Author Archives: Guest Author

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

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

A Visit to Winners Chapel

A Visit to Winners Chapel

Jeff Straub I recently read an essay in which the author described the scene at a San Salvador Pentecostal church: “Within two minutes it is holy bedlam—high-energy guitar music, electronic-generated images on two big screens, girls waving flags, hands raised, people dancing in the aisles, crying and singing so loud the windows vibrate.” Such a… Continue Reading

The Gospel in Europe

The Gospel in Europe

Jeff Straub Next year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the publication which started the Protestant Reformation. Luther, an Augustinian monk and theology professor, came to embrace justification by faith alone and to conclude that much of what the Roman Church was promoting had little biblical foundation. His initial goal was a… Continue Reading

Perry Noble’s Missed Opportunity

Perry Noble’s Missed Opportunity

Jeff Straub The fall of mega-church pastor Perry Noble has stunned the evangelical world. Noble founded and pastored NewSpring Church of Anderson, SC, for 18 years. NewSpring was listed as the third largest church in the United States in 2015. Outreach Magazine reports its attendance as approaching 28,000. But in recent days, the leadership of… Continue Reading

A Plea for a Three-Year Master of Divinity, Part Two

A Plea for a Three-Year Master of Divinity, Part Two

Jeff Straub Last week, I began a discussion on the trend to combine college and seminary education into a shortened five- or six-year program. By the end of the 19th century, the M.Div. was a graduate degree built off a non-ministerial undergraduate degree so that it required three years of intensive theological education. During the… Continue Reading