How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

Actually, there are lots of ways to kill a prayer meeting. You could display bitterness or hostility to someone just before you start praying; that’s sure to do the job. Or thoughtlessly rush into a prayer meeting, without any spiritual preparation, cracking jokes up until the moment you bow your head. That, too, has a … Continue reading How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

Spiritual Ministries Guide

Where might God want you to serve in ministry?  I have just added a Spiritual Ministries Guide to my Resources Page.  The Guide can help you think through various ministries God may have for you to build up his church and extend his kingdom work in the world.  The Guide is an alternative to spiritual abilities … Continue reading Spiritual Ministries Guide

Is the Bible Clear?

I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from … Continue reading Is the Bible Clear?

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

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

‘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?

A Simple Way to Keep the Old Testament Organized in Your Head

How can I keep the Old Testament organized in my mind?  There’s so much going on…  How do things connect?  Where is it going? Here is the simplest way I can think of.  Learn the four most important Old Testament covenants and their corresponding (rough) dates.  If you memorize this simple outline, you will kill … Continue reading A Simple Way to Keep the Old Testament Organized in Your Head