has existed as a beacon in a dark world leading people to Christ. However, church buildings are not what have made a difference in the world for centuries. People have made the difference; it has been the Church Universal, or all who genuinely have saving faith in Christ. This importance placed on people is consistent with Jesus’ initial commands to the original Church to be salt and light to the world (Matt. 5:13-16 HCSB)3 and to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). While this command is clearly made to the entire Church for all time, the question over how to do this best does not have a clear answer.

Throughout church history, Christians have employed different methods to mentor other believers. Out of a desire to serve God in the most efficient way possible, the question of how to do this best has arisen countless times. As a divinely inspired manual for life, the Bible has of course been consulted for direction in this dispute. Unfortunately, there is no place in the Bible which makes a definitive claim regarding how to train up the next generation of Christians. However, there are examples given of mentors in the Bible from whose success we can learn positive lessons. In addition, there are people who did not do well in mentoring others, from whom we can learn negative lessons.

Clarification

The Bible contains many examples of what people today would consider mentorship. However, the concept of mentorship is a modern American idea. Thus, there is no truly biblical definition of mentorship because that word is not in the ancient Hebrew or Greek vernacular. To make the matter more difficult, when there are instances of people in the Bible who seem to be effective mentors, their mentorship is rarely a primary (or even secondary) focus of the overall biblical narrative. Thus, biblical examples which speak directly to mentorship are almost non-existent, if not entirely so. Because of this, people involved in church ministries often develop a method of mentorship which works for them and then look to the Bible for proof-texts. That eisegetical approach will not be used here. Rather, the purpose is to find examples in Scripture which fit a modern definition of mentorship and then uncover what principles, positive and negative, contribute to the matter of mentorship.

One definition for mentorship is that mentorship is “a relational experience through which one person empowers another by sharing their wisdom and resources.4 A more encompassing definition of mentorship is that mentorship is “an intentional and appropriately reciprocal relationship between two individuals, a younger … and an older, wiser figure who assists the younger person in learning the ways of life.”5 Parks is reserved in who she attributes the title of mentor to, but recognizes that mentors are people who show recognition, support, challenge, inspiration, and accountability to their mentee.6 Thus, different types of relationships can become mentor relationships if properly conducted. This means that subcategories of mentorship exist such as teacher-student relationships, parent-child relationships, friend-friend relationships, coach-athlete relationships, discipleship relationships, etc. To avoid becoming exclusive, the primary focus of this thesis will be mentorship in general, with brief mention of specific areas of mentorship only briefly being mentioned when they arise in the text. However, a more sizable section will be devoted to discussing discipleship in the Gospels because of the ease in ascertaining significant application of discipleship principles for all areas of Christian mentorship. Also, as God incarnate, Jesus is the most worthy mentor from whom we can learn effective techniques.

1Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 55.

2Ibid.

3Unless otherwise noted, all biblical quotations will come from the HCSB translation.

4Tim Elmore, Lifegiving Mentors: A Guide for Investing Your Life in Others (Duluth, GA: Growing Leaders, Inc., 2009), 2.

5Sharon Daloz Parks, Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Emerging Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011), 165.

6Parks, Big Questions, 167.



Origin Story: A Big History of Everything

2018 – David Christian – Science & Nature. “I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative.” –Bill Gates.

Buy From Microsoft Store or Amazon

A captivating history of the universe — from before the dawn of time through the far reaches of the distant future.Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day — and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence?These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of “Big History,” the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we’ve come to know as “history.” By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together — from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond.With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly re-frames our place in the cosmos.



African Christianity: Its Public Role

by Paul Gifford 1998. African Christianity: Its Public Role. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. A sophisticated political and social analysis of the various Christian groups is allied to a most original, consistent exploration of their different theological positions and thinking…. An interesting, important critical assessment of the extent to which the churches are playing a major role in the emergence of a civil society…. Gifford’s overall analysis and his four case studies are so fresh and so important that… they cry out for immediate publication.” —Richard Gray

In the 1970s and the 1990s, British Africanist scholars produced two groups of outstanding studies on Christianity in Africa funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Two works by Adrian Hastings (1979a, 1979b) and one by Edward Fashole-Luke et al. (1978) were in the first series. This volume as well as another by Gifford (1995) comprises the second set. Although they are the result of intellectual collaboration, each volume stands on its own. The 1970s, works situated Christianity in newly-independent sub-Saharan Africa. For many Africanists, they were the first introduction to the transition [End Page 228] of Christian churches moving from mission status to local leadership and autonomy, and above all, to the vibrant New Religious Movements (NRMs) or Independent Churches.

Gifford (1995) looked at the role of Christian churches in the democratization of sub-Saharan Africa. The present study has two goals: to analyze the interrelation of Christian church bodies in Africa, using the methodology of political economy, and to explore the public role of Christianity in Africa. After two chapters that describe changes in the African context from the 1970s to the present, the bulk of this book is devoted to four case histories: Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, and Cameroon. Each in its own way is fascinating.

The introductory chapter deftly sketches social and political pat-terns that have developed since independence. In each of the case studies this is repeated in detail, covering the present situations of Protestants, Catholics, and NRMs. Showing the network of elites, including clergy, who benefit from and contribute to patrimonial systems, Gifford outlines the ambiguity of the Christian churches. On one hand they are participants in clientism and are similar to the other institutions of the elite rul-ing system. This is illustrated by the examples that pepper the case studies: the anointing ceremony in Lusaka’s Anglican cathedral when Frederick Chiluba became president of Zambia in 1991 (p. 197); the episcopal praise of Idi Amin as “our redeemer and the light of God.” (p. 118); the close relations between Christian churches and President Paul Biya of Came-roon that opened the north to Christian evangelization.

On the other hand, religious values urge Christian leaders to take stances on justice, corruption, and the plight of the poor. The churches’ activist role often has tragic consequences, such as the murders of Anglican Archbishop Janani Luwum at Idi Amin’s behest, of the Jesuit intellectual Engelbert Mveng of Cameroon, and of Catholic Archbishop Elias Mutale of Zambia—all after strong protests against government misuse of power.

Where Gifford’s book is at its strongest is in the analysis of the internal politics of the individual churches—their decision-making processes, organization, finances, and relationships. Ethnic tensions and strains between expatriate missionaries and local clergy are particularly well outlined, with an objectivity that is refreshing in comparison with much of the religious literature emanating from Africa today. One can only admire Gifford’s thorough and systematic analysis, based on both his familiarity with existing scholarship and his careful field work. His treatment of corruption, tribalism, and financial irresponsibility within the Christian churches is balanced and frank, but never demeaning.

Table of Contents
Preface
Abbreviations
1. The Context: Africa Now
2. African Churches: Their Global Context
3. Ghana
4. Uganda
5. Zambia
6. Cameroon
7. Conclusion
Select Bibliography
Index

Paul Gifford is Lecturer in African Christianity at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His previous books include Christianity and Politics in Doe’s Liberia and The Christian Churches and the Democratisation of Africa.



Tyler Perry Discusses His Book ‘Higher is Waiting’

I’d written a book, a collection of inspirational insights and lessons. Now I just needed the right title for it. Then a friend wanted to talk. He was feeling pretty down about his life, and I urged him to see all the good things God had in store for him: love, compassion, peace of mind. If only he’d step up and reach up. “Higher is waiting,” I said. That was it, both my advice and the title of the book (YouTube).



Leaving Patriarchy in the Past

Book Title: Our Rating: 4 Stars – Excellent
Book Title: Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism
Author: by John G. Stackhouse Jr. 
Publisher: IVP Academic
Release Date: November 2, 2015
Pages: 208
Price: $16.61
Buy Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism from Amazon
 
What are the proper, God-ordained roles for men and women—within the church, the family, the workplace, and broader society? In answering these questions, conservative evangelicals often identify as “complementarians” (men and women have distinct, complementary roles), while their counterparts call themselves “egalitarians” (men and women collaborate in fulfilling responsibilities given equally to both).

John G. Stackhouse Jr., the Canadian evangelical scholar and commentator, cuts across these familiar alignments in his new book. As a self-styled “conservative egalitarian,” he parts company with liberal feminists who reject Scripture for promoting a timeless patriarchy. But he also finds fault with evangelical egalitarians who reinterpret numerous passages to say something other than what the church has historically believed them to say.

In Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism (IVP Academic), Stackhouse acknowledges that various New Testament passages advance a sweepingly complementarian viewpoint. He maintains, however, that once a culture has left its patriarchal origins behind, these passages are no longer meant to be obeyed.

The book identifies a double tradition in Scripture regarding slavery and the status of women. In each case, there are passages that appear to bless the status quo, while other words and themes gesture in liberating directions. Stackhouse resolves the tension by viewing affirmations of the status quo as temporary—meant to be superseded, in time, by the larger message of liberty.

Stackhouse recognizes that most egalitarians will find his position too conservative. In mainstream Muslim cultures, for instance, he discourages Christians from trumpeting women’s rights too loudly, for the sake of preserving evangelistic opportunities. Nor will “soft complementarians” find Stackhouse a reliable ally, since he insists that “problem passages” from Paul and Peter mean what the vast majority of Christians in history understood them to mean: significant restrictions on women’s leadership roles inside and outside the church, and submission to male headship in marriage.

Stackhouse also dismisses the standard approach of biblical feminists, who point to historical, cultural, and linguistic reasons for not taking these passages as patriarchal in their original settings. Why, he asks, would God allow the church to misunderstand them so completely for so long?

Today, at least in the West, Stackhouse would have us jettison complementarian approaches because of the likelihood that they will impede the spread of the gospel. Women who are appropriately gifted and trained must step up to the plate and lead. Stackhouse has an excellent catalog of reasons why women often fail to lead, even when men want them to. Men, he concedes, are often at fault, because they insist that women conform to male leadership styles.

Stackhouse’s analysis always repays careful consideration. But disagreements are sure to arise. Strong complementarians will no doubt object that Stackhouse fails to demonstrate that the key New Testament passages should be set aside as societies embrace new gender norms. Egalitarians will probably point to times when Christians led the way in emancipation efforts. They’ll caution that if believers wait for societies to progress beyond patriarchy before supporting women’s rights, the wait will be intolerably long.

With few exceptions (he occasionally labels opposing views as “ludicrous”), Stackhouse writes with a self-effacing, respectful spirit. He does not pretend to have the final word on gender roles and male–female relationships. Partners in Christ encourages believers to adopt the position with the fewest practical problems, rather than the one that ties up all loose ends. As important as it is to analyze (and debate) the Bible’s take on gender roles, our disagreements shouldn’t prevent us from coming together to love, serve, and advance the kingdom of God.

Craig L. Blomberg teaches New Testament at Denver Seminary.