Author - Jake Belder

Keep Your Emails!

I was in St. Louis a few weeks ago and was given a tour of the PCA Historical Center by its director, Wayne Sparkman. The Center is situated on the campus of Covenant Theological Seminary. While he was showing us some of the collections, he noted...

Ministry in a Rural Context

There is a book at the RTS Orlando Bookstore called Rural Evangelism: Catching the Vision. I haven’t read it yet, though I want to. The author’s intention is basically to help rural congregations avoid stagnation and decline by engaging...

Who Are You?

When I visited the site this morning, I noticed the little Feedburner reader count on the right side. At that time it said we had 277 people subscribing to this blog. That’s a pretty impressive number. It then occurred to me that with that...

Is Seminary Relevant? The Contra Argument

It was entirely coincidental that within about a week of each other, two seminarians would write blog posts on the relevancy of seminary education, one arguing in favor of it, the other against it. I contacted them soon after to see if they would be...

Is Seminary Relevant? The Pro Argument

It was entirely coincidental that within about a week of each other, two seminarians would write blog posts on the relevancy of seminary education, one arguing in favor of it, the other against it. I contacted them soon after to see if they would be...

Sermons: Illustrations and Analogies

As far as I can remember, I never once heard a sports-related illustration in a sermon when I was growing up. However, since I have moved to Florida, I have lost count of how many times I have heard them used. My tendency has been to react to this...

Ministry in a Dying Church

About a month ago, I was sitting in my Tuesday evening class, and of the ten students in the class, there was one I didn’t recognize. During a break I went over to introduce myself and found out that this guy is a pastor in a small church in...

Logos Titles 25-75% Off

Logos is having a tournament style promo where you vote titles through to the next round. Each round titles receive discount codes. The champion will go for 75% off! Have a title you like? Spread the word and get people to vote it through. Pretty...

Tips for Taking Virtual Classes

Last semester, I decided to go to school part-time, and took up a thirty-hour-a-week job to help us out financially. I wanted to do a few classes at the same time to keep moving forward with my studies, and ended up doing one class on campus and two...

Recommended Worldview Reading

I know we all don’t have a lot of time for extra reading, but I also know that we all end up making some time for it anyway. Terry has been recommending a lot of good books here recently, and let me add to it by pointing you to a recent post...

Mentoring: Who?

This is the final part of a three part series on mentoring. In the previous posts on mentoring, we looked first at why a mentoring relationship is so important; and second, what specific role a mentor plays in our lives as we are preparing for...

Mentoring: What?

This is part two of a three part series on mentoring. Last time we talked about the importance of having a mentor as you prepare for ministry. The next step is to look at what exactlythat relationship will look like. Stephen Garber has an excellent...

Mentoring: Why?

This is the first part of a three part series on mentoring. We all have some idea of what a mentor is; some of us maycurrently have a mentor or are eventaking on the role ofa mentor. However, despite the familiarity of the concept and the value many...

The Word Became Flesh

It is the time of year when the Church celebrates the birth of Jesus, His incarnation and arrival on earth. With all the hype that surrounds this season, often the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation is lost to Western Christianity. Christ came to...

Managing an Unmanageable Workload

The last thing I would advise anyone to do is what I did this semester—work thirty hours per week and take eight hours of classes simultaneously. I started working in the summer because we needed some extra money, and thought that I could keep at it...

Primer on the Missional Church

This has been floating around the blogosphere for a few days now and so you might have seen it already, but if you haven’t, you’ll dig this. J.R. Woodward, who head up Kairos Los Angeles, a network of neighborhood churches in LA, has...

Politics and Evangelical Christians

There’s a podcast out there called Christ the Center, which is a panel of usually three or four guys of OPC and PCA persuasion who get together to discuss various topics relating to Reformed theology. But regardless of your theological...

Peering Into the Urban Slums

This is incredible. I saw this on the Culture Making blog today. Here’s how they describe the site: “Norwegian photojournalist Jonas Bendiksen has spent a good deal of time in Indian, Kenyan, Indonesian, and Venezuelan slums, and his...

The Diverse Fabric of the Kingdom

The other day my wife and I had some friends over for a meal after church, one of whom was an American of Hispanic background and also a seminary student. We came to discuss some of our experiences at seminary. One of the things we spent a bit of...

Faithful Life, Thought, and Belief

While you are in seminary, it is likely that you will come into contact with the term “worldview.” If you have really smart professors or fellow students who want to impress you with their knowledge, you might hear them use the word...

Two Cent Tuesday – Staying Organized

We have a huge variety of technological aids at our dispense to help keep us organized. From PDAs to Blackberrys to online calendars, our lives can be organized at the tip of our fingers. I’ve never gotten into those methods. In fact, I...

Finding That Productive Study Environment

Another semester is approching quickly, and that means it won’t be long before books will have to be read, papers written, and tests will have to be taken. If you are like me, you cannot just study anytime, anywhere. You need the atmosphere...

Thinking About Postgraduate Studies

When I began seminary, I thought I was one of the more unique students. I was Canadian, of Dutch heritage, and wanting to pursue and academic career instead of pastoral ministry. It turns out that I am the only Canadian, one of two people of Dutch...

Make Yourself at Home

In an earlier post, Ryan discussed how seminary can sometimes come to be viewed more as a means to an end or as a stepping stone than a time of formation and growth. Asking questions such as what plans we have after we are done with seminary only...

Keeping Your Mind Fresh During the Summer

For kids, having the summer off from school means lots of sitting around watching TV, riding bicycles or playing sports, and sleeping in. But seminary students are no longer kids, and summer break is not going to be like that anymore. At least they...

theLAB