Author Archives: Trevin Wax

Where You Live Changes What You See When You Read the Bible

You may be surprised to discover just how much your culture determines what you see in the Scriptures.

During the years in Romania, I found myself challenged by the insights Romanian pastors drew from the text. Preachers seemed to spend time on things that I tended to pass over. Even now, when Corina and I discuss a passage of Scripture, we often latch on to different words and phrases. We’re both inclined to think the other has missed the point and is majoring on the minors.

Cultural background and social location play an important role in the way we read a text.

Did You Notice the Famine?

A great example of this phenomenon is found in Mark Allan Powell’s helpful little book What Do They Hear?: Bridging the Gap Between Pulpit and PewPowell recounts an experiment with 12 American seminary students assigned to read the parable of the prodigal son and then recount it from memory. Interestingly enough, not one of them mentioned the famine in Luke 15:14: 

After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing.

Powell himself had considered Jesus’ reference to the famine as an insignificant detail, but he was surprised to see all of his students forget it.

Next, Powell organized a study with 100 American students of different genders, races, ages, economic statuses, and religions. Out of 100 students, only 6 mentioned the famine in their retelling of Jesus’ parable.

Perplexed, he went to St. Petersburg, Russia, and did the same experiment with 50 …

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6 Counterfeits that Lead Away From the Biblical Gospel

A handy chart with six counterfeit gospels and how they affect us.

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Which Kind of Writer Are You: Microwave, Crockpot, or Stir-Fry?

In my experience, I’ve come across three types of writers.

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Fountain of Love, Fill Our Souls

A prayer of E. B. Pusey

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God is an Inexhaustible Fountain of Love

Our highest aspiration is the sweetest enjoyment of having our hearts deluged with love from God.

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Know Your Southern Baptists: Jason Keith Allen

Name: Jason Keith Allen

Why you’ve heard of him: He has served as a local church pastor, a seminary professor, and now a seminary president.

Position: Allen is the president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.

Previous: Most recently, he was the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation, in addition to time spent in other academic positions and as a pastor.

Education: Allen holds a Bachelor of Science from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., as well as Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from Southern.

Why he’s important: He was elected by the Midwestern Board of Trustees as the seminary’s fifth president in 2012, becoming the youngest seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and one of the youngest presidents in higher education in America. Previously, he served as the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation.

Before coming to Midwestern, Allen served as a member of Southern Seminary’s Executive Cabinet since January 2006. He had been vice president of Institutional Advancement since 2009, and executive assistant to the president the four previous years. He had also served on Southern’s faculty since 2007, teaching courses in personal spiritual disciplines, pastoral ministry, leadership and preaching.

Recently, he has led Midwestern to start the well-received site, For the Church, where he serves as editor-in-chief. The site, which has regular content from leading …

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Running from a Bad Church Situation May Hinder Your Spiritual Growth

What if the choice to leave a difficult church situation will actually short-circuit your formation as a Christian? Does God use uncomfortable church situations as part of His process of sanctifying us?

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10 Books to Read This Summer

If you’re looking to pack some books into your beach bag or load up your Kindle for some summer reading, here are some titles to consider.

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Worth a Look 5.20.15

Worthwhile reading for Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

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The Battle Over How to Interpret Pew’s “Religious Landscape” Survey

Divergent perspectives on the Pew survey are connected to larger narratives that frame how conservative and liberal Christians in the United States see themselves.

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