In my last column, I explained that the 28 theological theses of the Heidelberg Disputation (1518) can be divided into four general sections. Now, we will examine the first thesis of the first section (the Problem of Good Works: Thesis 1-12). The question with which Luther had wrestled in the late medieval age is the question we have identified as lying at the heart of the Christian doctrine of justification: What is meant by righteousness itself? What advances sinners on the way to righteousness before God?
When we talk about Luther’s Reformation, the Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of the Indulgences (1517) is often considered to be the most important thesis. It is clear that the Ninety-Five Theses is widely regarded as the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation and caused more of an ecclesiastical and political stir. However, it is the thesis of Heidelberg Disputation (1518) that is the most influential of all Luther’s disputations with the Ninety-Five Theses.
After viewing the most-watched Korean movie of all time, something struck me about our generation, both Christian and non-Christian, that I believe should not be overlooked. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Koreans began to show great enthusiasm towards movies that feature a hero that goes against the system and sacrifices for the good of the weak. Films like “The Admiral” or “The Attorney” all feature figures that are Christ-like in a sense. However, what is evident about the demand for films that feature such charismatic “heroes” is that our current society lacks these kinds of leaders altogether. Who would be willing to give up his life for the survival of numerous others and who is brave enough to stand firm in his beliefs with the whole world against him? What is even more serious is the fact that though our generation so greatly desires such a leader figure, no one is willing to become that leader himself.
Those who follow Jesus have a God-given command and Spirit-empowered desire to share the Gospel … but often we don't know where to begin. Plus, we're worried about getting it wrong and burning relationships with friends and family. It doesn't have to be that way! As the old saying goes, people won't care how much you know unless they know how much you care. Here are 11 unique ways to "show" and "tell" from missional experts Ben Connelly and Dr. Bob Roberts, Jr., authors of A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel (Moody Publishers).
Recently, Christian consulting enterprise “Project Care," has published comparative demographics of the Christian and Muslim populations from 1990 to 2010. According to this report, while the percentage of the Christians is the pretty much same, the number of Muslims increased nearly two-fold. Christianity feels threatened by the great expansion of Islam, and is extremely concerned with the mission of the Muslim religion. Sometimes, Christianity's aggressive evangelizing in the name of ‘missions’ has brought the Christian Church into conflict with Islam.
Within the next few years, the U.S. is hoping to transfer command over the Republic of Korea military back to the president of South Korea. However, Koreans are still recovering from the shock of the death of Private Yoon, a medic in the 28th Regiment in the Republic of Korea Army, after continuous beatings from other soldiers who shared a barracks with him. In light of recent events, many Korean citizens and military insiders have posed the question of whether the Korean military is ready to say that it is ready to defend its country in the case of a full-scale war with North Korea or any other foreign enemy. I would argue however, the deaths of soldiers caused by fellow servicemen shows that a powerful and effective military requires something far beyond vast numbers or state-of-the-art weaponry.
Pastor Leo Kim shares his thoughts about the difference between superficial and spiritual joy, and how to be joyful even when it's difficult.
Pastor James Kim, senior pastor of the Little Church on the Prairie, shares his thoughts about the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.
The term “Christian” derives from the Greek word, Christianos, which means “follower of Christ.” Many also say that “Christian” means “Christ in one,” signifying the way that Christ literally comes to live in the believer. God’s Eye View (시선) (2013), and Apostle (신이 보낸 사람) (2014), which were both shown during the last night of the 6th annual Pan Pacific Film Festival (PPFF), are two films that cause the viewer to consider these very meanings and how exactly they apply to a Christian’s life, whether in a comfortable, advanced society, or in a destitute place in which a believer’s life cannot be guaranteed in the next moment.
Recently, a new documentary entitled, "When God Left the Building," produced by Thom Schultz, director and president of Group Publishing, was released in August and garnered much attention. The film examines the decline of the American church and the overall deteriorating spiritual condition of the United States and asks us whether the Church will continue to exist in the future.
For theologians, the cross has been already long lost. Recent studies of theological issues are not for our human being, but for social and political issues. It has been in vogue for contemporary theology to focus on social issues rather than to commit theology to its duty, which is dealing with the problem of our sin and salvation. Theologians are making relentless efforts to provide theology to satisfy only pastors and church members. The theological propositions, like ‘the theology for the Kingdom of God’ and ‘the theology for proclaiming the cross of Jesus Christ’ have been replaced with the term ‘the theology for making pastors and church members satisfied.
Theological seminaries and institutions in Korea have been major contributors to the Church and society by producing great scholars and pastors. In recent years, the overall educational standards for pastors and theologians in Korea have been raised. However, many pastors and theologians have earned Ph.Ds. These well-educated church leaders have examined and discussed various theological topics in a lively fashion. Nevertheless, the studies of recent theological themes have gone in three directions.
Pastor Jin O Jeong shares his thoughts on the relationship between faith and good works.
Pastor Jin O Jeong shares his insight about the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit which unites the Church.