Introducing: Dr. Jenny Chien, Assistant Professor of Counseling

By Kris Rolls on April 5, 2017

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is undergoing an exciting season of growth! This fall we are excited to be welcoming two new full-time counseling faculty to our learning community. Faculty make incredibly important contributions to the culture of our school as they instruct students, make academic policy decisions and continue to labor in their disciplines through research and writing. Over the last…

Rediscovering the Distance Between Us: Preaching the New Testament

By Kris Rolls on February 22, 2017

What types of biblical literature are easiest for you to preach? What portions of Scripture do you feel most at "home" in while preaching or reading? If you're a Protestant evangelical, chances are you are most at "home" in the New Testament, and even more comfortable in Paul's letters. When compared with Law Code portions of Leviticus, prophetic visions in the Minor Prophets, narrative complexities…

Dr. Jonathan Greer on How Bible Backgrounds Will Strengthen Your Preaching

By Kris Rolls on February 13, 2017

One of my favorite theologians, Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer, once said, "For, when the church responds to the Word of God as it ought, the church demonstrates the love of God and the mind of Christ, in word and in deed."[1] The catch is, that in order to respond to the Word of God "as we ought," we must understand what Scripture says in the first place. Pastors and teachers must regularly wrestle with what…

Dr. Tim Gombis Contributes to a New Book on the Apostle Paul

By Kris Rolls on June 27, 2016

This March, Dr. Timothy Gombis, associate professor of New Testament here at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, published a chapter in an edited volume along with several notable scholars such as N.T. Wright, Bruce Longenecker and James D. G. Dunn. The new book is titled, "The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life: Ethical and Missional Implications of the New Perspective," edited by Dr. Scot McKnight…

The Cross and Christian Identity

By Kris Rolls on March 23, 2016

It doesn't take more than five minutes of watching network news to convince a person that we live in very dark and confusing times. American culture is deeply divided along fault lines of race, politics, economics, religion, and human rights. The world is longing for justice and significance, but more importantly, it is looking for answers and searching for identity.

What Does it Take to Make a Great Sermon?: GRTS to Host Midwest ETS Meeting

By Kris Rolls on March 2, 2016

It should go without saying on this blog—but I will say it anyway: The Bible is essential for the life, health, and sustenance of the Church; it is the very Word of God to his people. Studying the Bible and communicating it effectively, though, requires loving, careful and hard work. Christians should love words—both written and spoken—simply because we are keepers, doers, and lovers of the Word. The…

GRTS Chapel: "An Appropriate Presence: Living as the People of God"

By Kris Rolls on February 1, 2016

Every Wednesday morning at GRTS, we gather as a community to worship God and reflect on His word. Chapel is an important part of who we are as a seminary. It's an intentional time for us to pause our work, turn off our technology and stop our lectures to gather as the people of God in worship.

Here is the chapel schedule this semester. Chapel is held on Wednesday mornings from 9:50 a.m. - 10:30 a…

Study is Worship... and Discipleship

By Kris Rolls on January 25, 2016

As a student, there is nothing like the kind of excitement that comes at the beginning of a new semester. A fresh start. A clean slate. An idealistic hope for copious amounts of productivity, new ideas and growth in every facet of life—intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. Graduate education has a way of forcing you into postures of meekness, humility, charity and curiosity. These virtues, I…

The Gospel vs. Resolution

By Kris Rolls on December 30, 2015

New Years is an interesting holiday that is loaded with all sorts of meaning. Around this time a few years ago I listened to a sermon from popular Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith. He titled his sermon, "Giving Up on Resolution." I remember it well because it was such a stark critique of what I thought to be "harmless" New Year's resolutions. Why wouldn't I want to lose weight? Get a gym membership?…

The Gift of God for the People of God

By Kris Rolls on December 25, 2015

During Advent, Christians around the world gather together and exchange gifts. We do this because the act of gift-giving reflects and rehearses the Ultimate Gift of God becoming man in the birth of Jesus. The exchanging of gifts help us to unite as the people of God and reflect upon the hope that is in Immanuel—Christ with us.

This season, I've had the privilege of working my way through John Barclay's…

Connecting Old Testament Exegesis to Preaching (Book Review)

By Kris Rolls on December 2, 2015

When was the last time you heard (or preached) a sermon series based on Deuteronomy or 1 Chronicles or Hosea? Or any other difficult book from the Old Testament? My answer is "never." The New Testament is generally more accessible for modern audiences. It seems more straightforward about what to believe and how to live. By contrast, the Old Testament can be a strange, foreign and unfamiliar place.…

Traveling and Digging into Redemption

By Kris Rolls on October 14, 2015

In 2012, my wife and I packed up our things—well, two suitcases each—and moved to Israel for graduate school and a ministry opportunity. Our time in the land, and living in a small Palestinian village just outside of Bethlehem was one of the most amazing seasons in our lives.

Gospel Centered Scholarship: Talking Points Plenary Speaker, Dr. Douglas Moo

By Kris Rolls on September 23, 2015

Dr. Douglas Moo is an influential writer, authoring several books, commentaries and academic journal articles spanning multiple genres of New Testament literature. His primary areas of research include Pauline theology, creation theology, Galatians, Romans and Hebrews.

Dr. Moo has been a significant resource for me as I've studied the New Testament. He is thoughtful, charitable and typically brings…

Student Spotlight: SJ and Erick

By Kris Rolls on August 10, 2015

At GRTS, we seek to thrive as a learning community committed to excellence in academic rigor and faithfulness in devotion to Scripture. Students are an important facet of that culture, so from time to time on the Talking Points Blog we will spotlight students and their stories. We hope this will give testimony to the work God is doing in their lives and in our community as a whole.

These students…