Posts in Church Life

A Practical Response to Raising Adults In an Infantilizing Culture

By Sean McDowell Apr. 26, 2017 12:00 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family

It’s no secret that young people in our culture are growing up later than ever. The life transitions into adulthood, such as being financially independent and getting married, now often happen in the early 30s, if at all. In many ways, 30 is the new 20. As a result, childish thinking and behaviors often carry into (what should be) adulthood.

There are undoubtedly a number of reasons for the perpetuation of adolescence, and certainly different ways to address it. But there is one that seems to be overlooked: We lack meaningful rituals to mark the transition into adulthood ...

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Hank Hanegraaff Goes Greek Orthodox

By Mark Saucy Apr. 26, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership

The recent welcome of Evangelical radio apologist, “The Bible Answer Man” —Hank Hanegraaff, into the Greek Orthodox Church has understandably raised more than eyebrows.  Questions about the differences between Protestants and Orthodox have been coming my way in the aftermath, so I want to offer to Good Book Blog readers an essay I wrote for Talbot’s Sundoulos magazine back in 2008.  In it you’ll find some general characteristics of the Orthodox denomination as well as key points of difference with Protestants—some of which converts such as Hank Hanegraaff would typically need to renounce as they formally enter Orthodoxy ...

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Why Crucifixion as a Metaphor of Sanctification?

By John McKinley Apr. 24, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Spiritual Formation

Romans 6:5-6 has puzzled me by the statement that the believer has in effect already been crucified with Christ.

“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” (nasb)

My problem may have been that I viewed the crucifixion of my “old self” as having been accomplished entirely in the past, at my conversion. We are to “consider [ourselves] to be dead to sin” (6:11) so that we respond by denying the impulses and attractions to sin that (unfortunately) continue throughout this life. In practice, I have liked the idea of knowing that I am no longer a slave to sin, that I am not obligated to give in to temptations, and that I have a new capability from the Holy Spirit to live as God calls me to do. Is there importance of crucifixion for understanding my present condition? ...

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No JABS: A Model for Small-Group Connection, Part 2

By John McKinley Apr. 20, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

As the second part in this post on four protections to create a safe relational space for small groups, here I focus on the fourth condition. This fourth condition has four pieces to it for limiting communication that tends to shut people down. The goal is to be able to accept others as they are, with their true sharing of their real mess in daily life as a Christian. Often we can get in our own way and so fail to love them in this way because we are so busy with the speck of sawdust in their eye. In a sentence, this four-part fourth condition is the log in our eyes that prevents meeting with others.

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No JABS: A Model for Small-Group Connection, Part 1

By John McKinley Apr. 18, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Small talk. Bible study talk. Prayer requests. Sports, kids, and work talk. When and how do we get to meaningful fellowship of sharing with other Christians what God is doing in our lives? Are there conditions in small groups that help people to share their lives with others? Are there conditions that cause people to clam up and stick to the safe details of a public persona? ...

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The Empty Tomb Protest: The Subversive Truth of Easter

By Thaddeus Williams Apr. 17, 2017 9:38 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Culture, Evangelism

When we say “He is risen. He is risen indeed!” we are not merely stating a remarkable historical fact, not merely expressing our shared doctrine, not merely standing in line with a long tradition of hope. We are doing all of that. But we are doing more. We are joining the great protest chant against all the dehumanization, death, and decay of the present age and heralding, here and now, the subversive breaking in of the glorious age to come in the resurrected Jesus. 

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The Multifaceted Cross: 6 Things to Celebrate this Friday (and Every Day)

By Thaddeus Williams Apr. 14, 2017 5:39 p.m. Church Life, Evangelism, Spiritual Formation, Theology

What happened on Good Friday is so scandalous and profound that the Bible does not limit itself to a single explanation. Dutch theologian, Herman Bavinck, explains, “[T]he work of Christ is so multifaceted that it cannot be captured in a single word nor summarized in a single formula." “Multifaceted” is exactly the right word for the cross. It brings to mind the image of a giant deep-cut diamond, a unity with a multiple facets, each refracting rays off and through the other. Let’s take one lap around this flawless wonder and look at six things to celebrate this Friday and every day...

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