A timely message which I believe merits an annual word to students heading to colleges & universities.

E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace

Rare because most college students don’t get many letters these days; they get e-mails and tweets. Rare because what’s being advocated in this letter by Stanley Hauerwas  is the disciplined use of the mind for the Christian college student.

Christ’s call on you as a student is a calling to meet the needs of the Church, both for its own life and the life of the world. The Resurrection of Jesus, Wilken suggests, is not only the central fact of Christian worship but also the ground of all Christian thinking “about God, about human beings, about the world and history.” Somebody needs to do that thinking—and that means you.

Don’t underestimate how much the Church needs your mind. Remember your Bible-study class? Christians read Isaiah’s prophecy of a suffering servant as pointing to Christ. That seems obvious, but it’s not; or at least it wasn’t obvious to the Ethiopian…

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In my lifetime I have seen the role of the pastor change dramatically!

E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace

Once again my good friend John Armstrong at ACT3 has put his finger on a major weakness in our American churches. It comes on the day before we Americans go to the polls to choose our national leaders. What he has to say about the absence of prophetic preaching in the pulpits of America and spiritual leadership by vision, has much to do with the challenges our larger society is facing at this moment. In “What  happened to Prophetic preaching”? He writes,

“The vast majority of pastors, as revealed in a number of surveys, declare that leadership is their greatest weakness. They admit to having become managers of ecclesial organizations and speakers in churches on Sunday. But less than 10% (in one survey) said that they believed they were leaders. A leader exercises influence, casts vision and helps people to follow that vision. Modern ideology and modern ways of training…

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Is there such a thing as a “Christian worldview”? You may be surprised at the difference between a noun & an adjective.

E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace

CHRISTIAN IS NOT AN ADJECTIVE !

This is one of those conversations that we Christians have to sit down and have a long “in house” discussion about sometime. Obviously I can only outline here the way I think the conversation should possibly go, realizing that for some of you who are not Christians, I must ask you to try to be patient with us. You are more than welcome to sit in on the discussion, because in a very real way our success at getting this straightened out among the faithful will greatly improve our ability to converse with the rest of you in other Faiths.

Where was I? Oh yes, “Christian” is not an adjective, but rather a noun. There is a profound difference. The cause of much confusion in the Church as well as outside is a failure to be more precise. According to the biblical narrative, the word Christian…

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Is the Bible alone sufficient at a time like this?

E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace

That All Depends on WHO we pray to, doesn’t it?

As I was preparing my mind and heart to spend time in intercession for my country, I found myself asking this question: Is the Bible sufficient to give me the guidance I need to pray intelligently at this time for my country?

I had read a blog of my friend MoSop on the Bible’s influence as one of the sacred books that guides her own Mormon faith. All of the Christian traditions, whether they realize it or not, have those other sacred texts or creeds in addition to the Bible. But is the Bible alone  sufficient   at a time like this? Let me give you a small sample, taken from the Lectionary readings for today, including Psalm 50, and see if you can figure out, based on the context in Israel’s future, if this gives us any guidance at all…

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How Paul celebrated his final Pentecost in Jerusalem.

E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace

voyageofPaul” Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.”   – ACTS 20:16

Following a three month stay in Greece encouraging the disciples, Luke tells us that Paul set sail for Jerusalem: ” We sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.” (20:6) So Luke begins the narrative of Paul, as on a predetermined schedule that he had carefully thought out, leaving Greece at Passover and heading for Jerusalem and the Day of Pentecost.

Why was he so determined to be in Jerusalem at Pentecost? Why was he deliberately heading in to the very heart of the camp from which his most violent opposition was coming from? We can…

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Found another addition to include on my “Songs of the Spirit” page..

Strength for Today

This hymn was brought to my attention with reference to Dr. Ian Paisley’s customary closing in prayer,

To this end I take the Promised Holy Ghost, the Blessed power of Pentecost to fill me to the uttermost, I take, thank God He undertakes for me, and the people of God said, Amen!

I clasp the hand of Love divine,
I claim the gracious promise mine,
And this eternal countersign,
“I take, He undertakes.”

“I take Thee, blessed Lord,”
I give myself to Thee,
And Thou, according to Thy word,
Dost undertake for me.

I take salvation full and free,
Thro’ Him who gave His life for me,
He undertakes my All to be,
“I take, He undertakes.”

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FULL Gospel in this post must be understood in the same sense as Paul’s words “The whole counsel of God” has in Holy Scripture.

E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace

THE CROWN JEWEL of PAUL’S GOSPEL

Let Paul speak for himself: ACTS 20

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by [1]

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