Archives For Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary

Whenever I am doing exegetical work on Scripture passages, it becomes painfully aware how short my bookshelves are in length.  It makes you want to go to one of those massive theological book sales and buy out the whole place – especially when books are only $5/all you can fit into a box.  But I wouldn’t even have a place for all those books to live in my home library.

The other alternative is to repeat the back and forth and back and forth to the library where they house complete collections of commentary series, Bible encyclopedias and dictionaries.   But sometimes you find yourself playing hide and seek when you find that the one volume you need is missing from the shelf – either being used by someone, or waiting in a lonely corner of the library, waiting to be picked up and re-shelved.

digital-bible-resourcesI recently decided to take the Google-generation approach to initial research and have tried out the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary on CD-ROM (yes people, software is still published on CD-ROMs in some parts of this world).

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. . . Continue Reading…

Today, I had the pleasure of doing something which I believe hasn’t ever been done!

It was a first. A first for me, and most probably a first for the world:


I bet that no one has every pursued seriously theological ponderings in the world of Chuck E.

It was one of the best reading sessions I’ve had. Complete concentration and complete fun with the kids afterwards. I found out that no one bothers or tries to interrupt you when you’re busy with a highlighter and serious reading in front of you at Chuck E. Cheese.  The kids are fully occupied within a couple of feet of me all the while in a contained environment.  And just to put it into context, we’re talking a brand new, two-story, fully renovated with “new carpet smell,” stocked with all the latest video games for $0.125/game facility (and of course, complete with singing animatronics and purell stations throughout!).  A win-win situation, I proclaim!

Go ahead, let the predictable *jokes* comments get posted. Just saying ahead of time that “suffering” can be relative and based on perspective!

Any seminary scholar or pastor serious about engaging with the Scriptures understands that Bible Study Software is one tool worthy of investment. It will not only bring new resources to your fingertips, it will dramatically cut away hours and hours of tedious research and analysis. The question is which one to choose? If you’re on a Mac, most people know about the Accordance software package. It has a reputation for intuitive interface, powerful search and great integration of other resources.

And recenlty, Oak Tree Software recently shipped me a comp review copy of their Accordance 8 Bible Study Software for Mac.

The only thing is that I have a PC!

No worries though — Because their software works completely on the PC — all you need is their Accordance 8 with a twist. . .

Disclosure of Material Connection: Here’s some legalspeak about sponsored posts. . .I have not received any compensation for writing this post other than a complimentary review copy of the software package mentioned. I have no material connection to any of the the brands or products/services mentioned in this post. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Today’s guest post is from Kathy Leonard of Church Initiative. The ministry’s original purpose was to equip churches with resources to help people recover from the pain of separation and divorce, also to help couples remain together or reconcile whenever possible. Kathy shares a unique tactic one church has used to help get people in the door to its ministry programs.

A blip in the church bulletin. . .
An abbreviated pulpit announcement. . .
A spot on the church calendar. . .

How well is your church getting the word out about its programs?

And are people in your community even aware of the help available for them?

Lazybrook Baptist Church in Houston has gotten the attention of nearly every person driving by their church: “Do you relate to Jon and Kate?” reads their marquee. I can imagine the drivers doing a double take, then thinking “Yeah, I can relate to that.”

Although reality TV isn’t reality, it deals with real issues that people are facing. It’s one reason people tune in. That’s why it can be a great starting point for promotional efforts.

For example, Jon and Kate’s reality TV breakup hits close to home for people facing their own broken marriages. And Lazybrook’s new DivorceCare support group program aims to reach the separated and divorced in their community.

Using hot topics from reality TV as a church promo tool can relay a variety of messages:

  • “God has something to say about the things you’re thinking about.”
  • “What you hear on TV isn’t the final word about [relationships, parenting, sex, etc.].”
  • “Church is a place where people can find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.”
  • Pop culture is a vehicle your church can use to go straight to the heart of people’s problems. And you can be creative in expanding your ideas beyond marquees and reality shows!

    Let’s draw people into our churches by:

    * Connecting the spiritual with what they are already thinking about
    * Making them aware that God has a something to say about “Hot Topics”
    * Using messages that grab the attention of large numbers of people

    What do you think about hooking into reality TV and other tabloid headlines in order to get people’s attention for the church?

One of the advantages for most going to Princeton Theological Seminary is the size of the institution’s endowment because that translates into 90% of the students receiving some type of financial aid.  I have heard something like 80+% receive a full ride.  So on top of the academic competitiveness, there’s the free money thing that ups the competition to get in the door.

But of course that means there’s 10-20% of the seminarians that definitely need to find some green to fund their education.

Logos Software is doing their part to chip in and is giving away one $1000 seminary scholarship each quarter.  The Logos Bible Software Seminary Scholarship is open to all students currently enrolled in an accredited theological seminary located in North America, or those who plan on enrolling within the next 8 months.   One incentive to apply (other than hard cold cash?!) is that I was offered a 30% discount on their software just for applying.

The only requirements is to watch a 15 min video promoting their Logo Bible software and filling out a one page form.  Seems like a no brainer for anyone that is hitting the books…or I guess, THE Book actually.

By the way, if you are awarded the $1,000.00 Tuition Scholarship, you’ll also get their Logos Scholar’s Library which contains over 330 titles — supposedly, in print, all these titles would cost over $6,100.  Theological book nerds should be drooling over this offer just because of this. Check out all the books you’ll get for free: Continue Reading…

I recently had a chance to catch-up with Paul Kind in the thick of graduate work in theology at Princeton Seminary.  Because PTS is known for how the theological musings of Barth is found percolating throughout its campus, I asked Paul for his take so far on the timeless theologian of 20th century times.

karl-barth-time-magazine-coverIt’s noteworthy that Barth’s marquee work, Church Dogmatics has “CHURCH” in its title. For me, this quote rings true for how we are to elevate and yet connect theology to the work of the Church:

No single item of Christian doctrine is legitimately grounded, or rightly developed or expounded, unless it can of itself be understood and explained as part of the responsibility laid upon the hearing and teaching Church towards the self-revelation of God attested in Holy Scripture.
~ Karl Barth

Paul provides some great insights that whets the appetite for more Barth. Luckily for us all, there are literally millions of more words to consume if this suits your taste. . .

Many have said that Karl Barth was the foremost theologian of the 20th century. While holding academic posts in Germany and Switzerland, Barth published his fourteen volume Church Dogmatics over the course of about thirty years.

In his book, Disruptive Grace, Dr. George Hunsinger, describes the impact of this work in saying, Continue Reading…