Category Archives: Lifelong Learning

Reflections from Beyond the Pulpit – Coins of the Bible

by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

We’re continuing a short series on “Coins of the Bible” and what they tell us about the stories that contain them.

In Luke 15:8-10 Jesus tells a parable of the “Lost Coin.” This was the second of three stories about how heaven rejoices over the saving of the lost, contrasting it with the attitudes of the Pharisees. There is more to this lost coin story than simply the usual observations of: First, the lost sheep know they are lost, but don’t know how to return home…the lost coin doesn’t know that it’s lost…and the lost son both knows he’s lost and how to go home. These represent the three basic conditions of the lost. Second, the coin bears the image of its maker, reminding us of the divine image, though somewhat obscured, still present in the lost soul.

What is sometimes lost is more about the audience this parable was for: it was specifically for women. The clue is in the word Jesus uses to describe the coin. He calls the coin one of ten “drachmas.” This is an archaic term, even in Jesus’ day. Imperial Roman coins were current, including the same-sized silver coin denarius. Why wasn’t denarius used then in the parable? Because these ten drachmas predated the Romans. They were part of the woman’s bridal dowry. More likely, it was part of her mother’s and even grandmother’s dowry. The imagined loss of a drachma would have caused the ladies present to gasp at Jesus’ story. Men wouldn’t have gotten the sense of loss. To them simply replace the loss with another coin. But the sentimental value was much higher than that.

Jesus was saying that heaven sees the sentimental value of the original children of God outweighing any potential copies or replacements. God wants the originals. The woman asked her lady friends to rejoice with her after her efforts were successful in finding her coin…the men wouldn’t get it!

Pictured is a possible candidate of the coin in the parable. It is a late Seleucid drachma circa 44 BC. It is the size of an American dime.

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Reflections from Beyond the Pulpit – Coins of the Bible

by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

“Show me a denarius,” said Jesus. A denarius was a dime-sized silver coin that was an Imperial Roman coin meant to circulate throughout the Empire. Since Jews under the Romans were not permitted to mint silver or gold coins, they had to use Imperial coins. A denarius (a ten-assarius denomination) was a day’s wage for a common laborer in the time of Christ.

Roman taxes were collected in Imperial coinage. Those asking Jesus whether it was “lawful” to pay taxes to the Romans were trying to trick him into saying things that could possibly be considered treasonous.

The denarius of Tiberius shows his bust on the obverse, with his adopted mother Livia (Augustus’ widow) on the reverse personifying “Piece” (Pax). Tiberius had been named “Pontif[ex] Maxim[us]” by the Roman senate, which is a title for the chief priest of Rome. This coin was minted to mark that event: the title means “great bridge-builder.” Today’s Catholic pope continues the title from those ancient days.

The obverse superscription says in Latin: TI CAESAR DIVI AUG F AUGUSTUS. Translated it means: “Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the divine Augustus.” Since “Augustus” could be translated as “Magnificent,” Tiberius claiming the title of his adopted father. Thus he was saying he was “Magnificent Tiberius, son of god (Augustus Caesar was declared a god!).

When Jesus said “render to Caesar” his things, made in his image, He also said “render to God” the things in HIS image…that would be us.

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Lifelong Learning – Free Online Course on Empowering Young Adult Ministry

The Next Steps course is for the purpose of understanding the findings from the Adventist Millennial Study conducted by the Barna Group, and empowering a research-informed, relevant approach to young adult ministry. The Next Steps course does not assume any prior knowledge in young adult ministry, welcoming any and all participants willing to learn, grow, and implement mentorship with next generations. By the end of the course you will be able to apply the research findings from the Adventist Millennial Study to young adult ministry in various contexts. Read More

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Lifelong Learning – What are the Differences between the Two Views of History?

Disclaimer – as Seventh-day Adventists we believe the earth is young, but not the universe as is stated in the article below.

Source: www.isgenesishistory.com

There are two basic views concerning the history of the earth, with the essential difference being their views of time.

  1. The young earth, Historical Genesis view says the earth and universe are less than 10,000 years old and that the events recorded in Genesis happened in a literal way.
  2. The old earth, Conventional view says the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old and the universe is 13.7 billion years old, with differing parts of Genesis 1-11 being symbolic or non-literal.

All who hold to the Conventional view agree on what may be termed cosmic evolution or development (the first 9 billion years of the universe) as well as geological evolution or development (the next 4.5 billion years when the earth was forming). They agree on the Big Bang, the formation of atoms to planetesimals to galaxies, how volcanic forces shaped the earth over billions of years, and the deposition of the fossil record over long ages as oceans slowly transgressed and regressed many times over the continents. They agree there was a local flood in the Middle East at some point in the last 10,000 years which was recorded in near eastern literature.

In other words, there is enormous agreement on all Continue Reading…

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Lifelong Learning – Get to Know God

Many of us struggle with fears and insecurities. We worry about our jobs, our ministries, our future, our families, so much so that we don’t fully enjoy life. It’s difficult to learn to let go and let God lead. God wants us to focus on what we can do and not worry about what’s out of our control. Click here to read this insightful article from www.joycemeyer.org to learn a great perspective on getting to know God. “Because when you get to know Him—really know Him—it releases new hope and confidence in the One who can change every single area of your life.”

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Lifelong Learning – Why the Modern Church Has Failed

by Marcos Torres
Source: The Haystack

I grew up in a traditional church that was more interested in hanging on to its formalities than it was in open-mindedly assessing why it was losing its youth. My own youth group was quite large but by the time we had reached 18 the vast majority of us had walked away from the church. As a result of these experiences I have, for a long time, been quite interested in the topic of youth and church.

Enter the modern church. Among many other things, the modern church was an attempt to create a church culture that was both attractive and retentive of its youth. However, after many years of going down that road we are still publishing books on how youth are leaving church in droves. It appears the modern church has failed.

But why? The answers are as complex as the problem, but allow me to present a paradigm that I believe contributes, perhaps more than any other reason, to the youth exodus that plagues churches everywhere.

Before I do so, allow me to dissect the church into three chunks. The first chunk we will call the “heart beat” of the church. This is what gives the church its life, breath and relevance. In other words, the heart beat is the purpose of the church. The second chunk we will call the “muscle”. This is what enables the church to live out its purpose. In an Adventist local church this would include- in part – the “business meeting” (most powerful meeting in the church which involves every church member), the “board meeting” (where appointed leaders of the church meet to implement the decisions of the church and to steer the church through representative decisions) and “ministry meetings” (where ministry leaders of diverse ministries get together to plan for the year). In other words, the muscle of the church is Continue Reading…

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Lifelong Learning – How Successful People Handle Toxic People

Most of you have had or have someone in your life who drains you instead of uplifts you. They always need something from you, but are never willing to help you in your need. You sometimes feel the friendship is one sided. Many times, it’s even a family member, which makes it all the more heartbreaking to discover that person is toxic. Once you make that discovery, what should you do? Here are some practical tips on How Successful People Handle Toxic People. The focus is mainly on toxic people in the work environment, but we found it to be helpful when dealing with toxic people in your personal life as well. Disclaimer: although the article mentions to limit caffeine intake, we think it would be best to refrain altogether.

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Lifelong Learning – Letter To Those No Longer Attending

by Rich DuBose
Source: NAD Ministerial

Every pastor has wondered how to rekindle fervor in the hearts of members who have “fallen away” or stopped attending. Many churches periodically send out letters to those who are on “vacation” from church, reminding them that they are missed, or more bluntly, asking them if they still wish to be members. Many call them “Missing Members.” Some churches have probably found ways to communicate this that are sensitive and caring. But really, what is our goal? Is it to clean up the church books? Or, is to spiritually connect with those who are no longer with us. If they are truly “Missing” we don’t know where they are, so how can we even send them a letter? What about those who are missing “spiritually?” What if you had a letter you could send to all of your members to remind them of their church’s purpose and mission, and to inspire them to be actively involved? Here’s a letter that might help. Read More

 

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Lifelong Learning – Can the Ica Stones be Independently Authenticated?

Engraved stone of Ica (Peru), Peru's most famous mystery

One of the more interesting and certainly controversial subjects among creationists regarding the co-existing of man and dinosaurs is the existence of the “Ica Stones.”  These are stones purported to have been found in Peruvian tombs and dating back hundreds of years.  They have various carvings on them, many with animals like llamas and so on.  But there also exist some that have clear representations of dinosaurs, including Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus and even humans riding Pterodactyls!  Some clearly are modern forgeries, but are some authentic?  This article, admittedly written by promoters of these stones’ genuineness, provide a good history of their discovery and current attempts at analyzing them. Read More from Genesis Park

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Lifelong Learning – Race, Police, Guns, and Social Justice; A Candid Conversation

logo2What is the role of Seventh-day Adventist pastors and congregations in the social issues of the times? How is the church responding to the larger discussion in America? Episode six of the Restore podcast hosted by Javier Diaz of the Florida Conference tackles this hot topic. Guests include Ivan Williams, Tim Nichols, Myron Edmonds, Dustin Hall, and Nelson Fernandez. Click here to access the podcast.

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