Sunday, May 4, 2008

Summer Semester=Karoox Sabbatical

We will resume with new topics and new moderators for the fall semester.
Email any topics you believe would make good discussion for the Karoox blog to
Blessings to everyone and have a great summer...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Doctrine and Practice

For those you at the lunch forum today at AGTS, a question was asked regarding how the A/G (and others under the Pentecostal umbrella) can keep our doctrinal distinctives in accordance with what we actually preach and teach. (Some Pentecostal churches are Pentecostal in name only it seems.)

It was suggested that since the Pentecostals were 'kicked out' of most Evangelical circles many years ago, we need to be careful not to turn around and become exclusive ourselves. In other words, we should be able to emphasize the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (in doctrine and practice) without closing our doors to the larger Christian Evangelical community in the process.

A few things come to mind: Is it possible that after being 'kicked out' of Evangelical circles years ago (maybe shunned in a better word?), some Pentecostals went to the other extreme and attempted to 'fit in' by de-emphasizing our distinctives? Further, which is really more important? Do you think the up-and-coming generation is [or should be] concerned with this?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Funny is as Funny does...

Dr. Oss and I were talking the other day about the use of humor when preaching. It seems some preachers have the humor thing nailed down, while others could try using a dose of it.

In my preaching experience--the kind of humor that works (for me) is using illustrations that are completely true and yet so completely unbelievable they are funny simply by default. While I have been known to make funny sounds and mimic the occasional funny face, those have to be completely unscripted moments for them to work. It seems any attempt I make at putting humor into my script flies like a lead balloon.

(I came across this video short of a comedian making fun of 'over-saved Christians.' It is funny simply because we can all relate!)

PreachingToday has an article on using Humor in Sermons. What are your experiences? What works for you? (Or does it work for you?) Also, what kind of humor to you find funny when listening to sermons?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Share Your Unique Experience...

On a lighter note...share something a church you attend, minister at, or even heard of that has done something out-of-the-box and unique for the Easter holiday.

At my particular church, we have a balcony that surrounds the lobby as you walk in. In years past, we have had an orchestra up there so the lobby is filled with beautiful music as you walk in. Quite a nice touch!

Friday, March 14, 2008


I couldn't resist bringing up this current event.

It is all over the news the last few days about a certain presidential candidate and his affiliation with his pastor and that pastor's inflammatory remarks from the pulpit.

Let us side step the politics (this is not that blog)--what are your thoughts on how this sort of rhetoric affects our ability to effectively communicate the Gospel in America?

Further, is it a good idea to compare a candidate to Christ in an effort to sway voters?

Aside from politics, what other issues does this raise for us as ministers and preachers, if any?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Emerging Church, Compromising Church?

Much is said of the 'emerging church' these days.

Recently, a major leader in the emerging church movement pointed out that some of his colleagues are compromising core truths of Scripture such as the exclusivity of Christ. He views this shift in the emerging church theology as a form of pluralism.

Here is the link. (There is about 12 minutes of Mark's background, before he gets into the meat of his message...but it is worth listening to.) Click OPEN or SAVE if you wish to download.

Is it perhaps time for leaders in today's church to step forward and set the record straight regarding the non-negoitable truth claims of the Bible? For example, is it acceptable to teach that there is salvation apart from Christ? Some emerging church leaders may say "yes."

Have you had questions about the biblical validity of some of the views expressed by emerging church leaders?

Is it possible to embrace this model while not compromising the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the exclusivity of Christ?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Conversations with Atheists...

In an attempt to understand different people's perspectives as a minister of the Gospel, I often ask "how does what we are doing/saying appear to ______?" I recently began reading a book entitled "Jim and Casper go to Church" which tells the story of a Christian minister and an atheist who travel around the country visiting prominent churches--and then giving their perspectives from their particular world views. Very fascinating.

I have been searching for local professing atheists with whom I could dialogue with. Thus far, I have been in email contact with several, and more than one of them has been surprised that a Christian could actually ask them questions without condemning or harassing them.

I asked the question: What, if anything, would appeal to you in a sermon from a minister? It seems my question was less relevant than I imagined, since there is a larger picture they wanted me to see first. In the interest of brevity, I am placing a few links below to excerpts of their email conversations. (Click on them and read a little from their perspective.) Email 1 and 4 interest me the most.

Email #1
Email #2
Email #3
Email #4

(On a side note: Emailer #4 has allowed me to share my perspective on God and scripture, and he was quite intrigued by it. The dialogue continues.)

Turning this back to us: Can we as ministers do anything (preaching, designing ministries, conducting targeted outreaches, etc) that might appeal to atheists, thereby giving us opportunities to share our faith?

Further, it appears most Christians can't give an intellectual, coherent defense of their faith anymore. What do we need to do as ministers to change this? Can we?