Author Archives: Kevin T. Bauder

Knowing God’s Will: Part Nine

Knowing God’s Will: Part Nine

Kevin T. Bauder Years ago I began an unsuccessful career in sales. My manager warned me that I would have to learn to help people past “Buyer’s Blues.” He explained that many people experience feelings of doubt, anxiety, panic, and guilt either immediately before the decision to make a large purchase or immediately afterward. Part… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Eight

Knowing God’s Will: Part Eight

Kevin T. Bauder If God has an individual direction for His children, then they ought to be able to discern what that direction is. Many Christians believe that the way to find God’s will is to pay attention to a kind of subjective inner sense, a feeling of peace that will indicate the decision that… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Seven

Knowing God’s Will: Part Seven

Kevin T. Bauder In previous essays I have outlined several considerations that all believers should weigh when seeking to discern God’s leading in their lives. Obviously, they should avoid wrong ways of knowing God’s will, such as inner voices, dreams, “fleeces,” and misuse of Scripture. Instead, they should begin by obeying God’s will as revealed… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Six

Knowing God’s Will: Part Six

Kevin T. Bauder God knows exactly those choices that will bring the greatest good into your life. Perhaps those are not the choices that will result in the greatest apparent good, especially in the short term—I’ll have more to say about that in a future essay. But God knows who He wants you to be,… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Five

Knowing God’s Will: Part Five

Kevin T. Bauder A few months ago I received a phone call from a colleague, a former student who went on to serve in pastoral ministry for a decade. He told me that he was trying to decide whether to remain with his current pastorate or whether to go back to school. He thought that… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Four

Knowing God’s Will: Part Four

Kevin T. Bauder Throughout this discussion I have assumed that God has an individual will for each Christian and that His will can be discerned. To this point, I have described criteria for determining God’s will that are straightforward and objective. God’s leading never contradicts Scripture rightly understood. The person who wishes to know God’s… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Three

Knowing God’s Will: Part Three

Kevin T. Bauder John Buck is a manager for a national corporation where he has been advancing through the ranks. One day his boss stops by to offer John a new position as manager of a plant in a distant part of the country. The job comes with a pay increase of $15,000 per year.… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part Two

Knowing God’s Will: Part Two

Kevin T. Bauder If God is not giving further revelation, then how can believers know His will for their lives? Some theologians have denied that God has an individual will for each believer, but their objections are not convincing. More often than not, their case against an individual will of God is really an objection… Continue Reading

Knowing God’s Will: Part One

Knowing God’s Will: Part One

Kevin T. Bauder Does God have an individual will for each believer? To suggest otherwise is effectively to deny either the infinity of God’s wisdom and knowledge, thereby verging upon Open Theism, or else to question God’s love for and personal interest in His children. God certainly knows what will be best for each of… Continue Reading

On Living the Liberal Life

On Living the Liberal Life

Kevin T. Bauder Contemporary education emphasizes specialization. The more education you get, the more specialized it becomes. This trend produces scholars whose grasp of a tiny sliver of knowledge is exhaustive, but whose capacity to integrate that knowledge into the overall system of reality (i.e., the universe) is marginal. Their ability to integrate factual and… Continue Reading

In Praise of Ordinary Men, Part Nine: Bill Bevis

In Praise of Ordinary Men, Part Nine: Bill Bevis

Kevin T. Bauder About twenty-five years ago I was planting a church in Garland, Texas. Our little congregation was meeting in what had been a bank building. Our nursery was in the vault. One Sunday night after church one of our men commented that he had inherited an old military rifle from an uncle. He… Continue Reading

Not My President?

Not My President?

Kevin T. Bauder In my first presidential election—that is, the first one I voted in—my guy lost. Since then, the people I voted for have lost presidential elections more often than they have won them. In the process I have gained decades of practice at living under presidents whom I did not choose. The first… Continue Reading

Food Pharisees?

Food Pharisees?

Kevin T. Bauder There’s a lot of talk about gluttony out there. I mean a lot. Billy Graham wrote a Q&A about it. Joe McKeever rebukes it. John Piper tells people how to conquer it. Rachel Held Evans has compared it to homosexuality, and Kevin DeYoung has weighed in for the Gospel Coalition. Besides articles… Continue Reading

Does Baptism Wash Away Sins?

Does Baptism Wash Away Sins?

Kevin T. Bauder The Texas morning was already warm and getting warmer. A friend had stopped by just to say hello, and I asked him how he intended to spend what promised to be a hot forenoon. He replied, “I’m going to go to the hardware and buy some ice cream.” Looking at him quizzically… Continue Reading

Further Thoughts on Building Community

Further Thoughts on Building Community

Kevin T. Bauder [This essay was originally published on April 12, 2013.] In order for a church to function as a community, its members must develop relationships that touch all of life. The development of these relationships requires Christians to share interests outside of the purely devotional and ecclesiastical. The question arises, however: will not… Continue Reading

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Five: A Personal Testimony

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Five: A Personal Testimony

Kevin T. Bauder When I was thirteen, my father became convinced that the Lord was calling him to pastor. He moved our family across several states to attend Bible college. He took his first pastorate while he was still a student. That put me in a position to hear the week-by-week results of his classroom… Continue Reading

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Four: Where Should We Learn?

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Four: Where Should We Learn?

Kevin T. Bauder What training do pastors need? It depends entirely upon the ministry that they intend to pursue. Becoming a social justice warrior takes one kind of training. Becoming an ecclesiastical impresario takes another. Learning to work a crowd for high-pressure evangelism takes yet another. New Testament pastors must engage in a particular kind… Continue Reading

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Three: What Do We Need?

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Three: What Do We Need?

Kevin T. Bauder As General Motors’ top line, Cadillac has become a metaphor for the best and most luxurious of something. A Cadillac is never a necessity: a Chevy could get you from one place to another. The people who purchase Cadillacs are after class, prestige, and comfort. Consequently, when the Religious News Service recently… Continue Reading

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Two: What Are We Doing?

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part Two: What Are We Doing?

Kevin T. Bauder The Religious News Service recently published a story stating that future pastors are turning away from the traditional M.Div. and toward the shorter M.A. for their ministry preparation. That story labeled the M.Div. as the “Cadillac” degree for pastoral preparation. It also noted that other seminaries are shrinking the M.Div. from the… Continue Reading

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part One: A Bit of History

It’s Not a Cadillac! Part One: A Bit of History

Kevin T. Bauder The Association of Theological Schools, the primary agency that accredits seminaries, recently produced a study showing that the number of M.Div. students is falling, while the number of future pastors taking the shorter M.A. program is rising. The study was picked up by the Religion News Service, which opined that, while the… Continue Reading