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Bear with Us

Mark Beuving —  April 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

Office Space PrinterTo our loyal readers,

If things are looking strange around here and/or you couldn’t access the site over the past few days: our apologies. We actually lost the entire site along with every post we’ve written since early 2011.

After a collective minor heart attack and some serious consideration of: What if we lost everything forever?—we’re back.

But we did have to restart from the ground floor. So while it seems like we’ve got all the content here, we’re not 100% sure that all of the external links floating around the interwebs will function properly. What we are sure of, however, is that much of the formatting will be off and many pictures will be missing or skewed (which will hurt me more than it will hurt Preston—if he notices).

All that to say, please bear with us if things look funny around the site. We’re going to try to get everything back in order so that it’s as useful to you as it can be, but that will probably take some time and we may never get it back exactly as it should be. We’ll also likely be choosing a new look and feel for the site overall, so if it looks like we’re having an identity crisis, we are.

Thanks for your patience.

I’m super excited to announce that Eternity Bible College is looking to plant an extension site in Boise, Idaho. I’m also excited, though a bit nervous, to say that I will serve as the director of this extension site: excited because of the groundswell of enthusiasm among the Boise EBC boisechurches about the extension site, and nervous because this will require me to leave the promised land to a state where there is no surfing.

So why would I do such a thing?

Let me share my heart for second. While I love academics and teaching, I would have a really hard time dedicating my life to filling students with head knowledge about the Bible. I couldn’t do this for very long. And if Eternity Bible College were about making Christians smarter, or filling minds with endless doctrine with no connection to real life, then I wouldn’t have lasted 6 months here. Honestly, if Eternity’s education didn’t seek to fuel our students’ passion and further the mission of Christ in radical ways, then I’d probably be off on the mission field somewhere doing the “real work” of ministry.

But I believe I am doing the “real work.” Because I’m not just dumping content into empty skulls; I’m helping train students to live and die well; to think deeply and critically about the text; to live passionate lives for Jesus; to cultivate the God-given creativity and imagination to take the gospel to unreached pockets of creation; to think Christianly about all areas of life including sex, money, music, ministry, film, marriage (not in that order), business, athletics, entertainment, and every other part of life.

I’m playing a small role in training the next generation of Christian leaders to take the baton and run with it until their knees buckle.

In the last few years I’ve been amazed at our graduates. They’re sharp. They’re passionate. Most of all, they are humble servants of our foot-washing King. If we weren’t turning out graduates that demonstrate a more Christ-like character than when they came in, I wouldn’t be teaching here any longer. But the fact that we are graduating humble, wise, and passionate students makes me realize that we’re doing something worth putting more time and energy into. And this is why we want to take Eternity to Boise.

Here’s a brief timeline:

May 2013. My wife and I had the initial idea of starting an extension site in Boise.

July 2013. I contacted several pastors via email and phone to talk about the possibility of starting an extension site.

August 2013. Joshua Walker and I flew up to meet with several leaders and pastors in the Boise area to talk further about the plan.

October 2013. The board of Eternity approved the plan to continue to pursue the project.

November 2013. I met with several other pastors and leaders, who were very excited about the project.

January 2014. I met with several more pastors and leaders, who also were very pumped about Eternity coming to Boise.

The goal now is that my family and I would move up in May/June 2014, spend a year on the ground building relationships and getting connected with the leaders in the region, and then launch a full first year set of classes in Fall 2015.

Throughout the entire plan, my number one question has been: are we forcing our project onto people who don’t want it, or are we being invited into what God has already been doing among the churches in the Boise region? Unanimously, it’s been the latter. The local leaders have expressed great enthusiasm over the possibility of Eternity coming to join them in what God has been doing in the Boise region.

If you are in the Boise area, or know of someone who is, and you want to hear more about this project, please feel free to email me at: preston@eternitybiblecollege.com.

Here’s a short video explaining the heart and mission behind the extension site.

What do we need to launch this site?

1. Prayer. Please pray that God would continue to move in this venture and bring whichever students he wants to come.

2. Finances. We need about $110,000 in “seed capital” to launch the site. Find more details and/or give here.

3. Inform. Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested in Eternity’s Boise site.

Again: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And if our graduates were blah Christians, then I wouldn’t care to promote what we’re doing here as a college. But, well, our graduates rock, and I wish there were more Christians like them.

Come to Eternity, whether in Simi Valley or in Boise, and learn how to live and die well.

Why Silo is Perfect for You

Mark Beuving —  October 8, 2013 — 1 Comment

Silo Pathrwight LogoMany of our readers are already familiar with The Silo Project. Essentially, we’ve taken material from our college classrooms and are offering it to normal people (i.e., non-scholars, non-theology-nerds) in an attractive, affordable, self-paced format. You can learn about worldview or Old Testament or counseling or whatever at your own pace through watching a series of five-minute videos featuring professors from Eternity Bible College.

I’ll admit that I don’t know you (unless I do). But that little detail aside, I firmly believe The Silo Project is perfect for you. Why? Here are a five reasons.

 

You Want to Learn & Grow

You love Jesus and want to serve him in every area of your life. But like everyone, there are parts of the Bible you don’t understand. There are current issues that you know God cares about, but you’re not entirely sure what he would say about them. There are people in your life who need help and support, but you always feel a little inadequate.

Silo courses can help you in all of these areas—they’re designed to inform, equip, and challenge you.

 

You Don’t Have Spare Time

You already have too many commitments. I can see that. You have a well-intentioned booklist that you’re not likely to put a dent in for years to come. You’ve come across ministry and training opportunities, but they all require commitments that would stretch your fragile schedule beyond the breaking point.

Silo courses can be started, stopped, and paused at any time. You can move through the courses at your own pace, even if you have nothing more than five-minute gaps in your schedule.

 

You Hate Theological Jargon

In the past, you’ve taken steps to learn more about your Bible and how to help other people, but you quickly drowned in a sea of difficult concepts and terminology. Let’s be honest: terms like “sanctification,” “exegesis,” “Abrahamic,” and a thousand others refer to important concepts, but they make learning the Bible unnecessarily difficult when they’re simply assumed rather than explained.

Silo courses explore and explain each of these concepts without appealing to obscure terminology.

 

Course ImageYou’ve Been Meaning to Do Something Like This

You’ve been keeping your eye open for opportunities to learn, but everything you’ve come across has either been too academic, too lightweight, too time-consuming, too cheesy, too something. It’s not that you don’t want to take the next step, you just haven’t found the perfect fit.

Well get ready, Cinderella, because this slipper was designed for your foot. Silo courses are not re-purposed videos of hours-long classroom lectures. They’re designed to help normal people learn the way normal people learn.

 

You’ve Been Waiting for a Discount

I also happen to know that you’re a savvy money-manager. You already sense that taking a Silo course at the standard price of $25 ($20 if you sign up with a group of five or more) is an insane deal. But if only you could get another $4 or $5 off, you’d have no choice but to sign up.

Well, here you go. Choose any course you like and enter the coupon code theologyforreallife as you register and you’ll get 20% off (offer expires Nov. 1). I should also mention that you can watch the first two sessions of any course for free.

 

Now that I’ve convinced you, head over to thesiloproject.org and get started with a course in studying the Bible effectively, worldview, Old Testament, New Testament, counseling, discipleship, or theology.

 

 

Zimmerman TrayvonA young man is dead. The man who killed him has been found “not guilty” of murdering by reason of “self-defense.” The media on the left and right is exploding with analysis, accusation, race-baiting, and outrage. People on social media are either celebrating or lamenting. Politicians, celebrities, and other elites are making emotionally charged political statements on both sides of the case. The question is how do we respond as Christians who are citizens of the USA and of God’s kingdom.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on this case. I have personally seen racism but don’t claim to know what it means to be black in America. I am not a leader in the realm of racial reconciliation. I am a Christian pastor. My attempt at answering how we ought to respond is limited to my desire to faithfully proclaim the gospel to a people who need to live well as citizens in two kingdoms.

I do not believe our response as Christians ought to be restricted to a particular set of behaviors, with the exception of prayer. I am not sure what your lot in life is and in what manner you are compelled to respond. Your responsibility here is likely different if you are a politician, pastor, homemaker, mechanic, or college professor. However, I do believe our response to this situation can rightly be grounded in at least three different attitudes of our hearts and minds.

1. We ought to grieve over our fallen world.
I did not celebrate the day George Zimmerman was declared not guilty. I grieved for the parents and family of Trayvon Martin. No matter how you feel about this case, it is tragic that a family lost a young son. Death is a terrible and relentless enemy that pursues us all. I grieved over the racism and division that is so prevalent in our world. It does not matter what you believe about the nature of this case. The fact remains that the debates surrounding the case have exposed a people who are divided over racism. Racism is at heart the hatred of the image of God in another person and is always tragic. We thus should grieve over the fact that an entire group of people suffered egregious injustice in our country for hundreds of years. Let us not so quickly dismiss the ongoing effects of that wound and the manner through which that same group of people now view the justice system. Finally, I grieved over the sinfulness of humanity. Our sinfulness leads to all manner of offense against God and one another. We can see that sinfulness abound in many ways surrounding this trial and the response to it. We ought to grieve because we love God and thus hate what offends him. We ought to grieve because we love people and hate what hurts them.

2. We ought to be thankful for a God who is just and has shown us immense kindness in common ways.
Whether you believe justice was done in this particular case or not, you can affirm our God is just. Whatever happens in human justice systems God is not lacking in his application of justice. He will finally and fully avenge all sin. Further, we ought to be thankful for the common kindness of God we see in a human justice system that tries cases in a courtroom before jurors and not in the mass media before the populace. Our system doesn’t always get it right but I remain thankful we do not live in a country with a kangaroo court.

3. We ought to find hope in the character and work of God as supremely demonstrated in the cross and resurrection.
We grieve but not as those without hope. We are hopeful because we have a God who is both just and merciful. We believe God has demonstrated his justice and mercy most clearly in the cross of Jesus Christ. God demonstrated that he will not and cannot just let sinners slide by. He paid the penalty for sin due to all of us in Christ. He simultaneously showed his mercy toward sinners in willfully punishing our sin in his Son. This is gloriously good news in which we find hope. However, our hope does not end there because the story does not end there. Jesus Christ was also bodily resurrected from the dead thus being vindicated. Jesus’ resurrection carries the promise that God will resurrect our bodies as well. This means that Satan, sin, death, racism, and injustice don’t have the last word. Jesus has the last word and what hope he provides!

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?’
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

Silo Pathrwight LogoEternity Bible College has just rolled out one the most exciting tools we’ve ever created. I’m going to share briefly about it here and offer it to you at a discount, but first the rationale.

Every Christian has a responsibility to know God, to study his word, and to help other people grow closer to him as well. This is very clear in the Bible. As an example, consider Ephesians 4:11–12. According to this passage, who is supposed to be doing the ministry in your church?

“He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”

The answer is: you are! Pastors equip and saints (i.e., Christians) do ministry. For many Christians, however, this is a scary thought. Where do I begin? How do I help someone with their problems? Which passages of Scripture should I point them to? What if someone asks me about Romans? Or Isaiah? How can I be sure that I’m representing God correctly?

It doesn’t matter what your vocation is, ministry training is important. Every church in the world believes this, which is why our pastors preach on Sunday mornings. Our pastors labor tirelessly to equip us for ministry. And organizations like Eternity Bible College exist to assist churches in this process. The more we can push ourselves to learn the Bible and apply it to life, the healthier the church will be.

Our unique calling at Eternity Bible College is to bring quality, affordable Bible education to churches everywhere, and for us this centers on biblical higher education. But we have also made efforts over the years to make this education more accessible to those who don’t have the ability or desire to study at the college level.

What we have found, however, is that it’s not easy for a normal person with a normal schedule to clear out three hours per week to sit through a fifteen week college course. That’s why we’ve created the Silo Project.

The Silo Project takes some of the key insights from our college courses and presents them in an attractive online format that allows you to learn at your own pace. We’re not talking about filming classroom lectures here, which many schools (to their credit) are beginning to make available. Each Silo course features short videos (5–7 minutes each) with a professor speaking directly to you as the learner. The content has been prepared and presented specifically for this format.

This means that no matter who you are, what your learning style is, or how much time you have on your hands, you can go deeper in your knowledge of the Bible and its application for life and ministry.

With each course, you can choose to join a self-paced “class,” where you can start and stop whenever you’d like, interact as much or as little as you’d like with people from around the world, and move at your own pace. Each of these courses is only $25. Or you can go through each course with your own group (with your church or Bible study, for example) for only $20 each. This allows you to interact with only members of your group, offering a more private experience.

We’d like to invite you to try out the Silo Project at a 20% discount. Simply choose the course you’d like to take and enter the coupon code “tryitnow” on the payment screen. This coupon expires April 1, so don’t procrastinate (even if you do, courses are still only $25).

We think you’ll love the Silo Project. To learn more or to try it out, visit thesiloproject.org.