Archive | December, 2012

LAST DAY: End-of-Year Giving Campaign

I will not spend any more time on expressing what we have done this past year or our vision for the coming year. We have already done that. I will simply make this one last appeal to you to join with us in our mission to stabilize people’s belief in Jesus Christ through providing solid theological resources.

Paul said, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Col 1:1 ESV). Notice how important teaching everyone with all wisdom is for maturity in Christ. Help us to come to the aid of the church through our teaching this coming year. We would not exist without your tax-deductible contributions.

We thank you all so much for believing in our ministry.

God bless,
C. Michael Patton
Credo House Ministries
Give Today

Donations made online or postmarked by midnight of December 31st, 2012 are tax-deductible for the 2012 tax year. Online donations can be made by clicking here:

Checks can be sent to:

Credo House Ministries
109 NW 142nd St
Suite B
Edmond, OK 73013

Theology Unplugged: Roman Catholicism – Part 5 – Justification

Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley, JJ Seid and Sam Storms as they continue their series on Roman Catholicism by speaking a second week about Justification.


Two Million Minutes and a Thousand Pounds

As I look forward to 2013, I’m excited and concerned. First, the concern. I can’t believe it’s been almost 500 years since Martin Luther courageously nailed those 95 theses to the Wittenburg doors. In the 1500’s many things about the church needed to change. One example:

No one read the Bible for themselves. It wasn’t available. Luther, however, knew people would only live free lives if they continually fed themselves the rich nutrition of Scripture. He led a movement to bring the Bible back to the people. As we enter 2013 the church has once again lost the Bible. Oh yes, it’s available everywhere. Most people even have one on their phone. But it’s not in the hearts of God’s people. Most Christians today do not regularly read the Bible for themselves.

Here’s another concern… Over the last few decades thousands of churches have become very “attractional.” The youth programs feel like Disney world. The worship set rivals any rock venue. The cool atmosphere rivals any Starbucks. Yes, I go to a church that fits this description. I think there’s a place for attracting people. The light show during worship draws in many. But here’s the concern, then my excitement. I’m concerned if we give people a bright lightshow, they might not ever see the Light of the World. They’ll come for the attraction, stay for the attraction, and not live for Jesus.

Now my excitement, I think there’s a massive change happening today in the church. Words like doctrine, theology and church history are becoming very popular. People who grew up with all the “attractional” church stuff are yearning for more! They’re yearning for the fullness of their God. They don’t want spiritual junk food, they want the steak and potatoes. Michael and I teach a lot at the Credo House. We’ve had many sessions over the last 6 months that were totally packed out. People were furiously taking notes as we went deep into discipleship. What drew these people? The depths of their God and Savior! Sessions on Doctrine, Theology and Church History filled the Credo House. Who were these people? Most of the people in all our classes are in their teens and twenties! These people coming to the Credo House for theological depth have consumed more than 1,000 pounds of coffee in 2012!

Continue Reading →

The Danger of Theological Novelty

Not long ago, I met with an old friend of mine who is a “swinger.” For those of you who don’t know, swinging is when both partners in a committed relationship agree to have a sexually open relationship. This guy was married and came in to talk to me about – you guessed it – marital problems. The idea behind “swinging” is that things never become mundane. Sexual monogamy, according to swingers, is nothing more than confining yourself to sexual boredom. Being with the same partner becomes cliché and uneventful. Swinging keeps things fresh and novel at all times so the high produced by provocation is always maintained.

As problematic and destructive as marital swinging is, that is not what I am writing about. I want to talk about what I call theological swinging. This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest problems in theology today (and probably of any day). Let me explain.

Before going to seminary, I was given a set of books by my pastor. At the time he was, to me, the smartest person living on planet Earth. I salivated to get a peek of his notes each week. I wanted to record everything he said. And just to get to see his library – the source of the very sun! – was just about too much excitement for me to handle. That is why I was speechless the day he gave me two books, one blue and one red. I knew these were precious books to him due to the amount of notes and stickies that covered the dog-eared pages. What were they? Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Volumes 1 and 2 by Josh McDowell. Upon receipt of these books I read them over and over. The wisdom and knowledge that filled the pages was almost too much excitement for this 20-year-old wannabe apologist to take. It was so provocative to me. The provocation came not from learning the Gospel for the first time, but from seeing with my own eyes, for the first time, an attempt to defend Christianity. “Are you kidding me?!” I said each time I read about a new topic. This guy, Josh McDowell, must be a giant of the faith, demanding respect from everyone. He was my new hero.

It was not until I hit seminary that I found out the “truth.” You see, at seminary, among all the students “in the know,” I came to find out very quickly that these kinds of works are frowned upon. I came to find out that McDowell’s apologetics were called “pop” apologetics. In essence, pop apologetics is cliché defense of the faith performed by cliché apologists. Translation: it was naive. It was not kosher. If and when I quoted someone like McDowell in a conversation with fellow students, there would be some snickering. The idea conveyed was that there were certain works, written by certain authors, that were “little league” and not respectable. Whether is was Lewis Sperry Chafer, Josh McDowell, Wayne Grudem, or R.C. Sproul (all of whom were my self-proclaimed mentors until that point), they were, at best, milk from the breast of my mother; at worst, they were naive teachers who simply parroted the simple and sheltered faith of evangelicalism. If you wanted to run with the “big boys” you had to read yourself some Barth, Multmonn, Hauerwas, or one of the liberation theologians such as Boff or Gutierrez. Why? Because, quite frankly, they did not fit the “stupid” evangelical mold. These were the “cool” people to read. They were the trump cards that, when played, left other students feeling inadequate and inferior. I thought I could read Dwight Pentecost’s Things to Come and be prepared for any discussion on eschatology. Who knew that quoting Theology of Hope by Jürgen Moltmann at Dallas Theological Seminary would be more prestigious than Pentecost? Who knew that saying that you had been reading A Theology of Liberation would score you more points than reading Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie? Who knew that the greatest danger for any Christian leader was to be labeled cliché? Continue Reading →

Upcoming Apps in 2013

2012 was a great year for Credo House Apps. We are working very hard behind the scenes of our coffee shop to be a leader in discipleship-oriented apps. Our apps, like the rest of our ministry, is focused on making theology accessible. Watered down? No. Accessible? Yes!

In 2012 we were able to develop three apps for the iTunes App Store. The Theology app is currently in the pocket of over 2,000 people! Can you believe that? A seminary worth of theological training in the pockets of people around the world.

We were also excited in 2012 to be able to release the Discipleship and Church History apps. These apps take you deep without sacrificing accessibility.

In 2013, however, Credo House apps will go to a whole new level. First, all of our apps will be released and supported for Android devices! We’ve been writing a whole bunch of computer code to allow Theology, Discipleship and Church History apps to work beautifully on Android.

Second, we have many apps waiting in the wings ready to receive the finishing touches and disciple the Church. Here are some of the apps scheduled for release through our ministry in 2013: Bible Map, Archeology, Bible Study, Resurrection and Apologetics.

We believe each of our apps will make a big impact to deepen the Church to reach our world for Jesus.

Donations to the Credo House allow this unusual coffee shop to make world-class discipleship apps. Would you partner with us today by making an end-of-the-year donation?

Please Donate Here (Credo House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.)

Thank you for partnering with us to make theology accessible,
Credo House Team

Theology Unplugged: Roman Catholicism – Part 4 – Justification

Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley, JJ Seid and Sam Storms as they continue their series on Roman Catholicism by speaking about Justification.


Is Fornication Really a Sin?

I spent seven years as a singles pastor.  Can you imagine the issues I had to deal with regarding sex? How far can we go before marriage? What if we are engaged? What happens when we have already crossed that line? Is it okay to try living together if we don’t have sex? As well, I knew the issues of lust and temptation that come from magazines, internet sites, and promiscuous thoughts in general. While I was at seminary, I remember the head of the counseling department saying that by his estimation, half the male students were struggling with internet pornography. Half! If half this body of guys sold out to Jesus, selling everything they own to go to seminary, were this deeply involved in sexual struggles, how much more so the singles at my church?

Many of these are difficult questions. More difficult than one realizes, until pushed for an answer. We are dealing with sexual sin among sexual people. We are bound to attempt to find as many loopholes as possible.

One day I was blindsided by a question that, before then, I had considered a softball. A man walked up to me after my lesson and said that he had some good Christian friends (and by “good Christian friends” I mean he considered these friends to be good Christians), who questioned him about the issue of sex before marriage. They had suggested to him that, contrary to popular thought, the Bible does not anywhere condemn what is known in our language as “fornication.” They said that the word “fornication,” when it is used in the Bible, does not mean sex before marriage, but sexual immorality in general. According to their studies, the sexual immorality condemned in the Scripture does not include fornication.

After some quick research, I discovered that what they said was true . . . at least part of it.

Now, let me be up front here. Before I married Kristie, I did not do to well in the sex before marriage department. I regret it quit a bit. I don’t think I ever actually committed adultery, but for the most part I worked on a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” basis. I was a Christian at the time and the guilt was bad. However, I took some comfort in thinking that I had not crossed the actual adultery line (at least as far as I knew). Why? Because I knew that the Bible had a lot to say about adultery. You know, it was all that “take them out and stone them” stuff. But, while the guilt was bad, it was not as bad as it could have (or should have) been. After all, who was I hurting? God made me a sexual being. I was not coloring outside of the lines that much. After all, what does he expect? It is quite a killjoy to create sexual desire and then say, “You cannot touch.”

So, back to my question: Is fornication really a sin? Continue Reading →