Denver Seminary Magazine: Spring 2008

  • Apr 28, 2008

If you would like to interact on a deeper level with any of the content in the Spring 2008 issue of Denver Seminary Magazine, we invite you to use the discussion/thought questions listed below, or join our online message forum to interact with the greater Denver Seminary community on these articles. (Note: While anyone may read the posts in the forum, you will need to create an account and log in to post thoughts or messages to the online forum. Instructions are available in the forum.)

Send a letter to the editor.

Also available online is the faculty travel schedule.

NOTE: Links to external sources are provided merely as a resource to Denver Seminary Magazine subscribers. They are not meant to imply endorsement by Denver Seminary or suggest that a relationship between Denver Seminary and the linked organization exists.

Corrections

  • In Campus News, we incorrectly report that Mr. Wilmer Ramirez is from Guatemala. Mr. Ramirez is actually from Honduras, though his wife, Mrs. Vioneth Ramirez, is from Guatemala (she also teaches in the IDEAL program). 

Christianity in America

article by Dr. Scott Wenig

Discussion Questions
  • What is your assessment of the state of Christianity in America?

  • Dr. Wenig mentions several areas in which he sees the church in America doing well. Where have you seen the church succeed?

  • In what ways has your own church made progress or demonstrated room for improvement?

  • What encouragement do you take from the parable of the wheat and the weeds? How, if at all, will this reminder of Jesus' words affect your interaction with the Church at large or your church locally?

Banker Gone Mad

article by alumnus Brad Meuli (MA '06)

Discussion Questions
  • Were you ever a "Miller Time" Christian? If so, what did that look like for you?

  • What does volunteering look like for you now?

  • If you work for a church or parachurch that relies on volunteers, how do you view the Christians who volunteer for you? Could any of them be classified as "barbarian" Christians? If so, what special or unique characteristics do they bring to their work as volunteers? How might you encourage them?

Burning Art

article by Sarah Lodwick

Resources

The following are great resources for those interested in learning more about the art movement in American Christianity. Please note that many of these resources are ecumenical and not necessarily limited to Protestantism or evangelicalism.

  • Art & The Bible, by Francis Schaeffer

  • Art for God's Sake, by Philip Graham Ryken

  • CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) - an organization for those who want to explore the relationship between Christian faith and art

  • It was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, edited by Ned Bustard

Discussion Questions
  • What place, if any, do you see art and beauty having in the life of a Christian in America today? Do you agree or disagree with the author of this article that there is ground to be regained? If so, what steps could you or your local church take to regain ground in your own congregation?

  • Is art used in your church? In what ways? How could art deepen your faith and the faith of those in your church?

A Premodern Saint for a Postmodern World

An interview with Ian Morgan Cron, by DJ Turner 

Resources
  • Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale, by Ian Morgan Cron

  • Saint Francis of Assisi, by G.K. Chesterton

  • The Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi, by Donald Spoto

Discussion Questions
  • How do you think America in general views Christians? Do you think these generalizations are true? Why or why not?

  • In this article, Cron states that Francis is the type of Christian "we all want to believe it's possible to become." While he is not suggesting we must all become Catholic monks, what do you think he means by this statement?

  • While there is no direct evidence linking these words to him, "Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words," this phrase certainly summarizes much of what Francis taught and believed. What might it look like in your life to preach the Gospel through your actions?

  • What type of impact do you think Christians might have on American culture if we were all to start preaching by our deeds?

Stories of Impact

When Opportunity Knocks

article by Susan Hecht, instructor of New Testament (M.A. '00)

Discussion Questions
  • When an opportunity comes your way, what is your typical response?

  • How do you determine which opportunities are from God and which are not?

  • If you determine an opportunity is from God, is your response different than your typical response? If so, how is it different? Is that the type of response you want to to have to God's opportunities? If not, what changes might you make to respond the way you'd like?

Resources

Following is a list of resources relevant to this issue of Denver Seminary Magazine in addition to those listed in the print version of the Magazine.  All of these books are available from our Bookstore.

  • The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church
    Alan Hirsch (Brazos Press, 2007)
    Alan Hirsch is convinced that the inherited formulas for growing the Body of Christ do not work anymore. And rather than relying on slightly revised solutions from the past, he sees a vision of the future growth of the church coming about by harnessing the power of the early church, which grew from as few as 25,000 adherents in AD 100 to up to 20 million in AD 310. Such incredible growth is also being experienced today in the church in China and other parts of the world. How do they do it? The Forgotten Ways explores the concept of Apostolic Genius as a way to understand what caused the church to expand at various times in history, interpreting it for use in our own time and place. From the theological underpinnings to the practical application, Hirsch takes the reader through this dynamic mixture of passion, prayer, and incarnational practice to rediscover the dormant potential of the modern church in the West.

  • Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church: Mandate Commitments and Practices of a Diverse Congregation
    Mark DeYmaz (Jossey-Bass, 2007)
    Through personal stories, proven experience and a thorough analysis of the biblical text, Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church illustrates both the biblical mandate for the multi-ethnic church as well as the seven core commitments required to bring it about. Mark DeYmaz, pastor of one of the most proven multi-ethnic churches in the country, writes both from his experience and his extensive study of how to plant, grow, and encourage more ethnically diverse churches. He argues that the "homogenous unit principle" will soon become irrelevant and that the most effective way to spread the Gospel in an increasingly diverse world is through strong and vital multi-ethnic churches.

  • The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor
    John Stott (IVP Books)
    Reflecting on his more than sixty years of service at All Souls and a worldwide ministry that led Time magazine to acknowledge him as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World," John Stott alerts a church that is in transition to the marks of a church that is living. The Living Church is the full articulation of Stott's dream for the body of Christ in the world today. To the people of God who inherit the global church he has helped to build for the past sixty years, he bequeaths this calling: There is such a thing as goodness: pursue it. The postmodern mood is unfriendly to all universal absolutes. Yet the apostle says there is such a thing as truth: fight for it. And there is such a thing as life: lay hold of it. May God enable us to make an unabashed commitment ... to what is true, what is good and what is real.

  • Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters
    David Kinneman and Gabe Lyons (Baker Books, 2007)
    Based on groundbreaking Barna Group research, unChristian uncovers the negative perceptions young people have of Christianity and explores what can be done to reverse them.

  • The Supremecy of Christ in a Postmodern World
    Edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor (Good News & Crossway, 2007)
    How can we show the love of Jesus to a hurting world? Join six of today's leading theologians as they explore how to share the undeniable truth of God in a world of postmodern relativism! D.A. Carson, David Wells, and others share their insights on the foundational belief in the deity of Christ and the gospel. 192 pages, softcover from Good News.

  • The Tangible Kingdom: Creating International Community
    Hugh Halter and Matt Smay (Jossey-Bass, 2008)
    Written for those who are trying to nurture authentic faith communities and for those who have struggled to retain their faith, The Tangible Kingdom offers theological answers and real-life stories that demonstrate how the best ancient church practices can re-emerge in today's culture, through any church of any size. In this remarkable book, Hugh Halter and Matt Smay -- two missional leaders and church planters -- outline an innovative model for creating thriving grass-roots faith communities.

Other links from this issue

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