Thought You Should Know This, Too

September 30, 2010

Just prior to our arrival in Kenya (see two previous articles), there had been a national election. National elections and post-election violence often go together in Kenya. So when there was little violence accompanying this one, Kenyans were happy. But there was a large segment of the population that was not happy with the results. Kenyans had gone to the polls to ratify a new Constitution. As I understand it, their old one was a hold-over from British colonial rule. To vote “yes” was to ratify the new Constitution. The Church in Kenya was the leading voice against ratification. Why?…

Some Thoughts After Kenya

September 24, 2010

It’s been three weeks since my return to the States; having been in Kenya the last half of August. I had been invited to teach at a pastor’s conference in the northwest part of Kenya. About fifty pastors from mostly rural Kenya attended. The conference theme was: “On Being a Pastor”. What a joy it was to meet, converse, and train pastors who want to be faithful to their calling. Most of the men had little to no training. As it was put to me, in Kenya, “a young man comes to Christ and six months later he is planting…

Pastor Rich Goes to Kenya

September 15, 2010

A local pastor friend of mine, Michael Sandburg, invited me to join him on a short-term mission trip to Kenya. Pastor Mike has been going the past four years through the ministry of Agape Project International (API) to train local pastors and provide humanitarian relief in the name of Christ. I went to teach at their Pastor’s Conference under the theme of “On Being a Pastor.” Our  daughter Claire, age 16, was able to go with me and be a part of a medical team. Our church sent me with an offering of $1,300.00 dollars to purchase Bibles for some…

Historical Highlights 1600AD-1700AD

July 17, 2010

1600: Confessional “box” becomes common in Roman churches 1605: Christmas trees are first mentioned (Strasburg) 1607: John Smith founds first English colony at Jamestown, Virginia 1609: Anglican preacher turned Separatist, John Smyth baptizes the first “Baptists,” they were influenced by the Anabaptist movement 1611: Publication of the King James Bible (Authorized Version), prepared by 54 scholars working for four years, a work of “literary beauty and scholarship” 1612: Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate surfaces again (Augustine vs. Pelagius from 5th century), two central issues: has the Fall impaired man’s ability to know and choose God (yes!); and whether salvation can be…

Historical Highlights 1700AD-1800AD

July 17, 2010

1700: By this time, Latin is used only in academic settings and in Roman Catholic documents and liturgy; Reformed churches use vernacular liturgy 1701: Yale is founded by conservative Congregationalists (Cotton Mather) 1703: John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards are born 1707: Charles Wesley born; Isaac Watts publishes Hymns and Spiritual Songs, included in it are hymns When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, O, God, our Help in Ages Past, and Joy to the World—Watts moves away from literal psalm translation to hymnody that expresses the doctrine and thoughts of the Psalms and Scripture 1715: George Whitefield born 1716: China bans…

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