The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
We need to be discerning as to the aspects of our nation and culture that can be affirmed by us, and those that must be challenged in the light of the character of God.
As Christians we have a responsibility to take a stand against propaganda and make sure we are bearers and channels of the truth.
The influence of the Bible on political thought, speech and action is unparalleled, and has provided the foundations for modernity upon which has been built the liberal democracy that we enjoy in the West today.
Whichever way you plan your church Christmas schedule, you do need to pray for sensitivity to a set of potential people present.
How the gospel transforms the Untouchable to the Touched-by-Grace.
Joanne Appleton talks about nominalism with three attendees at the Lausanne Rome consultation: Tim Grass, Jaume Llenas and Olof Edsinger.
Four ideologies can become an intolerant and dangerous idol: secularisation, left-wing populism, nationalism and liberal values dogmatism.
The church slowly but surely tends to move away from the gospel just as our bodies slowly but surely move away from health.
The sexual abuse crisis has been on the table in a dramatically growing way since the years of Benedict XVI. The problem is systemic and pervasive.
Our generation must speak out for the poor and vulnerable, and the generations to come, and not act as if history ends with us.
What may stir pride in the preacher? When might we be vulnerable to this great enemy?
Christian alienation is not, by definition, a negative consequence of being Christian or an unintentional aspect of Christian life.
Abortion rates for prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome, the most common chromosomal abnormality, are high: nearly 100 per cent in Iceland, 98 per cent in Denmark, and 90 per cent in the United Kingdom.
A book review of Hans Boersma’s two volumes on the topic.
When we meet them, we begin by showing them that there is a way of hope, because they all want to get out of their situation.
Our entire culture is still geared toward satisfaction. According to the Bible, this is quite dangerous.
Helping survivors of human trafficking in Thailand
Europe needs to ensure a true diversity of opinions within the European Parliament.
Lessons from the rise, fall, and repentance of Sierra Leone.
At first glance, it is difficult to understand the success of preachers of the prosperity gospel. Here, we present five reasons.
Sabbath is designed not only to make us more efficient and fruitful in our work, but more fundamentally to challenge our obsession with efficiency and with productivity.
We are first and foremost relational beings and the quality of our relationships matters to God.
Let’s pray that Britain and her European neighbours will find a pathway for lasting reform that’s rooted in biblical revelation and wisdom.
Ferry, like so many, does not seriously consider Christianity’s truth claims; he simply does not believe.
The historical record of proselytism carried out by Christians is tragically marred with all kinds of manipolative and violent means.
When an epistle does its work, it can really work in the heart and mind of a listener.
Christians appear to be able to offer a framework for insisting on the value and dignity of the human being in a mechanising world.
Religious identity, nationalism, and violence.
A good preacher of poetry does for listeners what a gallery guide might do for me: lead me beyond first impressions, cause me to slow down and start to feel with the artist.
The Bible shows us examples of legitimate opposition to the abuse of power by those in authority, and it is not simply limited to the subject of preaching the Gospel.
It would be good to penalize the blatant human rights abuses in Qatar rather than applauding them by letting bonded labourers build the new stadiums for World Cup 2022.
How is it possible to conceive that intelligent people could worship Osho as a god? Because, like Sheela, by worshiping him they were serving themselves.
Rome can be very softand adaptable in many respects, but the Eucharist is the core of its “Roman” identity and so it is strictly safeguarded.
The removal of children from their families should never be among the first options to consider.
The narrative is straightforward. They are the victims. They have been damaged by ‘conservative theology’ and they are going to change us evangelicals so that we accept their position.
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.
The real challenge is not filling time, but knowing what to cut out to fit the time you have.
What today we call Satanism is really just a form of atheism, born out of the rejection of an all-too-familiar religion.
Out in the open, a beach mission is like a church without walls. Those who are unsure can sit at a distance, listening and looking. There is something too about the anonymity of being away on holiday that makes people more willing to try new things.
The way we communicate online is changing the political debate in strange ways.
Twice-monthly social events are held for between 80-150 people, sometimes even more. The asylum seekers and refugees cook meals from their own countries, with occasional British cuisine.
Most Venezuelans are now ‘burned out’ as they basically just try to survive. An unprecedented exodus has ensued, some 1,642,400 left the country between 2015 and 2017.
A relief in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum captures Sennacherib’s pride and character.
Children have vivid imaginations. When you read them a story, they can see it happening.
When citizens who have an evangelical faith engage in social life, they have the same rights as others who are agnostic, atheists or of any other belief.
We run the risk of making the humour a feature of the message, and sail very close to being an entertainer, which is a far lesser calling than being an engaging authentic proclaimer of God’s Word.
Communications technology, changes culture. And just as the printing press, the telegraph, radio, and television have done, so the internet is changing our culture. And at lightning speed.
Cuba was reviewed earlier during this year in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review conducted by the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Once you have prayed, wrestled, tried, failed, corrected and tried again, you may eventually arrive at a golden destination: an understanding of the text’s details in context.
Churches and its Christians would do well to simply follow the example of Jesus Christ and his approach to power and to those isolated or excluded by it.
Our understanding of anointed ministry should be rooted in a thoroughly biblical understanding of the work and person of the Holy Spirit.
Pursuing the flourishing of women through Imago Dei.
Having thrown off a religious sensibility, our death-haunted culture needs to squeeze every last drop of experience out of our limited existences, before it all slips away.
How Sanjayan is making a stand against ragging in Sri Lanka.
We cannot be what we want to be, because we are not infinite creators but finite and dependent creatures.
To claim that somehow Britain is morally superior to the other 27 countries of the EU is a dangerously arrogant position to take.
The reality of our global church goes beyond what we imagine, and is growing in unexpected ways.
Christians need to face the crisis with maturity and without getting carried away by political preferences.
Practical resources for advancing the Great Commission.
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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