Contributor Papers

12 05 2010

The Castle Door is adding a new feature!

We’re going to begin electronically publishing scholarly papers written by tCD participants on pertinent topics. Papers will be of a theological or philosophical nature, be grad level, and of publishable quality. You’ll be able to find the papers under the section “Contributor Paper.” Each paper that is posted will be noted on the corollary tCD Facebook group where we’ll be able to enjoy the typical, rigorous feedback from a variety of viewpoints and perspectives. Hopefully, this new feature will contribute to our mutual pursuit of truth.

*If you have something that you’ve written that you believe may be helpful to tCD participants, let me know and I’ll send you further. information about this opportunity.


the Other Jesus isaiah.63

6 02 2010

Last semester, I spent a lot of time in the OT. Mostly due to 10 credit hrs of OTI, Pentateuch, & Hebrew. Along the way, I ran across some texts that never really registered before. Particularly striking was the book of Isaiah. In the past, I was pretty lost in this prophet once I got past chapters 1, 6, 53 and a few scattered Messianic promises. One such passage that really struck me is Isaiah 63. Check it out. Here, Isaiah pictures the returning Messiah as an angry warrior coming in judgment. He is covered in blood, invinceable in his strength and unwavering in his determination to annihilate the wicked. Not the standard image of Jesus in this mild, politically correct 21st century where love reigns supreme. This image slapped me across the face. Just take a minute to think about it. Maybe we should actually take sin seriously. Is it possible that we’ve re-imagined God so he’s a bit more comfortable? I don’t think God is tame. We should love Jesus, but not in the same way we love baby kittens. When the wisest guy ever said the fear of God was the starting point for wisdom (Pr 1:7), it’s just possible he was on to something. Our worldview could use a health dose of Isaiah 63 Jesus.

Core Values

1 02 2010

Over the past months, the Leadership Team at Steamtown Church has been nailing down some of the basics, finalizing our Statement of Theology and Philosophy of Ministry. I had the privilege of word-smithing the core values and personally am pretty psyched about the values and where God is taking Steamtown. These are certainly not the only things which are important, but I feel they are some of the most important.

We at Steamtown are committed being a church which is…

1) Redemptive

The good news that Jesus death, burial, and resurrection has opened the way for us to be forgiven and restored to relationship with God is central to everything we believe and do. We are committed to the proclamation of this message and believe that spiritual redemption is foundational for all freedom. Our passion for redemption, however, extends to a desire to see each man, woman, and child freed holistically from every form of bondage. We are committed to seeing the freedom which is first spiritual extend to physical, financial, emotional, and relational redemption as well.

2) Incarnational

We believe an individual, in flesh presentation of God’s character is essential if people are to understand and connect with God. As Jesus imaged and expressed the Father to humanity, we as the body of Christ are to incarnate and express Jesus to those among whom we live. As the church, our lives must reflect authentic Christianity to those within our circle of influence. We are dedicated to becoming such an authentic, personal witness that those we know are forced to honestly evaluate the truth claims of the gospel in light of our undeniable life-change.

3) Monastic & Missional

We are the church gathered and scattered. We purpose to be a gathered community which exemplifies what a Christian body looks like and warmly invites a lost world to come and see. We are committed to being a body in which the world can see authentic worship, true love, illogical forgiveness, and transcendent purity lived out in the real world. But the church must also go and tell. We don’t live in a bubble. We’re committed to living in the world where people are—bringing eternal, unchanging truth to our time and culture. We desire to connect to people through the bridge of culture and reach them with the gospel.

4) Connected

We value authentic community among believers. We believe that the Christian’s spiritual development is directly related to his or her connections in a God-ward, relational community which supports, encourages, and lovingly challenges its members towards deeper intimacy with God. We are committed to every follower of Jesus being plugged in and doing life together in the context of a church community.

a Psalm of Kevin Ozmon

13 11 2009

Recently, for a class exercise, our professor had us write a Psalm. My friend, Kevin, wrote one which was both memorable and moving considering the time of year. (As with other Psalm titles, this one is a later interpolation added by an editor-everything else is Kevin’s)

A Psalm of Kevin: upon approaching the end of the semester

O Lord, hear the cry of Your wearied servant!

Where can I go where my homework is not?
Pages fly through my eyes,
Drying them to the point of bitter sleep.

But, Lord, You have heard my cry!
With eyelids closing, You answered me in despair,
Flowing from the glass bowls of life,
You awaken me with caffeinated nectar.
Sweet to the tongue and invigorating to the mind
is Your salvation!

Now, I do not cease to do the work You’ve
laid before me,
And I stay awake to see another glorious

Birth Pangs

6 11 2009

One of my favorite people once likened the writing of a research paper to giving birth. The travail is great, but in the end a beautiful new creation emerges and the pain turns to joy. I’m not sure what the ladies will think of the illustration, but I’m feelin’ it. Right now, the paper I’m working on is in the excruciating agony stage. So, if you think of it, pray for me between now and next Tuesday.

Speaking of prayer, I have a couple posts coming soon on that topic. Perhaps, Wednesday 🙂


5 11 2009

During my undergrad I had a prof who threatened to dock us if he ever, as in ever saw us without our vocab cards in hand. lamad_250He would threaten to come to our rooms, hide in crazy places and wait for us to come by, even Wal-Mart wasn’t safe… needless to say, I learned a lot of Greek that year.

Well, the next generation of vocab cards is here. If you are tired of chopping 3×5 cards into bits, download the free FlashWorks program from Teknia. The program has the standard vocab lists for Mounce’s Greek Grammar and Pratico & Van Pelt’s, Basics of Biblical Hebrew. Whether you are learning for the first time or just trying to brush up, it’s a great tool.

Prosperity Gospel

5 11 2009

A video I saw the other day which expressed my sentiments. I love Piper’s passion for truth and Christ.