2018 Future Now Signup!

Media & Entertainment Conference!


Here’s the deal – Peggy Kim has just let me know that the 2018 Future Now Media & Entertainment Conference is accepting applications! You definitely want to be a part of the most exciting and practical media conference of the year. I sent a few students last year and they all came back raving about what a fantastic conference it was – and about how many influential leaders they were able to meet and share ideas with. People like Louis Mitchell, Creative Director of Character Design for Sesame Workshop. Louis is not only a consummate professional, but he is one of the most delightful artists on the planet.

Here’s what the conference is about:

FUTURE NOW is the first conference of its kind, dedicated exclusively to bringing together leaders on the forefront of the industry and top college and graduate students to engage, interact, and innovate! The conference will be held May 31 – June 1, 2018. Location TBD.

Day 1 will be a full conference day with an impressive line up of speakers from media companies like HBO, ESPN, BET, AccuWeather and many more; multiple networking opportunities throughout the day; and great food and fun.

Day 2 will be a half day of media tours at various companies, where students will experience different work environments, studios, and perhaps, even see a live broadcast.

Our goal is to LEAD, INFLUENCE and IMPACT society and culture by helping to raise up FUTURE LEADERS in the MEDIA INDUSTRY. This is a tremendous opportunity for students to learn, connect and be better prepared and positioned to pursue their careers upon graduation.

Check out Peggy’s iStandTV website for even more exciting news about her life work.

Are you in media? Do you want the best resource I know of for making important, career-enhancing connections? Then you will find your answer at the 2018 Future Now Media & Entertainment Conference.

Sign up now before all the spots are taken!

Deadline for entry is April 15, 2018!

A New Winter Course at DTS

Using the arts to reach the multi-cultural world for Christ


I’m traveling, so must be brief! There’s a new course afoot at DTS over the winter break (January 8-12)! What in the world is “ethnodoxology” you ask? Think, “the arts for Christ in every culture of the world!” Read on – or just click on the Ethnodoxology link below to see a much prettier layout of the information. We are in exciting times!

A New Winter Course on Ethnodoxology

Check out this highly interactive and practical course, where you will:
• develop a biblical and missiological framework for arts in cross-cultural ministry
• gain practical tools for multicultural congregational contexts
• learn songs and experiencing the arts of a variety of world worship traditions
• integrate ethnodoxology principles into a community you serve.

This one-week intensive course is offered in partnership with Dallas Theological Seminary and GIAL’s Center for Excellence in World Arts on the GIAL campus Jan 8–12 with online work through the end of January. See these testimonials from past participants:

• “I cannot imagine that any institution committed to evangelism and mission would not make an ethnodoxology emphasis an essential part of campus culture and academic life” (Dr. Mark Boughan, President, Emmanuel Bible College).
• “This course is rich and challenging, and is immediately relevant to every missions or church context, from India to Indiana, Nigeria to New York. Our God is worthy of glory throughout the world, and this course will help you understand ways to encourage that outcome.” (Aaron Hung, M.Div. 2012)

January 8–12: Center for Excellence in World Arts at GIAL in Dallas
• Workshop registration open at http://tinyurl.com/Edox2018
• $130 for registration (housing and food offered for additional cost)
• For graduate credit through Dallas Theological Seminary:
• Questions? Write Reg Grant: rgrant@dts.edu cc: Robin_Harris@gial.edu

Come and join us for an interactive week of learning!


A Christmas Prayer

Forgiving and Forgiven...

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift and good desires a with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus sake. Amen!

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Arts Week 2017!

Beauty for Wounds

*Artwork by Katie Fisher

This week we celebrate our fifth annual Arts Week at DTS!

Our guest speakers are Dr. Natalie Carnes and Ms. Dawn Waters Baker. Natalie’s book, Beauty: a Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa, provides the basis for her reflections on our understanding of the ways in which beauty, rightly understood, reveal God. But the revelation of God through Beauty isn’t simply a passive exercise — it requires participation. Interaction. Conversation.

Dr. Natalie Carnes

Ms. Dawn Waters Baker

Natalie is a constructive theologian who reflects on traditional theological topics through somewhat less traditional themes, like images, iconoclasm, beauty, gender, and childhood. For this work, she draws on literary and visual works as sources and sites of theological reflection, and her interest in doing so takes her into questions of religious knowledge and authority. What are the possibilities and limitations of different theological genres?

In addition to authoring articles in Modern Theology, Journal of Religion, and International Journal of Systematic Theology, among other journals, Natalie has written two books. The first is Beauty: A Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa, and the second, forthcoming December 2017, is titled Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia.
Currently, she is working on two new projects. One is a book with Matthew Whelan exploring questions at the intersections of poverty, aesthetics, luxury, and art. The other is a theological narrative contemplating children and childhood.

Beauty, as Natalie reveals, occurs in the context of the relationship within the holy trinity. It is mirrored in the relationship of the individual to God, and then in the community of believers as we share our love for the Lord and for one another.

Dawn Waters Baker is an accomplished artist and member of the arts team at Arapaho Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. Dawn learned to look for beauty in the cracks and crevices of lives much harder then her own. She is a Signature member of Artists of Texas. Dawn is affiliated with Mary Tomas Gallery in Dallas Design District, Kate Shin Gallery in New York, NY, Joseph Gierek Fine Art in Tulsa, OK, and currently with White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. She was also selected as the 2015 Artist in Residence for Big Bend National Park for the entire month of November. She has a solo exhibit at Mary Tomas Gallery in September 2016 based on her time and inspiration at the Park. The latest article written on her work was included in Wide Open Country, 10 Texas Artists that Explore the Beauty of the Lone Star State, by Elizabeth Abrahamsen. Her work has been in national shows including The National Weather Biennale, Jubilee Museum of Sacred Art Biennale, CIVA Contemporary Images of Mary and Ex Nihilo at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY.

It’s going to be a great week. Join us!


Date: Tuesday, October 31 – Friday, November 3, 2017
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m
Place: Campbell Academic Center, Lamb Auditorium
Dallas Theological Seminary
3909 Swiss Ave., Dallas TX  75204


Living the Abbreviated Life?

Why we should beware of shortcuts...

Abbreviations – they provide a quick and easy way of designating something familiar. Why text “miles-per-hour” when “MPH” gets the job done?  That’s a 75% energy savings! And when was the last time you texted “The United States of America” rather than “USA”? Savings: 87.5%. Abbreviations save time and effort. And the effect is the same as if you had expended the time and effort in writing or saying the longer form.

Abbreviations are – in short – attractive.

So, as is our wont, we look for other places to apply the act of abbreviating in an attempt to achieve maximum results with minimum investment of time and effort. Efficiency rules! Ask any texter.

The problem is, while abbreviations are a convenience for communication, they can be lethal to your spiritual life.

At the root of almost every sin in the Bible is an attempt to abbreviate a process that requires time. Satan tempts Eve to take the forbidden fruit so that she might obtain instant wisdom, and to satisfy her selfish desires, right now. God’s restriction – according to he serpent – is evidence of His plan to frustrate Eve’s natural desire to be like Him. Why shouldn’t she know good and evil experientially? Why wait?

Satan tempts Jesus to “turn these stones into bread,” and so to take a shortcut to satisfy his hunger. Satan tempts Him to leap from the temple, and so to publicly prove himself to be God’s chosen one – instant glory. Then, he tempts him with the promise of “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory…” if He would only fall down and worship him (the devil). That way, Jesus could have all the material possessions that the first Adam had surrendered in his disobedience, and so avoid the cross by obeying him. Satan is trying to get Jesus to abbreviate a process that requires trust in the father and His plan – which includes hunger, and pain, and suffering.

So, abbreviation — at least when it comes to the spiritual life and the temptation to take shortcuts — is always bad, right?

Well, wait a minute.

When Jesus turned basic tap water into fine wine at Cana, didn’t He abbreviate the process of fermentation?

And when He raised the widow’s son at Nain, He abbreviated the process of death/waiting for the resurrection, and substituted instead a revivification (i.e., her son would die again).

In stilling the storm, the Lord Jesus abbreviated the natural process of allowing the storm to run its course. He takes control supernaturally. Time is subject to Him. Which also helps explain why Jesus is never, ever in a hurry. Not even when His buddy, Lazarus, is sick and dying — He waits! Because, while time and tide wait for no man” (St. Marher, 1225), they must wait for the God-Man, Jesus.

That provides the key to understanding this irony: God taking control. Only He has the right to do that. When we attempt to take control of time, to take a shortcut to blessings, to satisfy our own lusts, hunger, desire for power – we are attempting to do something that only God can do.

We are attempting to be God. To commandeer the privilege of deity to ourselves.

That’s sin. And it’s stupid, vain (= empty-headed), and counterproductive, even when those shortcuts seem to work. Because those shortcuts short-circuit all that God wants to teach us through the process of trusting Him to provide. The really tragic part is that we may wind up at the end of our lives thinking that we got away with a shortcut. That it really did pay off – when all we really got was a Reader’s Digest version of the full novel that our life could have been. In short, we wind up settling for an abbreviated life. And abbreviated blessings.

Take the long road. Let God get you where you’re going in His time. Enjoy the journey.

If there’s an available shortcut, watch out.

Save the abbreviations for your blog, or txt.