Articles in Theological Reflections
by Karla M. Kincannon
A midwife tells mothers that there are three things they need to know about labor. “It’s hard work, it hurts a lot, and you can do it.” That’s good advice for those on the Christian journey. The birth of the true self into the world requires effort and openness to God’s grace. We each have a true self, a deeper identity that lives in the heart of God and is united to God in Christ.
by Reginald Brantley
One of the great ironies of Christian history in America is that slave masters taught their black slaves a racialist form of Christianity, hoping to keep them docile, but instead the story of the Exodus taught them that the God who rescued the Hebrew slaves and brought them out of Egypt was their God of liberation. Men like Demark Vesey and Nat Turner preached a liberation theology that rescued America from its baser self.
by Insook Lee
Many health care professionals consider religion and spirituality essential components in a holistic approach to health; many religious leaders recognize the benefits of using scientific and psychological perspectives to assess and treat specific symptoms. Here the author suggests ways for pastors to engage in dialog and treatment with health professionals.
by Mary Foulke
Sympathy and compassion are related, however, sympathy is more a feeling whereas compassion is both feeling and action. The author uses 2 Samuel, dealing with King David, to flesh out the differences between the two emotions; Jesus was a constant example of a life devoted to compassion for humankind. This intriguing article offers many insights useful to clergy.
by Peggy Adrien
The Gospel according to John starts off powerfully by identifying Jesus as the Word/as God. Within his Gospel, John cites only two healing stories—a cripple and a blind man. Here the author links the healer, Jesus, with the Old Testament demonstrating how these healings supported John’s opening statement about Jesus.
by Joseph Crockett
Important for transforming non-adherents into students, followers, and apprentices of a leader, discipline is a necessary, though not the only important, task in the life of a disciple. Jesus and others make clear the crucial connections between discipline and discipleship.
by Jae Won Lee
Human beings are born out of relationships, live in relationship to others, and are remembered through those relationships. Christian discipleship urges us to return to the foundational relationship between Jesus and his disciples, to reflect upon it in our social locations, and embody it in our daily life.
by Moses O. Biney
In an era of cultural and religious diversity and transnationalism, how can faithful discipleship accommodate or at least co-exist with cultural and religious differences? This perennial question calls for new answers, and this article is a move in that direction.
by Christopher S. Peet
The author’s “hermeneutic of suspicion” is aroused when reading a text that seems to demand unquestioning obedience. However, while Dietrich Bonhoeffer makes it clear that in his opinion unquestioning obedience is at the heart of true discipleship, the author offers other suggestions.
by Jennifer M. van Zandt
There are growing numbers of “Spiritual but Not Religious” people leaving the institutional church for their own rituals and ways of relating to God. Too many people in formal churches are assisting in this slow death by focusing on Attendance, Budget, and Children instead of making Disciples.
by Charlie Self
As we aim to love God and do God’s work in the world, we need a new vision of what it means to “make disciples.” This flourishing life described by Moses and Micah, Jesus and the Apostle Paul, is not merely a set of rules or series of programs. A flourishing life of love will grow, as we understand the outcomes of walking with the Lord.
by Kimberly Credit
Today in America, it is common for many people to identify themselves as Christians yet they may rarely attend a church, read the Bible, or live a true Christian life. Can a person be a Christian without being an authentic disciple of Christ? This article explores this question in the live of individuals and churches.