Sixteen Ways Worship Pastors Can Engage Pastorally

Jeremy Bouma on 3 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310525196What role does a worship leader play in the modern church?

Song leader? Lead musician? Not really.

Zac Hicks wants to help fellow worship leaders realize they are actually worship pastors. So he wrote a resource to help them, called The Worship Pastor:

If you’re a new worship leader, this book is for you. It will give you an inspiring vision for the road ahead. It will hopefully also provide a set of tools to help sharpen and aim your call. If you’ve been a worship leader for a while, The Worship Pastor is for you too. It will be a fresh articulation of the job you’ve already been doing and hopefully provide some inspiration for how to make what you do even better. (19)

“Whether you know it or…

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“Redemptive Release” for Wayward Souls – 3 Biblical Examples

Jeremy Bouma on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310523536_imageWhat do you do when someone you love—a friend, a spouse, a child—goes wayward, as we sometimes say? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?

These deep, important questions are often fraught with pain and confusion. Two pastors with fifty years of experience want to help you navigate them.

In their richly biblical, deeply practical new book Letting Go, pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert offer counsel for dealing with and caring for the prodigal who has strayed.

As pastors and counselors, we offer to step into your pain and confusion and point you to the One who redeems prodigals with his tough, rugged love. … He cares for the wayward person…

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5 Things Russell Jeung Learned Among Ancestors & Refugees

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310527831From Syrian refugees to Latin American immigrants, Westerners are wrestling with complicated realities of exile in all of its forms.

What does it mean to be the Church for such people, and what can we learn from our refugee neighbors as we love them in the name of Jesus? Russell Jeung helps us wrestle with such questions.

In his spiritual memoir At Home in Exile, Jeung shares the joyful and occasionally harrowing stories of his life in East Oakland’s Murder Dubs neighborhood, and how those experiences with exile and relationships with refugees shaped his faith.

What I’ve learned from my family and gained from my refugee neighbors is a more precious gift. I have come to realize that both now and in the…

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The “War on Christmas” and Jewish-Christian Dialogue

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

near_christianityMy wife and I visited our local Costco this weekend to get a good deal on a vacuum, only to be greeted by rows of fake LED-lighted Christmas trees, a life-size nutcracker, and a giant wire reindeer. Apparently the Christmas season began October 1st this year! Which makes Anthony Le Donne’s new book especially timely.

In Near Christianity, Le Donne offers us an important primer on Jewish-Christian dialogue. He takes us to the borders of the faith to help us understand and sympathize with those who remain “near Christianity.” Perhaps there’s no better time to consider this nearness than the season from Black Friday to Christmas Day.

In a chapter highlighting the dynamics at work between Christians and religious minorities during Advent, Le Donne asks us to consider…

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Did Jesus Claim to Be God? Muslims Say “No”

Jeremy Bouma on 4 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

ngb1In No God but One: Allah or Jesus?, Nabeel Qureshi investigates the evidence for Islam and Christianity as a former Muslim. One of the most important parts to his investigation is his engagement with the widest point of divergence between the two religions: the person of Jesus.

“At no point is the schism between Christian and Islamic theologies broader than on the person of Jesus” (213) Qureshi reveals.

Answering his question about not only Jesus’ divinity, but his claim to be God, was a crucial one for his journey from seeking Allah to finding Jesus. “All other differences between Muslims and Christians were secondary to me, far less important than this most significant matter.” (213)

Below we explore this surprising claim by Muslims, that Jesus never claimed to be God,…

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How Do Islam and Christianity Define Our Problem and Solution?

Jeremy Bouma on 4 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

ngb1Earlier this year my family moved to a diverse neighborhood in the suburbs of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The next day, we discovered we moved next to a Muslim family. Perhaps you would have done what I did: prayed for opportunities to show them Christ’s love; and wondered how to navigate a conversation about the differences of our faith if a door opened. Thankfully, we have a new book to guide those conversations.

In No God but One, the highly anticipated follow-up book to his New York Times bestselling spiritual memoir Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi addresses the most important questions at the interface of Islam and Christianity: How do the two religions differ? Can we be confident that either are true? And most important, is the truth worth dying for?

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How to Understand the Difference Between Christianity and Islam

ZA Blog on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,.

howtounderstanddifferences

In a year of polarizing politics, the rise of ISIS, and terrorism, it has never been more important for Christians to understand Islam.

In the Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus online course, New York Times bestselling author Nabeel Qureshi gives you a framework for thinking about how to confront Islam—and understand your own faith as well.

You will discover:

The differences between Islam and Christianity The truth about Muhammad Effective strategies for engaging Muslims in spiritual discussions The most common Muslim objections to Christianity The key beliefs upon which Islam stands or falls

It’s a learning experience that will equip you for the kind of apologetics and evangelism that led Nabeel himself to faith in Christ.

Watch the first…

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Ask These 5 Questions to Bring Clarity to Your Old Testament Sermons

Jeremy Bouma on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310524649I wish I’d had Christopher Wright’s new book How to Preach Through the Old Testament for All Its Worth when I regularly preached. It would have helped me preach the text, yes. But it would have helped me preach it in a way my congregation would have understood it.

Because let’s face it, preaching the Old Testament can be…challenging! Wright sympathizes:

to be honest, the Old Testament is a difficult set of books…trying to preach a sermon or teach a Sunday school class from the Old Testament is too exhausting for the pastor or Bible study leader and too confusing for the people. It’s much easier to stick with what we know—the New Testament. (17)

Which is why Wright offers a five-question roadmap for preaching and teaching Old Testament…

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Why You Shouldn’t “Preach the Gospel at All Times and Use Words When Necessary”

ZA Blog on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,.

preachgospelatalltimes

There’s a famous quote. You’ve probably heard it:

“Preach the gospel at all times. Use words only when necessary.”

The original quote is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. It’s been echoed by generations of Christians.

The spirit of the quote is good, and it makes a good point. Our actions matter. What’s more: actions usually speak louder than words. People are watching what we do.

But there are some good reasons why this quote does not present a good approach in relating with others.

The first reason is that, in many cases, people use it as an excuse to avoid articulating their faith.

How many times has the gospel not been shared, because we’ve embraced a version of…

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Is Complementarianism Connected to Domestic Abuse?

Jeremy Bouma on 10 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

black and white bible black and blue wifeBlack and white Bible. Black and blue wife.

These two word pictures offer an all-too-real account of what many women in the Church face: black-and-blue domestic abuse at the hand of black-and-white complementary-minded husbands.

Ruth Tucker should know. For 19 years she suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse while her husband quoted biblical texts commanding her to submit to male headship. She recounts her story in her new book Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.

She also uncovers an uncomfortable reality:

I have asked some of the dozens of critical unanswered questions that relate directly to women’s stories of abuse. Sadly, there is little evidence that proponents of male headship are seriously grappling with them and speaking out publicly, and most women…

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Can Someone Be Gay and Christian, and Faithfully Christian?

Jeremy Bouma on 11 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

9780310519652Should same-sex attracted Christians call themselves gay?

Let’s go further: Is same-sex attraction itself sinful?

And perhaps more pressing: Can gay Christians be faithfully Christian?

These questions sit at the heart of an ongoing discussion within the Church about the meaning of sexuality. They also form much of the pastoral thrust to a new book exploring why homosexuality isn’t just an issue.

In People to Be Loved Preston Sprinkle freshly engages the biblical passages and human faces behind the issue in a way that respects both. The engagement below reveals such a respect. It also reveals what it means to be gay and Christian, and to live faithfully unto Christ.

Gay and Christian?

First, should Christians who are same-sex attracted identify as gay? Sprinkle distinguishes between two senses…

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Remembering Ed Dobson: By Stan Gundry

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under .

This post by Dr. Stan Gundry was originally published on the Bible Gateway Blog. Read the full article.

Edward G. Dobson, known as Dr. Dobson to some, as Pastor Dobson to others, as author to still others, and as Eddie to many close friends, died on December 26, 2015. I was his publisher, he was my pastor, but to me he was “Ed.” I have prayed for him many times since he was diagnosed with ALS in the year 2000, a disease that he fought valiantly but that finally got the better of him.

My first contact with Ed came in the mid 1980s, but given the nature of our contact, I would not have dreamed that we would ever be close. You see, at the time he was associated with Liberty University, involved with the Moral Majority, the…

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