Author Archives: Guest Author

No Church on Sunday? Part 2: What About House Churches?

No Church on Sunday? Part 2: What About House Churches?

Jeff Straub Last week I began a brief series on an influential pastor’s decision to cancel services at his nine-campus church on the final Sunday of 2018. About the same time my essay was being written, another well-known pastor released a podcast on the same issue. Our addressing the same question from a similar vantage… Continue Reading

No Church on Sunday? Part 1

No Church on Sunday? Part 1

Jeff Straub Recently, no less a public figure than J. D. Greear, the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, announced to his nine Summit campuses that there would be no weekend services at any of its locations. People were tired after a busy holiday season… Continue Reading

Give to the Max 2018

Give to the Max 2018

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. Central Seminary began to take advantage of this fundraiser about ten years ago. It… Continue Reading

Courage In Today’s Fiery Furnace

Courage In Today’s Fiery Furnace

Jon Pratt God called Joshua to be courageous as he led the Israelites into the Promised Land (Josh 1:6–9). Joshua obeyed and enjoyed the fulfillment of God’s promises (Josh 23:14). I want to highlight 279 modern day Joshuas. These are all pastors of “illegal” house churches in China. At the end of the letter each… Continue Reading

Grappling With Grief

Grappling With Grief

Don Odens The phone rang at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 13, 2008. The voice on the other end belonged to the male nurse who had cared for my father in a hospital during the night. He informed me that my 91-year-old father had passed away ten minutes earlier. While we had admitted Dad to… Continue Reading

A Long Goodbye: Part Two

A Long Goodbye: Part Two

Don Odens My wife’s casket was before me as I stood at the pulpit to present a tribute and the funeral sermon for the love of my life on July 18, 2018. Later, people asked how I could do that. The answer is a combination of God’s grace, long pastoral experience, and a desire to… Continue Reading

A Long Goodbye: Part One

A Long Goodbye: Part One

Don Odens I stood at the pulpit to present a tribute and the funeral sermon for the love of my life, my wife of fifty-three years, on July 18, 2018. Later, people asked how I could do that. The answer is a combination of God’s grace, long pastoral experience, and a desire to honor Gloria.… Continue Reading

In Praise of Ordinary Men, Part Three: Elmer Jahn

In Praise of Ordinary Men, Part Three: Elmer Jahn

Jon Pratt Elmer Jahn went home to be with the Lord on February 10, 2018. He had lived 88 years. I am privileged to have called him my father-in-law, and he had a profound impact on me, his other relatives, and many, many others. How did this man with very humble origins come to be… Continue Reading

Liberalism Is Alive and Well

Liberalism Is Alive and Well

Jeff Straub As I sat and listened to the talk, I could well have been in the early years of the twentieth century listening to an old liberal like George Burman Foster or Shailer Mathews, noted modernists of the University of Chicago. Though Foster and Mathews have long been dead, the ethos of their theological… Continue Reading

Lessons from a Visiting Missionary

Lessons from a Visiting Missionary

Jeff Straub One of the real delights of working at the seminary is the opportunity to hear the visiting chapel speakers. Our students get the privilege of hearing from some choice servants of the Lord. A recent missionary was no exception. It was a special blessing for me to hear him, as the brother who… Continue Reading

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