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Posts Tagged ‘Brethren in Christ’

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 6

The following commentary addresses the sixth point as advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Interpreting Our Participation in Evangelism as Socially and Ethnically Inclusive.”

Augsburger begins his thoughts with a reminder of the meaning of compassion. “The meaning of compassion,” Augsburger writes, “is not limited to any ethnic sameness but is a call for us to see all peoples alike created in the image of God. The kingdom of Christ is inclusive, and our witness of grace must be consistently so.” Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 5

Anabaptism

The following commentary addresses the fifth point as advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Emphasizing Kingdom Community as a Third Way in Life.” Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 4

Anabaptism

The following commentary addresses the fourth point as advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Engaging the Holy Spirit as Sovereign Presence Beyond Subjective Experiences.”

I consider myself blessed to have studied for five years at a Pentecostal undergraduate college (VFCC). Valley Forge offers a Theological Studies track that is as good as any in the country. The track’s academic requirements and practical expectations are very, very serious. Students are required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of their Sophomore, Junior and Senior year to remain in the major. My requirements for the major included 18 credits of Biblical language, a senior research project, and time logged as a TA (Teaching Assistant). These requirements have evolved and broadened a bit since I majored (1999-2004), but they are still very, very demanding, spiritually and intellectually. Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 3

Anabaptism

The following commentary addresses the third point advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Celebrating Grace as a Dynamic Relationship with the Resultant Transformation of Life.”

Augsburger writes, “For the Anabaptists a central theme was Paul’s words, “If anyone is in Christ he/she is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). The old was the life of self-centeredness transformed into a new life of Christ-centeredness. Anabaptist theology was not focused so much on freedom from guilt as on freedom in the new life in Christ (emphasis mine). Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 2

Anabaptism

The following commentary addresses the second point advanced by Myron S. Augsburger in “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith” (Brethren in Christ History and Life, August 2000), which is: “Understanding of the Interpretive Significance of Progressive Revelation in God’s Word Written.”

I recently began a conversation within the core group of our young church plant about the Bible and the way we approach it. It was/is a fruitful and lively conversation, to say the least! I also think it is an invaluable conversation to have, especially as a church plant in the identity forming stages. The Bible is beyond important, obviously. Our approaches to the Bible, however, vary widely in the North American context of ours. Some of these approaches are more edifying than others. The approach advanced by Augsburger is the classic Anabaptist approach; it’s the one into which I invest much of my personal time, energy, and devotion. Read More »

The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith 1

Anabaptism

I’ve been reading “The Contemporary Relevance of the Anabaptist Faith,” a fantastic article from Brethren in Christ History and Life (August 2000). The author of the article is Myron S. Augsburger, an evangelical Anabaptist and Mennonite scholar. Augsburger begins the article by asking a question so many of us are still asking today, some eight years after the article was published in BIC History and Life. He writes, “In a time described as post-modern and post-denominational, we ask the question: what is the particular value in any given heritage?” Read More »

Emerging and Classic Brethren in Christ Ecclesiology

I am a devoted member of the Brethren in Christ Church. Many of you know that I was converted and baptized under the grace-laden spiritual guidance of an old, pious, and wise BIC pastor. I am now a pastor and church planter within the Brethren in Christ. The BIC is my spiritual home. I’m also conversant with the Emerging Church. The fusion of the emerging conversation and classic BIC expression works well because it’s a combination that offers plenty of opportunities for practical and relevant congruence. The Emerging Conversation resonates with very, very important aspects of classic BIC theology, expression, and praxis. Some say the Emerging Church reflects the principles and theology inherent to Anabaptist expressions of Christianity, of which the BIC is a part. I tend to agree. Read More »

Big Meeting for Inner Metro Green

Our church plant in Lancaster City is having a big day tomorrow. Our IMG Executive Team Leader and I are meeting with the Atlantic Conference Advisory Board assigned to oversee and guide us in our efforts. This board is composed of the Bishop, pastoral and executive team members from Manor Church, the conference church planting coach, and conference planters. They are all awesome and more supportive than I ever thought possible. This is a pretty big deal. Our forming IMG core group’s mission and official launch in ‘08 will be totally informed by this meeting. So, of course, I can’t sleep. Updates will follow the meeting.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1st Person Narrative

My pastor, friend, colleague, and mentor, John Hawbaker sent me a fantastic 1st person narrative presentation based upon the life of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. This narrative was performed dramatically during Sunday morning services at Manor Brethren in Christ Church. Soon, John will have his own blog where you will be able to find more of his personal musings, writings, and sermon excerpts. He will be a most welcome addition to the BIC wing of the Christian blogosphere. His knowledge of the BIC’s heritage (Anabaptism, Wesleyanism, and Pietism) is profound and his 25+ years of faithful Christian service as pastor and bishop are laden with practical experiences that will undoubtedly edify leaders for generations to come. So, Brother John is preparing to start a blog and begin recording. The socially networked and information affable time in which we all are living is incredible! Read More »

BIC Statement of 1961 on Sanctification

The following is the 1961 Brethren in Christ Statement on Sanctification, with a few very slight modifications to reflect the gender egalitarianism that all believers today should be striving towards. These very slight modifications appear in italics. The 1961 Statement on Sanctification is solid. I actually prefer it to all other statements. We all would do well to strive faithfully and honestly towards full consecration to God. Holiness is not an option in the Kingdom of God as preached and pointed towards by Jesus of Nazareth. God be with us … Read More »