Rather than the Enneagram: Let the Bible Highlight Your Sin Tendencies

The key insight of the Enneagram that Christians seem most attracted to—and that, in many people’s opinions sets it apart from other personality and strengths-finding tests—is its diagnosis of people’s sinful tendencies (what some Enneagramites refer to as “passions” and “fixations”).  In other words, the Enneagram is supposed to help us identify nine detrimental paths … Continue reading Rather than the Enneagram: Let the Bible Highlight Your Sin Tendencies

Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen. Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” … Continue reading Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments: A Few Reflections

About four years ago, politically conservative news commentator Dennis Prager (Jewish in his faith) posted 11 short videos about the Ten Commandments.[1]  Since then Prager has received an astonishing 2-4 million views on each video.  A friend at my church recently asked what I thought of these videos.  So, for his sake I listened to … Continue reading Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments: A Few Reflections

What Pliny the Younger Learned When He Interrogated Christians (ca. A.D. 110)

For many years I have been curious about a Roman governor known to us from history as Pliny the Younger. My interest initially arose because I resided for four years in one of the principal cities he governed—not to mention that one of my four daughters was born in that city. Moreover, since I have … Continue reading What Pliny the Younger Learned When He Interrogated Christians (ca. A.D. 110)

A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer

I recently participated in A Call to Fast and Pray at Biola.  This event was the vision of Peter Brown (a current graduate student at Biola).  Fifty or so Biola students gathered to eat dinner together at the start of the fast and to listen to a message by Biola professor Jon Lunde.  At evening’s … Continue reading A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer

Speaking in Tongues in Church

A few years ago I received an email from a former student (now a young pastor) asking some questions about speaking in tongues during corporate worship.  Let me excerpt his email and then include my reply (with his permission). ------------------ Dr. Berding, I am emailing you because I have a question about ‘service of worship’ … Continue reading Speaking in Tongues in Church

On Heaven (and Hell): Alan Gomes and Randy Alcorn

Ever since the day God got a hold of my life as a teenager, I have wanted to learn everything I could about heaven.  In fact, thinking about the brevity of life in comparison to the length of eternity was what got me on track and motivated me to really follow Christ as a teenager.  … Continue reading On Heaven (and Hell): Alan Gomes and Randy Alcorn

Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2018

As we move into a new year, I thought I might share seven Christian books I really appreciated in 2018. Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible, by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien Many useful insights (and a few not-quite-as-useful) on how understanding cultural contexts can improve … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2018

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Middle East

Years ago, when Trudi and I lived in the Middle East, I wrote a prayer letter employing the poetic structure of “The Night Before Christmas.”  I share it with you on this Christmas Eve. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept Trudi my spouse She stirred … Continue reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Middle East

What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?

Recently, Trudi and I hosted six of my current college students for dinner.  (Note: as is our custom, we invited all my current students, but this time only six came).  In addition to those six were my wife, Trudi, and my daughter, Grace.  The nine of us had a great time together, and a wonderful … Continue reading What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?