Archive | December, 2014

Theology Unplugged: What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “Eat My Flesh

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Join Tim Kimberley, J.J. Seid and Sam Storms as they discuss what Jesus meant when He said eat my flesh.

Santa Claus – The Modern vs Historical Figure (Video)

Portrait of Santa ClauseTim Kimberley joined us at Credo House for Coffee & Theology recently to dispel common myths around Santa Claus.

If you like the movies which cover the “origin story” of your favorite superhero you’ll enjoy this video.

The real Santa Claus bears little if any resemblance to the St. Nicholas of church history.

As with so many aspects of church history the reality of who St. Nicholas was far more inspiring than the modern conception of a jolly fat man who gives presents to everyone.

Episodes of Coffee & Theology are only made available in the members’ area of Credo House online. We’ve made an exception for Christmas.

Santa Clause and Christmas Articles

Christmas is the biggest holiday in America (measured economically). Beyond it’s economic impact it’s also a time when Christian families set aside time to reflect on “the reason for the season”.

 

A Credo Testimony from Timothy Berg

Portrait of Timothy Berg for His Testimony BlogMy Testimony and Early Years of Bible Study

This is my testimony of the impact Credo has had and continues to have on me. I was saved as a small boy in Kansas, and became deeply committed to Bible study as a teenager.

I had little in the way of resources for Bible study. I had Vine’s Dictionary, a Strong’s Concordance, and had quite accidentally discovered a copy of Dan Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (although I had no idea how to use it). While in a class on Biblical Hermeneutics, I was asked to read Craig Blomberg’s Introduction to Biblical Interpretation and was immediately introduced to a whole new world of Biblical studies. I remember as I was reading through the book often weeping while sitting at a Burger King (or other embarrassingly public places) because of how much the Bible was becoming clearer to me, and how much the principles of sound interpretation resounded in my heart.

See: Your Credo House 2014 Year in Review

Moving to Oklahoma

I moved to Oklahoma as an adult in order to attend a Bible college because somewhere along the line, I had fallen in love with the Jesus revealed in the Bible and had discovered that it was only as I learned more about Him that I could love Him more for who He is. At some point towards the end of my time in Bible College, I came across the Parchment and Pen blog online. From the first post I read I was amazed at the carefully balanced, exegetically sensitive, and theologically accurate teaching it contained. It was among the most excellent treatments of theology that I had ever seen. I became a regular reader, and was continually enriched.

When I realized that the ministry responsible for this “theological treasure trove” was local, and to top it off, served some of the best coffee in town, I could barely contain my excitement! I immediately visited the Credo House in Edmond to see it first hand.

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My First Visit to Credo

I well remember that first visit to Credo House. Church history, books, commentaries, and theology were literally on every wall. Great minds of the past looked down at me from the “wall of theologians.” The baristas made great coffee and loved to talk theology, the Bible, and Jesus.

I was hooked, and Credo House became my regular hangout. I enrolled in the Introduction to Theology course of The Theology Program, and was immediately blown away. In one course, I learned more theology and better theology than I had learned in 15 years of personal study.

The Theology Program

The Theology Program courses made constant references to theologians from the past. Great minds from the annals of church history were quoted often. They were spoken about as if they were dear friends. Statements like, “Here’s how Augustine saw original sin, and here’s what drove him to his theology of sin,” or, “That conception of a triune Godhead is like what Turtullian envisioned when he wrote…” or, “Listen to what Luther said in regards to this issue…” were common fare. Somehow, I felt I had been cheated by knowing nothing of these men.

Credo House hosted a “Coffee with Scholars” session with Justo Gonzalez, and I bought his Story of Christianity and read it while I watched the Church History DVD’s from Credo Boot Camps. I was introduced to the broad range of church history for the first time in my life, and they became my guide.

The recommendation at Credo House was always to read the primary sources. This was a new idea to me, but I followed the advice.

I read confessions and wept. I read the Apostolic fathers and couldn’t put my highlighter down. I read the Ante-Nicene fathers, and felt I was meeting old friends for the first time. These great figures of my own Christian heritage that I somehow never knew, I met them for the first time at Credo House. I continue to study our history, and have come to love such “meetings.” As I learned of their love and sacrifice for the Lord, my own love for our God is strengthened.

Credo Courses

When Credo House Introduced Credo Courses I began one of the greatest experiences of my life. Dan Wallace came and taught a course on Textual Criticism. While sitting in the course, I found questions about the text of the New Testament that I had buried deep in the back of my heart, never daring to utter aloud, brought to the surface. These questions were not only confronted honestly but answered and dealt with fully and with a scholarly precision I had never dreamed of before. Nothing in my life had ever strengthened my faith in the Bible more. Later courses would provide me opportunity to sit and listen to Gary Habermas passionately share about the resurrection, Craig Keener teach through the whole gospel of Matthew, and Craig Blomberg show us the historical reliability of the Gospels. I was able to not only meet, but to talk with and sit under, some of the men most influential in my own life and pursuit of biblical studies, men I consider my “heroes.” And I look forward to many more such courses. (Rumor has it there are around 100 Credo Course planned over the next 10 years!)

The Unique Ministry of Credo

I have never in my life experienced anything like what I’ve experienced at Credo House. I have been a student of the Bible and theology for over 15 years, and have even been through some formal theological education, but I can honestly say that nothing I have encountered before has made as deep an impact on my own faith. Because of Credo House my faith is deeper, my love for God stronger, and my ministry to others bolder than ever before. So if you’re in the area, (and if you’re not in the area it would be well worth your time to make a special trip to be in the area) stop by for a visit to Credo House. Chat with the baristas and you’ll meet some of the most amazing Christians you’ll ever know. Pick up a book off the shelf, and you may meet an old friend you never knew you had. (You might even find them looking down at you from where their picture hangs on the wall.) Enroll in the Theology Program and take your faith deeper than it’s ever gone before. Order a Credo Course and get “full blast” training at a more scholarly level than you ever imagined possible.

You can’t go wrong by supporting such a ministry. A ministry that has such potential and is making such an impact for the kingdom deserves to be supported. So get involved, and watch your faith grow!

One-Time Donation

Theology Unplugged: Faith or Works

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Join Tim Kimberley, J.J. Seid and Same Storms as they discuss how we are justified.

Theology Unplugged: What Happens to the Soul After Death?

Death-of-a-Christian

Join Tim Kimberley, J.J. Seid and Sam Storms as they discuss what happens to the soul after death.

Theology Unplugged: Did Jesus Know the Time of His Return?

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Join us as Tim Kimberley, J.J. Seid, and Sam Storms discuss whether or not Jesus knew the time of his second coming.

Concerning My Laments (Something I Really Need to Say)

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Sometimes, after I write a blog post I find people who get the wrong idea. Ever so, often I have to bring my staff at the Credo House together to explain something to them about myself. Then, they get worried. Many of the constituents of Credo House also get worried. My doctor even called me in to his office after reading a post last year. It is all very understandable to me. It is difficult for me to see the looks on people’s face . . . those looks of concern coupled with their inability to do anything about the situation is often followed by a distancing of themselves from me, or the ministry. Others come in with all the answers. They know exactly what is wrong with me; and, it is normally some sin which, somehow, they are able to discern.

I get it. I get why people sometimes think I am about to lose it.

“Staff,” I begin the meeting ever so often (especially when there are new people), “I want you to understand something about me and this ministry. I reserve the right to write on the blog some things that are very atypical and unconventional for someone like me who is the leader of a ministry such as this. You will often see things on the blog that I write about myself which make it look as if I am completely falling apart. . . .” I go on to explain what I am going to explain now.

I just got a message from someone who does not like the way I use this blog sometimes. Here is what he/she said:

Okay Michael you’re entitled to be, “messed up”, as you say. Now what? What are you going to do? Your problem is highly psychological in nature. Are you willing to see a competent therapist? Are you willing to face that the issue may lie within? Or will you only lament? I want you well for the record, but using your ministry and blog for long laments and people patting you on the back telling you how brave you are for revealing your inner anguish isn’t going to resolve your ongoing sadness, depression or melancholy.

My response, whether you agree or not, is important for people to hear:

[Unnamed Person], you may not believe this, but these laments are truly helpful to a great number of people, and have been for quite some time.

I think you probably ought to try to understand this in a way not dissimilar from the approach David or Jeremiah [most of what they wrote were laments about their pain made public] wrote. By the way, you sound (and believe me, I do understand) as if you would likely chastise them for what they wrote. If not, why [chastise me]? Continue Reading →