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I just posted a new article on my blogsite dealing with racial issues and diversity -- blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com (Blog 33). It is entitled "Slavery and the Bible." Since I started my blog, I have known that I needed to address the issue of slavery and the Bible. It is a fact that the Bible does not forbid any and all slavery, but rather regulated it among God’s followers in both Old Testament and New Testament settings. That fact is especially difficult to accept for those who have even a reasonably good understanding of how slavery was practiced in the United States for centuries. It was, with relatively few exceptions, applied in the harshest and most damaging ways imaginable. Further, the Bible was used to justify the institution, no matter how harsh these practices were. Just how are we moderns to view all of this? Please read the article for some very important answers. ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago  ·  

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I just posted another article on my teaching website (gordonferguson.org). It is entitled "The Theological Basis For Discipling Relationships." The first paragraph of introduction I will drop in here, but suffice it to say, it addresses a much needed subject. I would perhaps put it at or near the top of all the articles I've ever written on the subject -- although it was written some years ago as a chapter in a book. Here is that introduction explaining the origin of the material:

Special Note: This material once comprised a chapter in my book entitled Discipling (1997). This longer book was condensed into a shorter version called The Power of Discipling -- now in its second (slightly longer) edition. A number of chapters from the original book were omitted in the shorter one. I added back two of these chapters in a condensed combination (about group discipling and family discipling) in the second edition of the shorter version. Another chapter omitted in the original is this one, now published in a standalone article. It is in some ways “deeper” than the material in other chapters of the book, being more theological in nature. Newer disciples may find it more difficult to understand, but along with more mature disciples, all will find it highly stimulating and challenging if read carefully. In re-reading it now, over twenty years after I wrote it originally, it is hard to believe how relevant it is right now compared to its earlier setting. Our churches and our members need it – badly!
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3 days ago  ·  

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I just (finally) updated my Newsletter section on my teaching ministry website (gordonferguson.org)! I do this annually near the beginning of the new year, but this time I was clearly tardy. However, if you would like to keep up with the Fergusons' life and times, this is a good way to do it. It's a bit like Christmas or New Year's Newsletters, but with more of a slant toward my teaching ministry. However, many items of a personal nature are included. For now, you will have to click on the "Latest" tab rather than the "Newsletter" tab. I will have my web master fix that later today. I couldn't figure out how to replace the old with the new! Here is the Introduction to the 2017 Newsletter:

I just re-read my 2016 Newsletter, which I wrote it in February of last year. The year prior, I wrote about my teaching activities of 2015 during January of 2016, a record of sorts (earlier than usual). I am writing this present newsletter in early April, another record of sorts (but not a good one).

I think I will blame my tardiness on writer’s block. But just what causes writer’s block anyway? I suppose it can be a combination of several things. A natural tendency to procrastinate is one; laziness is another; the questioning of the value of what you write is yet another; and trying to spin too many plates at once is a likely culprit as well. Most of us males are not good at multi-tasking, while most females excel in it. Only the fair gender can keep up with their own conversations as they change channels without warning! In the case of this newsletter, I will just have to settle for saying better late than never!

I have written this newsletter in a quarterly format for the past number of years, although at the height of my teaching ministry when I was traveling much of the year, I used a monthly format. When I started this year’s version, I assumed that my calendar had been significantly less cluttered last year and that I should use a half year format. After finishing, I went back and arranged it in a quarterly fashion once again. I was, thankfully, busier and more productive than it felt like – and that’s a good thing. Retirement is for those who don’t have meaningful work to do in their later years, and that is decidedly not true in my case. I will also confess at the outset that I’m a wordy fellow. What I write on my websites isn’t typically edited by others. (Feel free to send me editing suggestions and corrections, by the way.) My books are always edited carefully, which makes them somewhat less wordy and more to the point, usually with shorter sentence structure. But I enjoy writing in this style found here, perhaps because it is so similar to the journaling I do with God. So, let’s get started!
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6 days ago  ·  

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I just posted another blog article on my site, "blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com." Sad to say, it is the first of this year. I think I will blame my tardiness on writer’s block. But just what causes writer’s block anyway? I suppose it can be a combination of several things. A natural tendency to procrastinate is one; laziness is another; the questioning of the value of what you write is another; and trying to spin too many plates at once is a likely culprit as well. Most of us males are not good at multi-tasking, while most females excel in it. Whatever may be the case, I will just say better late than never!

The blog post has a long title (The Theological Centrality of True Racial Diversity) and the content is too long. But the teaching is so important that I couldn't stop without trying to be pretty complete in describing what may well be a new revelation for many of a fundamental gospel truth. Here's a sample paragraph.

The greatest demonstration in the first century was the ability to blend two cultures, Jew and Gentile, who absolutely hated one another. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to make the application that the ability to totally blend (not just mix a bit on Sunday morning) black and white cultures is the greatest possible demonstration of Jesus in our day. Further, if working out the kinks between two groups of Jewish culture in Acts 6 produced a response of converting large numbers (even priests), just what could happen if our movement led the way in having true spiritual diversity? It is not being done in other church groups. Those with some diversity are actually losing it, based on recent reports. We have a tremendous opportunity in going far beyond the outward mix of our assemblies and making the principles of Ephesians 2, 3 and Colossians 1 an obvious mystery fully revealed for the world to see!
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3 weeks ago  ·  

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Today (January 30, 2018) is our 53rd wedding anniversary. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about our relationship from its earliest days until the present. Today our “anniversary card” to each other is going to be in spoken form as we reminisce about our many years together. As I have thought about those many years and all that filled them, my mind kept going back to a Bible passage that speaks of our “first love” for Christ. I think the passage is not well understood and is most often, misunderstood. I know what my first love for Theresa was like and I know what it is like today. Thinking through that has given me insights into my relationship to Christ and into that passage. Please go to my teaching website, gordonferguson.org, and read the article entitled, “Regaining Our First Love.” I think it will bless you if you will. ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago  ·  

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