Created to Compete

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Created to Compete

Earlier this month we were quite privileged to hear from former pastor and seminary president, and current Colts head coach, Frank Reich on a biblical theology of competition. This was such a helpful talk! Coach Reich led us to reflect on the nature of competition as a pre-fall reality, and how the urge to compete is a constituent characteristic of the image of God. It should be used, therefore, for the glory of God and the good of others. Equally, the coach helped us mediate on the way sin—as in all things—can corrupt. In the end, it all leads us back to our redeemer, the perfect image bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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God's Story.  Our Story.

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God's Story. Our Story.

The Old Testament is new again!  The recent surge of interest in Biblical Theology is a true blessing as interpreters—and therefore pastors and their congregations—appreciate again the interconnectivity between the two testaments.  The result is a better understanding of how the Bible comprises one complete drama of God’s actions in history for the salvation of his people.

 

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The Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God

“Kingdom is one of those concepts everyone talks about but no one is quite sure what difference it really makes.” So says Nicholas Perrin, author of the new book The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology.  The arrival of the Kingdom of God is the primary organizing concept of all of Jesus’ teaching.  So what is it?  What are its characteristics?  Is it political?  Is it “spiritual?”  Are those even the right questions to ask?  In these two brief interviews Dr. Perrin addresses such issues, as well as other reasons he’s written this book.

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The Story of Wheeler Mission

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The Story of Wheeler Mission

Wheeler Mission has been serving the homeless in Indianapolis for over 125 years! This has been, and continues to this day, a crucial outreach and light of the gospel in our city. Rob Wingerter is a Board Member Emeritus who has chronicled its history in The Story of Wheeler Mission: Celebrating 125 Years of Ministry to Those in Need. Recently Rob sat down with the ITS president to discuss this history, as well as the current nature and character of homeless in our time. The book is available for purchase in both Kindle® and paperback on Amazon®.

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Made for Friendship

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Made for Friendship

“Friendship is the ultimate end of our existence.”  So says Drew Hunter, Teaching Pastor at Zionsville Fellowship and author of Made for Friendship: The Relationship that Halves Our Sorrows and Doubles Our Joys (Crossway, 2018).  And yet, “friendship is…one of the most important but least thought about aspects of life.”  If both of these statements are true, then Drew’s book is much needed to recover this lost Christian discipline.  He takes a biblical-theological look at the place of friendship in Redemptive History, and helps us think about the nature of friendship in today’s world.  This month’s blog is an interview with Drew about his book

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Read Books for Your Heart in 2019

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Read Books for Your Heart in 2019

These are the books in my current stack of reading material. There’s a story with each one and why that book is on my nightstand, as it were. But I won’t bore you with that, as probably no one is interested in all of them, and I’m happy to tell you why the one or two you might be interested in is in this stack, if you ask me. I want to encourage you, as we begin to prepare for a new year with the typical yearend review and new year resolutions, is to read heart-changing books in 2019. I don’t mean read sappy stuff that tugs at your heart. I mean substantive books that don’t just give you information, but lead to transformation. Books that impact the heart

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"After the Deportation"

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"After the Deportation"

I commonly say that that most exciting sentence in the history of human literature is Matthew 1:1. Some are surprised to hear this considering that Matt 1:1 is the beginning of a genealogy: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” How can a genealogy be “exciting?” Well, considering the kinds of biblical and cultural anticipation that surrounded the ideas of “David” and “Abraham” in the first century, this sentence amounts to a promise wherein Matthew says to readers “You have waited long enough; I will now tell you how our covenant God has brought to fruition the great hopes of our people through David and Abraham’s seed!”

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Knock Knock. It’s Your Prayer Life. I’m Dying of Boredom (and You're Killin’ Me).

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Knock Knock. It’s Your Prayer Life. I’m Dying of Boredom (and You're Killin’ Me).

Why don’t Christians pray more? For Christians, it’s so often that when we pray, we say the same old things about the same old things: “Lord, bless my family,” “Lord, help me in my job,” “Lord, bless this food to our bodies” (whatever that even means!). With all due respect to our families, jobs, and the food, praying about the same things using the same phrases over and over and over tends to douse our intercessory fires. What is the result of such rote praying? Christians who don’t pray very much. Again, the problem is not praying for the same old things. The problem is saying the same old things when praying about the same old things.

Enter the Bible. And Don Whitney.

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"We are determined to be true theologians..."

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"We are determined to be true theologians..."

In recent months I’ve been encouraged to talk with a handful of pastors across the US to describe what ITS is doing and give suggestions how they can get a similar work started where they are. One such pastor was Cory Wilson of City Church in Cleveland. Cory is also a fellow with The Center for Pastor Theologians where he posted this very helpful reflection. In it Cory considers how vital it is to remember that, “Theology cannot be understood apart from the people of God, the church, [but] meant to be done by the church and for the church.” Such comments, and Cory’s entire post, resonate strongly with what we’re doing here in Indianapolis, so I’m glad to share it with you this month. Read Cory’s original blog here.

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Stones in the Stream

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Stones in the Stream

In the last year the ITS board has grown in several ways.  One such addition is retired businessman, Rob Wingerter.  Rob has brought a lot of structural clarity to ITS as well as visions for growth.  Rob is also an accomplished author.  He is particularly interested in the value of retreat (he runs the Mahseh Center in Kewanna, IN), and church history.  This month we highlight his recent book, Stones in the Stream: An Overview of the Flow of Christian History as Examined Through the Lives of Twenty-Two Men and Women That Altered Its Course.  You can view an interview with Rob here regarding how and why he wrote the book.

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Dr. Piotrowski on Warp & Woof Radio

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Dr. Piotrowski on Warp & Woof Radio

Last week I had the privilege of discussing the importance of theological education—and specifically what ITS is doing—on Warp & Woof Radio with Drs. Mark Eckel and Clyde Posley Jr.  Dr. Eckel is the President of the Comenius Institute, and Dr. Posley is the Senior Pastor at Antioch Baptist Church.  Their weekly radio program airs live on Wednesdays 10am to noon on Radio Next, focusing on the “good works” going on around Indianapolis (taken from Titus 3:8, 14).

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Why I Love the Simeon Trust Preaching Workshops

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Why I Love the Simeon Trust Preaching Workshops

We want to hear from God. We believe we can hear from him. We believe we do hear from him. God speaks to us through the Scriptures. And so we hear his voice Sunday after Sunday as pastors devote themselves to faithful expository preaching.

This is why fifty of us gathered together for the Indianapolis Simeon Trust Preaching Workshop on June 6–8. This was our fourth workshop in Indianapolis, so I offer four reasons why I love it.

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

Two years ago I published my doctoral dissertation with Brill in their Novum Testamentum Supplements series. It’s called Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile: A Socio-Rhetorical Study of Scriptural Quotations. I explore the ideological effects of the way Matthew uses the Old Testament in his first-century context. The primary focus is on the first seven OT quotations and the way they shape the interpretation of the rest of Matthew. As you can tell from the title, I find the focus of these OT quotes to revolve around David and the end of the exile in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.

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Education through Internships

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Education through Internships

In the spring of 2004 I interned under Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.  I had just finished my seminary education and thought I knew a lot (a common self-perception of recent grads!).  But my time at CHBC, and engaging regularly with Mark, the rest of the staff, and other interns, concretized my learning and greatly broadened my perceptions of the pastorate, church membership, missions and discipleship.  My ministry will always be marked by that time in DC. ...

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