Category: Christianity

Is Your Church Ready to Care for Those Reentering Society?

Churches have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to welcome former prisoners home. Imagine this scenario: You have been locked up in prison for years and are getting ready for your release. For years, you have lived in a place unlike any other in our society. You are in a world where, every moment of every Read More

Job’s Most Beloved Verse May Be Different Than You Think

Job 13:15 is more anguished—and encouraging—in its original wording. “Oh, Job is so powerful!” said a man I had just met. We had found common ground discussing the congregations where we worshiped. After sharing what we did for work, I told him I had written a book on Job, and he was excited to talk Read More

Jonathan Merritt Wants to Reboot Religious Language for the 21st Century

But his method of restoring “sacred words” to our common vocabulary runs the risk of redefining them. When was the last time you had a spiritual conversation? If recent research is any indication, it’s been a while. Only seven percent of Americans report talking about spiritual matters weekly. One-fifth of respondents had not had a Read More

How Evangelistically Effective is Church Planting?

Church planting is evangelistically effective only to the degree that it is evangelistically focused from the beginning. In 2002, pastor and author Tim Keller published a brief article entitled “Why Plant Churches” that has since become a staple regarding the necessity of church planting. In it, he writes, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations Read More

Will Trump Sanctions Help Andrew Brunson More Than They Hurt Turkish Christians?

Religious freedom advocates consider if the need of the one outweighs the needs of the many. Governments are supposed to take care of their citizens. For Andrew Brunson, an American detained in Turkey for almost two years, it may be his best hope. Charged with threatening national security because of alleged ties to terrorist groups, Read More

How to Avoid the Folly of the Pharisees

The real mistake made by Jesus’ classic adversaries might surprise you. You’ve probably heard someone say at some point “Don’t be such a Pharisee.” Typically these words are uttered when someone is being overly scrupulous in “rule keeping” in the Christian life. If there’s one type of person in the New Testament that you don’t Read More

Why Prepare for Ministry at a Liberal Arts College?

A liberal arts education does not simply encounter creation; it encounters the Creator.   College is not for everyone. Nor is seminary. I’ve written plenty on that. But, what about those who are planning to follow what has become the standard route—from college to seminary, and then to ministry? I’m increasingly convinced that if you are Read More

Richard Stearns: ‘Every Day Is a Celebration’

After 20 years of tackling the “hole in our gospel,” World Vision’s most recent president is fine retiring from World Vision with some tasks unfinished. You’ve grown World Vision US from $350 million to $1 billion over your two decades as president and CEO. Today 40,000 international staff serve children in 100 countries, and you Read More

Aretha Franklin’s One Faith

As her father once said, Aretha was still a gospel singer. Today’s homecoming of Aretha Franklin prompted me to pull out her legendary double-CD live set, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism from 1987. While the live Amazing Grace set (1972) is the justly more famous, more satisfying collection, One Lord has moments of transcendent Read More

Christians to Science: Leave Animals the Way God Designed Them—Except Mosquitoes

Pew finds 7 in 10 Americans, as well as highly committed evangelicals, say the pesky insects should be genetically engineered to reduce disease. When asked about five ways that science can use genetic engineering on animals, many Americans express a reticence to mess with nature or “God’s plan.” Except when it comes to mosquitoes. A Read More

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