Posts in Church Life

The Call to Love Thy Neighbor: Promoting True Human Flourishing in a Consumer Society

By Karin Stetina Jul. 18, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

In Scripture God bids us to “love our neighbor” no fewer than eleven times. Yet centuries later the church still struggles with its calling to do so. From the pulpit to the pew, Christians interpret this command in a variety of ways. In his book Word vs. Deed, Dr. Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, addresses this struggle writing, “The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and preaching the gospel is inherently a verbal behavior. If the gospel is to be preached at all, it must be put into words” (20). Though this is not a new topic in theology, the Evangelical church in the West is seeing the urgent necessity to find the balance between word and deed in the dynamic culture of the 21st century. The church is more aware than ever of the pressing needs of the world. Technology has given us unprecedented access to seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that exist worldwide. On our smart phones and computers we can watch natural disasters destroy cities and wars and violence destroy lives. While knowledge of the needs of the world is growing, there is a great necessity to understand how the church is to respond. What is the biblical view of how the church is to care for others, particularly in light of the growing awareness of the pressing needs both near and far? ...

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Are Christians in a Culture War? Interview with Josh McDowell

By Sean McDowell Jul. 13, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Culture

This goal of this blog is for me to soak up wisdom from my father and share it with you. I have been blessed to have an incredibly influential father, Josh McDowell. He has written over 150 books and spoken to more young people live than anyone in history. But what I appreciate most about my father is his love for my mom, for his kids, and now for his many grandkids. Enjoy! ...

 

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Lo Trágico del Racismo y la Gracia del Príncipe de Paz

By Octavio Esqueda Jul. 8, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics

... Todos los seres humanos somos creados a la imagen y semejanza de Dios (Gen. 1:27). La imagen de Dios es la base fundamental de nuestro valor y dignidad. Por la gracia divina podemos representarlo y todos los hombres y mujeres somos la corona de la creación (Salmo 8). Nuestro color de piel es insignificante para determinar nuestro valor o esencia. Desgraciadamente lo que debería ser una muestra de la belleza de la diversidad de la creación divina para muchos se ha convertido en una forma de señalar y discriminar a otros que son diferentes a ellos ...

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Should a Church Sing (American) Patriotic Songs During Its Worship Services?

By Kenneth Berding Jul. 4, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership, Missions

I was serving as a worship pastor in a church in one of New York City’s suburbs when the attacks of September 11, 2001 were launched. Soon after the attacks, a small contingent of vocal church members began to demand that we start to sing American patriotic songs during our worship services. That suggestion didn’t sit well with me so I began trying to work through some of the relevant theological and practical questions one by one. I wrote these questions and answers on September 29, 2001, only 18 days after the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City. The following is by no means the final word on the question, but it might provide categories you can use to think through this subject for yourself ...

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How Do You Minister to Second Generation Christian Students?

By Sean McDowell Jun. 29, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Church Life, Marriage and Family, Spiritual Formation

Even though I grew up in a Christian home, with parents in professional Christian ministry, there was a time that I walked away from God. I was tired of the rules, authority, and simply wanted to live life my own way. And as you can imagine, I hit rock bottom. Feelings of loneliness, despair, and the weight of sin simply overwhelmed me and I hit the end of my rope … and so when I was four years oldI got down on my knees and decided I was going to follow Jesus ... 

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What are the Top Academic Books on the Bible and Homosexuality?

By Sean McDowell Jun. 22, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Theology

In my last post, I listed my top five popular books on the Bible and homosexuality. This post is designed for those who want to go deeper and explore the academic sources firsthand ...

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Underutilized Resources

By Dave Keehn Jun. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Theology

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

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