In this essay, Dr. Gary Deddo shows how incarnational Trinitarian theology informs our understanding of the church and its practice of ministry. For additional information related to this topic, here are links to two other essays by Dr. Deddo: Clarifying Our Theological Vision and Covenant, Law and God's Faithfulness.
References to: church
a review article
Small churches have numerous options for the future — some more attractive than others, some more viable than others. Some small churches will be able to do things that others cannot, due to their circumstances and personnel. The options are described in Lyle Schaller’s 142-page paperback The Small Membership Church: Scenarios for Tomorrow (Abingdon, 1994).
Many people have no idea what pastors do, and it’s not unusual for pastors to feel inadequate in their role. I’ve felt that way, as Paul apparently did in asking, “who is equal to such a task?” He then noted (speaking of the human body): “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 2:16; 4:7). Despite the times of doubt that pastors sometimes face, they find reassurance in remembering that God has called them and that they have his anointing to serve him in this way—an anointing confirmed by their ordination.
“Why do I need to belong to a church? Why shouldn’t I just believe in Jesus and live a good life? Church can be a real pain, you know.”
Yes, church can be a real pain. All human relationships can be. Jesus’ command that we “love one another” (John 13:34-35) would not be much of a command if there were no good reasons not to love another. When we love one another in spite of how unlovable we are at times, we are loving others the way Jesus loves us. He loves us even though we are sinners, even though we betray his love.
No sooner had I written the article “Time for New Trees” than it seemed the Lord had another series of lessons for me to learn from my family orchard.
You may have noticed that McDonald’s has sliced apples on its menu for side items. This has helped increase the demand for apples, which is good news for those who grow them.
Who Stole My Church?
What to Do When the Church You Love Enters the 21st Century
by Gordon MacDonald
Reviewed by Barbara Dahlgren
Do you love your church, but can’t stand the new hymns? Do you appreciate your fellow Christians but wish they would dress a bit better for services? Do you look forward to the future but find yourself sometimes missing the “old days”? Then this is the book for you.
If water is coming in through your ceiling, you can put a bucket under the leak, then climb up and patch the roof. Things get more complicated if the leak is in the basement. First, you might not notice it right away. Second, basement leaks are not easily fixed.
Dr. Elmer Colyer is professor of historical theology at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and pastor of a Methodist congregation. He is editor of The Promise of Trinitarian Theology: Theologians in Dialogue with T. F. Torrance and Evangelical Theology in Transition: Theologians in Dialogue with Donald Bloesch. He is author of How to Read T.F. Torrance: Understanding His Trinitarian and Scientific Theology and The Nature of Doctrine in T. F. Torrance’s Theology.
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Small group discussion guide
Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.
1. How do you understand the assertion that programs don’t work very well because renewal is primarily something God does?
2. It was stated that renewal always has an element of returning to the core of the gospel. Why?
3. How were you impacted by Dr. Colyer’s experience with the angry and dysfunctional church?
4. “If the rose has fragrance, people will come to smell it.” What meaning did this have for you?
5. The quality of community was emphasized. Why do you think this is important?
6. “We’re not simply saved from sin; we’re saved for loving relationships.” Please comment.
7. Please share your views regarding large churches, small churches, and small groups.
8. Why is it critical to revitalize our congregations before we talk about outreach?
A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.
Introduction: You’re Included is a unique interview series devoted to practical implications of a Christ-centered Trinitarian theology. Today’s guest is Reverend Dr. Elmer Colyer. Dr. Colyer is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and an ordained United Methodist pastor and elder. Dr. Colyer is editor of The Promise of Trinitarian Theology: Theologians in Dialogue with T.F. Torrance, and he is the author of How to Read T.F. Torrance: Understanding his Trinitarian and Scientific Theology.
It is an interesting time in the life of the Williams family apple orchard. Our 35 acres of trees in the hills of western North Carolina are going through two major transitions. The orchard has been leased to the Henderson family for the past 25 years. The arrangement has worked well, and it is now time for a younger generation to take over. The second major transition is the uprooting of old trees and the planting of new ones.