Pastor’s Corner

Pastor Jame’s Personal Blog

All Nations Church – Inland

9806 Arrow Route, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

I can commiserate a lot with all of you who have had difficulty finding a job the past few years, what with the economy the way it is. It’s been just as difficult for pastors, especially in the Korean American Church setting, because we have too many pastors here in the Los Angeles area.

When I got back from Scotland I applied to several different churches but kept getting rejection after rejection for all kinds of reasons, mostly because I’m single, and in the Korean Christian culture, that is a big no-no! There are even some job positions that list “married” as a requirement for ministry!–although I don’t know a single biblical passage that makes it so, and a rather large section of scripture that argues the opposite (1 Cor 7).

Anyways, finally this year I got a month-to-month position at All Nations Church in Rancho Cucamonga. They are a satellite branch of the larger ANC in Lakeview Terrace. I am charged with building up an English Ministry there. I don’t know the full story of what transpired before me, but the English Ministry is nonexistent at the moment. I’m currently planning, organizing, thinking, praying, visioning for a future deadline goal, March 16th, 2014, to start our English Ministry Worship Service. My employment status is obviously contingent on the successful implementation of the English Ministry.

So if anyone is in the vicinity of Rancho Cucamonga and is looking for a church ministry to join, I sincerely hope you can join us for something new. I’m looking for musicians to lead worship, tech savvy people to design programs, handle audio/visuals, ushers, prayer warriors, administrative staff, etc. I could use all the support I can get!

The address is: 9806 Arrow Route, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. We will hold our first English Worship Service at 1:00pm on Sunday, March 16, 2014.

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Heading to University of Saint Andrews

The good news is that I have been accepted at the Divinity Department at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. I’m looking forward to taking classes and hopefully mentorship with N. T. Wright who has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. Even before I started my seminary education at Fuller, I was a fan. Of course, there are other capable professors there, especially Scott Hafemann, whom I hear was recently removed from his post at Gordon Conwell for advocating the New Perspective on Paul (NPP). So he’s back at Saint Andrews, having taught there previously.

Meanwhile, this means that I have to leave my post as Pastor for LifeSpring in Garden Grove, which I do with a deep sense of sadness. There are people whom I cherish and will miss very much. Nevertheless, I plan to stay in touch with as many of them as possible, exchanging ideas and growing and nurturing each other in our Christian faith.

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Junia Is Not Alone in the Church – Scot McKnight

It was a privilege to attend Dr. McKnight’s original lecture at Fuller Theological Seminary on October 26, 2011. His was a cogent, scholarly presentation shedding light on the misogynistic history of biblical interpretation regarding a prominent apostle named Junia referred to by Paul in Romans 16:7.

I understand he has released a small eBook: “Junia Is Not Alone” based on his lecture and, although I have not read the eBook yet, would highly recommend it for those interested in the debates about female leadership in the church. The lecture does not of course address the whole gamut of issues but concentrates on Junia and how she has been understood and misinterpreted via the lens of a specific socio-cultural agenda. Regardless of where you stand on the current complementarian/egalitarian debates, this is a must read. I for myself am not ashamed to stand squarely within the egalitarian camp. I believe, taking the scriptural witness as a whole, that where the Spirit of God indeed is, there is freedom…

He Will Not Let Your Foot Be Moved

<A Song of Ascents.> I lift up my eyes to the hills– from where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
(Psa 121:1-8 NRS)

I wanted to share one of my favorites Psalms as a reminder of how God cares for you. In the midst of great trials be assured that God is your help. Look up to the hills. Cry out to God and He will not refuse his child. Your future may be bleak from where you stand, but look back from where you have come. Remember how God has always been there for you. Then you can stand on faith that He will see you through your present circumstances. (more…)

Designer Faith

USA Today just reported recently on their blog site that more Americans are tailoring their religion to fit their needs. This was based on George Barna’s research on which I posted an earlier blog.

It doesn’t surprise me at all in this postmodern, fragmented culture.

Professional “church” leadership such as me could lament the good ole days when the pastor was revered and the church was held in high esteem by society. But, to be honest, there’s no lament from me! There’s no rejoicing either. Just cold, hard reality. This is a consequence of reformation ideals. We protest, we diversify, we democratize, we rail against the system, and we split up. I am a consummate Protestant!

It is the reality of the priesthood of all believers. (more…)

Schweitzer, Eschatology & Matthew 10:23

“But when they persecute you in this city, flee to the next one; amen I say to you, you will not have completed the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 10:23 My translation)

Matthew 10:23b is a theological quagmire that has caused endless controversy especially since Albert Schweitzer’s seminal book, “The Quest of the Historical Jesus” (1906). His book in effect ended the “First Quest for the Historical Jesus” that had begun in Germany with scholars such as H. S. Reimarus, D. F. Strauss, Johannes Weiss, and William Wrede.

The so-called “First Quest” (circa 1700-1900) rose out of the Enlightenment Age with its emphasis on reason. It was an optimistic age. Western Civilization had “come of age” so to speak, and there was broad confidence that humanity would eventually solve every problem through the application of reason and modern science.

The original “questers” were confident they could uncover the true, historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, solely based on historical inquiry using scientific methods, rather than relying on faith or church tradition. They sought to distinguish the Jesus of Faith from the Jesus of History. (more…)