Archive | Credo House of Theology

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

Unashamed to be a Non-Profit Like Twitter

twitter-iconAre you a chronic tweeter? Do you find yourself thinking in increments of 140 characters or less? Did you know Twitter is a non-profit? Well, they’re not, but please stick with me and I think this will make sense.

I initially resisted joining Twitter thinking, “Why would I join another social thing? I already use Facebook.” The more I heard about Twitter the more I resisted using it. I kept thinking it sounded way too intrusive into my life. Something changed, eventually, where I decided to give it a shot and sign up as a casual user of the site (@pastortimk).

I wouldn’t say I’m now addicted to Twitter but I have tweeted more than 10 times this week. I’ll probably also tweet once I post this on the blog. I then might tweet how people are responding and then tweet again about how I feel about how people are responding. Ok, I’m drinking the Twitter cool-aid. Maybe I should tweet about that?

I was surprised earlier this year as I was listening to NPR (@NPR) on my way home from Credo House (@credohouse) to hear that Twitter never had a profitable quarter until the fourth quarter of 2013. WHAT? The company started in 2006 and for 7 years never once turned a profit. How in the world is that even possible? I started to wonder. How can a company like that survive? WHY should a company survive for seven years without a profit? Shouldn’t they have just let that thing die? Why did they keep it alive for so long?

It then became clear to me that I would have never joined Twitter if it would have cost me $4.99/month to sign up. No one would have. Even as a totally free service it still took me a few years hearing from my “early adopter” friends talking about Twitter before I decided to give it a try.

Did the employees of Twitter get paid every 2 weeks for 6 years? Absolutely. Even if you have a great long-term idea mortgages still need to be paid and kids still need to eat (not in that order of course). Twitter undoubtedly had outside help to survive. Twitter had a combination of banks and private investors who understood the value and vision. They knew there would be no way to expect Twitter to start off with enough subscription payments and enough advertising revenue to pay all their bills from day one. In order for Twitter to exist it took a unique way to look at business.

match4Even six years into Twitter it was very clear the vision was working. With 600 million users they were not profitable but it didn’t really concern their investors because they knew it was working for the long-term. In order to accomplish something no one had accomplished, people approached the problem in a totally different way.

I feel like the Credo House is a lot like Twitter (in the most humble way). The vision of Credo House is working. It’s even working at the level that our coffee shop is profitable. We create curriculum that the most “early adopters” know they need but millions of other people don’t know they need yet. So we provide tons of free training and spend a lot of money waiting and being ready for when people realize they really need the Credo House and its training. We can’t wait until everyone is ready to then start the ministry and get it off the ground. We lay the groundwork now so when they know they need the Credo House we are right there in their neighborhood to help equip them as Ambassadors for Christ to our postmodern world.

Amazingly, the Credo House has grown to an organization with more than a dozen employees and reaching more than a million people a year and we have never taken an operational loan. Our private investors (donors) are those who share our vision. They see the potential positive influence if Credo Houses existed on University campuses throughout our country.

We strongly believe Credo House will get to the place where donations may not be necessary for survival (we will always remain a non-profit). We strongly believe that day could come in the next year or two where donations are only spent on new locations. Our online church memberships alone could be the thing that makes donations no longer a necessity. Today, however, we are still in the zone where the Credo House is very much working but is also very much dependent on kingdom-oriented investors.

When the Credo House has a solid financial foundation it can build an organization that needs to exist long-term and not one that necessarily produces the greatest short-term profit margins. Twitter would have never become what it did if it didn’t have those 6 years of long-term sustained focus.

Would you consider being one of those long-term investors helping us to fully become something that is already showing amazing success? We would be most grateful.

You can join the movement by giving here.

Giveaway: Codex Sinaiticus + Credo Course

To celebrate the brand new Textual Criticism Credo Course in 7 days one person will win a facsimile of one of the most valuable Bibles in the world (just the copy retails for $799). It will probably become the biggest and heaviest book you own.

Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most valuable, beautiful and important Bibles in existence. It is believed to have been commissioned by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.

In addition to winning Codex Sinaiticus one entrant will also win a course from one of the leading scholars in the world on Textual Criticism. This course will give you incredible appreciation for the Bible you are winning. Dr. Wallace will devote more than 30 sessions taking you through the rock-solid reliability of the New Testament. The New Testament is heavily attacked in our culture today. Without the New Testament we don’t have a reliable message about Jesus. This topic is so crucial for every Christian.

There are many ways to enter in the box above. The giveaway ends in just seven days so please tell your friends.


Gigantic Credo House Giveaway!

What better way to kick-off the upcoming holiday season than with a massive give away!

One person will win more than $1,000 worth of Credo House goodies on Monday, Nov. 18th.

You can enter multiple times increasing your chances to win.

The lucky winner will receive all of these prizes:

Entire Seminary-Level Theology Program

Discipleship Program

Church History Study

How to Study the Bible Boot Camp

Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archeology Book

giveAwayIncrease My Faith Book

Top Ten Theologians Book

Credo House Sweatshirt

Amazing Educational Coffee Mug

Credo House Sound CD

One Pound of the Delicious Coffee Beans served at the Credo House

Simply enter in the box up above. There are many ways you can add entries to increase your chance of winning.

A winner will be chosen on Nov. 18th and you can have all these goodies well before thanksgiving.

Best of luck! Feel free to spread the word.

Introducing the BibleMap App…a Must Have for Everyday Bible Study

Selecting Jeremiah 48
Yesterday morning I was studying through Jeremiah 48. I have read this chapter several times but was surprised this time how many locations mentioned in that chapter are still so foreign to my ears. Places like: Nebo, Kiriathaim, Heshbon, Madmen, Heronaim, Luhith, Dibon, Aroer, Beth-Diblathaim, Beth-Gamul, Bozrah, Sibmah and several more names you don’t say every day!

Most Bible readers quickly pass over the thousands of locations. Those places are just too far out of reach. Well, not anymore.

All you need to do is pull out your iPhone/iPad/iPod…open the BibleMap App…and you now have Google Maps for the Bible! Every chapter of the Bible has been connected with Google Maps.

One of the amazing things about Christianity is that God did everything in public. The Bible is full of real cities, real geographic features, real people groups, real locations inside of cities. We can analyze the accuracy of all these locations to see how accurate the Word of God is today. The BibleMap App proclaims confidently the historic reality of the events of the Bible.

The most simple, detailed and easily accessible exhaustive Bible Atlas in the world for just 99 cents.

Get it today by clicking here.

Here are a bunch of screen shots so you know what you’re getting:

Seeing the ResultsClick the Verse and See it on the Mapshot4shot6shot6ashot7

p.s. Yes, the Android version is being developed by a 3rd party very skilled developer. It should function just as nicely as the iOS version. We hope to have it in the Google Play store and hopefully in the Amazon store this Fall.

Introducing Credo House Certificates!

Credo House Certificates are a brand new powerful way for you to ensure a certain level of proficiency from the Credo House Members Area. Pastors, elders, small-group leaders and families can all utilize Credo House Certificates in creative and exciting ways!

Please click the video below (or click here) to see a quick overview of the power of Credo House Certificates.

Get started today by either logging in to your Members Area account or by Becoming a Member Today.

* $25/month plan provides logins for you, your spouse, and all your kids under the age of eighteen. $50/month church plan is for up to 100 ppl…select your plan when you click “Become a Member Today” above.

Dedicated to helping you believe more today than you did yesterday,
Credo House Team

Just 24 Hours Left! – Credo Course – #1 Reason to Love Textual Criticism: The Enemies of the Gospel know Textual Criticism

Yesterday I was on an atheist forum. It was amazing to me what I saw. It was a discussion about textual criticism. These atheists were discussing how the text of the Bible had changed so much that there was no way anyone in their right mind would believe it. They were even going so far as to question the very existence of Jesus as a historical figure. Why? Well, from their point of view the testimony of the Scriptures is unreliable since the manuscripts that the stories come from were corrupted and, therefore, beyond rational belief. They brought up many points of textual criticism made by Agnostic scholar Bart Ehrman.

You see, Bart Ehrman knows about textual criticism. In fact, he is the only person in the history of the world to write a bestselling book about this subject. But his conclusions are irresponsible, imbalanced, and outright wrong. But, as I saw on the forum, most Christians have never studied the subject so it becomes a prime target for atheists to attack. After all, if there are so many errors, changes, and lies about the story of Jesus presented in the text, where do we turn to to get the Gospel?

The fact is that textual criticism is not a subject that the enemies of the Gospel should be able to use against Christianity. But if Christians are not informed about this subject, they will quickly get steamrolled as this is one of the primary ways that people use to attack the Bible. You should love textual criticism because you love the defense of the Gospel.

And this is the reason why we want you involved in this project. This project is about defending the Gospel against the very concerted attack of the enemy. Join with us at whatever level you can. Yes, we are funded for the minimal amount. But the more support we get, the more we will be able to produce this course at a high level and the best price you will be able to get the course.

With just 24 hours left, please help us kick-start Textual Criticism in a Big Way!

Keep the Faith. It is a cross to bear, but it is true.

Michael Patton
President, Credo House Ministries