Author Archives: Guest Author

Give to the Max!

Give to the Max!

Once each year Central Seminary uses In the Nick of Time to make an appeal. The reason is unique to our situation in Minnesota: the organization giveMN features an annual giving event for all charitable organizations called “Give to the Max.” During the event, giveMN offers special incentives, including cash awards, to organizations that participate.… Continue Reading

Teaching Overseas: Life’s Small Challenges

Teaching Overseas: Life’s Small Challenges

Jeff Straub Teaching overseas is a great opportunity, but it is not without challenges. These challenges abound in the wider world. Little things or big things cause discomfort to Westerners who are accustomed to conditions back home. Last week, I mentioned waiting in line. This is a standard feature in some parts of the globe.… Continue Reading

Teaching Overseas: On Arrival

Teaching Overseas: On Arrival

Jeff Straub So, you made it overseas. You cleared customs and now you are on your way to you host’s home. Hopefully you have arrived early enough to allow your system to adjust. You have even exchanged a few dollars to have local currency. Now what? Things will likely be different than what you are… Continue Reading

Teaching Overseas: Preparing to Go

Teaching Overseas: Preparing to Go

Jeff Straub Last week I began a series on overseas teaching. This week I want to consider the preparation necessary for such a venture. For those who regularly travel internationally, this essay may seem a bit rudimentary. But for others who are less experienced, there may be some helpful information here. Once you have decided… Continue Reading

Teaching Overseas

Teaching Overseas

Jeff Straub We live in days of tremendous technological advances. We carry phones that take pictures, tell time, serve as alarm clocks and stop watches, and keep track of our daily schedules. Our computers are smaller, more powerful, and have more storage than anyone imagined just thirty years ago. I carry a library of more… Continue Reading

A Theology of Rejoicing

A Theology of Rejoicing

Everybody likes a party, and for those so inclined Luke 15 might rank as their favorite chapter of the Bible. Here we learn of the rejoicing of the shepherd who finds his lost sheep (Lk 15:6), the woman who finds her missing silver coin (Lk 15:9), and the father whose prodigal son returns (Lk 15:22-24).… Continue Reading

Celebrating a New Decade: Retrospect and Prospect

Celebrating a New Decade: Retrospect and Prospect

Roy Beacham Central Baptist Theological Seminary was founded in 1956. Upon the closing of Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, students, faculty, and other sponsors urged Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to open a new seminary in order to fill the vacancy of such a training institution in the upper-Midwest. This past school year, 2016-2017, Central Seminary began… Continue Reading

The Future of Seminary Education, Part II

The Future of Seminary Education, Part II

Brett Williams In my last article, I discussed the future of seminary education in relationship to consumer-driven academia and consumer-craving ecclesiology. It seems as though the mass of ministerial pragmatism, multiplied by the acceleration of globalization in higher education, has produced such a force within contemporary religious education that there is little to do but… Continue Reading

Lessons from a Visit to Luther Land

Lessons from a Visit to Luther Land

Jeff Straub Recently I returned from two weeks in Europe, leading a group of seminary and church friends through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. It was eleven days of walking, looking at and listening to the story of the Protestant Reformation. It was also a time of warm fellowship, spectacular sights, and great food. All who… Continue Reading

Providence and Evil

Providence and Evil

Jon Pratt Following last week’s Nick of Time essay entitled, “Fate and Providence,” I received the following email from a pastor: Dear Brother, I always enjoy and appreciate your writing. I struggle with this present [essay] however. Just recently a young lady started attending our church. Nine years ago she married her college sweetheart—(both from a Christian… Continue Reading

Fate or Providence?

Fate or Providence?

Jon Pratt One of our local sportswriters described Sergio Garcia’s recent victory at the Masters golf tournament as a triumph of fate. Similar attributions to blind chance frequently find their way into sports columns. Why did the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series? Baseball gods. Or Michael Phelps winning multiple gold medals at age… Continue Reading

Caring for the Caregiver

Caring for the Caregiver

Don Odens We stood before family members and friends on the evening of July 24, 1965. My father asked, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to… Continue Reading

Facing Our Mortality

Facing Our Mortality

Don Odens My father found it necessary to address end of life issues from time to time but could not bring himself to discuss his own death openly. Discussions always began with the phrase, “If something happens to me….” Dad’s difficulty was as much cultural as personal. Many Americans, including believers, go to extreme lengths… Continue Reading

A Philosophy of Police Chaplaincy

A Philosophy of Police Chaplaincy

Roy Beacham Having described in the previous essay how God directed me into police chaplaincy, I would like to follow with a personal philosophy of the chaplaincy. As God providentially opened the door for me to enter this ministry, so also my daily tasks as a chaplain are determined by God’s providence and opened doors.… Continue Reading

Police Chaplaincy: A Testimony of Ministry Opportunity

Police Chaplaincy: A Testimony of Ministry Opportunity

Roy Beacham One of the doors of ministry that opened for me, in God’s providence, was that of police chaplaincy. Somewhere around the year 2000 I began to ponder the idea of pursuing a place in spiritual service to the law enforcement community. I did not know any police chaplains, nor had I ever met… Continue Reading

Treasures of the Trial

Treasures of the Trial

Jon Pratt God brings trials of various kinds into all our lives, and we are not to be surprised by this (1 Pet 4:12). But I admit that recent events in my family’s life have been quite unexpected and extraordinary. In His grace, the Lord has taught me many lessons through this experience, and I would like… Continue Reading

Race and the Church

Race and the Church

Jon Pratt Central Seminary has hosted the MacDonald Lecture Series annually since 1991. The lectures are named in honor of Dr. Charles MacDonald, who served as professor of practical theology from 1969-1971. Through the MacDonald Lectures, Central Seminary has hosted many speakers who have addressed a variety of ministry issues. But on February 7, 2017,… Continue Reading

Why I Spend Time with “Old Men” in Ministry

Why I Spend Time with “Old Men” in Ministry

Jeff Straub Throughout my 35+ years of ministry, I have been privileged to meet a few grand old men—Calebs, if you will—whose strength remained undiminished until the day of their passing. I am not talking about physical strength, for many of these men would have been past their prime physically. Spiritually, however, they were as… Continue Reading

Help your children learn the content of Scripture

Help your children learn the content of Scripture

Several years ago when my oldest was beginning his homeschooling in earnest and my wife and I were choosing our curricula for different school subjects, I set out to find just the right Bible curriculum. Our family does regularly read the Bible together as a family, but it is my firm belief that it also… Continue Reading