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Category: For Pastors and Teachers

New content nearly every Tuesday for pastors, teachers, and other leaders looking for support in fulfilling their responsibility to build their people in discipleship of the mind, including confidence in the faith and the ability to articulate and live according to a biblical worldview.

As the intent is to be supportive, discussion here is reserved for those who are in or supportive of that group.

Weekly posting is temporarily on hold while I settle in to a new position with a new mission agency

Jesus’ Amazing No-Explanation Lesson

Jesus’ Amazing No-Explanation Lesson

Jesus' message in John 6:26-70 broke all the rules: His major points were difficult and confusing He didn't explain them His closing questions left matters even more unexplained He didn't preach that way every time, but early in his ministry as John records it, this was typical of Jesus' approach. When might that be appropriate in your teaching ministry? It might have something to do with letting our listeners work hard to acquire understanding, so that it goes deeper into…

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A Note on Teaching Leviticus 19:19

A Note on Teaching Leviticus 19:19

As much as we would love to explain everything clearly when we teach, for some purposes it’s not necessary. Leviticus 19:19 is a great example. As a teacher I want to express the full meaning of these instructions. There are multiple opinions on it in the commentaries, enough so that it’s almost a take-your-pick situation. No matter what we say, though, there’s something there that’s going to remain foreign to most of us no matter how hard we try to…

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Countering False Teaching About Faith

Countering False Teaching About Faith

Some people think faith is unthinking, that it’s “rationalizing,” that it’s opposed to knowledge. More often than not, that opinion comes either from ignorance or from prejudice Some people don’t know that the faith has a background of knowledge supporting it. They think it’s a set of beliefs chosen out of the air, or from our parents, or from our church. They don’t realize there are libraries upon libraries of books questioning, doubting, discussing, and frequently confirming our beliefs. Other…

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Marriage and Same-Sex “Marriage:” Thoughts for Teaching Ministry

Marriage and Same-Sex “Marriage:” Thoughts for Teaching Ministry

Further on why same-sex “marriage” makes sense to so many: Marriage is under attack from multiple directions. It has been for decades. The current push for same-sex “marriage” (SSM) is the full flowering of that attack. The essential problem since at least the 1960s has been this: that marriage has been too often regarded as an institution of, by, and for the couple. It has been for the fulfillment and happiness of the many and the woman who entered into…

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I have often wondered…

I have often wondered…

I have often wondered what it would do for a church to bring in an atheist, skeptic or believer in some other religion for the purpose of hearing from them. I’ve found that my motivation to study and to learn always increases when I hear other viewpoints. I think the same could happen in a church. There are risks associated with it, but I think they’re manageable and I think the exercise might be worth it, at least in some…

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Why Bother With An Atheist’s Error?

Why Bother With An Atheist’s Error?

A rather obscure New Atheist has issued a completely pointless and unreasonable proposal. So what? Wouldn’t it be wise just to ignore it? No, not if anyone you are leading or teaching has ever wondered about hell. Not if they are among the many thousands who have read Richard Dawkins on that topic, or have friends who have read Dawkins. Ideas like these are circulating in our culture; they are not as obscure as they might seem. Invariably when atheists…

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Introducing the Re-Purposed Thinking Christian Blog (Pastors/Teachers)

Introducing the Re-Purposed Thinking Christian Blog (Pastors/Teachers)

I was talking with a pastor friend of mine, someone I respect greatly, about the need for worldview and apologetics teaching in the church. He agreed emphatically, but he said, “Tom, I don’t have time to study.” I believe pastors have the hardest job in the world: the most diverse group of people to satisfy and yet to challenge at the same time. It’s tough. It’s not easy for other teachers, either. But there are ways to integrate worldview and…

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“Buyer Beware: Finding Truth in the Marketplace of Ideas”

“Buyer Beware: Finding Truth in the Marketplace of Ideas”

Book Review I’ve had several conversations lately about the strange situation of worldview and apologetics in today’s world. We live in a golden age of apologetics: every hard question for the faith now has a strong, credible, rational answer. I’m not saying that every question has an answer that forces assent; it’s still possible to disbelieve, as I am sure it always will be until Christ returns. What I mean is that it’s possible to believe on good evidential and…

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Worldview and Pastoral Ministry

Worldview and Pastoral Ministry

The other day I had lunch with a pastor friend from a church other than the one I attend. He asked me an important question, something like the one that follows here. This isn’t quite what he asked, but he would see a close resemblance to it: “I get emails and letters telling me Christianity is under some new attack almost every day. What I as a pastor want to know is this. Men and women in our church are…

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