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Showing posts from June, 2014

A discussion about "inerrancy," inspiration, and creation

The following is an excerpt from a discussion I had with a friend about the concept of inerrancy, inspiration, and creation stories in Genesis. It is intended to spurn your thinking about these issues and to draw attention to the various ways Christians can read and interpret the Bible (and still be Christians).
My friend believes the Earth is several thousand years old. He had gotten into several debates with other ministers about inerrancy, inspiration, and creation. My friend sent me a whole lot of what these other ministers had said. My friend then asked me what I thought about it all. 
His email is in black, my responses are in blue. I'll begin with my first response to my Friend:
Hey Friend, Wow. That's a lot. To answer your question, I agree with some things he said. (1) Concerning "inerrancy," I don't use the word because (a) the Bible never uses the word, especially because it's not written in Latin, the source language of "inerrant," and (b) it…

A Free Tool to Help You Grow

Below is a tool I developed to use in my discipleship ministries. I also use it for my own growth. Feel free to use it as you'd like. I can email you a pdf if you'd like to use it or distribute it to your church or small group. (The lines are lined up when I edit the post; disjointed when I publish it to the site.)

Discipleship Assessment
David W. Pendergrass, PhD
Why do I want to use an assessment? Jesus commanded his Apostles to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19-20) and they did. This commandment begs two questions: what is a “disciple” and how is a disciple made? The What: “Disciple” means “learner, student, or adherent.” The How: Jewish disciples adopted the lifestyle and values of their teacher and obeyed what the teacher commanded. Making disciples involves two stages: (1) the initial confession and repentance of sins and placement of faith in Jesus and (2) the secondary stage of growing in faith within a Christian community.
Based on the Bible and church history,…

A Response to the Blog post, "The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying"

There’s a popular blog post going around much in the last couple months called, “The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-dannemiller/christians-should-stop-saying_b_4868963.html). It’s written by Scott Dannemiller, a worship leader and former missionary in the Presbyterian denomination. I won’t tell you what this post is about because I want you to make up your own mind.
I read this blog post months ago and have reflected on it since then. I appreciate what I think he’s trying to say, but what he actually says is wrong on several points.
I thought I should I write a response to this blog not as an example of one Christian beating on another one. No. I just want to breakdown the things he says in the hope that thinking carefully about things he says—which prima facie sound right—are actually not based on solid biblical thinking. My hope is that this exercise helps you also think critically when reading religious blogs (including my own, of cou…

Scared of really getting to know God

There’s a curious expression I’ve heard all my life among Christians. It goes something like this:
“I want to be closer to Jesus (or God).”
It’s curious to me because for years, I didn’t know what it meant. I’m not sure if we can be spatially closer to God because God is omnipresent. I’m not sure if we can be relationally closer to God because, in Jesus, we are as “close” as we can be. I really resisted this expression for years because it struck me as an expression that meant, "I want to feel like God is present," which, too often is the case, is an attempt to chase a feeling about God instead of God.
Nevertheless, I accept that expression more and more. It reminds of what Paul said in 1 Cor 13:12. Corinth was known for high quality copper mirrors. Paul uses an object they would have known well to make an analogy about knowledge of God.
“For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have be…