Knox Now S P R I N G 2013
† GOSPEL DRIVEN † MISSION FOCUSED
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3
CULTIVATING LIFE BY THE SPIRIT 4 • THE ARTIST AND THE CHURCH 9 • PRACTICE MAKES FAITHFUL 10
FROM THE EDITOR І TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cultivate Your Garden “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 By Ivey Rose Smith DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
“MISSIONS” IS MORE than just a trip to Africa. Opportunities for mission are all around us—at work, our neighborhoods, and in our hobbies. We can’t cast aside that reality to settle for a complacent Christian existence. Sometimes life is cracked, our faith brittle, and our ministry unfruitful, as our cover image illustrates. That imagery powerfully demonstrates what cultivating a life of faithfulness (Psalm 37:3) can result in and that brokenness is often the most fertile soil for Christ—for it is where He works and is magnified most beautifully. At Knox, we focus on cultivating authentic missional opportunities in all kinds of situations. In this issue you will read about an artist working out the tension between faith and vocation, a pastor called to leave a church he loved, an ex-con with a boldness for Jesus who started a biker church, a youth pastor trying to minister in a media-cluttered world, and how a student experiencing the powerful training in the MA (Christian and Classical Studies) is providing nuanced answers for our complicated world today. These individuals are being faithful right where God has them.
CITY POSITIVE, MISSION FOCUSED Knox Seminary is in the heart of a truly international South Florida, the fifth largest urbanized area in the United States, where pluralistic religion is rampant. Are such big cities morally-desolate wastelands that should be disregarded? We see them as opportunities. William Shakespeare says, “What is the city but the people?” A city is made up of people, lots of them, representing every stripe and tribe. This missional mindset is more than mere action or “having to do more” for the sake of doing more and more. It’s not meant to make you feel like you aren’t doing enough, pressing guilt on you. It’s reorienting your heart and mind toward an attitude of readiness and sensitivity for when and where God leads. Does this make you uneasy? Perhaps you are even squirming as you question the latest “missional approach” at the local purposedriven church. But be encouraged as many have gone before you. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul insisted that he would be all things to all people in hopes that he might save some. Shouldn’t we be the same—in the world but not of the world (John 17)? Are you ready? SEEK, ENGAGE, BELIEVE Our kind of urban world requires careful cultural analysis, and discernment. But we can’t be guarded against the many opportunities to create diverse and energetic communities of faith. As Christians, we should be able to engage with all kinds of people and circumstances, remaining secure and confident in Christ.
In this issue, we emphasize creating intentional opportunities for mission as well as cultivating beauty and goodness in our churches. Central to our hope is growth in the heart of the believer as well as the outward expression of God at work found in the highlighted ministries. Be nudged, take this theme to heart in your own life, pray about how God can use you right where you are everyday, and enjoy!
IN THIS ISSUE 4 6 8 9 10 12 14 16 18
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CULTIVATING LIFE BY THE SPIRIT by Dr. Michael Allen FLY ME TO THE MOON? by Steve Jeck WHO AM I? BY GRACE I AM by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh THE ARTIST AND THE CHURCH by Dr. Daniel A. Siedell PRACTICE MAKES FAITHFUL by Adam Taylor Bond THE IDOL OF SECURITY by Dr. Samuel Lamerson 2013 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER PROFILES WINDRIDER CHURCH by Ivey Rose Smith CULTIVATING CHURCHES OF TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS by Dr. Jim Belcher
SPEAKING SCHEDULES І FACULTY NEWS
Faculty News DR. MICHAEL ALLEN Speaking: April 11-12 Bible Backgrounds Pastorum LIVE Chicago, IL DR. JIM BELCHER Books: In Search of Deep Faith Pre-order on Amazon.com Due out in September 2013 Speaking: May 1 Biola–Torrey Honors Institute Preaching: May 3 Biola Chapel DR. WARREN GAGE Books: Spring of 2013 The Romance of our Redemption (with Chris Barber) Teaching: November 15-24, 2013 Knox Seminary & Rio Vista Holy Land Study Tour to Israel.
Students can receive course credit for the trip. DR. SAM LAMERSON Teaching: Continuously in 2013 Sunday School at Cross Community Church Deerfield Beach, FL Blog: www.drsamlam.com DR. JONATHAN LINEBAUGH Publications: God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Texts in Conversation (Novum Testamentum Supplements, Brill, 2013). DR. SCOTT MANOR Speaking: July 7-11 Society of Biblical Literature 2013 International Meeting: “Diversity
DR. MICHAEL ALLEN’S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE NEW CITY CATECHISM PROJECT
KNOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY DESIRES to provide theological resources for Christians and churches. To that end, we have launched The New City Catechism Project. Dr. Michael Allen, Kennedy Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean of Faculty at Knox Theological Seminary, will offer video reflections on each question and answer of the New City Catechism over the next 52 weeks. In each video Dr. Allen points back to the biblical teaching regarding each question and its answer, explains its significance, and unpacks its application to Christian faith and practice in contemporary life. Learn more at http:// www.knoxseminary.edu/the-new-city-catechism-project.
or Disharmony: Patristic Writers on the Different Accounts of Jesus’ Cleansing of the Temple” Saint Andrews, Scotland DR. DANIEL A. SIEDELL Speaking: April 17 “Vocation and the Artist’s Studio” Center for Faith & Work Redeemer Presbyterian Church New York, NY April 19 “Death and Life in the Artist’s Studio” Mockingbird Conference New York, NY May 1 “Who’s Afraid of Modern Art?” Christ Episcopal Church Charlottesville, Virginia
May 5 “Art and the Church” Trinity Presbyterian Church Charlottesville, Virginia Blog: Follow Dr. Siedell on CULTIVARE at Patheos. REV. TULLIAN TCHIVIDJIAN Speaking: April 6-10 The Gospel Coalition National Conference “How Suffering Sets You Free” Orlando, FL April 18-20, 2013 Mockingbird Conference New York, NY Books: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World Pre-order on Amazon.com Due out in October 2013
DR. GERALD BRAY WINS AWARD OF MERIT; DR. BRYAN CHAPELL JOINS KNOX FACULTY
CHRISTIANITY TODAY in their 2013 Book Awards recently bestowed an Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics to Dr. Gerald Bray’s book, God is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology. Dr. Bray has written a systematic theology book that is accessible to theologians and nontheologians alike that traces the theme of God’s love through major Christian doctrines, challenging readers to grow in their knowledge of and relationship with this God of love. DR. BRYAN CHAPELL has been named Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Knox Theological Seminary. He will be teaching master’s-level students and also contributing to the biblical preaching and teaching track in the DMin Program.
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CULTIVATE І BIBLE STUDY
Cultivating Life by the Spirit
By Dr. Michael Allen KENNEDY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, DEAN OF FACULTY
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-21 CULTIVATING HABITS OF GRACE
At the conclusion of the Second World War, allied leaders spoke of a “peace dividend”; capital resources that were no longer needed to wage war could be invested in projects to prosper the lives of their children and their children’s children. Moments of peace, this demonstrates, become great opportunities to cultivate future practices. As Paul writes to the Ephesians, we see the one occasion where he is not addressing a problem in a church. He is speaking to a church at peace and he calls them to walk carefully (v. 15), to employ time well (v. 16), to know the will of the Lord (v. 17), and to be filled with the Spirit (v. 18). We see, in these brief comments, three ways that Christians are called to participate in the Spirit-filled life, cultivating patterns and habits of grace by which the triune God sustains them when worry and war do come.
The apostle says you should address “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (v. 19). The most essential rhythm of the Christian life is the melody of Christian worship, a reminder that we are not lonely pilgrims in this land. Singing of and to the Lord is also “to one another,” encouraging one’s brothers and sisters with grace-drenched words of Jesus. This reciprocal dialogue shapes a God-drenched imagination by reminding us of God’s beauty in the face of the world’s silence about him. It stands against our own fears and anxieties. Singing with the joy of the Lord cultivates passions of love and joy amidst the people of God.
“Paul...calls [the Ephesians] to walk carefully, to employ time well, to know the will of the Lord, and to be filled with the Spirit.”
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Paul calls the Ephesians to give thanks “always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 20). The regular patterns of life involve reception: breath, food, drink, sleep, speech, etc. We are constantly taking. Without such gifts we die. But we typically receive without much thought given to our deep and profound dependence upon them. Paul calls us to resist the natural pull toward feelings of self-sufficiency and to sustain practices of thanksgiving: for life, for meals, for a safe night of sleep, for the ability to communicate, and so on. Remembering where gifts come from fuels our faith regarding future needs. Giving thanks to God cultivates a posture of receptivity before God. Calvin observed that “Gratitude is the chief characteristic of the Christian life.”
Lives cultivated by grace involve “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (v. 21). The rhythm of grace reveals not only obviously pious activities but also the nooks and crannies of social existence. Paul mentions marriages (5:22-33), families (6:1-4), and workplaces (6:5-9) as occasions for being filled with the Spirit. Relating well can be a pathway to receiving grace upon grace from God. Marriages should image Christ’s love for his church. Parents should model godly discipline and longsuffering love. Employers should offer evenhanded and generous rule to all employees. In so doing we are submitting to each other, trusting ourselves to God by entrusting ourselves to those with whom he has yoked us in various ways. Again, patterns of life that involve deep entanglements remind us mentally and form us holistically to see ourselves dependent upon others as upon God. Grace-filled relationships cultivate a godly dependency pointing to our more fundamental need for God. †
“The regular patterns of life involve reception: breath, food, drink, sleep, speech... We are constantly taking. Without such gifts we die. But we typically receive without much thought given to our deep and profound dependence upon them. ” SPRING 2013 | KNOX NOW
CULTIVATE І CHRISTIAN AND CLASSICAL STUDIES
Fly me to the By Steve Jeck MACCS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein
TWO HISTORIC LAUNCHES TOOK PLACE on October should legitimately be hailed for the inventions— cures 4, 1957. The Soviet Union sent the world’s first artificial and breakthroughs that have improved our standard satellite, Sputnik 1, into earth’s orbit; and then that of living—there is always a hefty price to be paid for 180lb., shiny, metal “beach ball” (circling the globe at clinging to a distorted value system. 18,000 mph) launched the United States into a frenzied We have paid by neglecting an incalculably “Space Race” with the Russians. valuable, irreplaceable asset, which, despite its absence Within a year of Sputnik’s success, President from the pages of mathematical textbooks and Eisenhower signed an order creating the National scientific journals, is a source of astonishing power and Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A mere wondrous brilliance—our souls. Secularism resulted four years later, President Kennedy from that neglect. Postmodernism is “We have exalted the announced to the world that the part of that price as well. United States would land a man quantitative over the on the moon. The Space Race had A UNIQUE OFFERING qualitative—that reached full stride. People aren’t quite sure how to which can be measured understand the Master of Arts in And while the sprint toward technological superiority and mastery over that which can be Christian and Classical Studies of the heavens affected all sectors of (MACCS). Oh, they are initially and imagined—the letter American society, the most profound understandably quite impressed by impact was felt in our nation’s schools. over the spirit.” the notable line up of “professors.” After all, who wouldn’t want to take HIERARCHY OF EDUCATIONAL VALUES a class “taught” by Plato and Augustine, Aeschylus and Before the United States became moonstruck, Aristotle or Aquinas and Machiavelli? Not to mention the curriculum in American schools consisted of a Dante and Milton, Thucydides and Tocqueville, and traditional sampling of the liberal arts—Literature, dare we leave out Nietzsche and Dostoevsky? But if I History, Philosophy, Art and of course Math and have heard the following question once, I have heard it Science. Afterwards, Math and Science rocketed to a hundred times: “But what can I do with that degree? the top of our educational priorities, subsequently How will it help me?” What is really being asked is “What demoting the remaining subjects to a realm of lesser types of jobs will this body of knowledge qualify me for, significance. This paradigm shift created a new not what kind of person will this help me become?” hierarchy of educational values. The curriculum and program outcomes of the As success in the Space Race was rightly judged MACCS are dedicated to the same noble aims as those to be contingent upon scientific and mathematical of a classical, liberal arts education, but from a Christian expertise, this prioritization permanently affected perspective. The liberal arts were never intended to be not only our approach to education, but also how we “resume builders.” The liberal arts (Latin: artes liberales) ultimately define success. were those subjects considered vital to the education We have exalted the quantitative over the and maintenance of a free citizenry. Knox graduates are qualitative—that which can be measured over that expected to analyze, think, understand and engage in which can be imagined—the letter over the spirit. And the pursuit of truth and goodness. while the purely objective and scientific disciplines Even in an oppressive regime, an individual can take
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up and read a great book, and in so doing preserve the liberty of the inner man which, in the final analysis, is of infinitely more value than the absence of shackles on ones wrists or ankles. It is not too much to say that the liberal arts—and accordingly the MACCS program at Knox—liberate the soul. And a soul thus freed is up to any challenge. †
Questions about the interplay between competing worldviews, the ancient and the contemporary, church and culture, and faith and vocation are addressed in the MACCS. These are timeless tensions and require nuanced answers.
WE ARE LIVING IN an information age, a technologically and visually-based society, and a pragmatic era where experience is By Dr. David Escobar the master authority. MACCS STUDENT Character and substance have been replaced by endless therapeutic entertainment. The consequence has been the disdainful rejection of literature and arts. As an MACCS student, I have been empowered by entering the great conversation. My mind has been renewed. My heart is rekindled. My soul sings. I have had the privilege and honor of having such dialogue partners as Plato, Augustine, Hesiod, Homer, Aeschylus, Aristotle, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Clairveaux, Dante, Milton, Bunyan, Hobbes, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Tocqueville, Luther, Hawthorne, Lewis and Thucydides, among others, in this intellectual and spiritual journey. While the locus of truth for the Christian is in the Holy Scriptures, these works have the capacity to reawaken in us and enlighten for us the notions of the true, the beautiful and the good; the quests for heroism, wisdom, honor, justice, freedom, creativity, virtues and the discussion over the human meaning of triumph and tragedy, right and wrong, good and evil. This is the great conversation that retrieves the classical western tradition and helps us understand and navigate the enduring relationship between faith (the heart, emotions, the poet, Jerusalem) and reason (the mind, thought, the philosopher, Athens) in our late modern society. It is this great conversation that motivates us to pursue and cultivate the life of the mind. Our times require it.
http://david-escobar.com/ SPRING 2013 | KNOX NOW
CULTIVATE І PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE
Who Am I? by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT
By Grace I Am
“WHO AM I?” DIETRICH BONHOEFFER asked this question in a poem from prison entitled “Wer bin ich?” Two possible answers presented themselves: first, “am I really, what others say about me?” or, second, “am I only what I myself know of myself?” In other words, is my identity determined by my reputation or by my conscience, by what I’ve convinced others about who I am or by the person I actually know myself to be? The assumption under both answers is that the question “Who am I?” can only be answered with reference to me—to what I do, think, say, feel, wear, make, etc. My identity, after all, is my identity; it is defined by my actions and attributes. Aristotle spoke for the human race when he stated, with his famed common sense, that “a person becomes good by doing good things” (Nicomachean Ethics). This basic theme is repeated throughout the Western literary canon (e.g. in Karl Marx’s notion of “selfgeneration” or Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s insistence that “your action, and your
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action alone, determines your worth”). For our persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor. 15.9). purposes, however, I call our lives to the stand “But,” he says, “by the grace of God I am what I as a witness to our commitment to common am” (1 Cor. 15:10). This is a total reversal of the sense: we cash in our childhood to get into a ordering of action and identity, of doing and prestigious university; we work late, believing being. Paul’s calling to be an apostle does not that the value of come as a “because;” it comes our bank account “Identity is a gift given by as a “but.” Paul’s life and resumé reflects the value of disqualified him from being an God’s gospel address...” our person; we buy apostle, but by grace history mail order torture knows the one unworthy to be from the fitness industry, sure that the size of an apostle as the Apostle Paul. our waist determines our worth. Whether I am what others say about me or what I know of GOSPEL IDENTITY myself, life under the link between action and This is a story that cuts the causal strings identity is an exhausting race with no finish that tie who we are to what we do: we are line. unworthy…but by grace…we are. Identity is a gift given by God’s gospel address: “You WORLDVIEW CONFLICT are my beloved son, you are my beloved There is, however, a conflict between daughter, in you I am well pleased.” Who we common sense and Christianity—a conflict are, our deepest and truest identity, is not that says to those who feel like Atlas as he built on what we do; it is based on what God supported the weight of the world, “Come to has done for us in Jesus. me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, And this, ultimately, is the answer and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). 1 to Bonheoffer’s question, an answer he Corinthians 15:8-10 provides an anti-thesis expressed in his closing lines: to Aristotle’s axiom. As Paul narrates his own identity it is not a story of becoming what he Who am I? They mock me, these lonely was doing—of action determining identity. questions of mine. Whoever I am, Thou Paul was not made an apostle because he was knowest, O God, I am Thine! † acting like one. By his own account he was “unworthy to be called an apostle, because I
FROM AN ARTIST І CULTIVATE
The Artist and the Church
by Dr. Daniel A. Siedell
LET’S FACE IT. THE CREATIVE response to creation that we call art doesn’t play a prominent role in the church. As pastors and Christian leaders, we’re just not quite sure what to make of it. But taking art and the artist seriously can be more than organizing art museum visits, hanging paintings in the sanctuary, hosting an artist in residence, or talking about beauty. Through my twenty-year career as an art historian, museum curator, and art critic, I am convinced that the artist is an untapped resource. One of the most important needs of the artist is in the conversation on vocation, which, as Tim Keller and Katherine Leery Alsdorf suggest in Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, is one of the church’s most pressing concerns. How can art teach the church about vocation?
LECTURER OF CHRISTIAN AND CLASSICAL STUDIES
most uncomfortable of realities—we’re failures. The artist operates in a disarmingly vulnerable space, a space we non-artists are able to deny. CALLED TO BE ARTISTS In addition, the discussion of vocation inside the church often limits itself to career choice and placement. Yet, for Martin Luther, vocation was much more comprehensive. It was the result of reflection on the social and cultural implications of the doctrine of justification, forming how we respond to the faith that the Word has created. Vocation was the means by which we loved our neighbor and the means by which God was active in the world. Even artists who do not confess Christ recognize that their vocation is something more than a job or a career—it is a calling. Vocation underwrites all of our social roles, not just the one at the office. From the beginning, artists recognize that their calling consists of more than material achievement, even more than the work they do in their studios. Their vocation bleeds out into other areas of their lives. Most artists also come to realize quite quickly that they cannot support themselves by selling their work. This is the case for nearly all artists, even the most successful. Artists are thus bi-vocational by necessity, and so are in an important position to offer insights for others struggling with the tectonic shifts in the present-day workforce. The experience of the artist in the studio offers a fresh perspective from which pastors and other leaders in the church can reflect on the Word that establishes the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17)—and the realities of failure, suffering, and doubt in this work. †
“The artist operates in a disarmingly vulnerable space, a space we non-artists are able to deny.”
ART AND SUFFERING The modern artist Edvard Munch said, “art comes from joy and pain.” And then he added, “but mostly from pain.” The myth of the tortured artist, in which he struggles with depression, addiction, and alienation, operating on the margins of conventions, has unnecessarily made the artist the target for exaggerated adulation or condemnation. This myth obscures a basic fact: the artist is exactly like us. Most of our work comes from pain as well. We all suffer. As Oscar Wilde observed, “the secret of life is suffering. It is what is hidden behind everything.” We struggle with precisely the same existential problems and insecurities as Munch and Wilde, possessing the same self-doubt, insecurities, and struggle with failure. Yet our vocational conversations in the church usually prevent such admission and the necessary reflection that could follow. Artists, however, are comfortable operating in this
SPRING 2013 | KNOX NOW
CULTIVATE І FROM A YOUTH PASTOR
Practice Makes by Adam Taylor Bond YOUTH PASTOR, CORAL RIDGE PRESBY TERIAN CHURCH
WHEN JESUS ASKED THE TWELVE to feed the masses with their own two hands, He was tapping into something the late modern church has long forgotten. We were created to learn by doing. In other words, we believe and know because we do, not the other way around. Today we tend to put the cart before the horse—transposing Christian practices and Christian contemplation. And because of this the church is less and less a place where young people are going for answers. Babies grab at everything they can get their little hands on—toys, furniture, mom and dad, TV remotes, and expensive jewelry that I can’t afford to replace. This is how they learn about the world—through touch. God designed us this way, but our present approach to discipleship has largely lost this component. We’ve convinced ourselves that simply talking about and thinking about Christ will lead to a more robust faith, but young people (who were recently babies) still believe talk is cheap; that actions speak louder than words. LIFE IN THE INFORMATION AGE The reason why young people today believe this longer into adulthood than older
UNPRODUCTIVE SPIRITUALITY Recently one of the young men I mentor generations is because they’ve been born came to me frustrated. He felt like he wasn’t into the Age of Information. These digital growing closer to Christ despite spending natives are inundated with so much content time in Scripture and in prayer, in discussions (the primary agent of pluralism) that even the and in worship. I asked him to spend one most articulate discourse on Christ can be week recording on paper what he was doing lost in a sea of white noise. To them, the only during every single hour—all 168 of them. believable messages are the ones they hear in At the end of the week, this 19 year old and through their experiences. aggregated the numbers and discovered To the younger generations today, he spent eight hours focused specifically on many churches offer nothing more than Christ. Pretty good week, right? just another theory, no Here’s the problem: more compelling than while he spent “Spiritual formation has the next great Internet eight hours in the never been sustainable on spiritual disciplines, meme. But Scripture information sharing alone.” he spent 63 hours on tells us that faith is built upon practice, not just particularly non-spiritual cognitive process, that knowing and believing productivity, and a whopping 52 hours in Christ comes through experiencing engaged in non-spiritual, non-productive Him. Spiritual formation has never been practices. In his book Desiring The Kingdom, sustainable on information sharing alone. Calvin College Professor James K.A. Smith Crafting a ministry to young people must says, “[R]ecognizing that there are no neutral begin with the hands, and then move to practices… should push us to realize that the head. Ian Cron polarizes this in Chasing perhaps some of the habits and practices Francis, his novel about the life of one of the that we are regularly immersed in are actually great saints, “My usual approach is to read the thick formative practices that over time Bible, try to understand what it’s saying, and embed in us desires for a particular vision for then apply it. [St. Francis’} formula was the the good life.” If Smith is correct, then after reverse. [He] applied the Bible [in practice] spending less than 5% of his time practicing and then came to a fresh understanding of it. his faith, my mentee should feel stagnated in What a concept.” his walk with Christ!
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Faithful “And taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.” Luke 9:16 “DO, THEN TALK” I believe youth ministries must become, primarily, environments that offer young people hands-on experience with Christ, and then we must create spaces for them to process those experiences—do, then talk. I think it’s time to abandon the prevailing model of pizza, games and a short talk on living a better life by the rock star youth pastor. At its best it briefly exposes young people to vague references to Christianity; at its worst it actually forms habits that point away from Christ. I believe we ought to spend the precious little time we have with young people helping them form rhythms and habits that aim their desires toward Christ. Whether you’re a seminarian, senior pastor, youth pastor or faithful member of a local church, consider these questions as a starting point for a more effective way forward in connecting young people to Jesus. • How will we help to reorient the current ‘youth gatherings’ in our faith community toward experience? • How will we help young people engage their hands in Christ-centered practices for the 166 or so hours they spend outside of the weekly youth group gathering? • How can we help them reframe their current regular practices with a Biblical architecture? Our team is only beginning to discover some answers—and we have a long way to go. If you’re ever interested, we would love to continue the conversation with you. †
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CULTIVATE І PASTORAL PERSPECTIVE
By Dr. Samuel Lamerson PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT
“What would I do if I had no worries about money, housing, or the necessities of life? Where would I go and what would I do for the Lord?”
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AT THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OLD I was married with two children and had a very stable job as pastor of a church where the people loved me and I loved them. So why in the world would I think about dragging my family halfway across the country and spending all of my savings to go back to school? That question was asked by many members of my congregation. After all, they observed, you have worked hard to get to this point in your life so why give all of that up? Do you really need to go back to school? Shortly before moving to the frozen tundra of Chicago from the warmth of South Florida where I was born and had always lived, I became convinced that God was calling me to pursue doctoral studies. At the top of my list of schools was Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, in suburban Chicago. That calling to doctoral studies triggered a variety of questions, the uppermost of which was “Do you really want to give up your stability and move far away from your family and friends?” With that came personal questions such as “Do you really think that you are capable of doing PhD level work?” or “How are you going to pay for all of this since you won’t be able to work while you are going to school?” as well
as “What if you get there and find out that you can’t do it?” These questions weighed heavily on me during the months prior to our move. STABILITY THROUGH UNBELIEF? Looking back at my journal from that time I see that the Lord taught me some great lessons through this experience. One of the most important was learning that security could be an idol. When we depend on anything more than we depend upon God, it shows that our security is misplaced and may turn into an idol. We often think of idols as existing in other countries and other religions, but not here. However, there are plenty of idols in our own country and in our own churches. Security and the need for it, I am convinced, is one of the largest and most destructive. What if every church leader and all Christians asked themselves, “What would I do if I had no worries about money, housing, or the necessities of life? Where would I go and what would I do for the Lord? What would I do for the kingdom and how would my service to the church be different if I were suddenly free from those constraints?” One of the problems in many churches is that they have become secure. They do the same things that they have always done and the “train” runs along the same tracks without any real problems. Of course, the “train” runs to the same places that it has always run and
picks up the same people that it has always picked up while thousands of others wait at various stations, hoping someone will advise them how they can get aboard. The church does what is has always done, not because that is what is best for the kingdom, but because it keeps the church “stable” and “secure.” STEPPING OUT IN FAITH You can cultivate new opportunities for kingdom service by refusing to be content; by simply asking “Who can I help today that needs my help and will do nothing to encourage my security?” Ask yourself, “What is God calling me to do?” Then acknowledge that if God has really called you to that task, He will faithfully take care of you. Worries about funds, loss of prestige, or loss of a job should be dispelled by the knowledge that the God of the universe who has called you to a task is the same God who will supply your needs for that task. My move to Chicago and eventually back to South Florida was successful. There were times when I was discouraged and wondered if I had made a mistake leaving a comfortable job and climate to venture into the unknown with no guarantee of what would happen upon graduation. Looking back, I realize that leaving my security, while extremely difficult, was the best thing that I could have done. More clearly than ever, I now see that when we give up our security we are forced to depend upon God. What better place could we be? Decide that you will leave your security to embark on the great adventure that God has for you. You may get a little nervous at times, but the Lord will never let you down. That, brothers and sisters, is real security! †
SPRING 2013 | KNOX NOW
CULTIVATE І SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
It is by the prayers of our friends in ministry and the financia are made available to deserving students. Read
Pamelia Harris Francis Schaeffer Scholarship Winner MA (Christian and Classical Studies)
Steve Langella Billy Graham Scholarship Winner MA (Biblical and Theological Studies)
Demetrius Walton John Piper Scholarship Winner Doctor of Ministry
Pamelia, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is the executive director at Mount Bethel Baptist Church. She’s involved with the New Visions Community Development Corporation, which, using HUD guidelines, has helped more than 2,500 low-tomoderate income homeowners save money and rebuild credit. She’s active in her church’s food pantry, she’s helped start a women’s ministry, and she’s helped write curricula for women’s Bible studies. Pamelia mentors girls and young women through the Delta Academy. She wants to be used by the Lord to “help single mothers become women of God and raise successful children.” Pamelia wasn’t sure if she could afford seminary, and now that’s not a problem. She says, “The MA (Christian and Classical Studies) program will help me in every area of my life and ministry and give me more confidence in the Word when counseling women.” In short: “I’m over the top!”
Steve Langella, of Brooklyn, NY, won the first Billy Graham Scholarship. Steve was born again in 1987; at the time he was 24 and a bartender. He “began to feel restless and empty,” and one day he wanted nothing more than to go to church. He prayed, “Lord, I know that I am a sinner and that I have disobeyed you my whole life. Please save me and change my life.” God did, and Steve joined a church in Brooklyn, where he came to realize that preaching and teaching were his spiritual gifts. In 2006, at 43, he decided to earn his BA in religion, where he became fascinated with Reformed theology. He says, “This scholarship will help me become better equipped to fulfill God’s calling in my life. It affords me the opportunity to continue my biblical education and not incur further debt...I believe that this scholarship will enable me to do what I could otherwise not do, which is sit at the feet of gospel-centered men...and learn from their experience.”
Demetrius is an army chaplain serving in the Middle East. His focuses are family ministry and marital counseling, and he trains other chaplains to be better counselors. Demetrius grew up in a New Age household, but thanks to New Life, he started to move toward God; in 2000, with the help of The Navigators’ ministry, he became a Christian. He went on to teach at a Bible college and serve as a missionary in Cambodia. Demetrius’ comprehensive John Piper Scholarship will give him the financial means to grow as a teacher and a preacher. In the month of June, he plans to resume his associate pastor duties at Steamtown Church in Scranton, PA. Ultimately, he plans to return to Asia—to China, to train and equip young pastors in the underground church.
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al support of our donors that these comprehensive scholarships d how lives are being impacted and God’s callings made a reality.
Glendon Sanders Francis Schaeffer Scholarship Winner MA (Christian and Classical Studies)
Joseph Flynn Billy Graham Scholarship Winner MA (Biblical and Theological Studies)
Gary Golike Leith Anderson Scholarship Winner Doctor of Ministry
As a teen, Glendon was blessed to attend The Salvation Army Boy’s and Girls’ Club where a God-honoring staff guided him in serving others. He was raised in a Christian home but it was through that experience that God was leading him, in some capacity, to serve others. After pastoring several churches as an interim and pursuing other employment, he pondered going back to seminary but with a family it was financially impossible. While researching Logos Bible Software, he discovered the scholarship and flexible online programs at Knox that would allow him to pursue his education around secular or church employment. Describing this answer to prayer he says, “This scholarship will allow me to immediately pursue my education alongside my family as we follow the visions God has cast before us… and give me a greater academic base as I continue to mentor young ministers, deacons, and other church members to a more fruitful walk with Jesus.”
Joey is a youth pastor in New Port Richey, FL. He is the winner of the second Billy Graham Scholarship and says, “this scholarship has made God’s calling abundantly clear”: he’ll be preparing for service as a church planter. Two days before entering to win the scholarship, he shared with his wife God’s leading to study and grow intellectually but admitted that financially he had no way of doing it. He says that winning the scholarship is God’s miraculous providence in his life and shares, “And in light of God’s generosity to me I am even more compelled to follow His example in being radically generous to others for the glory of God alone.”
Gary Golike is a pastor in Nebraska with 33 years’ ministry experience. “The scholarship comes at a perfect time in my life,” writes Gary. “I feel that the opportunity to study at Knox is an intentional gift from God. “As a teenager, I began to wander and attempted to live in both worlds, staying close to life in the church, but also getting involved in worldly behavior... After struggling through a philosophy class that emphasized existentialism and also some relationship issues, I was suddenly struck with the foolishness and purposelessness of my attempts to find my way apart from God’s will.” If Gary’s wanderings sound familiar, it’s because the tension he faced— between church and culture, tradition and modernity—is the same tension addressed in the Knox DMin (Gospel in Church and Culture) degree program. Enter to win the second Leith Anderson Scholarship before May 10! More details can be found at www.knoxseminary.edu. † SPRING 2013 | KNOX NOW
CULTIVATE І FROM A BIKER
WINDRIDER Jesus...said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has who always supports any brother or sister in need. It’s a rule in the biker community that members maintain a level of distance from other clubs but Dave uses Mickey’s Bar as a welcoming place for any biker of any club. On January 27, 2012, Dave was in a motorcycle accident. Following the accident, Jerry held prayer services for Dave in the open-air pavilion nicknamed “Pompadome” behind Mickey’s Bar. In January of 2013 on the anniversary of the accident, over 120 people showed up to pray for and honor Dave. BURLY, BEARDED, AND with a boldness Although he has shown signs of awareness for Jesus that is undeniable, Jerry Goodner, he remains largely unresponsive. Interestingly director of facilities, spends enough, Jerry and “Man, I just smell Jesus on Dave had always talked his weekdays caring for the building at Knox. But there about starting a biker you and every now and is a lot more to Jerry than church. then I need to be reminded meets the eye. In June of 2012, An ex-con, Jerry is keenly of what He looks like.” after five months of aware of how far God has weekly prayer services brought him in his life and ministry. He at Mickey’s Bar, the Lord laid it on Jerry’s accepted Christ at Vacation Bible School as heart to hold a real Sunday church service. a child and has always felt God’s calling on That marked the beginning of WindRider his life but it scared him—and he spent over Church. It has since become known as “The 32 years of his adult life running from God Biker Church.” As a ministry and church, and hiding behind chemicals. Helpless to any member of any biker club can freely end addiction on his own he prayed, “God, participate and each week, depending on change my life or end it.” Six hours later he club meets, he averages between 20 to 40, was arrested on drug-related charges and and up to 120 people weekly. sent to prison for six years where he got clean and the Lord used him actively in ministering to other inmates. He presently celebrates over 10 years of sobriety. MINISTRY TO THE BIKER COMMUNITY Jerry has been a lifetime biker and motorcycle enthusiast. His friend Dave Carter, the owner of Mickey’s Bar in Pompano Beach, Florida, was saved as a young man and is the backbone of the biker community in South Florida. Jerry describes Dave as one
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MOTORCYCLE SAINTS Jerry believes that God is using this ministry, a biker church inclusive to a particular community of people who believe there is a God but know nothing of Jesus and the Bible, as a way to reach people for Christ that he admits would never set foot in a traditional church. Dave’s wife, Lisa, is a tremendous support to Jerry as she allows WindRider Church to continue meeting in that open-air pavilion behind Mickey’s Bar. He now has an Assistant Pastor, Chuck Mungai, an ordained minister who felt God’s calling to help Jerry full time, and three deacons: Drummer Bob, Spyder, and Tommy Chopper. Jerry starts every sermon with a prayer and quote from his favorite preacher Steve Brown of Key Life Network, “Forgive the sins of the one who teaches because they are many.” While Steve was recently teaching here at Knox he told Jerry, “Man, I just smell Jesus on you and every now and then I need to be reminded of what He looks like.” After being addicted to drugs for most of his adult life, then starting a biker church, this came as a huge encouragement to Jerry who says, “The harder I try to live a life that
CHURCH done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19 honors and pleases God, the more I become aware of how miserably I fail at doing so…. but He loves me anyway.” Given that at the age of 19 Jerry joined a biker club called Saints Motorcycle Club, it seemed fitting to name his own personal ministry the Saints Motorcycle Ministry. He serves as the unofficial chaplain for the large States Motorcycle Club and various other local clubs. Because Jerry is in ministry, he doesn’t have to be a member. RIDE ON, RIDE ON IN MAJESTY Saints Motorcycle Ministry has a big Sunday breakfast once a month where his friends, Tammy Austin and Alan Brownfield, help coordinate all of the food and make it happen. Bikers from different clubs like Chrome Angels, Military Vets Motorcycle Club, Big Bike Rider’s Children’s Foundation, and members of many other clubs participate. His Saints Facebook page serves as an online community and place for bikers in any club to connect, share photos, and see what Christ is doing in the ministry. To date, Jerry has had over 50,000 people drive by Saints Motorcycle Ministry online. Top Left: Jerry riding in style. Bottom Left: Congregants praying. Center, Top: Jerry preaching at WindRider Church. Center, Left: Jerry with Rev. Jonathan G. Smith. Center, Right: Dr. Sam Lamerson visiting. Top Right: Jerry displaying the Saints Motocycle Ministry logo at a local meet. Bottom Right: WindRider Church parking lot.
by Ivey Rose Smith
The faculty and staff at Knox support Jerry’s biker church and are excited about what God is doing through him, WindRider Church, and Saints Motorcycle Ministry in reaching bikers for Christ. Dean of Knox Online, Rev. Jonathan G. Smith, has visited and Dr. Sam Lamerson preached at the WindRider Church Easter service. Describing the church as having a great crowd Dr. Lamerson stated, “I can tell you that I have never had a more attentive group in my life. Everyone was listening so carefully and showed so much love for one another. I wish the regular church was more like that!” †
CONNECT WITH JERRY:
SPRING 2013 | KNOX NOW
CULTIVATE І CHURCH PERSPECTIVE
Cultivating Churches of
by Dr. Jim Belcher
Truth, Beauty and Goodness
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PRACTICAL THEOLOGY
AS HITLER’S NAZI PARTY was consolidating power in January 1935 and the church was succumbing to the lure of the Reich’s Thousand-Year Reign, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German pastor, despaired over the weakness of his fellow believers in Germany. In a letter to his brother he wrote, “The restoration of the church will surely come from a sort of new monasticism…. I believe it is now time to call people to this.” What did he mean? Two years ago my family and I went in search of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, visiting the underground seminary that he directed in Finkenwalde and traveling to the different prisons and concentration camps that he spent time in and where he eventually lost his life. One question was on my mind: Was Bonhoeffer
calling the church to retreat from culture, politics, and life in the world? This is what it seemed when he used the phrase “new monasticism.” But this didn’t fit the man who became a double agent, a conspirator against Hitler and eventually a martyr. IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH On our trip to Finkenwalde, on a bright April day, I was finally able to reconcile this conflict. What I came to see was that Bonhoeffer wasn’t taking these young men to a remote
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place to teach them to retreat from the world, a form of old monasticism, he was taking them to the countryside to re-story them so that when they returned to the world ruled by Nazism they would have the inner spiritual resources to resist the false ideology of the Führer. It was not a monasticism of retreat but a new monasticism built around the Sermon on the Mount. It was a monasticism of engagement. He wasn’t calling the church to flee the world but to transform it. And here is the bottom line. For pastors that were trained under Bonhoeffer, 80% of them resisted the pressure to sign an oath of allegiance to Hitler. For those pastors trained elsewhere, only 20% resisted the pressure. What was the secret of Finkenwalde? BONHOEFFER’S VISION I think it was twofold.
First, if his students didn’t already understand the mesmerizing power of the Nazi ideology—the flags, the oaths, the quasi religious night parades, the uniforms, the music, and Hitler’s “sermons” extolling the 1000-year reign and the chance for immortality—Bonhoeffer made it clear that the Nazis were trying to form the imaginations of the German people through a powerful narrative. And it was so strong, so attractive, so alluring that the vast majority of the people couldn’t resist it. And by the time many of them woke up it was too late. Bonhoeffer knew that if his young students (and
the church in general) would resist it, they would need to be formed and shaped in a story that was every bit as robust, and with a liturgy that was every bit as rigorous. This two-part vision is disclosed in his magnificent little book, Life Together, written shortly after the Nazis closed the seminary in 1937, a book I use in my class, “Ministry in the Church.” In Life Together he stresses over and over again the need to recover the gospel in the church. And once this is recovered, the church must begin to shape her people with a living liturgy of the Word, Sacrament, community, and a liturgy (which includes daily and weekly worship but also the habitforming communal practices like prayer, hospitality and calling) that cultivates new habits of faithful presence and effectiveness in the world. THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH My students and I spend many class periods discussing this liturgy of worship and community, how these communal practices re-story people, how they cultivate new habits that are able to shape and channel our desires toward the kingdom, how they are able to resist the pull of outside forces—false gods, ideologies and stories—that want to push Christians into its mold. Bonhoeffer believed that when the church is truly gripped, shaped, and formed by the gospel narrative and this counter liturgy—we not only will learn to live in a manner that is “liturgically treasonous” and that does not retreat from the world—but learn to engage it with love, grace and service. This is the vision I teach my students. This is the vision our faculty has embraced. This is the vision that is the hope of the church. †
Now The Magazine of Knox Theological Seminary SPRING 2013 Published by The Communications Office
Editor Ivey Rose Smith, M.A. Assistant Editor Joyce Grothmann Designer/Assistant Editor Mike Costanzo, M.A. Contributing Writers Dr. Michael Allen Steve Jeck, M.A. Dr. David Escobar Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh Dr. Daniel A. Siedell Adam Taylor Bond Dr. Samuel Lamerson Ivey Rose Smith, M.A. Dr. Jim Belcher Contributing Photographer John Murphy Contact the editor at: Editor, Knox Now Knox Theological Seminary 5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 Phone: 954.771.0376 Email: ismith@KnoxSeminary.edu Website: KnoxSeminary.edu (c) 2013 Knox Theological Seminary. Content may be reprinted with the permission of the editor. Mission Statement Our mission is to equip servant leaders for ministry that is Christ centered, gospel driven, and mission focused.
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