Tag Archives: theology

Drunkenness: A Sobering Reality in Church and Society

By Carl Stagner

A November 16, 2018, article published in USA Today spells out the latest statistics on the rise of alcohol-triggered deaths in the United States, especially over the last decade. While the media has shone the spotlight on the horrific and very real epidemic of opioid abuse, the article suggests the alarming truth that alcohol kills far more people each year through liver cirrhosis, cancer, pancreatitis, and suicide—not to mention traffic accidents. Meanwhile, the conversation about alcohol has started again in the Church of God, as the general director of Church of God Ministries issued a column on the subject in the October issue of Move! in the wake of the hotly debated Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. David Sebastian, dean emeritus of Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, has talked about the subject for years in the classroom, at conferences, and at camp meetings. As he’s observed, drunkenness is a sobering reality in church and society. That’s also the title of his new book, which challenges Christians to re-examine the issue of alcohol use and abuse. Continue reading

Subject to Jesus: Louisiana Pastor Reflects on ‘Jesus is the Subject’

By Stephen Nelson

Jesus is the subject. Yes, a recurring theme on my blog, in my social media feed, in my sermons, and in my conversations. This is because this has become the constant theme of my life. It’s Easter weekend, and our senses are more in-tune with Jesus. It brings to mind questions about empires, crucifixion, and the resurrection. And also, are Jesus and the Easter Bunny friends? And, why do bunnies lay multi-colored eggs once a year? Continue reading

The Truth When Jesus is the Subject

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By Dave DeVoll

There are any number of places in Scripture one may cite to support the current theme of our Movement—Jesus is the subject! Here are a few:

In John 5:39, Jesus said to the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill him, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”

Paul explicitly emphasized the centrality of Jesus in his letters. 1 Corinthians 1:23, “…but we preach Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:5, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.” Galatians 1:16, “I…preach Him [Jesus] among the Gentiles.” Philippians 1:18, “…Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Continue reading

Women in Ministry: What Would People Think?

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By Nabil Safi

“What would people think?” is a common response I often got in the past, and still get today, when I have conversations about senior leadership with women from the Middle East. The fear of being judged has crippled women in general to be thriving in the community at-large and, in particular, inside the local church. The fact that a woman lives in a lopsided society that promotes males over females makes it very difficult for her to navigate the conflicting values of equality and personal achievement versus honor-shame and community’s best interest. Consequently, when faced with an invitation to lead, her immediate response is, What would people think? 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

Our Sad Secret in the Church of God

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Photo: Lillie McCutcheon

By Bob Moss

Long before I ever heard the word egalitarianism, I saw it being lived out in the church of my childhood. For me it was completely normal and natural to see men and women serving and working together in the church. There was no subjugation of women in the Church of God—or so I thought.

Normal, in my childhood, meant a woman stood in the pulpit. Our pastor, Lillie McCutcheon, a.k.a. “Sister Lillie,” was an iconic figure. My grandparents accepted Christ under her preaching. She presided at my parents’ wedding. She launched my grandfather as a church planter and, as a result of her preaching ministry, I heard God’s call to ministry. 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

Update from Bob and Jan Edwards, KIST

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Photo: Jan and Bob Edwards

By Bob Edwards

Bob and Jan Edwards recently returned to Kenya for a four-month stay as consultants at KIST. The following is their latest update:

Jan and I have been here at Kima for a bit over one week. We are settling into the International House, making it our home for the next four months. It is fully furnished and comfortable. The drenching African rains have begun in earnest, the dark black clouds at each evening just before sunset. It refreshes the earth, and fills the rain tanks that we depend upon for our water supply. Electricity is a bit of an issue. It is intermittently on and off. It has been interesting to Jan and me how the simple pleasures of electricity and water bring gladness to the soul. The rain brings wonderful life to the land. Electricity brings light in the darkness. Continue reading

Six Pastors Weigh In On ‘Jesus is the Subject’

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By Carl Stagner

For this moment in history. For all time. “Jesus is the Subject” is more than a catch phrase—it’s new life breathed into our very existence. It has already reinvigorated ministries across the movement, inspiring the Church of God back to its foundation, its purpose, its core—Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Six Church of God pastors, including Tom Dougherty, Stephanie Collins, Milton Grannum, Steve Nelson, Mitchell Burch, and Mark Fast, have each weighed in on what “Jesus is the Subject” means to them. Here’s what they said: Continue reading

KIST Announces Indigenous Leadership

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Photo: Rose Chemegemet

Since the mid-1990s, Kima International School of Theology has prepared students from Kenya and all over Africa for a life of service to God and their communities. KIST has faced several challenges through the years, but through the grace of God and continued support, it is overcoming them. The school recently named a Kenyan graduate, who is also a female, as academic dean. The shift to indigenous leadership continues as KIST prepares to fill the position of principal. Continue reading

Movements of the Holy Spirit

By Bill Barkman

We can only say we are a movement of the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit is moving through us. Chapters one and two of Acts reveal markers that are deeper and broader than the people, issues, and fears to which we react. As we read about the working of Jesus’ Holy Spirit in the early disciples, there is both a visible preparation for, as well as filling of, the Holy Spirit. The filling will always follow the heart’s preparation. Continue reading

Doctrine and Theology in the Church of God: An Interview with Jim Lyon

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Q: You travel widely within the Church of God. Based on your observation, what is the role of doctrine in the life of the movement today compared to what it was fifty years ago?

A: How we define the word doctrine is helpful to the question. There are certain core theological values that the Church of God has held dear over time. That core set of values can be extrapolated into many other concentric circles, and how far out you get on those circles with your definition of doctrine is a part of the dialogue. For some people, many circles outside the core constitute doctrines of a substantive nature; for others, there are fewer circles. But I think the doctrinal core of the Church of God is still very much in place. Continue reading

MACU President John Fozard Invites You to Revolutionize Your Understanding of God’s Word—Online!

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Without a doubt, the Bethel Bible Series provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of the God’s Word for pastors, Sunday school teachers, and laypersons. More than a million church members—and forty-seven Christian denominations—have participated in this life-changing course since it was launched fifty years ago.

An Exciting New Development

Now, Mid-America Christian University (MACU) president John Fozard is delighted to announce that the university is partnering with the Bethel Bible ministry to bring the renowned Bethel Bible course online—and you are invited to be part of the beta testing class! A veteran instructor of the Bethel Bible Series, Dr. Fozard will personally teach the online course and help revolutionize your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. As a member of the beta class, your feedback and insights will be invaluable to shaping the future of this dynamic course! Continue reading

Key Theology Text Soon Available in Spanish

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Theology for Disciples, an essential textbook by the late Dr. Gilbert W. Stafford, will be released in Spanish this month under the title Teología para Discípulos. The translation was sponsored by the Hispanic Council of the Church of God and the Literature Endowment Fund of Warner Press, Inc. Continue reading

Warner Pacific Professor’s Book Explores Theology in the Age of Global AIDS, HIV

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Warner Pacific College professor, Dr. Cassie Trentaz, has released a new book; Theology in the Age of AIDS & HIV: Complicity and Possibility. Part of the Content and Context in Theological Ethics Series from Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, Theology in the Age of AIDS & HIV, is a courageous look at how dominant theologies have participated in the creation of ‘risk environments’ for susceptibility to this virus and a call to action, that we would learn how to truly care for one another in this age of global AIDS and HIV. Continue reading