The 'Thinking Cap' series is the product of Kent Haralson's fertile and thoughtful mind.
Kent Haralson, I hear you asking!............Kent is one of the few Christians prepared to contribute in-depth, 'meaty' study material on God's Word thus furthering the understanding of Christian brothers and sisters in their walk with the Lord.
Kent is married with two adult children and six grandchildren. He was
saved at age 32; served as youth leader, Sunday School teacher and Deacon and
was called to fulltime service in 1987. Academically, Kent has been awarded
a B.S. (Mathematics & Physics) from the University of Wisconsin; M.S. (Computer
and Information Science) from Ohio State University; Ph.D. (Martial Arts) from
Feather River University and D.Min. (Pastoral Ministries) from Anchor Theological
Seminary. He is currently pursuing his Th.D. from Tyndale Seminary. Following
a 17 year career with IBM Corp as instructor, programmer, manager, planner
and Senior Manager, Kent resigned in 1987 upon receiving a call to fulltime
ministry, taking up as associate pastor at Berean Baptist Church in West Palm
Beach FL USA. His responsibilities included all Sunday Schools, Bible studies,
evangelism, discipleship and laylead ministries for a church averaging over
800 in attendance.
A martial artist since 1972, he is the founder of Seigi Bushido Ryu (The Way of the Righteous Warrior) system and holds an 9th degree black belt. Moreover, Kent is Chairman of the worldwide organization of Christian martial artists, Gospel Martial Arts Union, which was founded in 1986.
In 1997 he was called to be the Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Lewistown, Montana. While there the church budget more than doubled as did the attendance. In August of 2002, he was called to pastor First Baptist Church in Osceola, Wisconsin. This small church of 45 at that time, has experienced steady growth.
While we have taken a little space to introduce Kent, the 'Thinking Cap' series is thought-provoking and is an excellent vehicle for focusing our attention on Christ and God's Word. Perhaps there may be some aspect of the series you would like to discuss with Kent. You can do so by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been sending out these items for several year now. The original distribution list has changed significantly since them, although the motivation has not. For those of you who are interested, in my opinion, here is why I take the time to construct the "thinking caps". Notwithstanding all their other virtues, evangelicals (and especially the fundamental branch) are not exemplary for their thinking, and they have not been so for several generations. Despite dynamic success at a popular level, modern fundamentalists have failed notably in sustaining serious intellectual life. They have nourished millions of believers in the simple truths of the gospel, but have largely abandoned the universities, the arts and other realms of "high" culture.
They have little intellectual muscle. Feeding the hungry, living simply and writing letters to congress are tasks on which different sorts of fundamentalists willingly expend great energy, but these tasks do not by themselves assist in intellectual vitality.
Bible believers acknowledge that in the Scriptures God stands revealed plainly as the author of nature, as the sustainer of human institutions (family, work and government) and as the source of harmony, creativity and beauty. Yet it has been precisely these Bible believers who have neglected sober analysis of nature, human society and the arts.
The great reformers of the past and most stalwarts of the 18th century awakenings (Wesley, Edwards, ...) all held that diligent rigorous mental activity was a way to glorify God. Unlike their spiritual ancestors, modern fundamentalists have not pursued comprehensive thinking under God or sought a mind shaped to its furthest reaches by Christian perspectives. By a "life of the mind" I mean the effort to think within a specifically Christian framework --- across the whole spectrum of modern learning, including economics and political science, literary criticism and imaginative writing, historical inquiry and philosophical studies, linguistics and the history of science, social theory and the arts. We tend towards small mindedness, a narrowness of the truth and mean spiritedness.
In the end, the question of Christian thinking is a deeply spiritual question. What sort of God will we worship? With this question we return to the most important matter concerning the life of the mind. The Gospel of John tells us that the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us, full of a glorious grace and truth, was also the Word through whom all things --- all phenomena in nature, all capacities for fruitful human interaction, all the kinds of beauty - -- were made. To honor that Word as He deserves to be honored, fundamentalists must know both Christ and what He has made.
The effort to think like a Christian is rather an effort to take seriously the sovereignty of God over the world He created, the lordship of Christ over the world He died to redeem and the power of the Holy Spirit over the world He sustains each and every moment. From this perspective the search for a mind that truly thinks like a Christian takes on ultimate significance, because the search for a Christian mind is not, in the end, a search for mind but a search for God. It is to that end that the "Thinking Caps" are written and distributed.
Think about it.
Thinking Cap #1 - Can the Devil Read Your Mind?
Thinking Cap #2 - "Spirit" or "Ghost"?
Thinking Cap #3 - Alcohol and the Call to "Moderation"?
Thinking Cap #4 - "Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus"?
Thinking Cap #5 - Does a Slain Child go Straight to Heaven?
Thinking Cap #6 - Will You Recognize Loved Ones in Heaven?
Thinking Cap #7 - Key Words Linked to a Bible Event?
Thinking Cap #8 - Are Some Sins Worse Than Others?
Thinking Cap #9 - Is There Extraterrestrial Life?
Thinking Cap #10 - Just When is a Couple Married?
Thinking Cap #11 - Does the Holy Spirit Need a Grammar Lesson?
Thinking Cap #12 - Should Christians Judge & Confront Sin in Other's Lives?
Thinking Cap #13 - Where Do Our Souls Go When We Die
Thinking Cap #14 - Just How Many Kids Are Enough?
Thinking Cap #15 - Is There a Problem with Dabbling in the Lottery?
Thinking Cap #16 - Must You be Baptized to go to Heaven?
Thinking Cap #17 - Is Capital Punishment Biblical?
Thinking Cap #18 - World Domination
Thinking Cap #19 - Homosexuality
Thinking Cap #20 - Big Bang & God
Thinking Cap #21 - Bankruptcy?
Thinking Cap #22 - Face to Face?
Thinking Cap #23 - Are The Heathen Lost?
Thinking Cap #24 - Kingdom of What?
Thinking Cap #25 - Killing the Baby Killers?
Thinking Cap #26 - Tongues
Thinking Cap #27 - Corporal Punishment
Thinking Cap #28 - Divorce and Remarriage
Thinking Cap #29 - Why I Believe in God
Thinking Cap #30 - Interracial Marriages
Thinking Cap #31 - Life After Death
Thinking Cap #32 - The Role of Women in Ministry
Thinking Cap #33 - Why I Believe the Bible
Thinking Cap #34 - Discrepancies in the Bible
Thinking Cap #35 - Guaranteed Good Kids
Thinking Cap #36 - A Classic Situation: Obedience or Murder?
Thinking Cap #37 - Is A Christian Preschool really Christian?
Thinking Cap #38 - Tolerance
Thinking Cap #39 - Selecting the Right Kind of Church
Thinking Cap #40 - Why I Believe in the Resurrection
Thinking Cap #41 - Ear rings, nose rings and tongue studs
Thinking Cap #42 - Euthanasia
Thinking Cap #43 - Why I Believe in the Virgin Birth
Thinking Cap #44 - To Tithe or not to Tithe
Thinking Cap #46 - Cremation
Thinking Cap #47 - Can You Be A Good Christian And Not Go To Church?
Thinking Cap #48 - Can You Lose Your Salvation?
Thinking Cap #49 - What Happens to Us at the Resurrection?
Thinking Cap #50 - Sin and Sickness
Thinking Cap #51 - Prayer: Return to Sender, Address Unknown?
Thinking Cap #52 - Infant 'Baptism'—Shaking Off Those Old Protestant Tentacles
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 by the Gospel Martial Arts Union All rights reserved.