Culture and Christianity

A Doutrina da Trindade Orientando o Desenvolvimento Espiritual de Jovens em uma Sociedade Secularizada

Author
Arthur Vinicius Gottlieb Lupion D.Min.
Abstract
Esta dissertação propõe-se a criar e avaliar um programa curto de ensino da doutrina da Trindade, na busca de uma orientação ao desenvolvimento espiritual de um jovem cristão em uma sociedade secularizada. Com o intuito de compreender os aspectos contextuais, será avaliada a cultura do jovem atual e os impactos da alta conexão, de mudanças constantes e da fragmentação da verdade, que conduzem cada vez mais a uma vida de independência dos outros. Na busca para que a mais bela e perfeita comunidade não fique de lado, mas seja uma balizadora para reorientar o jovem pós-moderno.

Pretende-se apresentar os principais pontos a serem trabalhados no ensino da teologia da Trindade para estes jovens e como as relações intratrinitarianas podem orientar a sua vida em comunidade, já que a Trindade é uma comunidade que de eternidade a eternidade vive em perfeita unidade. Também foram trabalhados argumentos para capacitar o jovem a distinguir as falsas concepções da pós-modernidade que estão incutidas no nosso tempo, mas que são opostas à pessoa de Deus.

Em seguida, uma análise sobre metodologias contemporâneas para a educação teológica e aspectos da secularização atual. Posteriormente, foram avaliadas questões-chaves na orientação do desenvolvimento espiritual pela doutrina da Trindade, como a vida em comunidade e o desenvolvimento sexual.

A pesquisa foi aplicada no Uruguai, país mais secularizado do ocidente, por meio da missão TeachBeyond em parceria com igrejas locais do país, e a verificação da validade das variantes foi realizada por meio da metodologia de grupos focais.

Case Study on How Spiritual Maturity Benefits Soldiers While on Overseas Assignments

Author
Joshua A. Cannon D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
As the United States of America pushes further and further into secularization, the U.S. Army has followed suit. While many see this movement as a step in the right direction, many others do not. It is without doubt the Army has always had its issues with discipline; however, it is the overall epidemic of suicide and other high-risk behaviors that has the attention of the entire nation, forcing many to ask why. While many have accepted the belief or ideology that belief in God is antiquated and irrelevant in today’s modern age, many others are beginning to recognize a rise in high-risk behaviors, especially within those serving overseas. A preliminary look shows that those who devote themselves to their faith appear to benefit in ways that cannot be denied.

This dissertation examines the overall benefits of those soldiers that are spiritually mature and are considered to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The author will attempt to take aim to understand and counter the ideology that religion and belief in God is antiquated and irrelevant in today’s society leading to the belief that service members ought to follow suit. While the Army takes great initiative towards the mental and spiritual health of the soldier, it is without a doubt that one area of influence is being forced out. It is the focused approach towards faith in God as a benefit to many areas of a soldier’s life that is forcibly quieted, seen as a personal journey not to be discussed, and irrelevant to the overall force. The purpose of this study will be to examine spiritually mature soldiers and begin to understand the benefits of a deep relationship with God while serving on overseas assignments.

Pro Deo Et Patria : lessons from Daniel for navigating the God-country paradox as an army chaplain

Author
John E. Scott
Abstract
"Pro Deo Et Patria, For God and Country, is the Army Chaplain Corps motto. Is it possible to serve both when the chaplain believes these entities' values are in conflict? This project was about the God-Country Paradox, the apparent self-contradictory concept of serving God and country as a Christian Army Chaplain. The author conducted a biblical case study of Daniel 1-6, and a phenomenological questionnaire of conservative Christian chaplains to learn about this challenge and to contribute to addressing it. The author then used that knowledge to craft the God-Country Paradox workshop, which he presented to active duty battalion chaplains as a mentoring session. The author determined that identity is a critical factor in serving God and country and that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are excellent biblical archetypes of how to serve God and country loyally." -- Leaf [2].

Seek peace and pursue it : the church as a messenger in the public square : building interfaith bridges of peace and reconciliation

Author
Miriam Christina Gross
Abstract
"By building interfaith bridges of peace, a faith community becomes a vital actor in the public square. St. Paul's, New York, a German speaking congregation and representative of the German Protestant Churches set on an American-German horizon, is such a witness. By engaging in interfaith work it tries to counteract Antisemitism and racism, utilizing a public theology grounded in the imago Dei and the Golden Rule to form the Beloved Community. The author researched this work through the initiatives "Dove Power" and "Faith Journeys." The analysis shows a large impact on participants, even as the envisaged percentage of involved parishioners could not be met." -- Leaf [2].

TOWARDS A STRATEGY OF GOSPEL GROWTH FOR CHURCHES FACING THE CHALLENGES OF MINISTRY & MISSION IN COASTAL CONTEXTS IN SYDNEY

Author
Richard Wenden D.Min.
Abstract
Churches in the 21st century find themselves in a post-Christian context, and the ongoing challenge for ministry teams and their congregations is how to adapt to this changing landscape with the accompanying cultural shifts. Churches in suburban coastal contexts face a myriad of challenges, especially the lifestyle that comes with living in what are deemed to be ‘destination’ suburbs. This Project is an attempt to consider these challenges afresh against the biblical and theological backdrop of the church’s mission, in line with God’s mission in Scripture. It explores these challenges through the lens of the Bible, 1 Peter in particular, where Christians are very much ‘in exile’.

The Project shows how an understanding of cultural movements and demographics, the importance of contextualization as a way of engaging people with the gospel, and how a shift in the church’s thinking towards adopting a ‘Third Place’ posture enables us to show people what real gospel-oriented community looks like. Ultimately it seeks to offer some ways forward along the lines of embracing an urban spirituality, helping people to see how the gospel can ‘reorder their disordered loves’ as they are pointed towards Jesus, and how more intentional training in discipleship and evangelism might equip congregations to be a faithful presence in their spheres of influence.

This Project focused upon congregations along Sydney’s coastal fringe. Through interviews with ministers of Anglican churches at the ‘coalface’ and by utilizing qualitative data, the goal is to assist churches that have historically struggled in coastal contexts to formulate strategies enabling them to be missionally effective, through a renewed approach to ministry planning. It is hoped this planning may bring significant, gospel-based, long-term impact on individual church members and the churches, to bring blessing to their suburbs, gospel growth to churches, and glory to God.

An Analysis of the Cultural and Leadership Differences Among Leaders in the Chinese Immigrant Church in America

Author
Ke-Chiang (Albert) Li D.Min.
Abstract
The author Ke-Chiang (Albert) Li saw that in the 21st century, globalization is impacting all industries and almost all aspects of our lives. Chinese immigrant churches in America, like most organizations, are facing many challenges. One of the biggest challenges is how to deal with cultural differences inside the church. The differences are not only between ABC (American Born Chinese) and OBC (Overseas Born Chinese), but also among OBC who come from different parts of China and all over the world. Chinese immigrant churches losing young people and failing to reach ABC have been known problems for more than the past twenty-five years. Most books and papers use old Chinese culture to describe OBC culture and American culture to describe ABC culture to analyze the problems and try to help people to know themselves and to know each other. This approach has helped some of the churches, but it has also caused some confusion and issues when people use this to stereotype the OBC and ABC leaders in the church.

This project used a survey to investigate the cultural and leadership differences among leaders in the Chinese immigrant church in America. The result clearly shows that it is a mistake and will cause confusion when we stereotype ABC is American culture and OBC is Chinese culture. It is mixed up. Each individual have their own even in their same age group.

The author sincerely hopes that through Biblical truth and information from social science, the suggestions in this project report can contribute to finding successful ways to lead across cultures in the Chinese immigrant church in America and help develop Christian leaders capable of leading across cultures in the church and in the world.

"Hearing Habakkuk: Lessons on Accurately Applying the Text From the Turkana, Kenya Context"

Author
Graham Robert Blaikie D.Min.
Abstract
One of Jesus’ favorite sayings, “He who has ears, let him hear,” highlights the divine expectation that the message heard must be heeded—it has to be applied.

“Application” refers to the requirements of the biblical text, and our obedient response to those requirements. Accurate application, therefore, involves “hearing”/heeding what the text requires of us today—but only after we have heard what it required of the original recipients.

This project seeks to explore what constitutes accurate application from within the context of the book of Habakkuk, which a group of Turkana pastors were focusing on in their Bible Pathways training program held at Share International’s SEND Center in Lodwar, Kenya, in July 2017. Habakkuk was the eighth of nine Pathways preaching modules taught to the Turkana pastors over a three-year period by a team of six U.S.-based pastors, including the project writer.

While excellent in many ways, the Pathways curriculum is weak in application. And so, the book of Habakkuk and Turkana provided an excellent context in which to formulate and then test four principles of application.

The project includes a focus on the original applicational intent of the author—a topic that has received minimal treatment in the literature on application. It also explores the significance of what we have termed the “applicational trajectory” of the text (best seen in the distinct applications of Habakkuk 2:4 in its three appearances in the New Testament). It examines the current debate on deriving principles from the text. And it looks at how these principles might be contextualized to Turkana.

The project fieldwork includes observations as and discussions after the Turkana pastors preached, a quiz, presentation of a two-day a seminar titled “Principles of Application from Habakkuk,” a follow-up focus group, and personal interviews.

A scientific and philosophic response to David Hume’s essay “Of miracles” of 1748 / 1777

Author
Thomas Varallo M.A.
Abstract
David Hume’s argument “Of Miracles” is considered the most famous and effective argument against miracles ever devised. Hume did not argue that miracles were impossible, but that the evidence in favor of a report of a miracle has never, and will never, outweigh the firm, unalterable experience of natural law. He argues that based on natural law (ontology) it is not reasonable to believe (epistemology) a report of a miracle. Thus Hume’s argument is epistemological, but based on ontological experience. This thesis argues that empirical scientific advances on human hemoglobin protein structure, and advances in philosophy of language and simplicity in the laws of nature, have exposed ontological weaknesses in Hume’s essay “Of Miracles” which serve to counter his epistemological conclusions, even when accepting naturalist presuppositions.

“FAITHFUL TO HIS PROMISES”: GOD’S CALLING OF STARRY HASMATALI AS AN HISTORIC INDO-TRINIDADIAN MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN TRINIDAD AND CANADA

Author
Duane Sterling Sims M.A.
Abstract
This paper is concerned with the case story of Starry Hasmatali, who was raised in Trinidad and immigrated to Canada: first to Toronto and then to Moose Jaw. I have decided to interview her in particular, because she was an integral member of an historic Indo-Pentecostal family in the Church of God (Cleveland TN), in Trinidad. With her late husband, Edward D. Hasmatali, they brought the Church of God (CoG) to the island, and were deeply involved in leadership training and church planting.

Indo-Trinidadian Pentecostalism seems to be somewhat of an overlooked area of academic study, thus in interviewing Starry, I will seek to uncover their experiences in ministry in Trinidad and Canada, particularly in relation to their historic connection to the Church of God. I have also chosen to concentrate upon Indo- Trinidadian Pentecostals, since they comprise a significant section of the population of that country.

The Legacy of Hope - Moving Beyond Boundaries

Author
Temaki Carr D.Min.
Abstract
The Legacy of Hope stares into the future, a future that seems riddled with change and transition, and ponders how best to serve a transforming community. Mt. Hope Baptist Church is a historically African American church nestled in a moderately rural Virginia community, which is in the midst of an enormous population, socioeconomic, and demographic transition. How will this community transition impact Mt. Hope? The purpose of the research was to determine what effect, if any, a relational meeting campaign and two multicultural, multiracial Christian education classes would have on incorporating multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist Church. The research determined that the threshold to incorporate multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist church has been traversed. The formal and informal relational meeting campaign with key leaders and nonblack worship attendees as well as two Christian education classes influenced the five measurement protocols towards a propensity of acceptance to multicultural ministry.
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