Posts in Marriage and Family

Holes in the Ground: Trials and the Christian Life

By Steve Porter Oct. 19, 2017 11:30 a.m. Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

I just returned from visiting a hole. The last time I met this hole in the ground was twenty-two years ago. I was in my mid-20s and probably in the best shape of my life. I was just beginning my daily 5-mile run and, if I remember right, I was feeling great about myself. I was young, healthy, thriving. As I ran through La Mirada Regional Park in the prime of my life there was a little 6 inches long by 3 inches wide hole under some pine needles up ahead. My foot found the hole or perhaps the hole found my foot and in a fraction of a second I went from a vigorous young man to a pathetic young man, lying on the ground, writhing in pain. As I hobbled back to my house, barely able to walk on my freshly sprained ankle, I found myself keenly aware of how incredibly fragile and vulnerable I was. Of course, the truth was that I was that fragile and vulnerable seconds before the hole, but it took the hole to bring that ever-present reality into awareness. I was painfully right-sized ...

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Is Biblical Teaching on Sex Hateful and Repressive?

By Sean McDowell Sep. 29, 2017 4:15 p.m. Apologetics, Culture, Ethics, Marriage and Family

Let’s face it; we live in a world saturated with sex. Our movies, music, novels, politics, and even advertisements are dominated by sex. Essentially, the celebrated view of sex in our culture is: if it feels good, do it. According to the ideas propagated by the late Hugh Hefner, and others in the sexual revolution, anything that prevents someone from experiencing consensual sex in whatever fashion he or she desires is viewed as harmful and repressive ...

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What is the Core Reason Kids Leave the Faith?

By Sean McDowell Sep. 11, 2017 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Church Life, Marriage and Family, Spiritual Formation

There has been a lot of discussion recently about why kids leave the faith. People have rightly drawn attention to the role of poor theology, the importance of kids owning their faith, the significance of intellectual issues such as the apparent tension between science and religion, and more.

But there seems to be a core issue that is often overlooked—to develop a lasting faith, kids need to grasp their need for God. Let me explain ...

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Everyone Loves Sex: So Why Wait? Interview with Author Bryan Sands

By Sean McDowell Aug. 21, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family

I recently received a book in the mail called Everyone Loves Sex: So Why Wait? by Bryan Sands. Given that my father launched the “Why Wait” sexual purity movement in the 1980s, when I was in my early teen years, I was curious to see what approach Sands would take. And I was pleasantly surprised! His book is balanced, biblical, hopeful, and grace-filled. In fact, when young people ask me for a book on sexual purity, this is going to be one of the first books I will recommend.

After thirteen years as a local pastor, Bryan has served as the Director of Campus Ministries at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA since 2011. He is also a public speaker who encourages students across the country. You can find out about his book at www.EveryoneLovesSex.org.

I recently caught up with Bryan and asked him a few questions. Enjoy! ...

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Adventures at Acton: A Reflection on Human Flourishing

By James Petitfils Jul. 19, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership

This summer, as part of my participation in Talbot’s Kern Foundation reading group, I had the opportunity to travel to Grand Rapids and attend a 4-day think tank called Acton University. This was my first time participating in a think tank (unless you count my years watching MacGyver problem-solve for the Phoenix Foundation), and it was an experience! The annual event brings together around 1000 scholars, students, businesspeople, and leaders from over 75 countries and seeks to provide “an opportunity to deepen one’s knowledge and integrate philosophy, theology, business, development – with sound, market based, economics” (http://university.acton.org/). The daily program consisted of several parallel presentations (in fact, Talbot’s own Dr. Scott Rae was a presenter), a fabulous dinner designed to foster new relationships and stimulate conversations, and it closed each night with a plenary talk ...

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Can There Be Forgiveness Without Repentance? Part 2

By John McKinley Jun. 28, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

In Part 1, I observed that Christian forgiveness includes several conditions leading to reconciliation of a relationship that was violated by one person sinning against another. Jesus’ commands that the person wronged must “show him his fault” (Matt 18:15) as the first condition, to be followed by his repentance, and then we may respond by forgiving him. Common Christian talk about forgiveness tends not to include the necessity of repentance; consequently, many Christians attempt forgiveness and yet fail to live in it. Along with this claim that repentance is necessary to forgiveness, I am aware of the need for at least four caveats ...

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Can There Be Forgiveness Without Repentance? Part 1

By John McKinley Jun. 21, 2017 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

The problem I notice is that many times Christians have ongoing difficulty in forgiving those who have wronged them. The strain may go on for many years even as they keep trying to forgive. They frequently assume that there is something wrong with them as being hardhearted and otherwise unloving. They fault themselves for not being able to forgive others. Perhaps these unforgiving Christians are trying to do something that God has not called them to do. Perhaps one-sided forgiveness is actually impossible in the absence of a necessary condition for forgiveness ...

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