Tag Archives: Barry Callen

Complementary Resources for Movement Address Doubt, Suffering

By Carl Stagner

“Life is less about waiting for the storm to stop and getting all the answers to our ‘why’ questions. Life is more about learning to dance in the rain, living joyously by faith, without all the answers.”

These words continue to echo in the minds of listeners who tuned in to the Beeson Podcast late this summer to hear Dr. Timothy George interview prolific Church of God author, and former seminary dean, Barry Callen. The topic: suffering. As Barry Callen contends, suffering is one of the most meaningful ways Christians experience the heart of God. His 2018 book The Jagged Journey demonstrates this in the person and passion of Jesus, as it offers practical theology to encourage readers to embrace, instead of avoid, suffering. A complementary work, God in the Shadows, confronts the seemingly contradictory themes of faith and doubt. For such a time as this, these two books bring the Movement face-to-face with issues as relevant as ever, yet too often swept under the rug. Continue reading

Massey Legacy Lives On through Newly Published Book

By Carl Stagner

On Sunday, June 24, Dr. James Earl Massey’s life on this earth came to an end. But his incredible legacy has only just begun to affect the lives of students, pastors, and parishioners. One of the many ways his legacy lives on is through his latest book, Views from the Mountain. Published within days of his passing, the compilation of select writings from the brilliant mind of Massey was co-edited by Barry Callen and Curtiss DeYoung. As the back cover of the book states, “Rarely does one voice speak with equal wisdom on fields as diverse and demanding as Bible interpretation, Christian education, inspired preaching, seminary education, and ministries of reconciliation.” Indeed, Dr. Massey did all that and so much more, for the Church of God movement and beyond. Now the Church of God—no, all of Christendom—has the opportunity to glean wisdom from the pages of what Dr. Massey called the “last great goal” of his life. Continue reading

Church of God-Christian Church Merger Still Loving, Serving Minnesota

Discovery Church providing a free oil change.

By Carl Stagner

In 2002, “the talks” started. Two churches, only about two blocks apart, in Saint Paul Park, Minnesota, were loving and serving in a strikingly similar fashion, with nearly identical theology and doctrine. The Church of God congregation was without a pastor at the time, and the youth groups had begun to participate in activities together, discovering they were better together than apart. As is often the case, the younger generation set the example, essentially paving the way for who would ultimately follow: the adults! Authors Barry Callen and James B. North had recently written a book about the similarities between the two Christian fellowships, and they’d heard about the possibilities in Saint Paul Park. Joining the meetings and helping foster dialogue, they celebrated when the Christian Church and Church of God congregation each voted unanimously to merge. A decade-and-a-half later, Discovery Community Church is still loving, still serving their community, state, and world for Christ. Continue reading

New Book Explores, Unpacks R-Rated Bible Stories

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Book cover: Bible Stories for Strong Stomachs

By Carl Stagner

Though both children and adults love the Church of God classic, Egermeier’s Bible Story Book was clearly written with children in mind. By contrast, a new release from prolific author and Church of God theologian Barry Callen is a Bible story book neither for young eyes, nor for the faint of heart. Did you know the Bible talks about crushing the skulls of men and babies? When was the last time you heard a sermon on the curse of the she-bears? When selecting a romantic line of poetry to recite to your significant other, do you follow the biblical example of saying that your bowels moved for him or her? With attention to detail and a whimsical style all his own, Barry Callen offers both theological insights and practical application for these and more incredibly weird passages of Scripture in Bible Stories for Strong Stomachs. Continue reading

Church of God at Front Lines of Societal Transformation

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By Carl Stagner

The world is hungry. Starving, in fact. Decades of devolution into trite programs and a focus on religious rituals have often offered only gristle in lieu of hearty spiritual meat. Regardless of cultural background, people today are craving convictions that lead to meaningful action. They’re searching for answers amid a smorgasbord of platitudes and pretense. But at the forefront of change is the Church of God movement, revitalized by a bright new day of reclaiming what hell has stolen and changing the world by making Jesus the subject. Such theology really isn’t new; it’s New Testament, and it’s leading Church of God ministers and ministries to lock arms with like-minded brothers and sisters in spite of what name may be over the door of the church they attend. A new book edited by Barry Callen celebrates the multitude of faith groups connected by their Wesleyan roots which, through their distinct voices united under Christ, are living out common-held truths and transforming society. Continue reading

A Conversation with C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Massey and More

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By Carl Stagner

Can you imagine sitting down at a table with C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and James Earl Massey? What if fourteen other theologians—some living, and some who have passed on—also sat at the table and began discussing the major subjects of Christian theology? And what if they all spoke in down-to-earth terms everybody could understand? Church of God author and theologian Barry Callen has just released a revised edition of a book that makes it all possible. In Heart of the Matter, Callen serves as moderator for eleven frank conversations imagined as they would have taken place had all seventeen theologians ever been in the same place at the same time. Never speaking above anyone’s head, Callen ensures the dialogue is practical yet accessible. Remarkably, the differing conclusions from a wide variety of theological perspectives always point back to the heart of the matter. Continue reading

New Books Bring Color, Clarity to Holiness and Theology

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By Carl Stagner

Does holiness still matter? Does your church still preach and teach holiness? What does the Bible really say about the subject? In 2006, the “Holiness Manifesto”—a result of the Wesleyan Holiness Study Project— made it clear that “there has never been a time in greater need of a compelling articulation of the message of holiness.” One of the chief architects of that written work is Barry Callen, highly-regarded in the Church of God for his communication of the truths of the Bible and the Church of God movement. Seven years after the project, Callen believes the opening statement of the “Holiness Manifesto” has never been truer. He has just released a book titled Color Me Holy, which offers a fresh perspective on holiness for today’s reader. Also for today’s reader, he’s penned the practical, easy-to-digest Approaching Theology—a book that proves anyone can grasp the study of God. Continue reading

D.S. Warner: Still Relevant for You and Your Church

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By Carl Stagner

From Lake Wales, Florida, to Portland, Oregon, the title has already caught the attention of readers across the country. Church history aficionados, university students, pastors, and laypeople alike have been intrigued by the provocative title of Barry Callen’s new publication. The Top Ten: Why Daniel S. Warner Is Still Relevant for You and Your Church weaves Church of God history and personal application in an easy-to-read format, and it’s accessible to anyone who wants to learn more. Thanks to the generous support of Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City, you can secure a copy for free.* Continue reading

Global Forum of the Church of God Sets Future Priorities

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By Barry L. Callen

Leaders of the Church of God have gathered, grappled with big issues, and spoken with one voice about the future. It happened on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (June 20–22, 2013) leading up to the Global Gathering. Sixty-three countries were represented by delegates, with 170 observers gathered at this Global Forum. Participants prayed, learned, and planned together. They invested hours in a prayer summit, moving upward to God, inward for transformation, and outward toward ministry vision. The Forum’s focus was biblical reconciliation, a theme developed in part with the wisdom of Dr. Curtiss DeYoung. Continue reading