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  • Speaking a New Language at Seminary

    Published July 22, 2014

    Seminarians all over the world learn a new language when they go away to study theology:  the words used by the academic community to wrestle with the matters of faith, such as hermeneutics, soteriology, pericope, and ontology.*  This new language must then be shed in order to communicate effectively with the people in the pews, only a few of which might be interested in mastering this esoteric vocabulary.  (The concepts behind the technical words, of course, are often valuable for ministry.) 

     

    The students at the Protestant Institute of the Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS), the seminary which Presbyterian Rwandans attend, takes this challenge a step further. 

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  • Grace, Gratitude, and Forgiveness

    Published July 21, 2014

    Some of you have asked for a copy of the paper I presented at the Scientific Week of the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences in Butare, Rwanda, on Saturday.  It is entitled, "Grace, Gratitude, and Forgiveness," and it uses the Reformed theological framework of grace and gratitude to understand why we forgive, and explores several scriptures for practical steps which can lead to forgiveness.  (Word to the wise:  it's about 25 pages long.)

     

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  • Joy and Sorrow in Worship and Life

    Published July 19, 2014

    On Thursday evening I met with a fourth year student at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) to talk about his senior thesis.  Joseph is planning to write about the impact of music on worship attendance in the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda.  Along the way, he told me of tragedies in his life story that made his research come alive even more vividly.

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