Category: Seminars

Wisdom

Death By Inches

The attention-getting phrase that came out of the introduction of Vic Fangio as the new head coach of the Denver Broncos was “death by inches.” When asked to explain what the phrase means, Fangio used the example of a player being late to a meeting by 30 seconds. That tardiness alone is insignificant. However, if it is not corrected it grows and spreads. That is what Fangio means by “death by inches.”

“Death by inches” is like: “sweat the small stuff,” “pay attention to the details,” and “death by a thousand cuts.”

“Death by inches” is an accurate proverb for the world of professional football and it is accurate for most areas of life. The employee who is late and whose work is sloppy. The student who does not study until test time. Relationships that gradually grow apart (how many songs have been written about this?).

“Death by inches” can also take place in the spiritual realm.  A congregation gradually grows sloppier in their worship assemblies. Failure to stay fresh in our relationship with God and each other. Giving God our “leftovers.” Unholy habits develop this way. Apostacy normally takes place this way, one’s spiritual life shrivels up little by little.

“Death by inches” goes well with our “Wisdom and the Road to Character” Seminar. Character formation and deformation often occur by “inches” (slow and progressive). The biblical wisdom literature addresses this concept. For instance:

Eccl. 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might

Prov. 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life

Prov. 10:4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich

Prov. 12:11 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who pursues worthless things lacks sense

Prov. 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty

What other wisdom texts would you add to this list?

Wisdom and the Road to Character Seminar

In just over a month, this congregation is hosting the “Wisdom and Character Formation” Seminar with Dr. Dave Bland who is a professor at the Harding School of Theology (HST) in Memphis, TN. Dave was born and raised west of Fort Collins and is excited to have the opportunity to present this material in Colorado!

You will be wise to make sure that you participate in as much of this seminar as possible.

Applying the wisdom literature to life has captivated Dr. Bland for several decades. He teaches a course on “Wisdom and Character Formation” at HST and has written three books dealing with this material: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs (College Press NIV Commentary), College Press, 2002; Proverbs and the Formation of Character, Cascade Books, 2015; and Creation, Character, and Wisdom: Rethinking the Roots of Environmental Ethics, Wipf & Stock, 2016.

Make sure your schedule includes this Seminar on January 19 and 20, 2019, you will be blessed.

The material below is from David Fleer & Dave Bland, Preaching Character: Reclaiming Wisdom’s Paradigmatic Imagination for Transformation (Abilene, TX: Leafwood Publishers, 2010).

Life is an exciting journey, an adventure with unknown challenges stretching before us.  But life often throws unexpected twists and turns along the way. While it presents wonderful opportunities and joys, hidden perils abound. It’s an exciting adventure that involves perilous risks and difficult decisions. In different ways both the novice and the experienced must remain constantly vigilant. Our world does not well prepare individuals for this journey, regardless of the level of experience.

It is at this point that wisdom speaks a profound word into our experience. Wisdom capably negotiates the complexities of life. The wise person is one who develops expertise in living responsibly. Wisdom seeks to discover God’s order in life and then proceeds to successfully fit into that order, always acknowledging human limitations. Divine order demands moral behavior and wisdom’s ultimate goal is the formation of moral character. This quality of character is the thicker, richer meaning of wisdom.

Our culture and churches desperately need wisdom. It is not a spur of the moment decision to try to be a wise person. It is a process of training.

Wisdom and the Road to Character Seminar

Please join us for this Free event on January 19-20, 2019

Wisdom is essential to capably negotiate the complexities of life. The wise person is one who develops expertise in living responsibly. Our culture and churches desperately need wisdom because we live in technologically advanced but character challenged times. A person is not born with wisdom; it is a learned quality. Wisdom’s ultimate goal is the formation of moral character. Please join us at the Columbine church of Christ for this study in Wisdom and the Road to Character with Dr. Dave Bland.

Saturday, January 19th

Wisdom and the Shaping of Character @ 9:30 AM

Characteristics of the Wise @ 10:30 AM

Lunch (on your own)

Beginning the Road to Character Formation (Proverbs 1–9) @ 1:00 PM

Continuing the Hard Road to Character Formation (Proverbs 10–27) @ 2:00 PM

 Sunday, January 20th

Character in Maturity (Proverbs 31) @ 9:00 AM

Crooked Timber (Psalm 51) @ 10:00 AM

The Proverb as a Tool for Character Formation (Prov. 11:1; 13:24; 22:6; 29:18) @ 1:00 PM

Dave Bland is professor of homiletics and serves as co-director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Harding School of Theology in Memphis, TN. He also serves as one of the section editors for the journal Homiletic. Dr. Bland specializes in Homiletics and the Wisdom Literature of the Bible and is the author of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs (a commentary); Proverbs and the Formation of Character; and Creation, Character, and Wisdom. Dave grew up in Colorado and enjoys running and enjoys hunting, backpacking, and doing other outdoor activities with his family.

Whose Mark Do You Wear?

We live in an increasing image-based culture. Icons are everywhere. It is vital for businesses to establish their “brand” and cultivate an “image.”

Revelation constructs a world full of “signs” and “images.” One of the themes found in Revelation is that of being “marked” or “sealed.”

One item contemporary readers of Revelation get sidetracked on is the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18). There is a fantastic array of suggestions concerning the meaning of “666,” many of which relate to the contemporary situation (at the time they were suggested) and have absolutely no meaning to the original readers of Revelation. Some of the popular targets have been “Caesar Nero,” “Ronald Wilson Reagan,” “Mikhail Gorbachev,” and various popes in Roman Catholic history. The hot name when I taught Revelation at Amarillo College was “Prince Charles.” The lengths some will go to to get a person’s name to add up to 666 are incredible.

Everyone receives a “mark” or “seal.” This mark figurative (symbolic) and not literal. There are two contrasting “marks” in the book of Revelation. God “marks” His people and “the earth beast” also “marks” those who follow him. The “mark” that one wears signifies the spiritual reality to which one belongs. Both stamps of ownership are placed on the hand, and/or forehead, symbolizing commitment and allegiance demonstrated through thinking and actions. Both marks portray a person’s loyalties reflected in their ethical choices and objects of worship.

Having God’s seal and bearing God’s name is the same thing in Revelation. Both the seal and the name of Christ and God are placed on the person’s forehead (Rev. 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4) and signifies that one is owned by (belongs) to God.

Dan Owen at Columbine

Dan Owen will be teaching and preaching at the Columbine church of Christ (7453 S. Zephyr Ct. (NE corner of Ken Caryl and Wadsworth), Littleton, CO 80128 on Sunday morning, September 16. Bible class is at 9:00 AM and worship is at 10:00 AM (Dan is preaching on Encouraging One Another). Please join us (you will be blessed).

Expositor’s Seminar 2018

Here are the audio files from Expositor’s Seminar. Unfortunately, the file size of Mark Black’s fourth presentation was too large to upload to this website. If you cannot download these files and/or would like Mark Black’s fourth presentation, please email Mark Johnson and he will Dropbox the files to you.