This episode of the Exploring Hope podcast examines a very sobering and solemn topic: Do babies go to heaven when they die? Do they go to heaven? Of course, we all immediately desire that the answer is yes, and we hope, pray, and believe that is the case for those who die so young that they never were able to respond to the Gospel. But do we have any biblical warrant for believing this? Is our emotional response indicative of the truth, or is it in spite of the truth of the bible? Dr. John Hammett, Professor of Theology at SEBTS, sits down with Dr. Dew to discuss the theological and scriptural evidences for this claim. Tune in!
Dr. Russell Moore recently posted discussing the question: “Are Millennials Selfish and Entitled?” Dr. Moore writes:
The Internet lit up recently with outrage when a twenty-something woman complained about how hard it was to live in San Francisco, because her job didn’t pay her enough. The post, directed toward the woman’s employer, Yelp, caused many to point out that Millennials are, as a generation, lazy, self-obsessed, and entitled.
The controversy caught my attention because I tend to hear similar things within the church directed toward Millennial Christians. I don’t feel qualified to speak to the general group psychology of the entire generation of Millennials, but I have spent most of my time for the past decade or so around Millennial Christians, and I think the nasty caricatures of them are just not true.
In a recent post on his personal blog, Barnabas Piper discusses the most curious question: “Who are You?”
Who am I?
If you can’t answer this question it’s a good starting place for applying curiosity. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what you love and what you hate? Do you know where you draw energy and what enervates you? These are important questions for understanding how God designed you uniquely and what trajectory might be best for you.
Such questions can’t be answered in isolation very easily. We judge ourselves both too harshly and too graciously. We have more blind spots about our own lives than anything else, so we need help. We need help from peers and mentors, so ask them what they see in you. What stands out? What is strong? What is weak? We need help from experts, so take two or three evaluations like Strengths Finder and Myers-Briggs. Take a spiritual gifts test such as the one in Discover Your Spiritual Gifts by C. Peter Wagner. None of these will define you, but they will help you understand you. Each provides a piece of the puzzle as to why you are the way you, where you will thrive, and what you should do next.
At the People’s Next Door, Meredith Cooper discusses three rules for receiving hospitality as Gospel ministry. Meredith writes:
Last week I wrote on the importance of showing hospitality to those around us. Hospitality is an important part of displaying Christ’s love, but there is another side to it that gets overlooked. We emphasize showing hospitality, but I think that learning how to receive hospitality is equally important. This is especially true in cross-cultural ministry.
As I mentioned briefly in the last post, the highest expression of honor you can show someone of a different culture is to enter their home. It is difficult as Westerners to wrap our minds around this, though. Here are a few things to keep in mind, remembering that these things generally apply to cross-cultural ministry (although if you try these on Americans I would love to hear how it goes!). In addition, always remember that gospel proclamation is the primary goal of both showing and receiving hospitality.
Does Scripture demand unleavened bread in the Lord’s Supper? Dr. John Hammett answers in this post at The Gospel Coalition.
It is commonly agreed that the bread Jesus broke and gave his disciples on the night he was betrayed was unleavened. He was instituting what we practice as the Lord’s Supper during a celebration of the Jewish Passover, which required unleavened bread.
At times the question has been raised, then, whether or not Christians should use unleavened bread in the Lord’s Supper in order to follow Christ’s example and to be fully biblical.
Dr. Jamie Dew recently posted about why we all doubt from time to time. Dr. Dew writes:
I’ll admit it. I have had my moments when I wondered if it’s actually true. In fact, I’ve had more than just moments. Those who know me best know that it’s been the seasons of wondering and questioning that ultimately led me to studying apologetics and eventually philosophy. Before I knew it, I had become an academic.
Here’s one thing I’ve found. Believers tend to think something is terribly wrong if they have doubts about their faith…
Earlier this week at The Gospel Coalition, David Gundersen reviewed a great new book by SEBTS Theology professor John Hammett: “40 Questions and Answers about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.” Gundersen writes:
I can heartily commend this book not only for its good research, clear writing, and sound doctrine, but also because Hammett’s pastoral heart shines throughout…he heeds Paul’s admonition to “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1), continually asking how Christians should obey, approach, celebrate, and appropriate these two sacred ordinances as means of grace inaugurated by the Lord of the church until he comes again.
Dr. Russell Moore (President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) published an article at The Washington Post pondering the question: A year after Ferguson, have white Christians learned anything?
The answer to racial injustice is precisely the way the Hebrew prophets once framed the answer to all social evil. It means working for courts and systems that are fair and impartial. But it doesn’t stop with policies and structures. It must also include people who are transformed, not just by greater social awareness, but also by consciences that are formed by something other than our backgrounds.
Dr. Thom Rainer posted a helpful article listing nine steps to using social media and blogs without losing your ministry. Dr. Rainer writes:
After nearly a decade of involvement in social media and, later, the blogosphere, I have seen the best and the worst. Allow me to share what I have learned from the best in ministry who are active in this realm.
Bekah Stoneking, an Ed.D. student from SEBTS, wrote a guest post at Ed Stetzer’s blog yesterday giving three reasons why your teaching style matters.
To be good stewards of the students in our care, to teach them well about God’s truths, and to equip them to participate in His mission, we must understand why our teaching styles matter.
Finally, all this week SEBTS graduate Aaron Earls has been running a series of guest posts at his blog ‘The Wardrobe Door‘ written by four ladies who share why they are pro-life.