Book Recommendations on issue of Calvinism/Arminianism: Against Calvinism & Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities

Titles: Against Calvinism & Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities Author: Roger Olson Topic: Calvinism, Arminianism It is clearly evident that Reformed Theology is in. And not just in Seattle, where Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill call home. Throughout the nation, seminaries, denominations, and the blogosphere is full of the “Young, Restless and Reformed,” willing to stop and correct anyone who does not proclaim the Gospel … Continue reading Book Recommendations on issue of Calvinism/Arminianism: Against Calvinism & Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities

Best Writing (and preaching) Advice for Young Writers

This blog was originally posted on Justin Taylor’s blog, “Between Two Words.”  C.S. Lewis’s last interview was on May 7, 1963—six months before he died. Sherwood Wirt (1911-2001) asked for his writing advice: “How would you suggest a young Christian writer go about developing a style?” Lewis responded: The way for a person to develop a style is (a) to know exactly what he wants … Continue reading Best Writing (and preaching) Advice for Young Writers

Book Recommendation: Finally Free by Heath Lambert

Title: Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace Author: Heath Lambert Topic: Pornography, Sexual Purity Porn is the “Elephant in the Room” of today’s culture and the local church. It is destroying many homes and relationships, even if the sin is hidden, because it affects the quality & characteristics of a relationship. There are many books out on helping people overcome porn, … Continue reading Book Recommendation: Finally Free by Heath Lambert

Can a Christian be a police officer?

Having been born in the Soviet Union, a nation deeply atheistic and anti-Christian in its very core, all believers were the laughing stock of society. I was blessed with a grandpa who was a pastor and served years in Soviet camps for his faith in Jesus. Christians were not allowed to get an education, hold high-positions in community, gather, nor teach their Children about faith. … Continue reading Can a Christian be a police officer?

11 Daring Questions to Ask Yourself about Social Media Use

I use Social Media a lot. I believe it is one of the greatest tools available today for individuals and churches to communicate, inform and influence people. I do not believe Social Media is a sin; I actually think its probably unwise to not be utilizing social media for ministry. I also have a track record of getting other ministers to use Facebook and Twitter. … Continue reading 11 Daring Questions to Ask Yourself about Social Media Use

Мысли вслух о прошедшем форуме по вопросу кальвинизма

Перед тем, как рассказать о своих впечатлениях, я хочу поблагодарить пастора Александра Шевченко за организацию форума по столь актуальной теме. Некоторые служители используют кафедру для само-пиара, формируют неверное представление о кальвинизме и арминианстве, и ложно представляют то или другое учение. А, между тем, американская молодежь знает о кальвинистских идеях значительно больше, чем мы думаем, многие являются сторонниками данной позиции. В США кальвинизм играет огромную роль. … Continue reading Мысли вслух о прошедшем форуме по вопросу кальвинизма

From a church of 3,000 to 0.

To the Russian/Ukrainian/Slavic Christians living in the Puget Sound, the Washington State Criminal Justice Center in Burien is a very familiar facility. Over the years, the facility had been rented by numerous churches and para-organizations for events. What most Slavics didn’t know is the sad history of that facility. I believe the facility’s history can teach us all some valuable lessons. Community Chapel and Bible … Continue reading From a church of 3,000 to 0.

Did God cause the tornadoes in Oklahoma? John Piper vs. Greg Boyd

When tragedy strikes a nation, there are those in ministry who like to make it a point to declare that it was God at work, killing babies, murdering mothers, and destroying homes. In such a view, Satan practically plays little to no role, since it is God who ordains, & directs all world events. John Piper took less than 24 hours to remind everyone in Oklahoma … Continue reading Did God cause the tornadoes in Oklahoma? John Piper vs. Greg Boyd

What English Bible translation should I use? Why do I not promote the KJV version? Is the Russian Synodal Translation the only option for Russian language?

One of the most common questions I am asked when I travel and speak at Slavic churches is what English Bible translation I recommend.  Most Slavic church leaders and pastors read a Russian version of the Bible, and therefore do not have a recommendation of an English version. Time after time, I’m finding young kids coming in to church with either a New World Translation … Continue reading What English Bible translation should I use? Why do I not promote the KJV version? Is the Russian Synodal Translation the only option for Russian language?

Not everyone is happy on Mother’s Day at Church

If you were to ask everyone in the congregation who was born from a mother to stand up – everyone would stand. We all have or had mothers. Someone like me – I consider my mother to be the best mother in the world. But, to assume that every person in the church has fond memories of their mothers, or that “Mother’s Day” is the … Continue reading Not everyone is happy on Mother’s Day at Church

Bankruptcies and Christians. Can I file for a bankruptcy as a Christian? Do I still owe someone money, even though I’ve declared a bankruptcy?

As a Christian, can I file for a bankruptcy? If I borrow money from friends and family, since I file for bankruptcy, does that mean I don’t have to return the money? During the last several years, the economy in the United States has gone through a valley, and left many people unable to pay their bills and forced them to file for bankruptcy. Is … Continue reading Bankruptcies and Christians. Can I file for a bankruptcy as a Christian? Do I still owe someone money, even though I’ve declared a bankruptcy?

5 ways to Intake the Bible

INSERTION: I believe Bible intake is the most important Spiritual Discipline that all believers in Jesus Christ must exercise. Why so? Why not prayer? Church attendance? Reading the Bible will lead us to prayer, fellowship, the local church, serving, giving, loving our neighbor, and more. Yet, there are many people who spend A LOT of time in prayer or in church (like Muslims, & Buddhists … Continue reading 5 ways to Intake the Bible

Watch the full movie “The Cross and the Switchblade” here

The movie “The Cross and the Switchblade” is a classic. Certainly, one of my favorite films growing up. It tells the story of Evangelist David Wilkerson, and his attempt to reach the gangs in New York. Nicky Cruz is one of the people that came to the Lord through the ministry of David Wilkerson. Watch the full movie here. Continue reading Watch the full movie “The Cross and the Switchblade” here

Is the Bible trustworthy? On the Validity of the Holy Scriptures

Though I was born in a Christian family, there was a season in my life when I questioned my faith and the validity of the Bible. I asked questions such as “Why should I consider the Bible trustworthy and not the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or some other religious literature?” I believe it is ok to ask questions. I did not want to proclaim … Continue reading Is the Bible trustworthy? On the Validity of the Holy Scriptures

What is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Could I have committed the Unpardonable Sin?

When I was a teenager, at one point, I began to strongly struggle with the fear that I had committed the unforgivable sin of the “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.”  Without a true desire in my heart, my mind questioned, “What if I just say quietly that the Holy Spirit is ________ (a profanity),” does that mean I will never be forgiven? After reading the … Continue reading What is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Could I have committed the Unpardonable Sin?

Can you lose your salvation?

Are you saved? If you are saved, will you always be saved? Can you loose your salvation? Ill attempt to answer these questions. In theology, there are several different views of salvation. Let me explain 3 popular views of salvation: Universalism: Everyone who has ever lived and is alive today will be saved. In this view, a loving God would not create an eternal hell. … Continue reading Can you lose your salvation?

Book Recommendation: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Title: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Author: Donald S Whitney Subject: Spiritual Growth Some books and some movies are only watched once. This book has been one of the few books that I pick up every other year, and re-read it. It is so simple, easily presented, yet so powerful and necessary. SOME THOUGHTS FROM THE BOOK: How do we pursue Holiness and become … Continue reading Book Recommendation: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Is using contraceptives a sin? What are the different “Birth Control” methods?

THIS BLOG IS FOR MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY Can we “plan” to have only 4 kids and not 10? Is family planning, using contraceptives sinful? Is a woman saved through child-bearing? The questions of family planning are certainly controversial. This blog will be controversial, because there are many strong-held beliefs, and those beliefs differ. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to write about this openly, due to much misinformation, … Continue reading Is using contraceptives a sin? What are the different “Birth Control” methods?

Book Recommendation: A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness

Title: A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness Author: Gene Edwards Topic: Leadership, Relationships Though this is a small and very easy to read book, it is one of those books that you will not be able to just read through without stopping. There will be moments when this book will lead you to tears and repentance. There will be moments when this … Continue reading Book Recommendation: A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness

Book Recommendation: The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

Title: The Meaning of Marriage Author: Timothy Keller Topic: Marriage One of the best marriage books I have read and will recommend is “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. In this book, author Timothy Keller frankly lets people know marriages built on “self-fulfillment” will not last, rather, marriages need to be built on self-denial & sacrifice.  Some small points from the book: * Vows … Continue reading Book Recommendation: The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

5 Questions to ask, before dating someone

All marriages, including marriages of Christian couples, are never perfect and need a lot of work to make them work. Getting married will neither make you “complete” nor “whole.” The only thing that makes us complete and whole is our relationship w/ Jesus Christ. Choosing your marriage partner should never be based on the feelings of “love” alone. Feelings of love are the result of … Continue reading 5 Questions to ask, before dating someone

The Christian’s approach to homosexual marriage

The issue of homosexuality has been front cover news for several years now. Many liberals have equaled the rights of homosexuals to get married w/ the great civil rights movement. On the other hand, many Christians are ready to take arms and literally fight so that the government does not give homosexuals the right to get married legally, as if a prohibition against homosexual’s right … Continue reading The Christian’s approach to homosexual marriage

Where do black people come from?

I am of Ukrainian descent and in the Slavic circles, because the culture is not very diverse with different races, the question that is often asked is “where do black people come from?” Sadly, many preachers have tried to answer this questions using the Bible and have been completely off. Here are the 2 answers I heard growing up: 1. Black people are descendants from … Continue reading Where do black people come from?

FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson (Part 1)

City On A Hill hosted Dr. Roger Olson, author of many books (including Against Calvinism, and Arminian Theology: Myth and Realities) and professor at Baylor University (George W. Truett Theological Seminary). In this video, Dr. Olson answers many questions related to Arminian theology and Calvinism, how these 2 compare, and how they differ. Part 2 of this FORUM can be viewed here (http://vimeo.com/62474379) http://vimeo.com/62468956 Continue reading FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson (Part 1)

FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson, Part 2

City On A Hill hosted Dr. Roger Olson, author of many books (including Against Calvinism, and Arminian Theology: Myth and Realities) and professor at Baylor University (George W. Truett Theological Seminary). In this video, Dr. Olson answers some of the questions from the audience, that were not asked in part 1. Watch part 1 here: http://vimeo.com/62468956) http://vimeo.com/62474379 Continue reading FORUM on Calvinism and Arminianism with Dr. Roger Olson, Part 2