With temperatures rising and lazy, hazy days upon us, the summer season has officially begun. As you look forward to your retreat to the mountains, jaunt to the beach, or special getaway, here are ten titles to consider packing along with your sunscreen.
Western culture has a deepening gender crisis. Our story begins, as stories of this nature often do, in France. In 2013, six months after legalizing gay marriage, the French government introduced an elementary-school program entitled l’ABCD de l’égalité (“The ABC’s of Equality”). The original program stated: “Gender is a sociological concept that appears to rely on taking account of and analyzing the socially- and culturally-constructed relationships between men and women. Gender theory holds that parallel to biological and anatomical sex, which is innate, there exists a socially-constructed sex based on differing social roles and stereotypes” (my translation; the policy language was later revised). In the wake of protests over the program, the state threatened recriminations against parents who pulled their children out of school.
On November 1, 2014, I sent an essay entitled, “The Joy of Ministry and the Wisdom of Change” to the Deacon Fellowship of Colonial Baptist Church. This four-page document was the culmination of many months of thought, conversation, and prayer. It outlined what I sensed was the leading of the Lord in my life to resign as Senior Pastor of Colonial Baptist Church and to concentrate my full effort on the ministry of Virginia Beach Theological Seminary.
VBTS alumnus Luke Bylsma reflects on how he has seen and learned to more deeply appreciate the grace of God during his time at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. Luke Bylsma graduated from Virginia Beach Theological Seminary with his Master of Divinity on May 4, 2014. He, his wife Karin, and their young daughter have moved to Grand Haven, Michigan to work at Lake Shore Baptist Church with two other VBTS graduates.
Recently the faculty announced an extensive redesign of the Master of Divinity program. The revised program is retains the robust framework of the classic Master of Divinity, emphasizing the biblical languages, Church History, Systematic Theology, and Practical Ministry. At the same time, the new program introduces initiatives to shorten the graduation timeframe, sharpen educational effectiveness, and adapt to student aptitudes and objectives. To meet these three objectives, the new MDiv program is built around the following features: