Testimony: A Faith Story, In Brief

Testimony: A Faith Story, In Brief

Personal
The following is an attempt to tell my testimony, the story of my Christian faith, in approximately 500 words. It was challenging to do, but also a helpful exercise! I challenge you to write out your own story in approximately 500 words. Testimony For as long as I can remember, I have known and followed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. However, there has been a lingering problem in our relationship – on my end. Of course, this problem is called “sin.” But, I mean an even more specific problem: my struggle to know Jesus, and not merely to know about Jesus. (For an attempted summary of the content of my Christian faith, what I believe, see "What Do I Believe? A Cross-Centered Credo.") Childhood I have always placed a high…
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Thank God, I Went to Cedarville

Thank God, I Went to Cedarville

Personal
As I prepare for my final semester at Beeson Divinity School, it strikes me just how well I was prepared for my seminary education by my undergraduate professors at Cedarville University. All things considered, my time at CU exposed me to the riches of biblical and theological studies, and it left me hungry for more. College gave me a love for Christ's gospel and Christ's Church - which has only increased since I arrived at Beeson. Plus, I met my wife there! :) And yet, college also left a bad taste in my mouth. See, in the year before I graduated, some crazy things went down at my alma mater. It all started with some sketchy White Papers getting sprung on the faculty right before contract renewal. Then, it led to the…
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How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Personal, Productivity and Time Management
Do you know what the worst thing about death is? It's not the dying itself - its the separation. That is, we don't suffer the most from our own deaths (a one-time occurrence), but from suffering the deaths of others (repeatedly). Instead of living relationships, we are left with distant memories. A sad reality, to be sure. What if, however, we could use death to our own advantage? I'm convinced this is the truth behind Ecclesiastes 7:2 - It is better to go to a house of mourning     than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone;     the living should take this to heart. Now, obviously, simply taking death to heart isn't enough to defeat our most ancient enemy. For that, we need (and…
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What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

Personal, Productivity and Time Management
I'm scared. Are you? Specifically, as I wrote in my journal this very morning: I'm scared - I'm scared of wasting my life, I'm scared of not being worth anything outside of the classroom. Fear drives so many aspects of our lives - from how we dress, to how we raise our children, to how we elect our leaders. And, if we're honest with ourselves, fear can play a large role in what/whom we worship. For example, perhaps we worship God out of a fear of going to hell, or a fear of our inherited religion being wrong. We secretly worry that, like Donald Miller's father accuses him in the movie Blue Like Jazz, we "only believe that stuff 'cuz [we]'re afraid to hang out with people that don't." Or perhaps…
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What I’m Reading

What I’m Reading

Personal
Ah, the joys of summer reading. [gallery size="medium" type="slideshow" ids="3828,3829,3830,3831,3832,3833,3834" orderby="rand"] What about you? What are you reading?  Is there anything I should add to this eclectic assortment?  ~Josh (@joshuapsteele)  
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Theology in Outline: What Do I Believe?

Theology in Outline: What Do I Believe?

Personal
Theology is confusing enough, much more so when you attempt to summarize it all in a single essay! Nevertheless, such was my assignment in seminary in 2015. Here are the results. “At the centre of Christian faith is the history of Christ. At the centre of the history of Christ is his passion and his death on the cross.” ~ Jürgen Moltmann[1] Theology in Outline: A[n Attempted] Summary of the Christian Faith We believe that, during the prefecture of Pontius Pilate, God died on a Roman cross.[2] We also believe that, the third day thereafter, Jesus of Nazareth – the same person who had been crucified – rose again from the dead. How can these things be? How can the immortal, transcendent, omnipotent One come to a weak, immanent end? How can…
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My Uncle, Timothy Steele

Personal
(This post is about my late uncle, Timothy Steele. It's long, and I swear toward the end. Sorry.) "It is better to go to a funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because sober reflection is good for the heart." (Ecclesiastes 7:2-3) Timothy Steele The juxtaposition is staggering. The funeral of the man I most associate with laughter and joy. It hurts. No Steele family gathering was complete without hearing his boisterous laugh, receiving one of his legendary bear hugs, and - if you were lucky - getting one heck of a sloppy kiss on the cheek. His greetings were the most genuine. I always knew when Uncle Tim had arrived. And whenever I arrived, he made…
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Presenting on Karl Barth at 2015 Southeastern ETS

Personal
I just received the news today that my student paper submission for the 2015 Southeast Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society has been accepted!My theme lately has been to write on Karl Barth and the unity of the Church. At last year's Regional ETS (hosted by my seminary, Beeson Divinity School), I presented an edited version of my undergraduate thesis: Reconciliation and the Lack Thereof: Atonement, Ecclesiology, and the Unity of God. Click the link if you'd like to read the PDF. Here's the thesis:"This essay endeavors to demonstrate the theological and exegetical legitimacy of viewing the atonement as the act in which the one God fulfills his creative purposes by bringing his uniqueness and simplicity to bear on our sinful, divisive condition through the life, death, and resurrection…
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Who am I to be a theologian?

Personal
For my 20th Century History & Doctrine course at Beeson Divinity School, I'm re-reading through Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. If you're involved in the life and ministry of the Church in any respect, I strongly recommend that you buy and read this book!Here's a particularly challenging portion from the chapter on "Wonder," beginning on page 71. I wish the language were gender-inclusive, but Karl's words still ring true: "After all, who am I to be a theologian?It does not matter whether I am the best child of the best parents, perhaps having known, like Timothy ( II Tim. 3:15), about the Holy Scriptures from the very time I began to think. It does not matter whether I have the cleverest mind or the most upright heart or the…
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Ok, Maybe a Bit More on Cedarville…

Personal
You'll notice that the previous post on Cedarville ends with a link to the Course Schedule: "Class Limited to Women" ... I know, ludicrous. Especially considering Joy Fagan's previous track record of making the first class, Scriptural Interpretation of Gender Issues (or SIGI), a truly excellent course by all accounts from former students, male and female. Equally ludicrous? The textbook choices! Are you ready for what CU students will be reading to form an even-handed perspective of what the Bible has to say on gender? Maybe some Miroslav Volf? "Junia is Not Alone" by Scot McKnight? NOPE. Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism: Biblical Responses to the Key Questions, by Wayne Grudem The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture, by Mary A. Kassian Words fail.…
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