The BCD of Teaching the Bible

While preaching through Titus, I came up with the BCD of Bible teaching and preaching. Each letter stands for 2 words which should always go together when we study the Bible or preach the Word:

  • Belief and Behavior.
  • Creed and Conduct.
  • Doctrine and Duty.

Necessarily, the first always precedes the second, or the second always follows the first. Through Bible study, our behavior follows our belief, our conduct follows our creed, and our duty follows our doctrine, and not the other way around.
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Mission/Legalism/Tradition Hinders Spiritual Growth

Welcome back from a break. Thank you, admin, for your labor in the Lord!

Emphasizing mission. Since 1961, UBF’s strength has been our emphasis on mission. When I studied Genesis 1 three decades ago, I loved the catchphrase “Man = Mission.” I taught this in Genesis 1:1 Bible study repeatedly for a quarter of a century as my mission until a few years ago. I still treasure my life of mission and Bible teaching. I am as driven and passionate to teach the Bible today as I was when I became a Christian in 1980. The only subtle change is that I now wish to primarily “testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), and to proclaim/preach “Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 1:23, 2:2) as my primary emphasis, rather than emphasizing mission imperatives. So, my point of Genesis is no longer mission, but Jesus (Jn 5:39,46).
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Parish Nursing

Last Sat, May 19, 2012, I attended a Seminar on Parish Nursing led by Helen Wordworth, RN from England. This is based on her power point.
What is health? In 1948, the World Health Organization states that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It does not address the spiritual aspect of man. What then is health from a Biblical view? Abigail Rian-Evans includes a spiritual dimension in “Redeeming Marketplace Medicine” (1999): Health is based on humankind as a unity; integrated wholeness, not separated physical and spiritual elements. It orients towards health as wholeness and sickness as brokenness. Its primary goal is the health of others, not only our own. It broadens healing to include any activity that moves us towards wholeness. Continue reading →

The State of Christianity in Korea

The quotes below are from a report from a two-day intensive Gospel in the City conference held in Seoul on Feb 20-21, 2012 (written by Stephen Um, a Korean pastor in Boston): The Gospel in a Changing Korea. Do you think his observations and conclusions quoted below are in keeping with what you have observed and read in UBF reports over the last few decades?

Is our UBF Preaching and Bible Teaching Christ-centered or Morals/Mission/Method-centered? Continue reading →

The Way of the Cross is Dialogue

Bowing to alternative views that appeal to us has always been a temptation. We refuse to believe there is only one way of salvation, only one way to the Father. We choose to believe there are many paths to God.

Why? Because if there are many paths to God instead of just one, then we can willfully and selfishly choose the path we want. We can live the way we want, and never be held accountable by God. We can choose a religion that appeals to our own pride and vanity.

This quotation by evangelist Michael Youssef recently appeared in a friend’s Facebook post, and when I saw it, I instinctively felt a negative reaction. I hope you don’t mind humoring me as I try to explain myself, because this matters to me. I am not objecting to the content of Dr. Youssef’s words, but to the tone and attitude behind them as they are likely to be perceived in our present historical context. I think that his words are unlikely to accomplish what he hopes they will, which is to bring sinners to repentance.

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I Am A Disciple of Jesus

Today, my friend Henry Asega gave the first sermon at West Loop UBF Church for 2012 and read what has been called “a Zimbabwe Covenant.” I was moved and touched by it. Read it slowly, thoughtfully and reflectively below:

“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die is cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus. I will not look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

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Reflections at 60 by Sinclair Ferguson

Greetings UBFriends from Russia!

I would like to direct you to a good talk by Sinclair Ferguson (1948 – ).  He is a Scottish preacher from Glasgow, but now serves in South Carolina.  He’s a very good preacher.  I have listened to his series on Ephesians, James and 2 Timothy numerous times (they’re available at and  John Piper, when asked who is the preacher he’d sit under, if he were not a church pastor himself, mentioned Sinclair Ferguson at once.  And Hughes Oliphant Old in his monumental 7-volume work wrote the following about Sinclair Ferguson:
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Marriage is Covenant Keeping

Recently, a friend and member of West Loop UBF asked me about my wife. He and his wife were wondering if Christy, my wife of 30 years, had any sins, since they were not able to detect any obvious sins whenever they meet or interact with her. Though it is obvious that my lovely wife is also a sinner, I was quite awed by what he said. I told him that it is one of the highest compliments that any man has ever given me. For to regard my wife as “sinless” in her public persona indirectly and partially points to the husband who has loved his wife by the grace of God and by the strength God provides (1 Pet 4:11). But I do know without a shadow of a doubt that the ONLY reason I have been able to love my wife for 30 years is because Jesus has loved me far, far more than I can ever deserve! This is the profound mystery of marriage (Eph 5:32).

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Why I am Going to the Philippines

In an earlier post, I explained the spiritual health and vibrancy of Philippines UBF as an indigenous ministry with humble godly servantship. When I last visited them in February 2011, God moved my heart to decide to move there in the future, initially by myself. I discussed this with my wife, with Dr. William and Sarah Altobar, the leaders of Philippines UBF, and I received their blessing to stay at the center in Manila. So I will be there for three months, from July 28 till Oct 25, 2011. This post is to ask for your prayer, and to suggest to you the possibility of prayerfully going out as a missionary according to God’s leading in your life.

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Word, Spirit, Gospel and Mission (Final part)

Two months ago, I started to write this series of articles titled “Word, Spirit, Gospel and Mission” to formulate answers to some of the mission-related questions that had been arising in my mind. These articles were heavily influenced by Lesslie Newbigin’s The Open Secret, by David J. Bosch’s Transforming Mission, and by what I have been learning from my own Bible reading, especially from Acts, Romans, Galatians and Hebrews.

I began this series by asking what happens when our understanding of Scripture is contradicted by the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is easy for us to convince ourselves that we are holding to “biblical” values and principles simply because we belong to a ministry that strongly emphasizes Bible study, and yet miss what God is saying to us here and now. The epistle to the Hebrews contains a vivid description of how the Holy Spirit works in conjunction with Scripture (Hebrews 4:12-13, NIV):

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