Archives For Theology

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: MikeWittmer.blog 

Mike’s books:

 

Noel Castellanos is the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and the author of Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God Is at the Center.  Noah Filipiak interviews Noel about the downside of American Evangelicals being obsessed with going to heaven, but neglecting much of Jesus’s example and teaching.  Noel talks “behind the curtain” about the challenge of doing urban ministry, but also the call behind it and the purpose it brings. 

The CCDA National Conference is coming to Detroit, MI on October 4-7th, 2017 so be sure to save the date to join us. Continue Reading…

This is a continuation of Part 1 Is a Far-Fetched Story Like Noah’s Ark Enough to Dismiss Jesus? and Part 2 Fact or Fiction: Four Ways to View the Old Testament and responds to the question, “Where is the dividing line between what someone needs to believe to be saved and what they need to believe about the authority of all of Scripture?”

A fourth view, one of the middle views, and one that I do not ascribe to, looks at the Old Testament as pure mythology and/or culturally subjective history, including the historical (e.g. 1-2 Kings, etc.) and the prophetic (e.g. Isaiah, etc.) books that were written in real time.  The thought here is that the Jews needed a way to explain their history so they made one up and as things transpired around them, they recorded these things in an embellished and exaggerated way. Continue Reading…

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…

A friend recently asked me about what to do when Jehovah’s Witness knock at your door.  I was reminded of a visit I received a year ago or so and a blog post I wrote about it (back when I wrote loooong blog posts!).  If they were in my friend’s neighborhood this week, maybe they are in yours too, so I thought this would be a good time to repost this.  Hope this is helpful.

Two Jehovah Witnesses stopped by my house today.  They are the 2nd pair to come by in the last two months or so.  While most of our natural reactions when JW’s or Mormons ring our doorbell is to tell them we’re not interested, or maybe even to get angry at them, I encourage Bible-believing Jesus-followers (a better description than “Christian” for what I consider myself!) to see these encounters as an opportunity to share the true message of Jesus with these witnesses.  The common bond that JW’s and Mormons have is that at the core of their faith, they believe we are saved by our good behavior (earning God’s approval), rather than being saved by our faith in the forgiveness and love of Jesus.  On a theological level, neither group believes Jesus is God (they don’t believe in the Trinity)… (both will tell you in some way that “Jesus saves us”, but how can Jesus save us from hell if he was a mere prophet or angelic figure, only God can conquer something as powerful as sin! -and you’ll find this is only lip service to him saving us, it is truly our works, in their minds, that save us in the end)

On a side note, a couple months before my first pair of JW’s came by (June), I had a pair of Mormons come by as well (April).  I learned a lot from each of these conversations.  For what it’s worth, the pair of Mormons were a lot more polite than the JW’s.  Continue Reading…