Decision Making and the Will of God: A Response

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
Gary Frieson's book by this title is controversial, and, in our view, extreme. The following points represent a measure of agreement as well as difference. We advance these points for discussion and debate.

Dependent Relationship Clusters

Dennis McCallum
The notion that leadership neglect is abuse, for instance, suggests an understanding of leadership that is analogous to parents and children. This is out of order. Children are entirely dependent on their parents, and must be supervised closely at all times. Therefore neglecting them is abusive. This argument cannot be applied to church leaders and their members without accepting a dependency model that conforms somewhat to the descriptions of addiction in Toxic Faith.

Developing a Theology of Failure

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
The biggest problem with many of us is that we are soft from too much success. We are like a child riding a bike on training wheels who thinks he has actually learned to ride. His parents warn him, "It's a little harder when you take the wheels off," but until you actually do take them off, the kid continues to enjoy a false sense of mastery. Once the wheels come off, the child may have to endure a few nasty crashes that could lead to tears, and even a refusal to ride anymore. But without removing the wheels, he will never learn to ride.

Discovering God Study Guide

Dennis McCallum
For each chapter, read the section in Discovering God first. If you are leading a group you must consider whether or not your members will do the reading outside the group. If you suspect members have not read the chapter, you can read either the chapter or relevant sections in the group by taking turns reading aloud. Then compare answers to selected study questions.

Discussion Questions on Christology

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
We notice that Christian students often feel they don't need to study Christology. These questions help them see they don't have all the answers they need.

Divorce and Remarriage

Ryan Lowery and James Rochford
Divorce is a painful and difficult subject for any community. In fact, it is usually accompanied by ongoing, excruciating, and often sinful relating by both parties. The concept of marriage as a lifelong commitment has almost disappeared in our culture. In the United States, not only do most marriages fail, but more people are starting families without even bothering to get married.

Double Reference in Biblical Prophecy

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
There are a number of prophecies in the OT which have a primary application to the millennial kingdom or the eternal kingdom but are fulfilled in part in the church age. Furthermore, there are prophecies that seem to focus on the immediate historical context of the prophet, yet there is a more complete fulfillment later. This tendency to speak of events that are separated by time, as though they were not, is called the principle of double reference.

Early German Lutheran Pietism's Understanding of Justification

Gary DeLashmutt
We are examining the early German Lutheran Pietists' understanding of justification. Specifically, the teaching of Johann Arndt, Philip Jacob Spener and August Hermann Francke will be studied. Three specific areas of their view of justification will be examined: the basis of justification, the relationship between justification and sanctification, and the role of baptism in justification. An effort has been made to identify and study the primary sources of each of the above Pietists in these doctrinal areas. Direct quotations of their works accompany and substantiate any assertion concerning their teaching. Secondary sources have also been evaluated for additional interaction in the interpretation of the primary sources.

Effective Leaders Meetings

Doug Patch
"Effective!" Is that how you would describe your meetings? Do you even have leaders' meetings or believe they are a waste of time? It is difficult to imagine how a leader can effectively communicate to the home church – verbally and by modeling – excitement and direction for evangelism and discipleship without healthy leaders meetings that evaluate the success and direction of the group. Here is a brief guide on how leaders' meetings can help a home church "stay the course."