"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. 

We pray that in the years to come we will also see many ITS graduates make such positive contributions to the life of the church!

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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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Peace To End All Wars: What Christ’s Birth Has Done and Will Do

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Peace To End All Wars: What Christ’s Birth Has Done and Will Do

There is a story from WWI that reminds us that in the worst of times, there’s still hope. Nearing the end of December 1914, 5 months after WWI began, British soldiers heard their German foes singing Christmas Carols after a day of fighting.

In the dark, huddled in their cold trenches, the British soldiers wondered what to make of this. But soon, they joined in, singing well-known and well-loved Christmas carols. And so, through Christmas Eve, the two warring armies celebrated the birth of their Messiah. ...

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Seed of the Serpent in 1 Samuel

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Seed of the Serpent in 1 Samuel

Last year at the Simeon Trust Workshop here in Indianapolis we studied 1 Samuel.  I was reminded of how much Genesis imagery is shot through the Saul and David narrative.  Particularly, Saul is increasingly cast as Genesis 3:15’s “Seed of the Serpent.”  Consider his demise in 31:8.  The Philistines strip off his armor and cut off his head!  Well, that’s just what David did to Goliath in 17:51, 54.  This seems like more than just revenge on the part of the Philistines for what David did to their great champion.  Rather, the author tells us this to paint both Goliath and Saul in the same colors! ...

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The Songs of the Messiah

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The Songs of the Messiah

Dr. Dieudonné Tamfu (Jubilee Community Church and Bethlehem College & Seminary), who recently dissertated on the book of Psalms, was in town to speak earlier this month on the Psalms!  His explanation of the movement through the Psalms opened my eyes to details I had been overlooking.  “Illuminating” and “extremely edifying” are the words that come to mind as I look back on those lectures.

I’m thrilled to post the lectures here for our September blog.  Listen and savor Jesus in the Psalms!

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