Walking right into Hell. . . . in Orlando, Florida

Last week we held a four day spiritual retreat in Orlando, Florida, for special friends of Asbury Seminary. This was the second in a series of four formation periods called Ascent whereby we set aside time to minister and invest in the spiritual growth of those who support the ministries of Asbury Seminary. Because we [...]

The Latino and Hispanic Voice in Global Christianity

This past weekend was the dedication of the Justo Gonzalez Center at Asbury Theological Seminary (Orlando). For those who may not know, Justo Gonzalez is the author of the multi-volume, A Story of Christianity, the premier survey of church history from a Latin American author. I read his church history volumes first in 1981, thirty [...]

The Quiet Revival

Christianity Today reported a few years ago that eighty-five percent of the members of Yale University’s Campus Crusade for Christ chapter are Asian, whereas “the university’s Buddhist meditation meetings are almost exclusively attended by whites.”1  There is an important lesson in this. It is often stated that Christianity in the Western world is in decline. [...]

Is Mormonism a Cult or a Christian Denomination?

This past week there was a huge political flap about a Baptist minister named Robert Jeffries over his claim that Mormonism is a cult and that Mitt Romney should not be considered a Christian.  The remark set off a firestorm because this was the ground for encouraging people to not vote for Mitt Romney. All [...]

Never Read Your Bible Alone

The most recent edition of Christianity Today (Oct. 2011) highlights the issue of “How we read Scripture.”  The front cover of the journal boldly declares, “How to Read the Bible.”  There is a also a little callout on the cover which stands as a kind of subtitle, “Why leading evangelical scholars are arguing for a [...]

What 21st century American Church Planters can learn from Church Planters in India.

One of the joys of my life has been the privilege of training young ministers of the Gospel in the USA and in India.  Prior to coming to Asbury to serve as President, I taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for 11 years, and, prior to that, Toccoa Falls College in Georgia.  However, during the last [...]

Deeper Issues Behind the Same-Sex Marriage Discussion

According to the United Methodist Reporter more than 900 United Methodist clergy have pledged to perform same-sex unions in open defiance of the Scriptures, of our ministerial tradition of holy conferencing, and of the Discipline of the United Methodist Church.  In response, a group of Asburians (either Asbury Seminary graduates or member of the Board [...]

Optimistic of Our Mission to Theologically Educate

This church-focused, theologically informed new vision I am calling for today will not eagerly embrace “top down” political strategies as effective methods for cultural transformation.  This new vision sees the local church, not the para-church, as the central locus of evangelism and discipleship. This new vision eschews niche-marketing strategies for drawing unbelievers to church.  It [...]

Theologically Educate

Brothers and sisters, as your President, I call this community to serious, sustained theological reflection.  Our mission statement calls for us to “theologically educate.” What does this mean? Properly speaking to “theologically educate” forms heart, mind and action. Beloved, it is not enough to declare that “your heart is in the right place.” Your mind [...]

Bumper Sticker Christianity

“Jesus is the Reason for the Season.“  It is evangelicals who have cried out the most against the commercialization of Christmas, but then became co-opted by turning the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” into one of the most commercialized phrases of all time, blazoned across t-shirts, coffee mugs and yes, church signs. [...]