Lead. Learn. Solve. Serve.Tweet
Posted 6/17/13 at 8:31 AM | Timothy Paul Jones
I recently wrote an article for D6 Family entitled “It’s Time to Engage!: Three Facts You Need to Know to Launch an Incredible Family Ministry.”
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The animated feature The Incredibles is a favorite movie in our household—and one of our favorite scenes is the family meal early in the film.
Dinner at the Parr household has deteriorated into pandemonium. The infant squeals in delight at the chaos as two siblings engage in super-powered combat. A frazzled mom strains unsuccessfully to restore order.
And what about Bob Parr, father and former “Mr. Incredible”? He stands to the side, physically present, relationally absent, utterly uncertain as to what to do.
Finally, his wife flings a frantic plea in his direction: “Bob! It’s time to engage! Don’t just stand there. Do something!” The problem is, Mr. Incredible has no clue how to engage the situation wisely, and his engagement results in greater chaos.
Then, the doorbell rings.
Suddenly, everyone scrambles for a seat at the table and, by the time the door opens, what the visitor sees is a perfectly placid all-American family. FULL POST
Posted 6/11/13 at 10:05 AM | Timothy Paul Jones |
As a young man in North Africa, Augustine traded the Christian faith of his mother Monica for the pursuit of personal pleasure and prestige. Yet the more Augustine chased after the things he thought would make him happy, the more God pursued him.
It was in a garden in Italy that Augustine heard the voice of a child, singing a bit of rhyme, “Take up and read, take up and read.” When Augustine took up a nearby copy of the New Testament to read, the first verses to catch his eye were from Paul’s letter to the Romans, 13:11-14. Broken by the message of this text, Augustine finally recognized Jesus as Lord not only of the world but also of his own life. The year was 386.
Nine years later, Augustine was declared overseer of the church in the city of Hippo (modern Annaba, Algeria). In this role, he became a prolific defender of orthodox Christianity against false teachers such as the British monk Pelagius. Talents and personality traits that had once driven Augustine to seek his own glory became the very tools through which God worked to strengthen the faith of his people in the fifth century and beyond. FULL POST
Posted 6/3/13 at 8:50 AM | Timothy Paul Jones |
By the end of the first century, Roman persecutions were dogging God’s people from the outside, and false teachings from people who claimed to be Christians were hounding the church from within. The Ebionites said that Jesus was a human Messiah but not the divine Lord. Most Gnostics, on the other hand, depicted Jesus as a spiritual being who had only seemed human. To make matters worse, most of the apostles and eyewitnesses of the risen Jesus had passed away, so it was becoming increasingly difficult to determine which traditions about Jesus were true.
Faced with such challenging circumstances, Christians asked several crucial questions: Which writings should be seen as authoritative? How was Jesus fully God and fully man? What are the necessary beliefs that every Christian must embrace?
These were not heady debates, limited to Bible colleges or theological seminaries. These were deeply practical struggles in local churches among men and women whose goal was to maintain the truth about Jesus at a time when proclaiming the gospel could cost Christians their lives.
Three primary responses to these challenges were:
(1) careful consideration of which texts were authoritative for Christians, FULL POST
Posted 5/20/13 at 9:01 AM | Timothy Paul Jones
Enormous tragedies struck Europe and Asia Minor throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. At one point, three different Roman Catholic bishops each claimed to be the legitimate pope. The Black Death claimed millions of lives. Muslim soldiers conquered Constantinople, the last remaining fragment of the ancient Eastern Empire.
In the midst of these tragedies, God raised up fresh voices—John Wycliffe in England, for example, and Jan Hus in Bohemia—to turn people’s minds to the truth of the Scriptures and the beauty of the gospel. God also worked through these tragedies for the good of his people and the world.
The tragic fall of Constantinople caused eastern scholars to flee westward with precious Greek manuscripts, including manuscripts of the New Testament. A renaissance of interest in ancient literature was already underway in Europe. Now, with access to these Greek manuscripts, scholars in Roman Catholic universities could interpret the New Testament not only in Latin but also in Greek—the language in which the New Testament was originally written!
Around this same time, a man named Johannes Gutenberg invented the first commercially-viable printing press that used movable metal type. This invention would make reading materials accessible to millions more people than ever before. FULL POST
Posted 5/13/13 at 8:38 AM | Timothy Paul Jones
“It was male human nature that the Son of God united to his divine person; it was a female human person who was chosen to be his mother. In no woman has human nature been raised to the dignity which it possesses in Jesus of Nazareth, but to no male person has there been given a dignity comparable to that which Mary enjoys as Theotokos, a dignity which in the words of the Eastern liturgy makes her ‘more honorable than the cherubim and beyond comparison more glorious than the seraphim.’ … The centrality of womanhood in the redemption is shown by the fact that the Incarnation itself waited for the courageous and obedient Fiat of Mary (Luke 1:38).”
Eric L. Mascall
Whatever Happened to the Human Mind
Posted 5/6/13 at 9:05 AM | Timothy Paul Jones |
:: The Obscenity of the Cross in the Ancient World ::
Posted 4/29/13 at 8:42 AM | Timothy Paul Jones |
Martin Luther wasn’t the only lawyer who became a leader in the Reformation.
In 1534 another lawyer traveled along another rutted road. His life had been shaken in much the same way that Luther’s had been—though not by a storm that drove him to call out to a saint. This lawyer was a Renaissance humanist fleeing the University of Paris.
A few months earlier Calvin had helped a friend write a speech. They peppered the address with quotes from Luther and Erasmus. The speech angered the French government and forced Calvin to flee. Soon afterward, Calvin became a Protestant and a Christian.
Calvin fled first to Noyon, France, his home-town. From Noyon, Calvin turned toward Switzerland. There, he wrote the first comprehensive summary of Reformation theology, Institutes of the Christian Religion.
After the Institutes were published, Calvin headed for the Protestant city of Strasbourg, Switzerland. On the way, a military conflict forced him to veer east, taking a detour through Geneva. He intended to stay in Geneva for one night, concealed by the alias “Charles d’Espeville.” FULL POST
Posted 4/22/13 at 8:53 AM | Timothy Paul Jones
So much can depend on the answer to a single question.
Posted 4/8/13 at 8:55 AM | Timothy Paul Jones |
On May 26, in the year 1700, Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf was born. While still in his twenties, Nikolaus became part of a prayer meeting that—through hundreds of men and women who took turns praying—continued twenty-four hours every day for more than one hundred years.
So how did this prayer meeting begin?
Well, in some sense, the foundations for the prayer meeting can be traced to the late 1600s. A man named Jacob Spener wrote a booklet entitled Pious Desires. The book urged Christians to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus through prayer and meditation on the Scriptures; this pietistic impulse had a profound impact on Nikolaus von Zinzendorf.
In the early eighteenth century, several Roman Catholic princes were persecuting the Moravian Brethren, a small Protestant movement that had originated in the western regions of what’s now known as the Czech Republic. One rainy evening in 1722 a Moravian believer knocked on Zinzendorf’s front door. He asked if Nikolaus von Zinzendorf might shelter the flourishing Moravian movement. Nikolaus agreed and even helped the Moravians to found a community on his lands. They called their community “the Lord’s watch” (or “Herrnhut”). By 1725, nearly one hundred Moravians had made Herrnhut their home. FULL POST
Posted 3/25/13 at 9:28 AM | Timothy Paul Jones
I saw something beautiful the other day while walking down Breckenridge Lane. In a front yard not far from my home, a young mother was removing a layer of leftover leaves from the fall in preparation for planting spring flowers—an ordinary activity in the middle of an ordinary day.
What was extraordinary about this scene was what I saw beside this young woman.
A tow-haired boy, perhaps three or four years old, was attempting to assist her. His rake was man-sized, his movements were far from efficient, and he was leaving more leaves than he moved. Yet, as I passed this mother and child, I heard no criticisms. Instead, I heard a constant stream of encouragement: “Daddy will be so proud of your hard work! Can you try to get those leaves over there? You know, honey, it might work better if you turned the rake over.”
If this woman’s sole goal for the afternoon was leaf removal, her best bet would have been to plop her preschooler in front of a television to watch professionally-produced children’s programs that pretend to equip children with skills for life while leaching away their capacity for meaningful relationships. If this mother had chosen this option, she could have pursued the goal of planting spring flowers far more efficiently. FULL POST