Bible--Revelation

Indigenous African Demonic Deliverance and its Transference into Pentecostalism with Subsequent Refining: Ghana and its Diaspora as a Case Study

Author
Duane Sterling Sims M.A.
Abstract

This paper examines how the traditional Ghanaian worldview has been contextualized by grass-roots Christians in Ghana, and further by Ghanaian Pentecostals, and how this has been exported, adapted, and refined from Ghana across national and continental lines to its diaspora. I hope to address some key questions regarding Ghanaian deliverance practices (at home and abroad) and integrate my findings into ministry, whether to Africans or anyone. Some of these questions include: “What drives Ghanaians to seek deliverance? How have they, historically, sought to deal with the spirit realm? How do they currently seek to deal with it? What are some of the differences between a traditional Ghanaian understanding and that of a Ghanaian Pentecostal view?”

Work Perspectives, The Sacred/Secular Divide, and Workplace-Related Preaching, Equipping, and Church Support

Author
Joy P. Dahl D.Min.
Abstract
This study explored perspectives of work and workers, as well as potential connections between these perspectives and a lack of workplace-related preaching, equipping, and support provided by the church to congregants. This research, founded on a biblical theology of work, identifies implications for understanding church dynamics, and for dismantling beliefs and practices upholding the unbiblical sacred/secular divide.

The research engaged two groups within one church: pastors/paid church staff and congregants. The survey focused on: (1) value of work inside versus outside the church; (2) value of workers inside versus outside the church; (3) importance of work-related topics for preaching, equipping, and support within the church; and (4) adequacy of pastor/staff understanding of non-church workplaces and their ability to help congregants address workplace issues. This Doctor of Ministry project represents a unique study which evaluates perspectives of church workers and non-church workers within one church body regarding a primary area of everyday life often unaddressed or under-addressed by the church.

Two descriptive surveys, one for each group, garnered a 69.01% response rate from 71 pastors/staff, and a 9.62% response rate from 5,113 congregants. The surveys gathered quantitative responses, except for two qualitative responses regarding workplace demographics (for congregants only) which assisted the church in understanding the makeup of its non-church workers. The results of the surveys revealed that both pastors/staff and congregants within this church placed similar, high value on church and non-church work and workers. However, these perspectives did not translate into pastors/staff attributing high importance to work-related topics within church practices when compared to other topics. Additionally, both groups affirmed an inadequate understanding by pastors/staff of non-church workplaces and the daily issues congregants face.

The final chapter includes conclusions of the study and implications for future research. It also provides recommendations of potential next steps for the church.

UNDERSTANDING AND CONTEXTUALIZING THE MARKS OF HEALTH AND ITS OBSTACLES IN SELECTED BRAZILIAN EVANGELICAL CHURCHES BASED ON THE TRANSFORMATIONAL CHURCH CRITERIA

Author
Sergio Queiroz D.Min.
Abstract
This major project was designed to understand and contextualize the marks of health and its obstacles in selected Brazilian churches, using the Transformational Church criteria. The report began with a theological and missiological foundation about church health and missionality, composed by a storyline of the most important reflections on church growth and mission over the last fifty years, from the Church Growth Movement until the Missional Church Conversation, with emphasis on the Transformational Church.

Following that, in order to understand and contextualize the Transformational Church marks of health into the Brazilian church, the cultures of Brazil and the US were compared in search of how the cultural constructs of power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and others can work either as obstacles or facilitators of health and missionality in Brazil. The last part of the project was in-depth interviews with senior pastors of forty-five churches from different denominations and regions of Brazil about leadership practices, evangelism, worship, prayer, local and global missions, small groups, involvement with the city, assimilation of new believers, as well as about the hindrances those churches face in order to be healthy and missional.

The main conclusions of the research were that the Transformational Churches in Brazil show similar marks of the American ones: they discern the context with a missionary mentality, embrace the values of vibrant leadership, relational intentionality and prayerful dependence, and engage the right actions of worship, community and mission. However, the Brazilian Transformational Churches have to face major obstacles to be healthy and missional, especially the teachings of the Prosperity Theology, financial problems, and the lack of commitment of their members to the mission of God.

Rediscovering Revelation: being transformed by a performance of John's vision

Author
Paul Stuart Seelman
Abstract
Revelation speaks a powerful word against living for worldly empire. John's visionary words are imminently relevant as a guide to faithful 21st century living. This project proposes that an experience of Revelation through performance can provide Christians transformative ways of imaging daily life in God's in-breaking kingdom. Through descriptions of how the Apocalypse was heard by John's original audience and by one post modern congregation, this project aims to encourage church leaders to create their own performances of Revelation in their ministry settings.

An explosion of the hymns of the Apocalypse

Author
David H Bryson
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to set forth the pattern of hymnody as seen in the hymns of the Apocalypse. The pattern, substance and reverence of the hymns will also be shown. The format of the paper as detailed in the outline will include the exposition itself and its interpretation followed by the homiletic usage in the church as well as in its choral and congregational usage. The church that understands the message of the book of Revelation will join the choirs of heaven in singing His praise.

The courage to keep going: reading revelation in the present

Author
Richard Alan Rintamaa
Abstract
This project proposes that a close reading of Revelation can reinforce the courage necessary to act now in harmony with faith in the ultimate victory of God through Christ. Millennialist lines of interpretation yield frightening meanings, but an understanding of crisis anxiety that sees the end-time as immanent rather than imminent yields a positive approach to the reality of evil and the distractions of temptation. Recognizing that proclamation happens in its own place and time, the project offers suggestions about preaching the message of Revelation.

Preaching from the book of Revelation in an urban context

Author
Michael D Fisher
Abstract
This project analyzes the book of Revelation in order to develop a sound hermeneutic for preaching from it in urban churches today from a Seventh-Day Adventist perspective. Revelation provides a basis for preaching and community action in cities.

A research project using the long-term sermon preparation model for preaching the Book of Revelation to stimulate spiritual development at Tulsa Bible Church

Author
John S Barnett
Abstract
This is a qualitative research project using a strategy for increasing the spiritual development of the believers at Tulsa Bible Church through preaching the book of Revelation. A long-term sermon plan was developed and implemented using the book of Revelation to impact the believers at Tulsa Bible Church toward spiritual development. An instrument was developed and used to pretest and posttest in order to measure the effectiveness of the program. Areas of measurable spiritual development were developed, incorporated didactically into the series and emphasized throughout the planned sermons. The analysis of the posttest shows a measurable change in some areas of spiritual development. The conclusion of this research project is that spiritual development in daily living can be measurably influenced in a congregation through a long-term sermon plan.
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