The Translatability of the Christian Gospel

The following is a message that I gave at Asbury’s Fall Convocation.  You can download both the audio and the video of the message for free on iTunes. In April of 1739 John Wesley was preaching in an upstairs room in London.  About halfway into his sermon the supporting post which held up the floor […]

Honest Theology

Many years ago I took a course on the theology of missions.   It was in the opening lecture of that course that the professor, a very wise and seasoned missionary practitioner turned scholar, said, “missions is what keeps theology honest.”  It is an insight which, I think, is self-illuminating for anyone who has actually taught […]

The World is IN my Parish

It is not uncommon to hear complaints about the lack of connectivity between ministerial preparation and the actual ministry settings our students our entering.  For example, David Tracy laments what he calls the “three great separations of modern Western culture,” all of which have served to separate the task of theological education from actual ministry […]

Scholars on Fire

Have you ever read something that you knew the minute you read it, you would never forget it.  I had that experience almost thirty years ago.  I read a statement in Christianity Today which I have never forgotten.  It was a letter to the editor.  Apparently, in a previous edition of Christianity Today, an article […]

Ordinarily Extraordinary

I follow the church year.  The very idea of re-tracing the life of Jesus during the course of the year absolutely sets my heart ablaze.  It is one of those great “checks and balances” which lovingly reminds the church to remember – and to remember well.   In today’s world of emails, Facebook, blogging, twittering, IM, […]

Passing the Torch

This morning, in my 2009 journey through the Bible, I found myself reading the opening chapters of Ecclesiastes. I’m an optimist, so I often find myself arguing with the man who wrote this book. I know why it is in the Scriptures but I still wish the author had been a bit more hopeful.

Academic Excellence at Asbury Theological Seminary

“What does academic excellence mean at Asbury Theological Seminary?” If I were giving simply a technical definition, I would remind us that “academic” is usually seen as something primarily hypothetical or theoretical, and that “excellence” has from the time of the Greek poets been associated with hard work and with that which is eminently good.

A Fire to Preach

I will never forget the day when Bob Kerr, the District Superintendent of the North Georgia Conference called me on the telephone and told me about my very first appointment. He said, “Congratulations, Tim, the bishop has appointed you to the Nacoochee Valley Circuit.” I was told that I was the new pastor of a “four point” charge of four churches nestled in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. I was fresh out of seminary. I had probably preached less than a dozen sermons. I had never conducted a funeral or a wedding and, of course, had never given communion.

Personal Reflections on Dr. Timothy Tennent and Julie Tennent

Dear Asbury Theological Seminary Community,
Across nearly four decades in theological education, God has blessed us with scores of wonderful friends and colleagues. While we treasure each one of them, Tim and Julie Tennent claim a special place in our lives and affections. Although we certainly rejoice with everyone at Asbury as you welcome an amazingly gifted new president, we also want you to know how deeply Tim and Julie will be missed here at Gordon-Conwell. Quite simply stated, you have chosen two of our very finest colleagues and two of the most outstanding Christian educators we know.

Theological Issues Facing the Church Today – The Birth of Global Christianity

For over 1,000 years the Western hemisphere has been the heartland of the Christian faith. For example, when William Carey, the humble cobbler who would later be called the father of the modern missionary movement, arrived in India in 1793 to preach the gospel, ninety-five percent of the world’s Christians lived in the Western world. Even one hundred years later, at the dawn of the 20th century, nearly ninety percent of all Christians still lived in the Western world. 1 Is it any surprise that 19th century Africans often referred to Christianity as the “white man’s religion”? After all, most Africans had never met a non-white Christian in their entire lives. For much of the world, Christianity seemed inextricably bound up with the rise and fall of Western civilization.