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Full-Text Articles in Religion

Church Conflict In The Atlanta-Rome District: Developing A Systematic Approach To Conflict And Membership Attrition, James C. Clements Dec 2018

Church Conflict In The Atlanta-Rome District: Developing A Systematic Approach To Conflict And Membership Attrition, James C. Clements

Masters Theses

The decline in church membership and attendance of the 22 churches and 18 ministries of the Atlanta-Rome District (ARD) of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church has dramatically impacted the ministries and effectiveness of the Atlanta-Rome District churches in conducting what Jesus Christ commanded in the Great Commission. The congregations whose membership once boasted governmental officials and civil rights icons have all but dwindled to a faithful few that continue to support the Spiritual and fiduciary obligations of the local churches. The rise of non-denominational churches with a more contemporary style of worship as well as internal conflicts within the ...


Church Life Cycle, Benjamin Boatman Dec 2018

Church Life Cycle, Benjamin Boatman

Masters Theses

With thousands of American churches permanently closing their doors each year, it is important to take a closer look at the churches that are in desperate need for renewal. The Body of Christ is eternal, but each church will individually display the life cycle that is observed in the human body. With so many churches in desperate need, all attempts must be made to provide suggestions that may result in their ability to continue on with the mission of Christ. The purpose of this research study is to examine the body of Christ as to its scriptural background, compare the ...


The Role Of Music In Worship Among Deaf Culture Christianity, Mallory Ruth Dunn Dec 2018

The Role Of Music In Worship Among Deaf Culture Christianity, Mallory Ruth Dunn

Masters Theses

Throughout the Word of God, we are called to worship our Creator through music. "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--shout for joy before the Lord, the King" (Psalm 98: 4-6 [NIV]). It has been said that music is a universal language: but all cultures use it differently and therefore it is not a universal language but a universal phenomenon. What about the individual who cannot hear the music ...


Reclaiming A Biblical Sexual Ethic: How A Renewed Understanding Of The Doctrine Of The Image Of God Is An Important Response To The Ideas Of The Sexual Revolution And The Self-Esteem Movement, Sarah Stewart Dec 2018

Reclaiming A Biblical Sexual Ethic: How A Renewed Understanding Of The Doctrine Of The Image Of God Is An Important Response To The Ideas Of The Sexual Revolution And The Self-Esteem Movement, Sarah Stewart

Masters Theses

Sexual ethics have become a large source of debate in modern America and will continue as American sexual mores become more progressive. The church in America also faces the issue of how to respond to issues caused by changes in American sexual ethics. These changes, however, have not been greatly beneficial to society. While debates about sexual ethics are not new, the debate has reemerged in modern society, primarily as the result of two movements, the Sexual Revolution and the Self-esteem Movement. Both of these movements shifted belief in human value away from inherent value, as a result of humans ...


Soteriology In Mainstream Monotheistic Religions: The Messiah Conundrum, Jay Fox Sep 2018

Soteriology In Mainstream Monotheistic Religions: The Messiah Conundrum, Jay Fox

Masters Theses

For the promotion of the Gospel, this study seeks to examine Soteriology in Mainstream Monotheistic Religions: The Messiah Conundrum. This decidedly charged topic critically researches the philosophy of salvation doctrine, or soteriology, within major monotheistic religions. The highlighted problem is the Messiah conundrum, with critical research on each doctrine for epistemological significance of a savior and their beliefs surrounding salvation. This mystery of where, or who humans turn to for salvation, is vitally important when considering the principle of sufficient reason in today’s hermeneutic and apologetic circles. The purpose fueling this thesis is the resolute documenting of beliefs of ...


The Problem Of The Stigma Of Marxism For Christian Advocacy Writers Whose Focus Is Historical, Social Inequalities, Kandy Crosby-Hastings Sep 2018

The Problem Of The Stigma Of Marxism For Christian Advocacy Writers Whose Focus Is Historical, Social Inequalities, Kandy Crosby-Hastings

Masters Theses

Christian advocacy writers seek to advocate on behalf of and empower the marginalized. Christian advocacy writers who focus on historical, social inequalities reveal oppressions from history in order to advocate for the oppressed in similar circumstances in today’s world. They must be willing to learn from all scholarship that reveals the hardship and oppression endured by the exploited of society. There is often a stigma associated with the use of Marxist sources for reasons that include Karl Marx’s own anti-religious, anti-Semitic, pro-revolution, and reductionist ideas and the later association of Marxism with Soviet Communism. Christian advocacy writers must ...


C.S. Lewis And The True Myth: A Reconciliation Of Theology, Philosophy, And Mythology, Courage Lowrance Sep 2018

C.S. Lewis And The True Myth: A Reconciliation Of Theology, Philosophy, And Mythology, Courage Lowrance

Masters Theses

C.S. Lewis was both a student of pagan philosophy and mythology and a Christian. He never was divided between these two pursuits in his life, though he gave the latter its proper priority. What allowed Lewis to keep this balance was his idea of the gospel as the True Myth, an idea that helped lead to his conversion and remained at the core of his thinking throughout his life. By this idea of True Myth, Lewis was able to not only unite the pagan myths to Christian truth, but also the rest of human thought as well. Thus, in ...


Examining Keswick For Benefits To Chaplain Resilience Ministry, Caleb Walker Sep 2018

Examining Keswick For Benefits To Chaplain Resilience Ministry, Caleb Walker

Masters Theses

The Keswick Convention movement, which began in Keswick, England in 1870 and emphasized deeper knowledge and experience of God, has often been criticized and marginalized in evangelical theological circles. The structure of the conferences, with an emphasis upon six major theological themes and their application for daily Christian living, seems to have value for many attendees in deepening their Christian life. This study examines the potential benefits of the Keswick themes with particular application to the military chaplaincy setting and the issue of spiritual resilience. By examining criteria for resilience (steadfastness, perseverance, courage, and recuperation) and utilizing a qualitative research ...


The Transformational Power Of Forgiveness Within The Church, Mary Mckenzie Aug 2018

The Transformational Power Of Forgiveness Within The Church, Mary Mckenzie

Masters Theses

This thesis seeks to explore and describe the concepts and effects of forgiveness within the church. It shows that the roots of violence, suffering, and pain are in the unhealed wounds of the past. It examines biblical, theological, and psychological materials on forgiveness, unforgiveness, and health benefits. Learning about forgiveness and how to use the skills can conceivably enhance mental and physical health through an optimistic and hopeful outlook on life. It highlights the differences of the definition and understanding of forgiveness and forgiveness from an intercultural perspective. Results from participants’ from five ethnic groups (African, African American, Asian, Caribbean ...


Trinity, Freedom, And Evil: The Importance Of The Triune Nature Of God In The Problem Of Evil, Seth Pryor Aug 2018

Trinity, Freedom, And Evil: The Importance Of The Triune Nature Of God In The Problem Of Evil, Seth Pryor

Masters Theses

This thesis presents an abductive argument for a trinitarian conception of God as opposed to a unitarian conception especially when juxtaposed against the problem of evil. On the whole, this author argues, the Trinity has more conceptual resources to answer the problem of evil by granting freedom of the will to its creation, specifically the will to go against God, by himself consisting in an inherently relational ontological structure of three persons yet the same being that would grant such a capability.


Theology And Poetry: Literary Aesthetics In The Writing Of Ann Voskamp, Erin Peters Jun 2018

Theology And Poetry: Literary Aesthetics In The Writing Of Ann Voskamp, Erin Peters

Masters Theses

Because of her work as an author, speaker, blogger, and Compassion International advocate, Christianity Today cited Ann Voskamp as one of the 50 most influential women in shaping the North American evangelical church. Through her poetic, spiritual memoirs, Voskamp has challenged and inspired Christian women in their walk with God while simultaneously raising an important question for Christian literature: What roles does the poetic imagination play in communicating theology? To be sure however, Voskamp’s unique blend of poetic lyricism and personally applied theology has incited significant criticism regarding her loosely constructed language and narrative interpretation of Scripture. This thesis ...


The Ideologies And Outcomes Of The French And American Revolutions, Donald D. Palmer Jun 2018

The Ideologies And Outcomes Of The French And American Revolutions, Donald D. Palmer

Masters Theses

One effective way to compare the fruits of biblical Christianity with modernism is to contrast the ideologies and outcomes of the American and French Revolutions. Pre-revolutionary America was rich with biblical influence. Adherents of both Protestantism and Deism sought a “Christian society,” and while revolutionaries drew from both biblical Reformation and secular Enlightenment thought, much of the latter was biblical thought in secular form. Ministers employed the Bible extensively to support the Revolution. This relative theological consensus encouraged religious practice and a political system that accommodated dispute. Human rights were secure thanks to man’s subordinate position under God. Even ...


Hagar As Israel: A Prismatic Reading Of Hagar And Ishmael, Wesley D. Walker Jun 2018

Hagar As Israel: A Prismatic Reading Of Hagar And Ishmael, Wesley D. Walker

Masters Theses

The Hagar and Ishmael story (Gen 16, 21) is one of Genesis’ most undervalued stories. Historically, Jewish and Christian interpreters have approached the text with a bias against Hagar in favor of Sarah. This approach hampers the ability of interpreters to see how the author(s) of Genesis may be utilizing the narrative in a pro-Hagar way. This thesis rehabilitates Hagar and Ishmael’s image by engaging in a charitable and canonical hermeneutic which seeks to see the story in light of a network of inner-biblical allusions. There are three important literary connections which are necessary to understand Hagar and ...


The Presbyterian Enlightenment: The Confluence Of Evangelical And Enlightenment Thought In British America, Brandon S. Durbin May 2018

The Presbyterian Enlightenment: The Confluence Of Evangelical And Enlightenment Thought In British America, Brandon S. Durbin

Masters Theses

Eighteenth-Century British American Presbyterian ministers incorporated covenantal theology, ideas from the Scottish Enlightenment, and resistance theory in their sermons. The sermons of Presbyterian ministers strongly indicate the intermixing of enlightenment and evangelical ideas. Congregants heard and read these sermons, spreading these ideas to the average colonist. This combination helps explain why American Presbyterians were so apt to resist British rule during the American Revolution. Protestant covenantal theology, derived from Protestant reformers like John Calvin and John Knox, emphasized virtue and duty. This covenant affected both the people and their rulers. When rulers failed to uphold their covenant with God, the ...


“‘Bere We Þe Cros’: The Persistence Of The Cross In English Ritual And Religious Practices From Bede To The Reformation”, David Black May 2018

“‘Bere We Þe Cros’: The Persistence Of The Cross In English Ritual And Religious Practices From Bede To The Reformation”, David Black

Masters Theses

Long before Christian missionaries arrived in England in the 7th century, the pagan population recognized the cross as a potent magical symbol. As a result, proselytizers shrewdly used the population’s familiarity with the cross, and their understandings of its power, to encourage converts to the new religion. Over the ensuing centuries of English Christian dominance, the magical aspects of the cross continued to develop both mythologically and theologically, without ever losing connection to their pagan origins. The Crusades, both through the propaganda of preachers and the massive influx of True Cross Relics, contributed in a substantial way to ...


The Plausibility Of Animal Sacrifices In Ezekiel 40-48 Literally Operating In The Millennial Kingdom Under The New Covenant, Ian Bacon May 2018

The Plausibility Of Animal Sacrifices In Ezekiel 40-48 Literally Operating In The Millennial Kingdom Under The New Covenant, Ian Bacon

Masters Theses

This thesis delves into the controversy surrounding the presence of animal sacrifices in Ezekiel 40-48. In these chapters Ezekiel depicts a temple that dispensationalists believe to be literally fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom.Yet, some claim that a literal understanding of these sacrifices in the future negates the work of Jesus on the cross. The response by many dispensationlists is to argue that these sacrifices will be performed to memorialize the death of Jesus. This thesis proves that the sacrifices in Ezekiel 40-48 are for purification purposes to atone for the contamination of sin so that the glory of Christ ...


A Message From Antioch And Moravia To The West, Barry Hudspeth Apr 2018

A Message From Antioch And Moravia To The West, Barry Hudspeth

Masters Theses

This qualitative thesis study, “A Message From Antioch and Moravia to the West,” explores the North American Church’s role in the global missions arena and seeks to develop a streamlined strategy for engaging in cross-cultural evangelism in the twenty-first century. A qualitative case study of the first-century Christian church and Moravian church of the eighteenth century provides data on actions conducted to spread Christianity from a central geographical location outward to the known world in their respective eras of Christian history. These two case study analyses looked at how the Gospel was spread during each point in history followed ...


Reframing Identity In The Age Of Authenticity, Daphne Edmonston Apr 2018

Reframing Identity In The Age Of Authenticity, Daphne Edmonston

Masters Theses

Many in American culture have either actively or passively adopted the idea that authenticity is one of the highest virtues, if not the highest. The cultural ideal of authenticity states that personal identity and meaning are found within oneself. Being true to ‘the real you’ is the path to meaning, pleasure, and flourishing. This way of framing personal identity proves to be insecure, unstable, and leads to a lack of flourishing. In contrast, a Christian view of authenticity provides stability and security and leads to the possibility of flourishing in this life as well as for eternity. There is a ...


The Context And Effects Of The Spirit Filled Seventy Elders, David Abbott Jan 2018

The Context And Effects Of The Spirit Filled Seventy Elders, David Abbott

Masters Theses

The passage of Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29 is an important passage in understanding the work, role and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. It also is a passage that sends ripple effects throughout the rest of the Bible, most notably through Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2, 10, and 19, and in Paul’s teachings in Galatians 3:28 and 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1. Although this work does not settle any theological debate about speaking in tongues, it does look into the gifts of the Spirit from an Old Testament perspective. The resting of the ...