As noted by TF Torrance in The Trinitarian Faith, the Nicene Creed is the work of the Greek-speaking early church fathers in carefully expressing crucial points of the Gospel where it was being seriously misrepresented under the influence of a dualistic Greek (Hellenized) philosophy. That philosophy posited that God, being one, perfect and unchangeable, must, necessarily, be separate from and have nothing to do with physical matter (including flawed human beings).
References to: Ted Johnston
Pastors and ministry leaders have many important responsibilities. One is to help shape within their congregation or ministry a culture (or “environment”) that is expressive of the love and life of Jesus Christ. A critical aspect of such a culture is having an evangelistic orientation—a passion for sharing actively in what Jesus is doing to reach out in love to share the gospel with non-Christians.
How do leaders do that? There is no one-size-fits-all formula, but there are helpful practices. Here are four, offered by LifeWay president Thom Rainer in a blog post:
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J. Michael Feazell: How has Trinitarian theology made a difference in how we do ministry?
Parents or guardians are usually the most important influences in children’s spiritual development. This presents both a responsibility and an opportunity. Concerning the responsibility, parents have the God-given assignment to teach their children about God and his love (Deuteronomy 4:10; 6:7). Concerning the opportunity, young children tend to see their parents as “god-like” in authority and credibility.
In this series we’re addressing five principles for effective ministry to children. We’ve discussed blessing children with Jesus’ love, relating to them at their level, and involving them in our lives. We now turn to the fourth principle: nurturing children in the way of Jesus through teaching.
We can involve children in the life of the church in many ways. Children’s ministry programs are vital—things such as Vacation Bible School, Sunday School classes and camps—but such programs are not ends in themselves.
Ministry to children, as is true of all effective Christian ministry, is relational. It’s about building relationships among people who are growing together in relating to God, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit. It’s about people sharing together in community the life and love of the triune God.
In the previous article, we looked at the principle: Bless children with Jesus’ love. We come now to the R of BRING: Relate to children at their level.
To be an effective missionary, we need a working knowledge of the mission field. Children are a wonderful, fruitful mission field with a refreshing openness to God and his love. In children’s ministry training seminars, I ask the audience of adults how old they were when they first committed their lives to Christ. The overwhelming majority indicate that they did so in their early teens or before.
In this series we are examining five principles for effective ministry to children. In the first article, I summarized all five using the acronym B.R.I.N.G. to remind us that our purpose is to bring children to Jesus. Each principle adds to our effectiveness in living out this responsibility. We turn now to examining each principle individually—starting with principle number one: Bless children with Jesus’ love.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). We see this admonition lived out proactively in the early church. Children were such an integral part of the church in Ephesus that Paul, writing to that congregation, addresses the children directly (Ephesians 6:1-3). That Paul would do so is exceptional, particularly in a culture that viewed children more as property than as valued persons.