Updates, Events, and Publications

Teaching the Biblical Basics of Cross-Cultural Discipleship

In His Latest Book, Ajith Fernando, M.Div, 1972, DD (Hon.), 1997, Teaching Director of Youth for Christ (Sri Lanka), Shares Wisdom from over 4 Decades of Cross-Cultural Ministry Experience

WHEATON, Ill.—The word “disciple” is common among those with a background in Christianity. But what does it actually look like to disciple others well? Also, in today’s world it is not uncommon that those who come to faith in Jesus Christ have different cultural backgrounds from those who disciple them. What role do these differences play in discipleship? In his latest book, Discipling in a Multicultural World (Crossway, February 2019), Ajith Fernando addresses these questions to equip Christians to effectively carry out the biblical principles of discipleship in a world where many who come to Christ have little or no prior knowledge about Christianity.

“My intention was not to write a ‘how to’ manual on discipling. I hope to give biblical principles about discipling and present examples about how they apply in daily life and ministry,” writes Fernando. “The exact way in which a person disciples varies according to the personality of the discipler, the personality and maturity of the disciplee, and the context in which the discipling takes place. The history and culture of a church or organization usually results in diverse ways of doing personal work. My hope is that people reading this book will become convinced of the biblical principles for discipling and find ways of putting those principles into practice.”

Discipling in a Multicultural World gives practical advice for how to disciple people through teaching, prayer, and understanding of biblical concepts that affect everyday life, such as power, honor, and shame. Fernando also unpacks a few objections to discipleship, potential pitfalls that could come from it, and why discipleship is so important for the church.

Robert Coleman, Distinguished Senior Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship notes, “[This book] offers practical help where needed most—bringing disciples into daily life. [Fernando’s] concern is not with programs or fast tracks to success. Rather building on the Biblical principles of growing a spiritual family, he weaves the Great Commission into the way we live out one’s ministry in our home and work place, ‘to become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ (Ephesians 4:13)” 

Ajith Fernando is the teaching director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after serving as the ministry’s national director for thirty-five years. He and his wife, Nelun, are active in a Methodist church ministering primarily to the urban poor, and his ministry includes counseling and mentoring younger staff and pastors. He is the author of eighteen books published in twenty languages.

Director of Church Planting, Winfield Bevins New Book “Ever Ancient, Ever New” 

Winfield Bevins, author, artist, pastor, teacher and director of church planting at Asbury Seminary, releases Ever Ancient, Ever New on March 5. His book tells the story of young adults who have embraced Christian liturgy and how it has impacted their lives. You can find his book here and wherever books are sold.

“For many years now, the church in North America has heard about the steady flow of young adults leaving the church,” Winfield said. “I wrote Even Ancient, Ever New to tell the story of a growing movement among young Christians who are embracing historic and liturgical Christianity rather than leaving church. I hope that throughout the book readers will also find ways to explore and engage with the practices in meaningful ways within their own lives.”

Ever Ancient Ever New explores why and how liturgy is beckoning younger Christians to a deeper experience of Jesus and what types of churches foster this “convergence” of old and new.

“There is a hunger among this generation to recover the historic roots of the Christian faith for discipleship and mission,” Alan Hirsch, founder of 100Movements, Forge Mission Training Network, and Future Travelers, said. “Winfield Bevins’ new book offers a clear and compelling account of why young adults across North America are embracing liturgy. If you want to learn more about this movement and why it matters, this book is for you.”

Winfield is passionate about helping others connect to the roots of the Christian faith for discipleship and mission. He frequently speaks at conferences on a variety of topics and is a regular adjunct professor at several seminaries.  Having grown up in a free-church background, Winfield eventually found his spiritual home in the Anglican tradition, but freely draws wisdom from all church traditions.

Winfield has authored several books, including Church Planting RevolutionGrow at Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Family Discipleship, Our Common Prayer: A Field Guide to the Book of Common Prayer, and Creed: Connect to the Essentials of Historic Christian Faith.

He and his wife Kay have three beautiful girls Elizabeth, Anna Belle, and Caroline, and live in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky.

New Testament Scholar Craig Keener Speaks Around the World

Dr. Craig Keener, FM and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Seminary, recently was part of a select group of scholars under the direction of Archbishop Justin Welby working on Bible study materials for use in the Anglican Communion’s next Lambeth Conference.

“I am extremely honored and grateful to the Archbishop and to others at Lambeth Palace for the discussions and spiritually enriching worship times together,” Keener noted. 

Dr. Keener is a sought after speaker, and has completed several significant speaking engagements in recent months. These include:

  •     Vinson Synan Lectureship, Oral Roberts University, on Spirit Hermeneutics, March 29, 2018.
  •     March 2018: Vida Nova Conference, Brazil (three plenary lectures about the work of the Holy Spirit)
  • May 2018: Intensive Course on Matthew for the Greek Bible College in Athens
  • September 2018: a lecture for Sts. Cyril and Methodius Institute for Post-Graduate Studies; Moscow, Russia (sponsored by Society for New Testament Studies and the Russian Orthodox Church)
  • November 2018: Plenary speaker for the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), as well as served as Vice President of ETS this year

Additionally, he gives papers at academic conferences (including at the Society for Pentecostal Studies in March; and, in November, six academic papers during ETS, Institute for Biblical Research and the Society for Biblical Literature); addressed ethnic reconciliation, with Médine, at the Vineyard Scholars Conference in June; and has done recent webinars for seminaries in South Africa and the Philippines. When not speaking, you’ll find Dr. Keener researching, writing articles or working on his latest book.

He recently released Galatians (New Cambridge Bible Commentary series); The Mind of the Spirit: Paul’s Approach to Transformed ThinkingSpirit Hermeneutics: Reading Scripture in Light of Pentecost and The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

Asbury Seminary Extends Condolences to the Kamaleson Family

Asbury Seminary extends condolences to the family of Samuel Kamaleson, whose son Manoharan “Paul” Kamaleson was killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on January 14. Samuel is a 1961 graduate of the Seminary.

Paul, 55, served as Chief Operating Officer at First MicroFinance Bank in Kabul. He was doing development work in the country alongside non-governmental organizations.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Paul,” Dr. Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, said. “The Kamaleson family is very dear to our community, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this tragic time.”

Kamaleson is survived by his wife and three children, as well as two siblings and his father. Three others were also killed in the attack.

Rediscovering Our Holiness Heritage

Daniel E. LeRoy (MDiv 1975) has written a book titled, Rediscovering Our Holiness Heritage, How The Wesleyan Church Can Get Back What We Gave Away. The book is written in four parts. Part One is “How the American Holiness Movement Said Good-bye to Wesley to Chase the American Dream.” Part Two is “How We Sold Our Holiness Birthright to Become an Evangelical Church.” Part Three is “How We Can Get Back What We Gave Away.” And Part Four is “How We Can Lead Our People to Experience the Deeper Grace of the Sanctified Life.” This is not a “slash and burn” kind of book. This is a book written with a tender love for The Wesleyan Church and the American Holiness Movement of which we are a part, and for all our holiness cousins who have experienced the same shifts we have experienced. It is kind and gentle in tone, but frank and firm in spirit. This is not a “let’s go back to the good old days” kind of book, pining for the way we used to do things. This is a call to go forward — deeper and further — into the areas where we stopped short, into Life in the Spirit that takes us deeper into the lives of those who need us. This is a call to step around the American Holiness Movement and go back to Wesley, back to our original roots — back to a holiness based more in love and less focused on measured performance and personal sin management. This is a call to walk away from the shallowness of the Evangelical Movement and recover the depth and richness of holiness of heart, soul, mind and strength.

“Simply SUPERB!” — Keith W. Drury, Professor Emeritus, Indiana Wesleyan University
“I think this book is going to awaken our church far more than you know or even imagined. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to sweep through.” — Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church, Member Asbury Theological SeminaryBoard of Trustees
“I’ve been deeply edified, informed and challenged . . . and wish (to God) that this gift of yours to our whole church will bear genuine, lasting and widespread fruit for His glory.” — Joe Dongell, Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary, and ATS Alumnus
“Thanks for championing this core doctrine that’s in real danger of disappearing from our denominational consciousness, and for doing it with such passion and conviction. I’m praying that its appearance in print will give that a huge boost and a most permanent presence among us.” — Bob Black, Retired Professor of Church History, Southern Wesleyan University, and ATS Alumnus
“When I opened it, tears came. I really sensed it was the witness of the Spirit over your project. God-things underway. Thanks for writing this.” — Kerry Willis, Philadelphia District Superintendent, Church of The Nazarene
This book is available on Amazon in paper or Kindle, or direct from pastordan@ncewesleyan.com.

Dr. Paul W. Chilcote Announces Retirement

Dr. Paul W. Chilcote, Professor of Theology and Director of United Methodist Studies on the Florida Dunnam Campus, announced his plan to retire after 42 years in ministry and 32 years in theological education. His retirement takes effect on June 30, 2019.

Chilcote was the first faculty member hired in 1999 to help launch what is now the Asbury Theological Seminary, Florida Dunnam campus. In those early years he also served as Academic Dean before his departure for Duke Divinity School in 2005.

“It was a sheer privilege to work with such an amazing community of people in those pioneering days,” he said.

After a twelve-year hiatus, Chilcote returned to the Seminary in 2017 to as Professor of Theology. Chilcote has a distinguished career in Christian ministry and mission. He has served in theological education on three continents, including Wesley College (England), St. Paul’s United Theological College (Kenya), the Methodist Theological School (Ohio), and Duke Divinity School (North Carolina). He also helped launch Africa University, the first United Methodist university in Africa, located in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. Prior to his return to Florida, Chilcote served as Academic Dean and Professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio.

An award-winning author, Chilcote has published twenty-five books, including Recapturing the Wesleys’ Vision, A Faith That Sings, Praying in the Wesleyan Spirit, The Methodist Defense of Women in Ministry, John & Charles Wesley, Making Disciples in a World Parish, Early Methodist Spirituality, and The Study of Evangelism, and was a unit editor in The Works of John Wesley project, producing the award-winning Volume 13 in that collection with Dr. Ken Collins.

With a wide variety of interests, Chilcote served on several ecumenical dialogues, presided over The Charles Wesley Society for eight years, and helped revive the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education by aligning it with the American Society of Missiology. In 2013 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Christians for Biblical Equality for his contributions in the area of Christian women’s studies. He has been a frequent speaker and workshop leader internationally in applied Wesleyan studies, particularly in the areas of theology and spirituality, worship, discipleship, and evangelism. A life-long singer, Chilcote is an avid member of the Bach Festival Choir and its chamber group, based at Rollins College in Winter Park, to which he will now devote even greater energy.

An ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church, Chilcote served two local congregations in Indiana before his move into theological education. As a Benedictine Oblate of Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon, in retirement he plans to open his heart to an ever-deepening love of God and neighbor. His wife, Janet, serves as pastor of Orange City United Methodist Church, where the Chilcotes will continue in ministry together. They have five daughters, three sons-in-law, and five grandchildren, with a sixth to be added before he retires. In retirement he also looks forward to spending more time with his family in addition to writing, speaking, and teaching as opportunities arise.

“I am so grateful to God for such an amazing journey with so many beautiful people from all around this world,” he said. “The journey continues.”

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