Monthly Archives: March 2011

Life @ TEDS: Mosaic Learning Community

One of the questions that people have asked me is, “Why are you attending Trinity Evangelical Divinity School?”  The Mosaic Learning Community is one of these reasons.  In the video above, Professor Peter Cha, our advisor and director, shares his hopes and desires for Mosaic.  One of the things that he says, which resonates most with me, is how Mosaic is aiming to prepare the next generation of pastors and church leaders to serve in an increasingly diverse world.  Many sociologists believe that by the year 2040 there will no longer be a majority racial or cultural group within the United States.  We need pastors and leaders who are prepared to serve the Church and advance the Gospel in such an environment.  Unfortunately, there is very little development being done at the seminary level to raise up such men and women.  Mosaic aims to change that.

We do this in a variety of ways.  The first, and perhaps the most powerful, is by developing friendships and relationships with students who are different from us.  Within our small group we represent numerous communities and theological traditions.  One of the highlights of this time together are the stories which we share and the struggles which we lift up in prayer as we support and encourage one another.  Through this, we begin to see God’s heart for people from every background and culture.  Why?  Because we are learning to love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Another way we do this is through theological reflection.  As we explore Scripture together and reflect on some of the areas of brokenness in our world, we begin to see God’s heart for the reconciliation of all peoples, both to Himself and to one another.  The apostle John writes, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God who he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).  What we see is that our relationships with each other and our relationships with God are intimately intertwined.  This reality is one that we wrestle with as we consider issues of social justice, racial reconciliation, immigration, global politics, economics and so forth.  As upcoming leaders in the church, we are challenged to think about the Church’s role in all of this and consider how we might pursue God and advance the Gospel in light of these truths.

As I continue to study at Trinity, I will continue to post my reflections on this journey, both with Mosaic and with the TEDS community.  I know that I still have a lot to learn and it is my hope that you will join me as I page through this chapter in my life.  But I want to conclude with a question for you:  How are you exploring and living out your calling to be a leader of reconciliation within the Church and in the world?  What has that journey been like?

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Tough Questions: Why Isn’t the Bible in the Fiction Section?


Working on a college campus you come across lots of tough questions from students and professors about faith in God.  So, I am beginning a series called “Tough Questions”.

These are just little snapshots of some of the questions that have been raised on campus.  I invite you, the readers, to comment on these.  How might you respond?

So, without further ado, here is tough question number one:

“How can you believe in a story about adam and eve talking to a serpent and eating this magical fruit that makes everything go bad…Why isnt the Bible in the fiction section??”

 

Finding God @ Winterfest

It’s called Winterfest.  Each year 400-500 students from across Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana gather for this incredible conference.  And each year, God shows up in powerful ways.  But there was a different vibe in the air this time around.   Just three weeks prior James Chambers, our division’s evangelism specialist, shared his dream to see more non-Christians attend this conference.  The response from the staff team was overwhelming.  By the time Winterfest began over 55 students had registered for “Finding God”, a track specifically designed to be a safe place for skeptics to come and find answers to their questions about Christianity.

One of these students was an international student from my own campus, the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Though he came to UIC as a skeptic he eventually made friends with a couple of students in our chapter and decided to come to Winterfest.  On the opening night of the conference, at our evening gathering, he told us why he had come:  “I am hoping to make some new friends and I hope that God is one of them.”

By the second night, this student was the honorary guest at his own spiritual birthday party.  A few hours earlier he had given his life to Christ.  When I asked him what made the difference, he responded, “I was interested in Jesus, but I didn’t know much about him.  Now I have a better recognition of who he is and I know that he died to save me, that he loves me, and that I can talk to God because of him.  Today I am a new me.”  He was just one of 15 students who became Christians that weekend.  Furthermore, many other students are returning to campus with a different perspective on Christianity than they had before and are continuing to ask questions and look for answers with their Christian friends.

Conferences like Winterfest are part of the reason that I serve in InterVarsity.  It is amazing to watch young people meet God in ways that they never had before and walk away, their lives transformed by the encounter.

To give you just a brief snapshot of the weekend, here are some images of our time together:


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