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Thankful to God
We have a lot to be thankful for.
I hope you’re all preparing for a few days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. For our Grimké Seminary students, it will be a much needed break after last week. Last week was a double celebration in Richmond. During our second intensive of the fall semester, we celebrated another class of Grimké graduates (our third graduating class) and hosted our first pastors’ conference. During our graduation, we had the privilege of conferring on Alexander Strauch an honorary (in his case, very much earned) doctorate for over five decades of service to the church, especially in the area of biblical eldership.
At one point during the pastors’ conference, I had the opportunity to describe what we were trying to accomplish. I mentioned that the pastors’ conference was similar in design as Sola Ecclesia—we want to serve our students, graduates, and their churches. I say that as a reminder that everything you read over at Sola Ecclesia is meant to comprise a supplemental theological library undergirding the work of Grimké Seminary and College. To that end, don’t ever hesitate to reach out and let me know if there is any particular topic we could write on that would especially serve you or your church.
What You May Have Missed
Thanksgiving for Every Good and Perfect Gift, Doug Ponder: This is part two of Doug Ponder’s three-part series on thanksgiving. You may not have know this, but professor Ponder has done postgraduate work on the doctrine of thanksgiving and gratitude. He’s offering these posts as a way to direct us toward God over the coming days and to give you some conversation topics as you engage with folks who are not yet Christian, folks who feel gratitude but don’t know why or to whom to offer it.
Thanksgiving and the God of All Grace, Doug Ponder: This is part one of professor Ponder’s three-part series, reflecting on God as the gracious giver. Look for part three to be published next week.
What Does it Take to End Well, Brian Key: Having observed many who have run the race, some well and some poorly, professor Key offers what he’s learned about ministry longevity.
What it Means to Enduring Shame in Church Planting, Ricky Love: Pastors and church planters know they will face suffering. But what does a theology of suffering look like through the lens of particular church plant and particular church planter? During COVID? Ricky Love offers his personal and practical thoughts in this short essay.
Should You Keep a Prayer List?, Mark Becton: Grimké’s professor of spiritual formation recommends and details the practice of keeping a prayer list. Should you keep one? Professor Becton’s encouragement is: “probably.”
It isn't so much brain-power that is needed, in winning men to Christ as heart-power. It isn 't how much we know theoretically of Christianity; but how far has it taken hold of us, that tells. The man in whom Christ lives, is the man who will be able to commend him most effectively to others. —Francis Grimké, The Works of Francis Grimké, Volume 3
Enrollment is open for Grimké College and our first class (BIBL 510: Introduction to the Old Testament) starts in mid-January. If you or someone you know is interested in master’s-level Christian education that is completely online and doesn’t require an undergraduate degree, we’d love to welcome you as a student next year. A class at Grimké College also makes a great Christmas gift.