A Response to Joe’s Open Letter

As one who has been participating in University Bible Fellowship for many years, I’d like to offer my thoughts on some of the points in Joe’s recent open letter to the President of UBF. Continue reading →

A 2nd Gen Story

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 8.32.30 AMEveryone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. –John 3:20,21

The darkness of UBF is overwhelming. Secrets hide behind nearly every smiling face that offers you so much as a plate of bulgoki. Growing up, every Sunday I went to CBF at the “center.” Even as I child, I always felt like there was something off about UBF people. I never quite felt like I was at home, or that this was my family.

Upon leaving UBF at age 8 with my family, we went to an unnamed evangelical church in the area. It was there that I entered life and finally learned to be a normal human being. For the first time in my young life, I felt like I could fit in with the other boys, the other children, and I learned about God, who Jesus was, and accepted him into my heart as my Lord and savior.

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A Wonderful UBF Conference, But…

ISBC2013montreal indonesian danceOverall it was a wonderful conference. I went there eager to hear systematic and textual messages. I came to hear upfront calls to be missionaries. Jesus’ world mission command was clearly highlighted. To me this is refreshing. I liked the personal interest groups. They were a chance to talk with other people who are interested in the same thing. I am always happy that “non professional” Christians are encouraged and allowed to be speakers at the conferences. This rarely happens elsewhere much…but needs to happen. I appreciate the life testimonies. They were very clear. God has been at work in these peoples’ lives and it was expressed in a very poignant way. The conference had it all: messages from lay ministers, life testimonies, interest groups, an intriguing special speaker, an altar call, a recommitment call, a missionary pledge time. There was free time on a beautiful campus. All of the venues were close together. There was time to spend with our children. We were even roommates with our kids. There were soccer and basketball tournaments. There were cozy group Bible studies in the dorms. The music was fantastic. The MC, Greg Lewis was wonderful and cheerful. The drama was fresh. The food was abundant. I loved the barbeque. The weather was perfect. The road trip was long, but it was a road trip none the less. Those are always good. I liked the Pennsylvania mountains and even the nearby nuclear reactor. This conference is very unique in Christian conferences.  The group Bible studies could have been a little long, if people let them. If we studied as deeply as we were directed then it could have went on to past midnight each night. I like the freedom of the leaders to choose the length of time. Continue reading →

Is Raising Disciples the Main Purpose of the Church?

ChurchPurposeEditorial Comment: This was sent as a private email. But since it asks and addresses a fundamental and pertinent issue, I suggested that this be posted for others to respond to, which the sender agreed.

I was wondering what you guys think about the church. Should loving others be secondary to evangelism? When I was asked about the church ministry I mentioned that loving God and others is the more important issue than how we can increase our numbers in our chapter through evangelism. The director agreed, but then asked, “How can we love others if there are no new people?” There are two issues with this statement/question.

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Thoughts on the Death of Osama Bin Laden

As all of you are certainly aware by now, Osama Bin Laden has been killed by brave Navy Seals who put their own lives at risk to rid the world of him.

As I looked at the Facebook posts that immediately popped up after the news from various friends, I was shocked at how many contained expressions of glee and celebration that Osama was “burning in hell” right now. This was expressed even by Christians. So I wondered: “What should I be feeling?”

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To Stay Or Not To Stay?

When is it a good idea to stay in a church or para-church ministry, and when is it better to leave? This was the question that Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addressed in 1966 at the National Assembly of Evangelicals conference in England. Lloyd-Jones was a very respected evangelical leader, and he used this opportunity to implore evangelicals to leave the Church of England because it was tolerating theologically liberal people and ideas in its ranks (He told evangelicals to join with another evangelical church).

Another respected leader named John Stott was at the meeting, and after Dr. Lloyd-Jones was finished, Stott approached the lectern and said to the audience, “I believe history is against what Dr. Lloyd-Jones has said… and I also believe that Scripture is against him.” Stott wanted evangelicals to stay within the Church of England to be a transforming influence.

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"May God Make America a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation!"

I have been thinking lately about a question that has plagued me since I first came to UBF in 1999: What does the prayer “May God make America a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation” actually mean?

When I asked older shepherds this question, I got different answers every time. Of course, I wholeheartedly shouted this prayer slogan every time Pastor Ron asked the congregation to do so. But in the back of my mind, there was a lingering question about what I was actually praying for.

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The Necessity of Penal Substitution (Part 2)

In part 1 of this series, I presented evidence from Scripture for Penal Substitution as a primary view of what happened at Calvary.

But what about other theories of the atonement? Aren’t they more plausible and less offensive to the dignity of man? Here we review two other theories of the atonement to see if they are better suited to explain what happened on the cross. These two other theories are called the Ransom Theory and the Christus Victor Theory.


The first alternative theory of the atonement is called the “Ransom Theory”. This is “the view, developed by (the theologian) Origen, that Christ’s death was a ransom paid to Satan since he held mankind in bondage.”[12] In other words, God sent Jesus Christ as a ransom to pay to Satan in order that Satan would release human beings from his grasp. The blood of the Lamb of God therefore was the “currency” that was paid out to the devil for us.

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The Necessity of Penal Substitution (Part 1)

In the 19th century, the hymn writer Philip Bliss penned the following lyrics regarding Jesus Christ: “Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood; Sealed my pardon with his blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior”[1] This sublime hymn clearly articulates one of the key aspects of the Christian faith, namely the significance of the death of Jesus Christ. Understanding the meaning of the death of Jesus is crucially important for every person. Why indeed did Jesus have to die?

In contemporary culture, there are so many opposing responses to this question that it is hard for many to get to the heart of the answer. For some, the death of Jesus was a tragedy that should have been avoided. For others, it was the most loving act of self sacrifice in history, and an example that we should follow. There are those who believe that the death of Jesus was a necessary ransom to pay to the devil in order to free mankind from his grasp. Still others believe that, “Calvary may be an episode in God’s government of the world…as the argument goes, God, being holy, deemed it necessary to show to the world His hatred of sin, and so His wrath fell on Christ.”[2] And yet, there is also a current “reclaiming” by many in the Christian faith of the most wonderful doctrine of the cross, called Penal Substitution.

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