Archives For grand rapids theological seminary

You can listen to Noah Filipiak’s “Behind the Curtain” Podcast interview with Dr. Mike Wittmer on the Podbean Player below or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes. (Podcast listening tip: use the podcasts app on your smartphone and listen while driving, doing chores, or working out)

Noah Filipiak interviews Dr. Mike Wittmer on the effects Christian celebrityism is having on the Church at large.  Prior to the internet explosion, good content would get a book published. Nowadays, the only thing that will get someone published is popularity (called “platform” in the publishing industry). Noah and Mike explore the effects this trend has on the souls of authors (namely, themselves!) and on the type of theology being put into the hands of Christians.

Dr. Michael Wittmer is the Professor of Systematic & Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Connect with Mike on Twitter and Facebook

Mike’s blog: 

Mike’s books:


Crossroads Church's Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Crossroads Church’s Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Kyle Lake is our Youth Director at Crossroads Church.  He does an awesome job leading our youth group of around 30 teens, most of whom are from the inner city and whose parents don’t attend church with them.  He also leads our summer park ministries.  There are two of these each week, at two different parks, with each park bringing in around 40-70 youth per week (over 350 unique youth over the summer).  (Check out photos here)

Kyle is called to go to seminary.  He’s found an awesome program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary called the Urban Cohort.  It is a once-a-week program for urban ministers only, with a majority of the tuition coming from a GRTS scholarship.  It takes 3 years, doing one class per semester and you graduate with a master’s degree.  Kyle never finished his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University, but GRTS/Cornerstone has made arrangements for him to get his bachelor’s equivalency through their adult degree program on the undergrad side so he can be official for his accredited master’s degree!  Kyle can start these classes in October and begin seminary course work in January, but here’s the hang-up:

It will cost $3367.74 to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State.  This is tuition and fee bills from Kyle’s time there.  Did I mention that Kyle took a HUGE pay cut to work as Youth Director at Crossroads?  He was making a great salary with benefits working for Apple and now makes $30,000/year with no benefits at Crossroads.  (We’d pay him more if we could!)

Will you help us raise the $3367.74 needed to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State so he can start seminary???

Blog Nation, we can do this!  Rather than using GoFundMe, which takes a large percentage of your gift, you can give directly to Crossroads Church on our PayPal button below.  Write “Kyle’s seminary” in the “Add special instructions to the seller” line (this will appear after you log in).  We will mail you a year-end tax deductible receipt (PayPal takes a 2.4 – 2.8% fee out of your gift, vs. GoFundMe’s 5% fee).  You can use the PayPal button below OR you can do it the old fashioned way and mail a check to Crossroads Church, 105 W. Allegan St., Lansing MI 48912.  Write your check out to Crossroads Church and write Kyle’s seminary in the memo line.

Update: 100% of the $3367.74 has come in!  Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, here we come!!!  Thank you to everyone who gave!!!!

Thank you to those who have given.  Here’s an important update about the need for this money that I didn’t know before–which is why Kyle has these fees in the first place.  Kyle enrolled for the winter 2014 semester then had a severe fire accident where he was out from work and had a lengthy hospital stay.  When Wayne State was sending him bills to pay for the 4 classes he enrolled in, he appealed it with doctor documentation.  Wayne State took away some of the tuition (around $6000) but kept on the administration fees, kept $1500 of tuition on, and other fees (late payment, fitness center, registration fee, and collection fee).  We still have $2600 more to raise!

Let’s get this Ninja Turtle into seminary!
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Crossroads Church's Kyle Lake teaching the youth group

Crossroads Church’s Kyle Lake teaching the youth group


Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth program

Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

I was recently given this front page article from last week’s Grand Rapids Press about Rob Bell’s view on gay marriage.  Since I’ve been blogging a lot about homosexuality, gay marriage, and the Church’s response, I thought this would be a fitting article to write a blog about.

In the article, there were some one-liner quotes from Rob that made me pretty uncomfortable, but the quotes were taken from a 55 minute podcast interview (you can find it here) with Rob.  I didn’t want to comment on the quotes without hearing their context, because that’s not fair to the person who said them, so I decided to listen to the entire interview before coming to conclusions.

And wow, was I surprised and saddened by what I heard.

Quick background on me and Rob BellContinue Reading…

I’ve been preaching on Genesis at Crossroads and recently blogged on “Should We Read Genesis Literally?”  While the response from people at Crossroads has been overwhelmingly positive, and we even saw a man put his faith in Christ because the roadblock he had surrounding Genesis was finally removed, the blog post received mixed reviews.  This should be expected from a much broader online audience, and I’m definitely okay with it and welcome it.

I was happy to discover the topic at the upcoming Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Talking Points is “Creation in Scripture” and is going to address what I bring up in my sermon head-on.  They are bringing in John Walton, whose ministry tagline is “Genesis Through Ancient Eyes.”  As I understand it, this is the idea that we should read Genesis through the eyeglasses of its original audience, the Hebrew ex-slaves of Exodus who Moses and his scribes wrote the book to (hundreds and thousands of years after the Genesis events happened).  When we do this, it brings alive with incredible freshness the God-breathed theological truths of Genesis.  The contemporary historical and scientific debates we are accustomed to in conservative Christianity fade into the background as irrelevant to its purpose. Continue Reading…