Five Views on Sanctification

Mike Sullivan
Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ in our conduct and character. But how does it occur? What disciplines, habits, and ways of thinking and living do Christians need to cultivate to become "sanctified"? In Five Views on Sanctification, Protestant theologians explore these questions and share their understanding of how sanctification occurs. In this paper, I will summarize and react to each contributor's view of sanctification. At the end of the paper, I will offer my own explanation of how sanctification occurs.

Five Worldviews

Dennis McCallum
It sometimes seems as if there are more philosophical and religious views than any normal person could ever learn about. Indeed, there are more than six thousand distinct religions in the world today. However, some people are surprised to find that the world’s religions and philosophies tend to break down into a few major categories. These five worldviews include all the dominant outlooks in the world today.

Follow Up Workshop

Dennis McCallum
In general, the primary person responsible for interacting with new guests is the person who brought them. Bringers should not abandon their guests unless they are satisfied that others have already engaged them. New people should not be left alone during social times before or after meetings. However, most bringers are happy to have others in the home church talk to their guests, either together, or even instead of the bringer. This could be because the guest is a different gender than the bringer (especially in singles groups), or because the bringer has already made progress, but would now like to have other voices confirm what they have been saying. Typically, other members from the same cell group as the bringer should feel special responsibility to follow up guests. Those from the related men’s or women’s cell would be equally suitable. If a bringer wants others in their cell group to help follow up with a guest, the best thing to do is let them know of the need beforehand.

For Whom Did Jesus Die?

Conrad Hilario
Christian thinkers have been divided over the teachings of John Calvin for nearly four centuries. And there is good reason for this long-standing controversy. The debate over Calvinism is exceedingly complex and the sweep of all that has been written on this subject could easily fill the largest of libraries.

Formalism and Prayer

Dennis McCallum
Formalism is an outlook that focuses on outward religious rites more than on inward heart attitude. Just as legalism seeks to reform the inward by focusing on outward behavior, formalism shifts the focus from the inward to things like rituals and observance of sacred calendars and liturgies. Of course, every Christian group and individual has forms through which they express or practice their faith. And any of these forms has the potential to replace a real heart encounter with God. In many religions, including some that would call themselves Christian, people practice formalistic prayer. Instead of a time of personal relating with God, formalistic prayer becomes a ritual, a form to be followed.

Formalism: What is It and Why Not?

Dennis McCallum
Formalism refers to a tendency in religious thought and practice to shift focus away from the abstract, the spiritual, the personal, or the ethical principles in a religion and toward the outward forms that embody that religion. Outward forms can refer to: - the sacred buildings or shrines in which worship occurs - the calendar of sacred days and times around which religious life is oriented - the rituals through which followers can experience the sacred or be fixed in some way - special dress, diet, language, or other behaviors unique to that religion

Geisler's Three Schools of Principlized Ethics

Dennis McCallum
There are three schools of principled ethics taken from Norman Geisler's Christian Apologetics: unqualified absolutism, conflicting absolutism and hierarchicalism.

Goals for Personal Discipleship

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
A discipler is one who helps people attain servant team status by both ministering in a general way in the church, and by holding specific meetings for study, coaching, counseling, and prayer, all in the context of a close personal relationship. Discipleship usually begins in the context of the home church and cell group. Numerous members may contribute to the process at this level. Body life is a major contributor to the discipleship task. Below we have described what we see as the nine main areas of learning and growth every disciple needs in order to be complete and mature. For each area of learning, we have described specific skills, attitudes, and competencies the disciple needs to acquire in the course of the discipling process.

God's Part in Ministry

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
Christian workers must have a clear understanding of the role God plays in evangelism, discipleship and other aspects of ministry. Unless we consciously operate out of a God-centered model of ministry, we will automatically default to a human-centered model, and all the defeat that comes with it.

God's Strategy in Human History: Discussion Questions

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
This book by Forster and Marsdon, takes a provocative and, we think, persuasive approach to the question of unconditional election and the exegesis of Romans 9. We have our students read the book and prepare responses to these statements, interacting with the scripture cited. All but # 5 are indisputably true, contrary to what many Arminian believers think.