Tag Archives: pepperdine lectures

Pepperdine Bible Lectures

I’m planning to attend the Pepperdine Bible Lectures next week, and am bringing quite a few people with me.

In addition to my wife and two children my parents are making the trek to Malibu for the first time, as are my good friends Gary and Zoe Lambrecht, James Holston, and Nathaniel Tuliao – all first timers.

Last year was my first time to attend (regular readers may remember I posted notes online). I came away impressed with the program, and have since talked it up to quite a few people.

I’m pleased to see Jonathan Storment is a featured speaker this year, and am also pleased that Tyler Ellis has been invited to teach a class on campus ministry (I bragged on Tyler a few days ago in this post). Both are young ministers my age whom I respect and believe the church at large could learn a lot from (view the complete lecture schedule here).

I’m also looking forward to Tim Spivey’s classes on reviving and maintaining healthy growing churches. His blog series on church revitalization was excellent – I’m sure his classes on the subject will be as well.

Who else is planning to go?

If you can’t make it in 2010, you ought to put it on your calendar for 2011. This is a quality event.

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Notes From The Pepperdine Lectures – Monte Cox

Notes taken during Monte Cox’s presentation at The 2009 Pepperdine Lectures – “Christ, the Mystery of God” – Tuesday, May 5, 2009 – 7PM. Based on Colossians 2:1-7.

To download Dr. Cox’s PowerPoint presentation used during this lecture, go to www.harding.edu/cwm and look under the heading “Dr. Monte Cox’s ’09 Pepperdine presentation,” or click here.

  • “Pluralism drives the relativism that makes evangelism a four letter word.”
  • The book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a good example of how people view spirituality today (pluralistically – just make sure you get a little bit of every religion and you’ll be ok).
  • Ministry in the North American context means you will encounter 1) postmodernism, 2) individualism, and 3) skepticism.
  • “Does the concept of ‘God’ belong in a religion class? Can a Christian teach a world religion class at a secular university? Some would say ‘no’ because of their Christian bias. We do, however, need to critique that question. How is a believer’s bias less valid than an unbeliever’s? The underlying assumption of that question is a biased one.”
  • Colossians 2:9 – “Son of God – fully human and fully divine?” Rejected by postmodern thinkers because that sounds too exclusive.
  • People today aren’t looking for a Savior – they’re looking for a spiritual life coach. They’re looking for a therapist. For many, that’s what Jesus is reduced to.
  • Jesus is seen by many as a highly evolved spiritual coach who can help … if you want Him to.
  • Colossians 2:2,3 – “All mysteries” are hidden in Christ. Not Christ plus something else!
  • Paints a picture of two people. One is a girl who gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and sees nothing but ugly. Another is a young man that gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and sees a suave ladykiller. Dr. Cox says both of them have a self-esteem problem – not just the girl. The problem is they get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see themselves instead of seeing Christ.
  • Recommends Christless Christianity by Michael Horton as a book we all should read. Read the first chapter of this book by clicking here.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:14 – “If Christ isn’t the Son of God and raised from the dead, we have nothing to say! Apart from Christ – the center of our faith and identity – we have nothing to say!”
  • “I do not want to be guilty of drawing lines [in terms of fellowship] where God hasn’t clearly drawn them Himself because I’m too conservative for that!” (Amen to that!)
  • Christ-centric theology is the key to the future of the Churches of Christ. (Amen to that too!)

Other good stuff from Dr. Cox concerning Church of Christ world missions (PowerPoint presentations):

  1. Around the World in 60 Minutes
  2. Missions and Money
  3. What the World Needs Now
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Notes from The Pepperdine Lectures – Rick Atchley & Jonathan Storment


Notes from Rick Atchley & Jonathan Storment’s Class at The 2009 Pepperdine Lectures – “When Past Meets Post: What’s a Church to Do? pt. 1” – Wednesday May 6, 2009 – 8:30AM. This was the first class in a series of three discussing the church and postmodernism.

  • Postmoderism is “the collapse of inherited metanarratives.”
  • Modernity says, “We’re going to make the world a better place by reason, science, technology, etc.” Postmodernity says back to modernity, “The report cards are in, and you’ve failed!”
  • When Rick was in elementary school, the teacher taught him how Columbus sailed the ocean blue and found America. When Jonathan was in elementary school, the teacher taught him how Columbus sailed the ocean blue, found American, and butchered the Indians.
  • Our culture has a problem with the exclusive claim that Jesus is Lord – ONLY. That’s because our culture values consumerism above all else. The world revolves around self.
  • Churches have become more akin to the Home Shopping Network than a revolution!
  • Depending on mass-media too much reverses the incarnation – truth needs a body (the role of the church)!
  • Tony Campolo quote (not exact): “Mixing the gospel and politics is like mixing horse manure and ice cream. It won’t affect the horse manure that much, but you might not like the ice cream.”
  • Moderns come to a church and ask, “Is this true?” Postmoderns come to a church and ask, “Do I want to be like these people?”
  • Moderns: Believe –> Behave –> Belong
  • Postmoderns: Belong –> Believe –> Behave

Things that are going to happen to the church as a direct result of postmodern thought:

  1. Postmodernity is going to diminish the rule of legalism.
  2. Postmodernity will diminish self-righteousness.
  3. Postmodernity will encourage the church to embrace mystery.
  4. Postmodernity will call the church to be more authentic.
  5. Postmodernity will cause us to hold up Jesus instead of the church. The church is embodied in a person. Where the church hasn’t looked like Jesus, we must confess and repent.
  6. Postmodernity will cause us to rethink and rearticulate our story. Its hero is one who died on a cross.

For more teaching from Jonathan and Rick, subscribe to their podcast here.

Also, check out Jonathan’s blog. There’s a good post on keeping the Sabbath (taking a day off) there today.

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