Practical Theology

No Better Time for Public Theology: An Interview with Kyle A. Roberts

Many would have us believe talk about God is in decline. Hardly. The election of President Trump and his highly visible group of Faith-Based Advisors spurred Pastor Robert Jeffress to consider President Trump the most Faith Friendly President Ever. Read More

Man-Crushing Tuesday or, When Jason Micheli and Teer Hardy Flip the Script on Me

One of these days I will interview my daughters for the pathological podcast. What would garner more listens than to hear two PK’s talk about life in the fishbowl? Read More

Subverting the Norm – Intentional Conversations, Part the Fourth

The year was 1993. Be-decked in my Sunday best I walked with a group of fellow graduates. After just turning 30, I had earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from what was considered at the time the “flagship seminary” in our denomination. Most consider the endeavor a professional matter. The DMin for most is a professional degree. My preference is to view this period in my education as a foray into intentional “practical theology.” I care not to argue the merits of the PhD as compared with the DMin. If I live long enough and have the opportunity, I may well pursue a PhD. But that is for another series of posts.

From my earliest memories I had developed an interest in learning, in education. To this day I am something of an eclectic learner. You may prefer to describe it as a nuance of ADD – acquired diploma disorder. Even as something of a vocational “teacher,” some pastors are viewed in this way, I still find it a thrill to learn. So interested to maintain a connection with the academic environment I contacted my alma mater to encourage them to send reading lists from DMin and PhD seminars each semester. I would have been willing to pay for this list. No takers.

So, with that I would look around for a conference to attend. I was not interested in a “preaching conference.” It was not that I could not learn from great preachers. Over the years some make it their cause celeb to let you know someone else they heard preaches “better than you.” Read More

For the World – NWBA Considers GC Churches

N.T. Wright suggests the Church, and so its people, should be for the world today in the same way Jesus was for Israel. Now that does not mean Jesus was not for the world. What it does imply is that in its proper context Messiah was for Israel. Situated in such a context the corollary would fit Wright’s framework.

My friend John Elam serves as Director of Missions for Northwest Baptist Association in Oklahoma. He has consistently put together the kind of conference that would provoke local pastors and leaders to engage in practical theology. John put together another program for their fall event. Here are the details –

For-the-World-Logo-Leadership-Conf-Web-Banner[1]Pastors and Leaders,
I would like to invite you to attend an important Leadership Conference on November 2nd, hosted by Northwestern Baptist Association in Woodward, OK. The topic of this conference is â??For the World: Becoming the Great Commission Churchâ?.

It is the aim of this conference to gather church leaders who take seriously the call of Christ to take the Gospel to all the world and begin a conversation that will challenge, inspire and lead us to engage the 21st century world. With our churches in decline and evangelism efforts at alarmingly low rates the time is now to ask the hard questions and wrestle with the difficult issues that face the church in today’s culture.

Please come and be part of the conversation as we seek together how the local church should take up the mantle of the Great Commisson for the world. We need answers that are biblically sound, methodologically fresh, gospel centered and transformation oriented. Alvin Reid, Nathan Finn and Anthony Jordan will bring us the benefit of their insight and experience in talks and through a panel discussion. Your input is greatly desired. Please don’t miss this great opportunity.

John Elam, DOM NWBA

Medici Faith

1929_road_buildingDavid Phillips told me of the book, The Medici Effect. I read a chapter and we had a discussion. The energy for the book seems to describe what I have in mind for this blog – even if I come up short of that goal on occasion. Learning and leadership for the Medici family came as they intentionally sought to learn from disciplines and vocations outside their own – banking.

What can we learn from other dischiplines and vocations? Plenty. In fact, it might be good to develop the habit of a “Medici Faith.” That is, a way of following Jesus that looks for intersections in all of life. With that in mind, I have re-labeled the heading for posts formerly found under “Life and Faith,” to Intersections.