We live in a society in which admitting one’s own sins is seen as a sign of weakness.
The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe has collected over 2200 cases since 2006.
It’s impossible to imagine the BBC producing any sort of programme that examined the origins of Islam or the Quran with anything like the severity with which Christianity or the Bible is treated.
There is an increasing awareness in Western societies that there is more to reality than what can simply be explained using the categories of science.
When a narrative does its work, it can really work in the heart and mind of a listener.
Water is, biblically, a precious blessing from God. It is a gift, not a right. And wasting it, misusing it, failing daily to be grateful for it, are sins against God, neighbour and creation.
Salinger was born in New York to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. This mixture set Salinger off on a continuous quest for answers from different creeds.
There is something deeply wrong with a society that rejoices so glibly over the killing of the unborn.
Altered Carbon goes a long way to showing us what an eternity without God’s presence would look like.
Rationalism and its corresponding Protestant theology, Higher Criticism (or Historical Criticism), have created a theological and spiritual desert condemning European Protestantism to complete irrelevance.
All the speakers of the event organised in the European Parliament emphasised the importance of implementing family-friendly policies.
Fighting self-deception and corruption.
We not only come to faith at the foot of the cross, but we also become mature in its shadow.
We represent God not only in what we say, but also in how we say it.
Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007) staged people unable to love and communicate, condemned to always hide behind a mask.
Audio and video clips from individuals have been key features in a number of scandals in the public square. Now a new type of video manipulation is going to make it harder to tell the real from the fake in the digital world.
Myth 8: Since preaching is not a performance, as long as the content is good, delivery doesn’t matter.
Within the first 25 years of Christ’s crucifixion, the Jesus movement was spreading like wildfire across the ancient world. All four major cities of the Empire were affected, it seems – Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Ephesus.
The biblical view of immigration does not only consider the migrant’s position but that of the host country.
One of the symbols that are used for Asherah is the “tree of life”, this may also be a reason why the woods provided a natural setting for those who sought her help.
‘40 Days for Life’ is a campaign that “takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families”.
He carried out intense testimony work with hundreds of events in churches, schools, parks, bull fighting rings and in the streets of towns and villages across the country.
One of the main reasons that wisdom differs from knowledge or intelligence in the Bible is because it entails acting upon what one already knows.
Guatemala is the country with the highest percentage of evangelicals in Latin America. However, it has one of the highest rates of inequality, violence and corruption.
How students in Latin America demonstrate the gospel.
A global versus international model can help.
Five years ago, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis.
Myth 6: A sermon is just the sum of its parts.
Some 54% of India faces extremely high water stress. The crisis has become increasingly evident in recent years as much of central India is facing a severe water shortage.
Cinema and memory have a similar effect on the truth. They clean it and make it sparkle to make it more bearable.
If pastors and church leaders don’t work to find a solution, they lose the right for their condolences to be taken seriously.
Who were these Canaanites whom God ordered to be annihilated? What did they believe, what did they practice? Why was their existence such a threat to ancient Israel?
“I was with Graham in press conferences in places such as Buenos Aires and Philadelphia, and I was really impressed by his capacity to respond with clarity and integrity to the questions of reporters”, writes Samuel Escobar.
John Chrysostom challenged the wealthy and the clergy through his preaching against the the abuses of riches and authority.
Florence’s initiative in “The Bookshop” brings about a small revolution. As everyone knows, reading is a dangerous activity.
Mariology is a testcase that provides an opportunity to see to what extent the Trinity and Christology belong to the shared faith.
Three million citizens want to have a referendum on amending the country’s Constitution, so that it recognizes marriage solely as the lifelong union between one man and one woman.
The Jewish singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, Neil Diamond, has waited until his 77th birthday to reveal that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
It’s time to repent and acknowledge that we urgently need changes.
Myth 4: If the sermon is true, all is well.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning “the practice of surrogacy, which undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity”.
Outside of Genesis, what do we know about the flood?
All the thinkers who laid the first foundations of human rights were not moralising in a vacuum.
There is no sign of a massive turn of evangelicals to Roman Catholicism. Nonetheless, what is happening is worth investigating.
Music cannot be “Christian”, only people can take up the cross of Christ and follow him.
Myth 2: If it bears good fruit then it is a good sermon.
We do not want our churches to merely include people with disabilities, we want them to be places where people with disabilities feel they belong.
The Gospel invites us to walk with those who are despised by society.
The author of Ephesians makes the point that in Christ the barriers between God and humanity, and the artificial barriers that people have put up against each other are destroyed.
A living example from the persecuted Christians in Egypt.
A generation that accepts uncritically that ‘you can’t say that’ will slide from unwillingness to inability to disagree with or critique the propaganda it is relentlessly fed.
Although a postmodern stance toward faith relegates theological issues to the background, they are indispensable for understanding the missionary reality.
It will be through spending time looking at Jesus that we will lose our appetite for self-promotion.
The recent papal journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh provides an entry point into the applied missiology of the Pope.
In Jesus Christ, we have the perfect fulfillment of the idealized Sumerian vision of the Shepherd King that Gudea and other kings sought to achieve in their lifetime.
Since the 9/11 attack in 2001, we have seen more than 60 new Muslim movements to Christ.
The Netherlands is known throughout Europe as the leading exponent of radically liberal social, medical and ethical policies.
In an increasingly uncivil environment, Christian Unions provide an unequalled safe space in which to proclaim a dangerous and life-transforming message.
The biblical doctrines which the Reformers rediscovered and emphasised provided the framework out of which modern medicine was available eventually to develop.
Five Lessons from Lausanne's engagement with younger leaders.
It is time for us to say #wetoo if we are praying for a profound awakening in our churches, if we are willing our churches to have a renewed testimony in our society. We mustn’t fear.
The push for a ‘right to abortion’ by the UN Human Rights Committee, under the guise of re-interpreting the ‘right to life’, is not just outlandish. It is also in strong contradiction to international law.
The one who is supposed to guard the Roman Catholic deposit of faith is charged with allegations of introducing confusion, if not heresy.
Five hundred years later, the Solas give us as followers of Jesus our identity. When people ask, “What makes you an evangelical?”, we can respond with the five solas.
We can make no greater investment of our resources than to help churches become infectious communities of gospel-gripped people.
We are facing massive challenges in Europe and America with rapidly spreading unbelief and a weak Church. But what God did then in changing the direction of Europe, He can do again.
Stories about lost children explore our greatest fears. The big TV revelation this summer was an impressive Argentinean series produced by HBO called The Bronze Garden.
The key question is whether Catholicism can consider popular Protestantism as God´s work. It is the same question that many traditional Protestant denominations also ask themselves.
Let’s take a look at a few of the many positive changes which sprang from the Reformation.
Let the Reformation continue… yes, but let it continue in the gospel terms of Scripture alone and Faith alone.
Preventing and treating human disease is a praiseworthy goal. But it must not be allowed to become a reason to turn human beings into designer products.
The 2013 document, signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church in preparation for the 2017 Reformation anniversary, indicates the goal of an ecumenical trajectory for the two church bodies.
On the surface, the Pope’s comments on justification seem to be very biblical and indeed very Protestant.
The “creative” way of redefining historical heresies for the sake of present-day quarrels could be used against Francis.
Some of the ideas about mission and society shared at the #2018ELF conference in Poland.
Preach to the people in front of you, but prayerfully ponder how the Sunday sermon can shape more than just that moment.
Our thinking, attitude, behavior with regard to Islam in Europe should be guided by God’s self-giving love manifested at the cross of Golgotha.
The government says that Sweden is “amongst the least religious countries in the world”.
Five stories of migrants and their neighbours in the Netherlands.
The European Commission launched the Online Citizens’ Consultation on May 9th. It is “addressed to all Europeans, asking them what direction they want the European Union to take in the future”.
It would be naive in the extreme to remove the most important human right of all – the right to life – from the Constitution and to put it in the hands of career politicians.
Google announced on May 9th that it would ban all advertising related to the Irish abortion referendum from its platforms.
It is easy to understand why many seek to escape by submerging themselves in virtual worlds - places where one can become what they have always dreamed of being.
The idea that all people are children of God means that all people will ultimately be saved, thus blurring the distinction between nature and grace, between being a created person and being a saved person.
I think there are two key questions with this case: ‘What is the best way of managing Alfie?’ and ‘Who should ultimately decide what treatment he has?’
Myth 7: A sermon is the output of a mechanical process.
A lot of churches own a building which lies empty for most of the week. This is madness, why not use your real estate to make friends with your community?
Notwithstanding our departure from the EU, we are still Europeans by culture, history and geography. How might such solidarities be strengthened?
It is on the cross that the character of Christ reaches its greatest splendour. During the hours of deepest darkness, his words shine like radiant gold.
MEPs signed a letter asking Romanian politicians to “support the organization of the referendum without delay.”
Christians are humiliated at airports, body-searched as if they were criminals or traffickers, compared to terrorists.
Balancing grace and truth in outreach.
The Annual Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU is a narrow document, that misses some of the key elements related to the very topic that it purports to address.
The REA wants to be a lay movement of church people concerned about inter-denominational cooperation.
Christian organisations are hesitant to openly express any opinion because they know that their members are very divided.
Myth 5: Only well-prepared sermons get blessed.
Christians must not give up disagreeing with each other. For the sake of truth it matters that we disagree but how we disagree makes all the difference.
We thank God for the long and fruitful life of Billy Graham, as he joins the great cloud of witnesses, for his extraordinary influence and for the model he leaves of a life well-lived and a race well-run.
“The fidelity of my parents gave my siblings’ generation a strong example to pass on to our children’s generation”.
The decision of the French Supreme Court can be seen as a victory for defenders of freedom of expression and of conscience, in particular concerning the option of quoting a verse from the Bible about homosexuality. But it also opens the way for new legal disputes on the subject.
Like housing, social welfare provision is not just a financial problem; there are social and relational aspects to consider too.
Myth 3: If a sermon is really good then listeners will not be offended.
It is very important to answer this question, especially if one wants to argue for the possibility of the existence of a written Torah prior to 1000 BCE.
A look at polycentric missiology.
As two superpowers left the Levant, a power vacuum was created. Canaan was left alone, ripe for conquest.
Child euthanasia, a reality in Belgium.
Myth 1: Since the preacher was led by God in the preparation, it would be wrong to evaluate the sermon.
Decisions are increasingly influenced by the fleeting diktat of popular opinion
It is possible that the unnamed deliverer who saved the kingdom of Israel from the oppression and threat of the Arameans is none other than Adad-Nirari III himself.
“It only takes ten seconds to crush a man’s ambitions”, says Frank Underwood before becoming President.
Films about an empowered orphan, a struggling entertainer, a clumsy bear, a quadriplegic’s wife and a downtrodden boy.
The gift of the new operation world app to the global church.
The poem of Su-Shin is the oldest love poem ever discovered. Some of its lines sound very reminiscent of the Song of Songs.
This is not the story of a great man, but the story of a great God, who deeply loves miserable and tormented creatures like this monk.
There are many skeptics today that argue that the laws contained in the Old Testament are written on the basis of earlier Sumerian and Babylonian law codes.
The fulfillment of God’s great sin-conquering, life-giving, problem-solving, Satan-defeating, promise plan was Mary’s son, baby Jesus.
The need for missional theological education that values the whole church.
Sony created a subdivision dedicated to producing Christian films. The disconcerting fact is that it follows a pattern that has nothing to do with gospel values.
One of the main tasks of those involved in mission is to challenge the people to ask questions like “What does it mean to be a Christian?”
Digital reading, often by design, makes meditation difficult, because hyperlinks outward, continually refreshing newsfeeds and flashing ad banners are constantly encouraging us to move.
How to be effective in disciple-making in the twenty-first century.
You can preach the landmarks of a Bible book over the course of a few Sundays.
Jesus is suggesting a deep and wide vision for how to change the world: individually and corporately, in the home and the workplace.
We should pause to ask what causal links can be demonstrated between the Reformation and economic growth, democratic stability, and social justice in Protestant-background countries.
A response by Leonardo De Chirico and Greg Pritchard to articles written by Thomas Schirrmacher and Thomas K. Johnson.
The reality we have to face is that we are not immune to such struggles.
His own writings to Theo and his paintings of his latter phase bear witness to his preoccupation to the end with the person of Christ.
Being secular, or humanist, or atheist, seems to mean saying that you are tolerant or inclusive, when all you actually want to do is erase any trace of Christianity from our midst.
Modern Catholicism is “a synthesis of medieval essentialism and modern existentialism”, the Dutch philosopher and theologian Cornelius Van Til said.
Any information that we have today of the existence of Spanish sixteenth century reformers we owe to a faceless man, Luis de Usoz (1805–1865).
The two great European rivers, the Rhine and the Danube, have been a natural barrier across the continent through the centuries from the Black Sea to the North Sea.
It gets mentioned in outreach planning. Preachers long to experience it through each new sermon. Reports on social media stir our longings.
What we can learn from “American Gods”, the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel.
A political body would be in charge of promoting gender ideology in many areas, including education, health, media, sports, and the workplace if the Equality Bill in Spain is adopted.
To be a good theologian is to seek to know and rely upon the Word of God better. It is to be a faithful Christian.
Censorship, curbs on self-expression and communications that might be considered offensive, heavy fines for expressing views that could be interpreted as degrading, and having to prove one’s innocence if accused of discrimination.
We can preach about money after all, the Bible has a lot to say. But it is very awkward to talk about money for preachers.
Are believers forming exclusively Romanian mono-cultural churches? Are they integrating into existing British churches? Are they joining in with multicultural churches that reflect Britain’s cultural and ethnic diversity?
His work is a model of Biblical balance, in the best meaning of the word.
In search of authenticity (3): Francis Schaeffer’s interest was not so much to win arguments, but to win people.
As Christians keep visiting the people affected by the disaster, they have come to be called Kirisuto-san or ‘Mr./Ms. Christ’, with respect and appreciation.
20-25% of undocumented immigrants in the US are evangelicals and many of them are pillars in their churches and communities.
For the Catholic Church, “by grace alone” means that grace is intrinsically, constitutionally, and necessarily linked to the sacrament, and thus to the Church that administers it.
The preacher’s family life is real, whether you get to see the inner workings or not!
A journey back into the past has encouraged us to believe that God is not yet finished with Europe.
There needs to be a radical and broad new level of commitment to common working.
The deepening partisan ideological divide in all sectors of US society will mean that governance will most likely lurch from one extreme to another. This will have major ramifications for the church and mission.
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