Four Years for Seedbed, Four Free Study Guides for You

Four Years for Seedbed, Four Free Study Guides for You

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It’s our fourth birthday! Every year we get the honor of commemorating our inception on the same day as Epiphany, when Jesus was revealed as the son of God to the nations.

Since our birthday falls on a Wednesday this year, we want to say thank you for the surprising way you’ve engaged with our Seven Minute Seminary series and helped make it the successful brand it has become. Below, we’re offering you free downloads of our four best-selling Seven Minute Seminary guides. Although they’re always priced at an affordable rate of $1.95 to make it accessible to all people, today only, we’re offering the four best-selling ones for free in celebration of this special day.

The study guides, written by our staff, use the videos as a springboard for conversations in groups. They follow the topics but often go in fresh directions. Once downloaded, unlimited copies may be made for small group and Sunday School groups. Enter in the code HAPPYFOURTH in this collection page for the free downloads. (Offer expires 1/10/16).

1) How I Became a Wesleyan – William Abraham

William J. Abraham is a renown Irish Methodist theologian, an elder in the United Methodist Church, and currently the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perskins School of Theology. Abraham is a passionate scholar with a heart for the church, and has been teaching on church renewal for some time now. His specialties include religious epistemology, Wesley studies, and systematic theology, and typically approaches engagements with candor and a healthy dose of intellectual nerve. This makes his writing and speaking very enjoyable, as well as spiritually edifying.

From the study guide introduction:
“John Wesley was the 18th century founder of the Methodist movement—a community of Christians who brought renewal to the church by practicing intentional discipleship and striving after the holiness of God. At the peak of his ministry, Wesley regularly traveled over 4,000 miles each year and preached some 40,000 sermons during his lifetime, helping lead people from all walks of life into powerful encounters with God. His doctrine was remarkably balanced and his spirituality rich. Is it appropriate to identify with the spiritual and theological tradition named after its founder? Doesn’t calling oneself “Wesleyan” result in division in the church?”

2) Christians and Terrorism, Part I – James Thobaben

James Thobaben is Professor of Theology and Ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary as well as a minister in an active country church, where much of the rubber meets the road. He is known by students for his rigorous courses and the challenging ways he gets them to engage critical issues concerning the church and society. He specializes in healthcare and bioethics, and has a knack for thoroughly thinking through all imaginable situations in ethical dilemmas.

From the study guide introduction:
“The 21st century has been plagued by the problem of terrorism. Violence done in the name of religious and political ideology (by people who do not represent their governments) has become a crisis issue, while people victimized by terrorism—both strong and vulnerable­—struggle to answer with widespread success. In the wake of this new reality, Christians need to reflect on what the proper response of the church should be. Certainly there have been strong proponents of both just war theory and pacifism, however, the church must respond in a way that carefully considers Scripture and is thoroughly grounded in Christian tradition.”

3) Worshipping the Trinity – Lester Ruth

Lester Ruth is Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke Divinity School where he pursues his passion for equipping the church for faithful worship, and also extends his positive influence on a younger generation of theologians and worship leaders. His particular interests include worship in the early church and the last 250 years, especially the contemporary worship movement. His hope is that by recapturing a Trinitarian quality to songwriting and by exposing denominations to a greater variety of music traditions, the church will enrich its worship life, and in turn the life of congregations.

From the study guide intro:
“Contemporary worship music has changed the face of church services in the past few decades. Even mainline denominations, which have traditionally placed an emphasis on liturgy and hymns, have often adopted new music forms and incorporated them into their worship services in creative ways. Some have received this change favorably, while others resist it. But what exactly is contemporary worship music, and what led to its prominence in Christian culture? There might be both cultural and theological issues involved in the way music has shifted in the last century.”

4) Are the Spiritual Gifts for Today? – Craig Keener

Craig Keener is a New Testament Professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. A prolific author and researcher, his background knowledge of the classical world has helped innumerable students of Scripture through his Bible background commentary. His reputation as a scholar is matched only by his remarkable humility and his openness to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. He recently published a four-volume commentary on the book of Acts with Baker Academic.

From the study guide introduction:
“The Bible is full of provocative accounts of miraculous healings, signs and wonders that draw people’s hearts back to God. The Old Testament, the Gospels, the Book of Acts, and the letters of the New Testament all contain examples of prophets and apostles working signs and wonders in order to confirm the gospel message. There are also numerous healings, dreams, visions, and prophecies that build up the church and testify to the loving character of our Father. Depending on where you context, however, the experience of your church may not align with this trajectory in Scripture. Have the spiritual gifts ceased? Are there some gifts that qualify as “charismatic” gifts which are no longer operative today? In light of Paul’s instruction to eagerly pursue the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:1), this is an issue with which we should wrestle.”


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