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All articles posted by
Brian Rapske Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Rapske is Associate Professor of New Testament

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It’s About the Weights…Not the Mirrors

Categories: Christian LifeDiscipleship. (July 21st, 2009)

I have a membership at our local community fitness center near where we live. The community center is a very popular place, being centrally located and right next to one of the larger highschools in our city. I’ve been going there for a number of years now. My object, beyond general health and fitness, is […]

Saving a World that Doesn’t Want Saving

Categories: ChurchEvangelismGodlinessSalvation. (May 14th, 2009)

This past weekend, Rita and I went to see The Soloist (2009), a movie starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. It is the chronicle of a true story of friendship between LA Times columnist Steve Lopez and street musician Nathaniel Anthony Ayers. The movie is an adaptation of Lopez’ book entitled: The Soloist: A Lost […]

Pandemics, Patient Zero and a Theological Reflection

Categories: ConversionEvangelismFaithGospelSalvation. Tags:
(April 29th, 2009)

  Pandemic? Media coverage of the Swine Flu epidemic is about as extensive as fear of catching the disease, though cases worldwide are relatively few at this point and only beginning to present themselves. The media features images of pigs, shots of the Mexican military handing out surgical masks, empty streets, sports stadiums, and restaurants, […]

Washing the Feet of Betrayers, Deniers and Runaways

Categories: Christian CommunityDiscipleshipEvangelismMinistryThe Cross of Christ. (March 26th, 2009)

The foot washing scene is peculiar to John’s Gospel (chapter 13). Scholars tell us that it was a common practice to wash one’s feet before reclining at table for a meal. Normally, the host would provide guests with basins of water and towels and they would wash their own feet. Rabbinic teaching stipulated that masters […]

Stray Cats and Tax Collectors

Categories: Bible StudyConversionEvangelismFaithMissionsSalvation. (March 9th, 2009)

 Andrea was frantic. Freddie, her beloved cat, was lost! That may not have been Freddie’s sense of things, but that’s the way Andrea saw it.  They’d adopted the black cat from the Humane Society animal shelter. They searched for Freddie in all the usual places–and the not so usual ones–around the house, in the yard […]

The Canada/US Border and the Borderless Gospel

Categories: Bible StudyChristian CommunityEvangelismGospelMembershipMissions. (February 19th, 2009)

Today, President Obama crossed the 49th parallel for his first official foreign visit…to Canada. News reports, media conversation, and general talk around the water cooler here in Canada is all very hopeful that things get off to a smooth start between Obama and Harper, that the conversation will be amicable and positive and that these […]

If Your Right Hand Offends You…

Categories: Bible StudyChristian LifeDiscipleshipMarriage. (February 4th, 2009)

Jesus uses extreme images in teaching how we should live the Christian life. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 5:27-30, he taught this: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lusfully has already committed adultery with […]

The Moving of Heaven and Earth

Categories: EvangelismGospelNew TestamentTalk. (December 18th, 2008)

 As Luke tells the Christmas story, in the hills surrounding Bethlehem, shepherds were awakened to wondrous angelic news of a Savior born to them. He was their Messiah and Lord. And the sign of this great arrangement to the shepherds’ eternal advantage was that they would find their Savior in the most humble of circumstances–swaddled […]

“Be careful; your nose is growing!”

Categories: Bible StudyChristian LifeEthics. Tags:
(November 3rd, 2008)

"Be careful; your nose is growing!" The inspiration for this warning is the Disney movie Pinocchio. In the story, when the little wooden boy told a lie, his nose would grow longer.  When we’re very young, our attempts at deception are rather artless and obvious. I recall, at the age of five, being asked by […]

Investing for Lasting Returns

Categories: Bible StudyChristian LifeNew Testament. (October 17th, 2008)

Two days ago, Northwest Baptist Seminary participated in an annual fund raising banquet with its ACTS seminaries partners. Doners, staff and faculty were present. The program was encouraging; the student testimonies particularly inspiring. At one point one of our students–Lenora Klassen–was asked why she would recommend that folks financially support the work of the seminary. […]

How to Stay One

Categories: MarriageNew Testament. (September 29th, 2008)

In early September, I had the deep privilege of officiating at Scott’s and Katherine’s wedding. Scott’s my nephew. There was a bit of déjà vu in the experience for me as the very first wedding I officiated at was Scott’s dad’s and mom’s wedding. Weddings are all about becoming one. Jesus said, "The man and […]

Surpassing Righteousness

Categories: Christian LifeDiscipleshipHeavenNew Testament. Tags:
(June 17th, 2008)

Christians are called to live above the level of their culture. I’m OK with that. But living unreflectively can be as spiritually unhealthful as enthusiastically endorsing the culture. Though I’ve had my share of childhood scraps and squabbles, I’ve never as an adult settled a dispute by resort to bloodshed. I feel good that I’m […]

Squeezed into a Mold

Categories: Christian Life. Tags:
(March 7th, 2008)

The Christian life is filled with delightful "coincidences"–confluences of life events with Scripture that give an unmistakable impression of the active oversight of God. Conformity to the world is as deeply and extensively damaging as  transformation by the renewing of our minds is deeply and extensively beneficial and God-honouring. This past week I had an […]

Dollars and Sense

Categories: Bible StudyChristian LifeCulture. Tags:
(February 18th, 2008)

You can’t get away from it. Everyone’s talking about profits and losses. The global economy is moving into a deep recession–perhaps even a depression–some say. Others are just as convinced that the markets are moving through a period of "turbulent correction" trying to find "a bottom" from which they will eventually "power upward" again to […]

We’re Rich?

Categories: Bible StudyConversion. Tags:
(January 29th, 2008)

This Sunday marked the second installment in a four part series that our pastor is preaching through entitled "LO$T." The dollar sign in the title is purposeful. The series is all about the dangers of becoming lost as a result of things and the pursuit of them. He began with a question, "Why do you […]

Everyone’s Talking to the Gun; Who’s Talking to the Hand?

Categories: CultureIssues of the Day. Tags:
(November 9th, 2007)

The news in our city about gang wars and violence is deeply disturbing. Over the past several weeks news articles and reports have been featured regarding a particularly gruesome targeted gang hit on six individuals at a high rise apartment complex. Four of the individuals were young men deeply involved in the drug trade and […]

Musings on the Night of All Hallows’ Eve

Categories: CultureHell. Tags:
(October 31st, 2007)

Tonight is Halloween. The weather reports in our area give a 60% chance for rain this evening. Visibility will be worse than usual. I expect that we’ll all need to drive home especially carefully in the darkness tonight. Children, normally safe at home after dark, will be costumed and out tonight; more mindful of the […]

The REAL Examination

Categories: BibleBible StudyBiblical LanguagesChristian LifeChurchDiscipleshipEthicsHermeneuticsPreachingTranslation Issues. Tags:
(October 22nd, 2007)

It’s that time of the semester once again. The Registrar’s office has asked each professor to indicate whether they are requiring an examination that needs to be scheduled into the examination week for their courses. The schedule is out and professors and students are all now aware of when each examination will need to be […]

A Father’s Baptism

Categories: BaptistConversionEvangelismGospelSalvation. Tags:
(October 2nd, 2007)

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at Albion Church. The fellowship–an energetic, young congregation of some 70-80 believers–meets in the local community hall on the north bank of the Fraser River. Their pastor who invited me to preach is Dan Ost. My decision to say yes was a ‘no brainer.’ Dan’s emailed […]

Searching for a Home Church

Categories: Christian LifeChurchDiscipleshipFaithMembership. Tags:
(September 21st, 2007)

My daughters, who’ve recently left home and struck out on their own, are searching for a home church. Sunday they tried out a young congregation meeting at a local movie theater. When we asked them, they described what had gone on that morning during the service. It was great! Earlier in their search they’d found […]

9/11 and Being Remembered

Categories: BibleFaithResurrectionSalvationThe Cross of Christ. Tags:
(September 12th, 2007)

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of 9/11.  Many media pieces featured some aspect or other of the tragedy. Some were retrospectives of the event itself. Others covered planned commemorations. I watched one that discussed the engineering implications of 9/11 for high rise building safety. Among them, two reports in particular struck me.  One was a […]

Alumni: Todd (1999) and Karen Chapman

Categories: Alumni Stories. (September 10th, 2007)

Todd Chapman, pastor of Auguston Neighbourhood Church in Abbotsford, BC., is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS (Master of Religious Education 1999). He and Karen have three children: Delaney, Macaulay and Theo. Todd, in a life filled with many significant choices, perhaps the biggest is the determination to be a follower of Jesus. […]

Tuned to Hear the Master’s Voice

Categories: Christian LifeDiscipleship. Tags:
(August 23rd, 2007)

Have you seen March of the Penguins? It’s an amazing movie! One of the most remarkable scenes is when the Emperor penguins are all clustered together for warmth in stormy, sub-zero Antarctic weather. Many are trying to hatch their young, keeping them delicately balanced and nestled on the tops of their feet. Without food, the […]

Of Collapsed Bridges and Bad Theology

Categories: Bible StudyConversionEvangelism. Tags:
(August 2nd, 2007)

Yesterday, August 1st at 6:05 pm, an extended section of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota suddenly collapsed, sending dozens of vehicles, together with their drivers and passengers, plunging into the Mississippi River.  The images yesterday were of emergency personnel and citizens on the scene scrambling amid the tons of twisted metal and broken concrete […]

Around Our Table

Categories: Bible StudyChurch. Tags:
(July 24th, 2007)

Our house has been a-hum with guests most of this month. But as busy as we’ve been, the joy has been greater. Sitting around the crowded dinner table laden with good things this week, I’ve been reminded of how many times in the past my family and I have been the beneficiaries of God’s great […]

Blinded by Familiarity

Categories: Bible StudyEvangelismSalvation. Tags:
(July 13th, 2007)

Last night our family had a dinner and DVD night at home.  After a delicious taco salad, we settled in to watch Miss Potter, about the famed children’s author Beatrix Potter who gave the world Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and a host of other characters and their various adventures.  A significant sub-theme in the movie […]

Stay With the Man in the Boat

Categories: Bible Study. Tags:
(July 3rd, 2007)

While there is a debate on about the extent of global warming, there are a few things that are sure: Storms will come and we all experience them. We may lose a few shingles off our roof. On the other hand, we may lose the whole house! This is also true in a metaphorical sense. […]

Imitating The Example

Categories: Bible Study. Tags:
(June 22nd, 2007)

This past week, I’ve been teaching a course on the letter to the Philippians. Written by the apostle Paul out of the troubled circumstances of an imprisonment, it is addressed to one of his most beloved congregations who themselves were going through much trouble and persecution. Do you know the good and the great embodiments […]


Categories: Faith. Tags:
(June 13th, 2007)

Two weekends back, I reflected upon our church’s process in searching for a new lead pastor and youth minister (“Searching for the New Pastor” NBS Blog). The search culminated in a very busy weekend of meetings as both candidates were interviewed and interacted with us in a variety of contexts. It was exhausting and exhilarating! […]


Categories: Leadership. Tags:
(June 4th, 2007)

Our church has just emerged from a very busy weekend. Not one but two search committees have been working simultaneously through past months in pursuit of individuals to serve our church in the respective capacities of Lead Pastor and Youth Associate. The searches culminated for both committees as both the recommended candidates were invited to […]

Tan or Burn

Categories: Salvation. Tags:
(May 24th, 2007)

My wife, youngest daughter and I are nearing the end of what has been a delightfully restful holiday in Hawaii. Of course the chief reason for this holiday choice has been the consistently glorious sunshine. We’ve enjoyed it during our stay, but one does have to be very careful. That golden orb above our heads […]

Marriages That Go The Distance

Categories: Marriage. Tags:
(May 15th, 2007)

Two weekends ago, I had the privilege of officiating at the wedding of my nephew Russell and his wife Danielle. They’re a great couple! I shared with them that the secret of a fulfilling marriage that goes the distance depends upon the direction in which a couple leans.In marriages that grow, a husband and wife […]

It’s Something Else

Categories: Holy Spirit. Tags:
(May 4th, 2007)

A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching a course on the Book of Acts in Seoul, South Korea. When my teaching was done, a couple of the students were charged by my hosts to show me the sites of the city in the few daylight hours that remained that day. They […]

Final Words

Categories: Ministry. Tags:
(April 26th, 2007)

On Monday night of this past week at the Convention of the Baptist churches of our Fellowship, an award of merit was given to pastor David and Virginia Fairbrother. They’re an amazing couple, having served sacrificially and with peculiar distinction in a number of churches over many years. There was a particular intensity and pathos […]

Virginia Tech Reflections

Categories: Issues of the Day. Tags:
(April 18th, 2007)

It seems that it will never end.  Yesterday it was the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.  The toll so far is 34 dead, including the shooter Cho Seung-hui who committed suicide.  Last year it was the Amish Schoolhouse shootings where a gunman took the lives of 5 little girls before killing himself. Before that […]

So, What’s Different?

Categories: Christian Life. Tags:
(April 10th, 2007)

OK. It’s Monday, the day after the Easter weekend. So, what’s different? I attended two services—one on Good Friday at which a number of churches attended and one on Sunday in my home church. Regular church-goers like me and C & Es—Christmas and Easter only types—were reminded of the events of the death and resurrection […]

Of ‘Impossible People’ and Iceburgs

Categories: ConversionGod's PowerSalvation. Tags:
(April 2nd, 2007)

Before he became a follower of Jesus, the apostle Paul was a persecutor of Christians. Scripture relates how he “began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.” (Acts 8:3) and of his “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.” (Acts 9:1f.) […]

Naïve or Sophisticated Belief?

Categories: Resurrection. Tags:
(March 23rd, 2007)

Many people today consider the New Testament documents to be the expression of a naïve, easy believism. “After all,” they ask, “weren’t people in the first century AD quite unsophisticated and unscientific? It would have been easy to put one over on them.” The documents actually tell quite a different story. Jesus’ resurrection and first […]

Unitask Living in a Multitask Universe

Categories: Christian LifeHeaven. Tags:
(March 15th, 2007)

Christians aspire to the kind of unitasking Christian focus of the apostle Paul when he declares, “For to me, to live is Christ….” The reality, however, is that we live in a world that shouts from every corner, “Multitask!” Life is full of commitments that urgently cry out and distractions that enticingly call out for […]

Jesus’ Grave — Full or Empty?

Categories: EasterResurrection. Tags:
(March 7th, 2007)

Excuse my cynicism, but we must be nearing the Easter season! There’s another sensational docudrama in the wind. It’s about Jesus and, unsurprisingly, has profoundly negative implications for the Christian faith traditionally understood. After seeding a media frenzy as prelude to the event itself, the TV faithful have been gathered from far and wide to […]

My Non-Christian Friend is an Evangelist?!

Categories: EasterEvangelismGospel. Tags:
(February 27th, 2007)

When you next meet with your non-Christian friend, make the case to her that she’s an evangelist and ask her about her message and its effect. Whether people have great faith in Jesus Christ or none at all, everyone is “preaching” a message. When they hear the word “evangelist,” most folks think of Billy Graham. […]

Listening for the Tremors of Faith

Categories: Faith. Tags:
(February 20th, 2007)

I’m told that British Columbia, being part of the Pacific "ring of fire," has quite frequent earthquakes. Our province can experience as many as 30 or more quakes per month, which is pretty average. Of those quakes, five are magnitude three and only one is magnitude four. It’s a curiosity to me that I’ve only […]