Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Staying Educated in Ministry

Very rare is the one in ministry who can “keep up” with what is going on. Some work like dogs to keep up while others hope and then try and then realize they can’t keep up so they give up. Over the years I have made a variety of suggestions — reading a good book in each field each year and the like. Another strategy is that instead of trying to “keep up” (as if knowing the most recent trends is some kind of golden crown) one simply reads a broad journal for no other reason than stimulation. I have such a journal for you; it is a monthly.
It is called Expository Times. It is o o o o so English. Here is what I like about it and I just finished the most recent volume — Sept 2007:
1. It is broad and eclectic — book reviews, sermon suggestions, theological essays, critical thinking, prayers.
2. This last year had an introduction to various non-canonical books — and I found, apart from the Gospel of Thomas piece (which supported eccentricity), them useful, informative, and readable.
3. Some pieces were pushing the boundaries, but where else will we learn the edges if we don’t expose ourself to them?
4. Good book reviews — from all over the field of studies.
5. Lectionary-based sermon suggstions — this is one hang-up if you don’t follow the lectionary. If you do, this journal can be golden with suggestions.
And the thing is brief — about 50 pages per month. One need not read it all — I don’t — but one can find stuff of interest each month and not too much.

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James Petticrew

posted November 15, 2007 at 2:24 am

ah the expository times you can almost smell old anglican church buildings when you open its pages.
I had forgotten about since theological college.
I preferred the UK rtsf publication Themelios. I wonder if that is still published?

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Ted M. Gossard

posted November 15, 2007 at 5:33 am

Sounds very good. If I were a pastor, I’d want it. Even now I’d like to have it. At least I’ll hunt for it in a book store or library.

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posted November 15, 2007 at 7:57 am

If you only had one journal to recommend to a young person new in ministry, would this be it or is there something else?
My in-laws are bugging me to tell them what I want for Christmas and I’m thinking of asking for a subscription.

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Scot McKnight

posted November 15, 2007 at 8:00 am

There are a number of good ones … and I’d like to hear what our readers would say on this one.

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Bob Smallman

posted November 15, 2007 at 1:08 pm

“There are a number of good ones ? and I?d like to hear what our readers would say on this one.”
I’ll just put in a bid for “Christianity Today” as a helpful, general source. I was a charter subscriber to “Leadership,” and got it for years. I’m sure many have found it helpful; but while I loved Fred Smith’s articles, I grew tired of much of the rest. Besides, CT is where I got connected to JesusCreed!

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Jeff Gissing

posted November 15, 2007 at 1:38 pm

RTSF UK has recently stopped publishing Themelios – alas.

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posted November 15, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Journals that I have enjoyed and find useful: Theology Today, Quarterly Review, Interpretation. I can usually find something interesting and useful in each issue.
Sorry to hear that Themelios is no longer published. As to magazines, I find Christian Century worth the price.

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posted November 15, 2007 at 2:38 pm

“Wired Magazine” and “The Hockey News” for those days when you just can’t take one more theological argument. Or you can just read them at the library.

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Bob Smallman

posted November 15, 2007 at 3:02 pm

I’m with Matthew (?Wired Magazine? and ?The Hockey News? ). What was I thinking with my earlier recommendation?!
Although I purposely saved my July 1997 issue of “Wired” for its article on “The Long Boom,” predicting that Internet stocks were going to lead us into “25 years of prosperity, freedom, and a better environment for the whole world.” So maybe it’s not quite infallible?

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posted November 15, 2007 at 10:28 pm

I wish CT had less ads, and less plugs for Christian colleges – or at least equal time for parachurch ministries.
I like much of the content – but eventually stopped subscribing, because it began to feel like an Evangelical Stars People Magazine.
But that’s just me.
I LOVE Books and Culture, and Touchstone.

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posted November 16, 2007 at 3:56 pm

i wonder if this is simply a telltale of the changing times. the majority of the stuff i read are online and includes mostly blogs from average folks and “known” figures such as yourself.

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posted November 16, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Books & Culture. :-)

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posted November 21, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Okay, I saw a lot of votes for Christianity Today. Is that the best way to keep up and get the lay of the land or is there something more focused on ministry & theology out there that I should get?

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