How People Make the Commitment to Jesus in Baptism Relationships are a big deal to God. The Bible tells us that life is all about our relationship with God and our relationships with people; everything else is secondary. The word “covenant” is the favorite Bible word to describe the establishment of a formal relationship with God. A covenant is an explicit agreement and commitment... Bobby Harrington
How to Botch a Baptism I was baptizing a friend of mine who was literally twice my size. That in itself made me nervous. What made things instantly worse was that the moment I got him under, his feet floated up. So now I had to get one half (the half that needs to breathe) back up to the surface... Daniel McCoy
Why Is a New Birth Necessary? This is question #1 in Anessa Westbrook and Michael Strickland’s New Birth: Conversion and Baptism. Anessa Westbrook
What Is Repentance and What Does It Look Like? *Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from New Birth: Conversion and Baptism. In the first-century Jewish world, large numbers of people were drawn to the simple message of repentance. Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Mark 1:4 tells us that John...
Which Is a Better Way to Grow Disciples: Vine-Ripened or Mass-Produced? When I was a boy, my dad and I grew a vegetable garden together every summer. Our tomatoes were amazing. Grown in nutrient-rich soil, staked, and ripened to deep-red, sunshine-infused perfection, it was love at first bite! Our tomatoes were never perfectly round or uniform in shape. Sometimes they were so ripe they would spontaneously... Jim Tune
Introduction to New Birth: Conversion and Baptism Co-author Michael Strickland introduces New Birth: Conversion and Baptism and gives an overview of the book. Michael Strickland
New Birth Author Q&A – Anessa Westbrook and Michael Strickland with Daniel McCoy Join Anessa Westbrook and Michael Strickland, authors of New Birth: Conversion and Baptism, and Daniel McCoy as they talk about the why, how, and when of baptism.
Learning to Pray: Pause (Part 1 of P.R.A.Y.) Prayer is more challenging than we’d like to admit. At its most basic elements, prayer is having a conversation with God. Sounds easy enough. But what if you don’t know what to say? What if you never hear anything from God? What if you get distracted? It’s easy to see where things fall apart. We... Joshua Branham
Theological Differences, Respectful Debate: A Concluding Conversation with John Mark Hicks on Gender and the Bible *Editor’s Note: In our 12-article series on Gender and the Bible (summarized here), we interacted with biblical scholars with whom we found both agreement and disagreement. One of our primary interactions was with John Mark Hicks’s book Women Serving God: My Journey in Understanding Their Story in the Bible. Although there are significant disagreements we... Renew.org
How Should We Treat Those Who Disagree with Us? This is Question #5 in Chad Ragsdale’s Christian Convictions: Discerning the Essential, Important, and Personal Elements. Chad Ragsdale
How Should We Treat Elements of Our Faith That Are Not Essential? This is Question #4 in Chad Ragsdale’s Christian Convictions: Discerning the Essential, Important, and Personal Elements. Chad Ragsdale
Permission to Say No to a Fight I’ve been a Phoenix Suns fan ever since the early 90s. And, yes, I’ve always been bitter that Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls beat them in the ’93 NBA Finals. This year, for the first time since ’93, the Suns returned to the Finals, this time to face the Milwaukee Bucks. In the middle of the... Daniel McCoy
When You Face Criticism in Ministry We live in an era where basically everyone feels free and justified in sharing their opinions even when they are negative. For example, if they don’t like a product they purchased, they can leave a negative Amazon review. If they think a particular politician or company needs to be exposed for wrongdoing, they can share... Michael Patterson
What Are the Essentials of Biblical Christianity? This is Question #3 in Chad Ragsdale’s Christian Convictions: Discerning the Essential, Important, and Personal Elements. Chad Ragsdale
Does Hebrews Teach We Can Lose Our Salvation? (Part 3) *Editor’s Note: Can Christians lose their salvation–or were they never true Christians to begin with? This is Part 3 of a series dealing with these questions and exploring our eternal security as Christians. For Part 1 (“Are We Eternally Secure or Must We Have Faithful Faith?”), click here. For Part 2 (“Can a Christian Lose... Bobby Harrington