A Long Goodbye: Part Two

My wife’s casket was before me as I stood at the pulpit to present a tribute and the funeral sermon for the love of my life on July 18, 2018. Later, people asked how I could do that. The answer is a combination of God’s grace, long pastoral experience, and a desire to...

A Long Goodbye: Part One

I stood at the pulpit to present a tribute and the funeral sermon for the love of my life, my wife of fifty-three years, on July 18, 2018. Later, people asked how I could do that. The answer is a combination of God’s grace, long pastoral experience, and a desire to...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Nine

Years ago I began an unsuccessful career in sales. My manager warned me that I would have to learn to help people past “Buyer’s Blues.” He explained that many people experience feelings of doubt, anxiety, panic, and guilt either immediately before the decision to make...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Eight

If God has an individual direction for His children, then they ought to be able to discern what that direction is. Many Christians believe that the way to find God’s will is to pay attention to a kind of subjective inner sense, a feeling of peace that will indicate...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Seven

In previous essays I have outlined several considerations that all believers should weigh when seeking to discern God’s leading in their lives. Obviously, they should avoid wrong ways of knowing God’s will, such as inner voices, dreams, “fleeces,” and misuse of...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Six

God knows exactly those choices that will bring the greatest good into your life. Perhaps those are not the choices that will result in the greatest apparent good, especially in the short term—I’ll have more to say about that in a future essay. But God knows who He...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Five

A few months ago I received a phone call from a colleague, a former student who went on to serve in pastoral ministry for a decade. He told me that he was trying to decide whether to remain with his current pastorate or whether to go back to school. He thought that he...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Four

Throughout this discussion I have assumed that God has an individual will for each Christian and that His will can be discerned. To this point, I have described criteria for determining God’s will that are straightforward and objective. God’s leading never contradicts...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Three

John Buck is a manager for a national corporation where he has been advancing through the ranks. One day his boss stops by to offer John a new position as manager of a plant in a distant part of the country. The job comes with a pay increase of $15,000 per year. John...

Knowing God’s Will: Part Two

If God is not giving further revelation, then how can believers know His will for their lives? Some theologians have denied that God has an individual will for each believer, but their objections are not convincing. More often than not, their case against an...

Knowing God’s Will: Part One

Does God have an individual will for each believer? To suggest otherwise is effectively to deny either the infinity of God’s wisdom and knowledge, thereby verging upon Open Theism, or else to question God’s love for and personal interest in His children. God certainly...

On Living the Liberal Life

Contemporary education emphasizes specialization. The more education you get, the more specialized it becomes. This trend produces scholars whose grasp of a tiny sliver of knowledge is exhaustive, but whose capacity to integrate that knowledge into the overall system...

Not My President?

In my first presidential election—that is, the first one I voted in—my guy lost. Since then, the people I voted for have lost presidential elections more often than they have won them. In the process I have gained decades of practice at living under presidents whom I...

Food Pharisees?

There’s a lot of talk about gluttony out there. I mean a lot. Billy Graham wrote a Q&A about it. Joe McKeever rebukes it. John Piper tells people how to conquer it. Rachel Held Evans has compared it to homosexuality, and Kevin DeYoung has weighed in for the Gospel...

Does Baptism Wash Away Sins?

The Texas morning was already warm and getting warmer. A friend had stopped by just to say hello, and I asked him how he intended to spend what promised to be a hot forenoon. He replied, “I’m going to go to the hardware and buy some ice cream.” Looking at him...

Further Thoughts on Building Community

[This essay was originally published on April 12, 2013.] In order for a church to function as a community, its members must develop relationships that touch all of life. The development of these relationships requires Christians to share interests outside of the...

About In the Nick of Time

Occasional Essays and Other Stuff for Christian Students Presented by the Research Professor of Systematic Theology of Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis.

 

American Christianity needs Christian leaders. Christian leaders explain the Scriptures, bringing them to bear upon life’s urgent questions. Christian leaders exemplify the life of faith, finding their ultimate satisfaction in God alone. They unite intellectual discipline with ordinate affection, turning their entire being toward the love of God. These essays are dedicated to the task of inviting Christian students to become tomorrow’s Christian leaders.

 

—Kevin T. Bauder

 

“Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”