Pizzeria or Library?: 'Monday Morning Musings - November 2, 2020'

If you are hungry, you look for a restaurant, not a library. Jesus said: Feed my sheep, not intellectually inform them. Paul describes the Church as the One Loaf for the world: a strong metaphor implying being “consumed” by others as foundational to our calling and mission. Paul speaks of an “aroma of Christ.”  It is not difficult to get people who are craving pizza into a pizzeria. The question for us as Christ-followers becomes: What are we? A pizzeria or a library. Too commonly it is the latter and then we wonder why no one is eating: we are not putting out any aroma, and what we are presenting isn’t food.  We just have strongly held convictions about “the Bible.” Many “evangelistic” modalities are like expecting people to find food in a library. The kingdom of Jesus does not operate that way.

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Copyright 2020. Dr. Stephen R. Crosby. www.stevecrosby.org. For video and audio resources, sign up as a student here. You will find a mix of both free resources and those with cost. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this blog article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution through our Paypal button to help? Stephanos Ministries is NOT a 501-c-3 corporation Click here to understand why. Thank you and God bless you.

Dear Christians: Your Behavior Matters: 'The Perils of Christian Celebrity - Meditations on Living or Dead Faith'

Failure, Sorrow, and Redemption

Christian Celebrity and Our Responsibility

So, another Christian celebrity’s egregious behavior has made the national news.  He has “fallen” in sexual immorality. Sadly, there is no real news here. This will always happen in a “give us a king (celebrity)” culture that values fame and talent more than character. But it is not just an individual responsibility issue.

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The Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Nine – Evangelism: 'Taking the Dread Out of Evangelism'

Taking the terror out of evangelism. Church Refugee Sanity Guide Part Nine

Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Nine – Evangelism

In this installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, I take a fresh look at the topic of evangelism and discipleship apart from traditional theology, mindsets, and methods.

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The First Fruits of Conversion: 'The End of Retributive Violence'

First Fruits of Conversion

First Fruits of Conversion

The following is a brief true story from a friend of mine of the conversion of a Papua New Guinea tribesman named “Pully.” The author of this guest blog, Nate Ham, knew Pully personally.  I would earnestly pray that any conversion would have as much Holy Spirit ethical substance as Pully’s. I pray that we could live in as much gospel authenticity as this simple, elderly man, from Papua New Guinea. I would ask you, in the midst of much of the theological clamor today regarding God and retributive violence, to humbly and prayerfully consider the many and deep implications of Pully’s story.

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Revising Revival: Part 2: 'There's No "If-you" in the New Covenant'

Revival - A New Covenant Perspective

2 Chr. 7:14 – A New Covenant Perspective

2 Chr 7:14 is used by many as the pillar verse for virtually every revival ministry. The problem is, our definition and expectations of revival are often strongly influenced by our non-New Covenant thinking and theology, our religious culture, our political and social culture, and unresolved ego issues. This second installment in this series examines the difference between old and new covenant promises as it relates to our understanding and application of 2 Chr. 7:14 and our expectations of revival.

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Revising Revival – Part 1: '2 Chr. 7:14 in Context'

2 Chr. 7:14 in Context

Revising Revival – Part 1. 2 Chr. 7:14 in Context

“Revival” is a charged term. It can mean different things to different people. When egos, identities, money, and insecurity get into the “revival business,” things go unhealthy quickly. In this series we will look at 2 Chr. 7:14 in CONTEXT and from a NT perspective. It has nothing to do with “revival.”

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A Blind Man with a Chain Saw – “Good Intentions are Not Enough”

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895So much interpersonal human damage is done by highly gifted (“anointed’) but relationally dysfunctional people. You can be a water-walking, Bible encyclopedia, “super apostle-prophet” or whatever, full of good intentions, and not truly know God, yourself, or others. You can preach, bring forth “outstanding revelation and insights,” and do wonders and be blind to the trail of human carnage behind you. It need not be so.

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“None Dared Join Them for Fear” – Why did Pagans Join the Early Church?

Have you ever wondered why hundreds and thousands joined the early communities when it would cost them everything? Great grace, power, and fear were upon the ekklesia (church). We’re not too crazy about #3 these days-it’s not church growth seeker friendly. “None dared to join them,” doesn’t fit our “church growth strategies.” Yet even with great fear, people joined themselves. Why?

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The Revival You are Praying For is Here – Your King Comes on a Donkey

As I engage in different conversations with brothers and sisters around the world, and as I experience wonderful things I have never experienced before, things I  thought I never would live long enough to see, there is a recognizable “theme” emerging in little pockets here and there . . . kingdom testimonies of a different order and quality than anything I have ever known.

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Walking Where Jesus Walked . . . For Real – by Stephen W. Hill

One of my continual disaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAppointments as I meet so many professing “believers,” is their complete oblivion to New Covenant life,  living, and reality. Christians by the score persistently seek various external rituals, experiences, and stimuli to take their faith to some supposed “higher level” or deeper spirituality. Apparently, the Indwelling Holy Spirit, being united with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, sharing His glory (John 17:21-23) and being seated with Him in the heavenlies, and giving our lives for our neighbors and the world, etc. are not enough for Western Christians. No wonder popular culture western evangelicalism is insipid, spiritually impotent, and irrelevant.

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