Gordon-Conwell Blog

Reasons to Live: Become the Beacon of Hope to Those Who Have No Hope with Dr. Karen Mason

March 16, 2018

Reasons to Live: Become the Beacon of Hope to Those Who Have No Hope

Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (2014, IVP)

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, Dr. Karen Mason is featured in Discover the Word's Reasons to Live podcast addressing suicide prevention. Listen below for the final of five episodes.

 



Additional Resources:

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Reasons to Live: The Gospel and Our Faith in Christ Offer Hope with Dr. Karen Mason

March 15, 2018

Reasons to Live: The Gospel and Our Faith in Christ Offer Hope

Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (2014, IVP)

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, Dr. Karen Mason is featured in Discover the Word's Reasons to Live podcast addressing suicide prevention. Listen below for the fourth of five episodes.

 



Additional Resources:

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Reasons to Live: The Hope of Christ with Dr. Karen Mason

March 14, 2018

Reasons to Live: The Hope of Christ

Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (2014, IVP)

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, Dr. Karen Mason is featured in Discover the Word's Reasons to Live podcast addressing suicide prevention. Listen below for the third of five episodes.

 



Additional Resources:

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Reasons to Live with Dr. Karen Mason: Episode 2

March 13, 2018

Reasons to Live: Episode 2

Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (2014, IVP)

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, Dr. Karen Mason is featured in Discover the Word's Reasons to Live podcast addressing suicide prevention. Listen below for the second of five episodes.

 



Additional Resources:

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Reasons to Live: Discover How Hope Can Help Alleviate Despair with Dr. Karen Mason

March 12, 2018

Reasons to Live: Discover How Hope Can Help Alleviate Despair

Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (2014, IVP)

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, Dr. Karen Mason is featured in Discover the Word's Reasons to Live podcast addressing suicide prevention. Listen below for the first of five episodes.

 



Additional Resources:

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

"A Tribute to Billy Graham" by Dr. Garth M. Rosell

February 22, 2018

A Tribute to Billy Graham


Dr. Garth M. Rosell, Senior Research Professor of Church History

It is difficult to imagine a world without Billy Graham. For the better part of a century, his has been the voice that everyone recognized; his has been the character that everyone admired; and his has been the message that gave hope to thousands around the globe. He walked among kings and presidents but he never lost the common touch. He preached to millions but never lost his own sense of humility. He enjoyed access to the rich and powerful but lived modestly in his rustic Black Mountain home. 

Like John Wesley before him, he made the entire world his parish. Billy Graham "will go down in history,"1 Martin Marty has suggested, "as the best known, most traveled, most influential, and in many ways most representative evangelical Protestant" in recent history. Dozens of new ministry initiatives and organizational structures, from Christianity Today and The Hour of Decision to The Billy Graham Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, have been inspired by his vision; scores of books and articles have flowed from his pen; numerous world leaders have sought his advice; major conferences and congresses, from Berlin and Lausanne to Amsterdam, have been held under his auspices; and (what is perhaps of greatest significance) hundreds of thousands of men, women, boys and girls have responded to the gospel invitation he has extended so faithfully at the close of every service. 

Those of us who are part of the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary community have been especially blessed by his life and ministry. Not only was he one of our principal founders but also he served faithfully for many years on our Board of Trustees and spoke at many of our most important gatherings.

"I have read," wrote Billy Graham at the end of his autobiography, Just As I Am, "that Johann Sebastian Bach ended each composition with these words: Soli Deo Gloria–'To God alone be the glory.' Those are my words as well, at the end of this project." One could hardly find a more appropriate epitaph to characterize the life and work of one of the true giants of our time.

 1 Martin E. Marty, "A Surprising Revolutionary," in Christianity Today (November 13, 1995), p. 27.

 

Additional Resources

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Gordon-Conwell’s Long-Standing Position on Women and Ministry Preparation

February 05, 2018

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.

President & Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

In the light of recent public statements and social media exchanges regarding women seminary faculty, I want to clarify the longstanding position of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

In light of our multidenominational identity, Gordon-Conwell fully affirms and respects the rights of denominations and churches to set their own standards for ordination. At the same time, it has long been our position to strongly affirm both our women students who come to us to pursue theological education and our women faculty who help provide it. We believe that the privilege of teaching and studying the Word of God at seminary knows no gender distinction, and that, indeed, the perspectives of both genders are essential for the fullest understanding of biblical texts, incisive theological reflection, and healthy community.

We fully affirm and rejoice in the contribution of our women faculty. As women created in the image of God, we as a seminary community are deeply blessed by their intellectual prowess, ardent pursuit of holiness and deep witness to the love of Jesus Christ in the communal life we share together. We would be deeply impoverished without their leadership, guidance and presence among us.

While we at Gordon-Conwell recognize that there has been, is, and will continue to be, robust debate around the issue of women’s ordination to the ministry, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the women who come to us for training to the ministries for which God is calling them. Most especially, we as a seminary administration, faculty, staff and students stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our women faculty who have dedicated their lives to the training of both men and women for Christian ministry.

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.

President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Advent Devotional Day 23: He is Coming

December 25, 2017

 

2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 23 | He is Coming
 

Revelation 22:20

 

Jesus has come. He was born in Bethlehem as Mary’s son, conceived by God’s Spirit, with Joseph as his earthly father. He grew up in Nazareth and then lived in Capernaum and proclaimed the Kingdom of God throughout Galilee. He died in Jerusalem on the afternoon of Nisan 14, April 7, ad 30, a Friday. He rose from the dead on the following Sunday. He ascended to Heaven 40 days later. Jesus will come again. He promised: I am coming.

This coming is certain: Yes, I am coming. Jesus guarantees that he will come again. The specific date of this coming is unknown. Jesus promises: Yes, I am coming soon. Jesus comes soon to local churches in judgment and blessing (Rev 2:16; 3:11). He comes soon in the judgments on the world and the believers’ confrontation with evil that John’s visions describe (Rev 22:6). And he comes soon in his second visible coming when he brings the final defeat of evil and the full redemption of his people.

Jesus will come soon, “like a thief,” (Rev 16:15), suddenly and unexpec-tedly. He will come to lead his people to springs of living water and to wipe away every tear from their eyes as death, mourning, crying and pain disappear in God’s new world (Rev 7:16; 21:4).

On Christmas Day, followers of Jesus rejoice in Jesus’ first coming in the little town of Bethlehem. On Christmas Day, and on all days, we pray marana tha (1 Cor 16:22), come, Lord Jesus (Rev 22:20)–on the world stage, everywhere, wherever we live.

 


 

 

 

     Dr. Eckhard J. Schnabel
     Mary French Rockefeller Distinguished
     Professor of New Testament

 

 

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Advent Devotional Day 22: Low People, High Birth

December 24, 2017

 
2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 22 | Low People, High Birth
 

Luke 2:1-20

 

Familiarity breeds contempt. That’s what the popular saying promotes: When we’re familiar with something, we may miss what it says or lose appreciation of it. Have you been there?

A few years ago my wife, Rhonda, and I went on an anniversary cruise in the Caribbean in December. Christmas music played monotonously over the ship’s speakers. At times we’d look at each other and sarcastically hum, “Once in Royal David’s City.” We do that with repetitious, canned Christmas music. Or worse, we may roll our eyes at hearing once again, at this time of year, the reading of the account of Jesus’ birth.

What do we do when we turn to Luke 2:1-20 to read it? Can we read it again for the very first time and hear the incredible message?

God chooses the lowly. This familiar text reminds us that God chose a lowly town, Bethlehem, in which the Savior would be born. God chose a lowly place—a stable—in which Christ was born. God chose lowly people, Joseph and Mary, to be Christ’s earthly parents. God chose lowly shepherds to be the first to communicate Christ’s birth.

Why does God do this? Why does God choose the lowly?

God chooses the lowly to show his holiness. Lowly Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds talked with the holy angels. The contrast between earth and heaven highlights the fact that God is different from us—God is holy, we are not. The earth is contrasted with heaven in this passage. Lowly people are contrasted by holy beings. The contrast shows us the difference between humanity and God. To be holy is to be different, other, transcendent, perfect—He is God and we need him. We aren’t transcendent or perfect, we’re in need of a God. We are very different from God, and we need him.

What, then, is the reason that God chooses the lowly to show his holiness?

God chooses the lowly to show in his holiness that Jesus Christ is Savior to all kinds of people. The angels announced Christ’s birth and the shepherds told others. The lowly shepherds were chosen by God to show in his holiness that Jesus Christ is Savior to all kinds of people. The shepherds were told that Jesus is Savior, Christ and Lord.

Savior was a familiar title to both Jews and Gentiles. Christ was the title of the Messiah. Lord had divine connotations associated with it. Jesus is Savior to all kinds of people. The angel promised (v 10) that the news would bring joy for “all the people.” Then the chorus of angels promises that this salvation is given “to men on whom his favor rests.” This salvation is for all kinds of people. The high-born and the low-born—for all on whom God’s favor rests, those whom God chooses.

We’re those “all kinds of people,” people, aren’t we? We come from different backgrounds. We come from various kinds of families. We may come from wealth or may have had just enough, or even from homes with barely enough. But lump us all together and we’re simple people in need of a Savior. We are lowly. But God is holy.

And what did he do? In his holiness he gave Jesus Christ as Savior to us—all kinds of people.

God chooses the lowly to show in his holiness that Jesus Christ is Savior to all kinds of people.

 


 

 

 

     Dr. Scott M. Gibson
     Director of the Center for Preaching;
     Haddon W. Robinson Professor of Preaching and Ministry

 

 

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Advent Devotional Day 21: Unlikely Witnesses

December 23, 2017

 
2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 21 | Unlikely Witnesses
 

Luke 2:8-14

 

When a great world leader makes a visit, he or she is greeted with much fanfare by other world leaders. Red-carpet welcomes and lavish state dinners announce the important event. At this season we celebrate a birth, a visit to our world from someone whom the Christian faith declares to be far more important than any world leader—our Lord himself, Jesus. But his birth was not marked by any direct announcement to the world leaders of his day (the Roman Emperor or his regent in Israel, Herod), or to the movers and shakers of his society (the Jewish religious leaders). Instead, Luke 2:8-14 indicates that an announcement was made to some shepherds who were tending their flocks at night. This was a most unlikely announcement, and yet a most appropriate one as well.
         
Because shepherds were always walking in sheep waste and touching dead animals, they were always ceremonially unclean according to Jewish law. So they were never allowed to worship in the Temple, and thus occupied the lowest rung on the social ladder of the day. They were the untouchables of their society, and so the angel’s action in Luke 2 is shocking. Why make such a stunning announcement to such an unlikely audience?

But this is not all. Those to whom the angel appeared in Luke 2 do not seem to have been ordinary shepherds. We have evidence that there was a designated group of shepherds whose task was to raise the lambs that were to be sacrificed in the Temple in Jerusalem. These “temple shepherds” and the lambs they cared for resided in fields outside of Bethlehem. Recognizing this enables us to see the appropriateness of choosing these shepherds as the first ones to whom the announcement of Jesus’ birth was made.

These people who raised the lambs for Temple worship but were never allowed to take part in that worship, who were outcasts even though they were indispensable to Jewish religious life, were the ones the Lord chose as the first non-family members to hear about, and to behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.




     Download free mobile wallpaper, specially designed for today's devotional.

 

 

 


 

 

 

     Dr. Donald Fairbairn
     Academic Dean, Charlotte Campus;
     Robert E. Cooley Professor of Early Christianity

 

 

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Advent Devotional Day 20: God's Dream Come True

December 22, 2017

 

2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 20 | God's Dream Come True
 

Luke 1; John 1:14; John 3:16; Titus 2:11; Hebrews 10:5

 

We often think of Advent, the babe born in the manger from our perspective, how it affects and radically changes our lives. And rightly so! The long prophesied and awaited Savior has come to the world, to redeem his people, to save us from our sins (Luke 1). Advent answers all our problems. Yet Advent answers all of God’s problems, too. 

Ever since Eden, humankind has erected a barrier hindering and delaying God’s dream. God’s dream was to make humankind his habitation, to plant his roots permanently with us. Why? If he resides, he can have personal, intimate contact and reveal his affection for and commitment to us. It is all about relationship!

Driven by pure passion for the relationship, he relentlessly pursues a course of action to deal with the barrier. Without HIS initiative the dream would remain a dream since it could not be achieved by human effort. Thus God took the necessary step to realize and communicate his dream. When God wanted to communicate in the most effective way, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14). God comes from heaven to earth to live with the profanity of humanity. This shows how hopelessly devoted he is to the fulfillment of his dream. “God with man was pleased to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.” It is all about relationship!

Through Jesus, God longs that we see and know that HIS heart pines for relationship, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son,” (John 3:16). Through Jesus, God’s affection, commitment and grace appeared (Titus 2:11). Moreover, God calls on Jesus, the faithful and obedient carpenter from Galilee, to repair the breach in the relationship (Heb 10:5).  He asks Jesus to do the work and pay the bill, a request that would eventually cost him his life. As a result of Jesus’ work on the cross, he removes the relational barrier. “God and sinner reconciled.” God’s dream has come true. It is all about relationship!

 


 

 

 

     Dr. Donna Petter
    
Director of the Hebrew Language Program;
     Associate Professor of Old Testament

 

 

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Advent Devotional Day 19: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

December 21, 2017

 
2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 19 | Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
 

Psalm 89

 

Following the most despairing of all the psalms, Psalm 89 turns to exalted praise for the steadfast love and faithfulness of God. He is the Holy One of Israel whose unfailing love and faithfulness are the security and guarantee of his covenantal promises to his servant David and to his chosen people Israel.

The psalm then enumerates God’s irrevocable promises to love, favor, strengthen, protect and establish David’s throne forever in righteousness, justice, kindness and truth. In the fulfillment of these promises the ancients anticipated the coming of the Messiah—God’s anointed One, the firstborn, the eternal King of Kings.

However, despite the depth and strength of his conviction about God’s trustworthiness, the psalmist still anguishes over the absence and silence of God amid the devastating crisis of the exile. This sense of rejection, abandonment, and judgment by God leads to an angry indictment against God for his betrayal of David. The psalmist concludes with three accusatory questions: How long, O Lord? Who can save? Where is your steadfast love and faithfulness?

We know now that all three questions were answered in Jesus Christ: 
“…from the exile to the Christ fourteen generations,” (Matt 1:17); 
“…call his name Jesus, for he will save his people,” (Matt 1:22); 
“…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

Though God’s promises were never in doubt, the psalmist could not see that at the time. Even so, in faith he managed one final benediction: Blessed be the Lord forever.

Amid our own crises in this Advent season—for many, an unprecedented season of suffering and grief from injustice, violence, financial hardship, disease, political turmoil, international conflict and even natural disasters—let us, like the psalmist, rest in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. Though we likewise do not yet see the fulfillment of all his promises, we can wait patiently—and confidently! For his second coming is as certain as his first.

 


 

 

    

     Dr. Edward M. Keazirian
     Director of the Greek Language Program at Hamilton;
     Assistant Professor of New Testament

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!