My journey to faith

I will share some very personal and intimate spiritual encounters in how I came to faith and into vocational ministry. I did not think I would ever do this so publicly on my blog and I don't know why I'm doing this now... but here it goes. As a teenager, I was raised an evangelical …

Pentecost: Festival of Harvest (Weeks)

This coming Sunday, May 23rd, marks a very special day in the church calendar: Pentecost Sunday.  The term "Pentecost" comes from the Greek word pentekostos, meaning fiftieth. Fifty days after Passover, Jewish people celebrated Shavuot (also called Festival of  Weeks or Harvest/Reaping (Hebrew: חג השבועות, Ḥag ha-Shavuot) as found in Lev. 23:15–21; Exo. 23:16. Jewish …

Holy Spirit is making disciples of all nations

The Holy Spirit is on the move today.  World missions once flowed out from western nations, but today, world missions is flowing out from southern nations into other southern nations.  Our image of Christianity as a western thing is changing.  The old image of missions and evangelism is also dead.  Our idea of the western …

A new wave of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church has emerged

This is my response to the recent posts at InternetMonk.com on the “Coming Evangelical Collapse” (Part 1 and Part 2) and comes as my personal response just after I made my first post (here). I'm sitting here on Sunday night thinking: "Okay, the church seems to be waning" but I ask myself if Christ is …

Why I am a Christian today

Why am I a Christian today? Luther’s Small Catechism from the Third Article of the Creed answers this one for me."I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me …

Charismatic movement: God’s Spirit on the move today

Recently, Peter Kirk has stepped-up his blogging at Gentle Wisdom about charismatic issues, particularly about Todd Bentley’s ministry; and John Hobbins and David Ker have also blogged a bit about charismatic issues. Perhaps this was sparked by Pentecost Sunday. I’m glad someone is blogging about what is going on around the charismatic world. Apparently, there …

Living godly lives through law and gospel

On a pastoral note, I wish to blog about law and gospel. Our biblical and civil laws call us to live holy lives, as separate from the world’s standards of righteousness. The gospel of Jesus tells us that “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” …

Luther’s christian faith: as experience, intellect and reason

The Christian faith for some believers today might seem to primarily be one of intellect and reason. For many Catholic and mainline theologians, theology mainly functions in the cerebral. For pietists, evangelicals, and charismatics, one's faith is generally not as cerebral, at least not to the extent as that of mainline theologians. Faith may be …

Holy Spirit is a name

Since my previous post on the depersonalization of the Holy Spirit, I found someone who supports my claim that we have depersonalized the Holy Spirit. Theologian Thomas C. Oden says: “The depersonalization of God the Spirit has occurred in the period of philosophical idealism.” He points out that: Hegel reduced the Spirit to a logic …

We have depersonalized the person of Holy Spirit

How often do we hear "Holy Spirit" addressed by name? Very rarely…or almost never. Too often, we refer to the person of the Holy Spirit as an "it" or a "the"–which conjures up an image of an object, a mere thing like a dove, fire, wind, breath, etc. I have never been completely comfortable addressing …

Is there a need for a female identity?

Some feminists may be driven by a desire to find a female identity, just like we were driven to find an Asian Jesus, a black Jesus, and a white Jesus. Sure some women who may have experienced abuse by men might find it more challenging to relate to God as "Father God". As a result …

Salt and light in the world

After my wife came back from BreakForth in Edmonton, AB, I noticed in her a renewed passion for God and spiritual things of the Lord. It made me reflect and ask: "How much of what we learn in the classroom is really useful in the real world?" What I am learning in seminary does seem …

Preaching that moves the heart and soul

Sermons preached from the pulpit are sometimes heard loud and clear, but most sermons are heard most loudly when it is done softly in the power of the Holy Spirit. Preaching empowered by the Spirit moves the heart and the soul to action, repentance, and submission to Jesus Christ. Dry intellectual-type of sermons like this …

My personal reformation by the Word and Spirit

How do we experience a personal reformation? By hearing the teaching, the preaching and by experiencing the sacrament of the living word who is Jesus Christ. This has been my personal experience. As one hears the living active word, the Holy Spirit awakens faith within a person's spiritual inner being. The Holy Spirit arouses our …