The confinement in our homes is forcing millions to stop abruptly, cancel all our plans, and take time to look in the mirror.
As pastors, ministers, church leaders and preachers, we need to be very confident in God’s Word as we plunge into a global crisis.
“The challenge for us is to welcome people into our churches, give them time in their process of discovering what it means to be a Christian, while holding on to Biblical standards”, says professor of religious studies Evert Van de Poll.
Let us listen carefully, think deeply, change appropriately to the messages from the media and speak relevantly through the media into our society.
The coronavirus is taking many of our grandpas and grandmas. Most are on their own, isolated in hospitals, and we do not have the chance of giving them one last embrace.
The Pope is offering an outpouring of indulgences. The message that Roman Catholicism is giving in these weeks of coronavirus crisis is a disarming detachment from the basic principles of the biblical faith.
Many have shared a heartwarming coronavirus testimony from Italy. But there are at least five elements that should make us doubt about its authenticity.
The Bible offers not only encouragement for personal faith in a time of crisis, but also wisdom and insight to guide the Christian in a position of public leadership or influence.
The Italian Evangelical Alliance issued an appeal to all evangelical churches, ministries, and believers to join together on March 22nd to pray in unity, asking God to be revealed in this very moment.
Martin Luther encouraged believers to obey quarantine orders, fumigate their houses, and take precautions to avoid spreading the sickness. Anything less was ‘tempting God’.
Psalm 91 has breathed encouragement and peace into millions of believers in the midst of trial. Its message is very relevant to our current epidemic situation.
In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, many may be forced to experiment with this kind of work in the coming months.
Much of the information circulating at the moment can really upset children with additional needs who may struggle to comprehend what they are seeing and hearing.
Spirituality is not given its name because it is connected to the soul or the spiritual part of humanity, but because it comes from the Spirit of God.
At the LE2020 Gathering in Poland 21-25, October Usha Reifsnider will expand on her experience.
For the most part, just decent biblical preaching is the meat and vegetables your church needs to grow healthy and strong.
As technologically simulated relationships become ever more realistic and superficially convincing, we must be aware of the risk that the simulacrum will exert a seductive appeal to our hearts.
In the Bible, the concept of measurements and weight are intricately connected to the idea of judgement.
The starting point is always fellowship with the Father. We cannot give what we are not first receiving.
Once again, the Flemish carnival included insulting depictions of Jews. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel and Members of the European Parliament have expressed deep concerns.
A strong theme through the film is Auggie coming to terms with the reactions of others to his disability, but at the beginning really struggling to do so.
The processional way was approximately 250 meters long, 20 meters wide and was adorned with 120 lions. The Ishtar gate hosted the festival of the Babylonian new year.
Will the promotion of ‘relationships’ with machines contribute to societal wellbeing and human flourishing, or provide new opportunities for manipulation and deception of the vulnerable?
Analysis of the five paradoxes in preaching by John Stott.
The intersection between spiritual warfare and Christian mission, from an African perspective.
Roman Catholicism is built on the conviction that its system is capable of keeping together its unchangeable Roman identity and its ever-increasing Catholicity.
There are plenty of reasons why we should preach, but what would you add to this list of rubbish reasons?
Jesus used the opportunity to heal someone as a practical way of teaching us something else.
We are called to bear witness to God’s kingdom on earth to transform people’s lives holistically, rather than simply bringing about political solutions.
The UN International Court of Justice has issued precautionary measures to protect the Rohingya minority.
Law is now being made on the basis of which ‘victim’ group can claim priority.
Ava realises that the best way to support her friend Edgar the dragon is not to try and change him, but to help him find a way to be involved and included.
A dynamic life of faith is neither limited to the affairs of earth nor ignorant of them. It lives in the tension between heaven and earth.
In the winner of the last Golden Globes, “1917”, Sam Mendes draws on his grandfather’s experience of the First World War.
While you may use multiple texts, it is not primarily to build the main idea, but rather to reinforce the main idea.
Why God’s four questions in Genesis 3 should still be asked today.
Digital persecution is on the rise, the WWL 2020 shows. Asia Bibi’s release was one of the the good news.
The spread of violent Islamic militancy across Sub-Saharan Africa and South-east Asia, and the rise of Christians targeted by organized crime in Latin America, are some of the trends of the 2020 Open Doors WWL.
Don’t babysit children when they could be absorbing truth.
Most European Christians have lived through the secularisation process and so they have been conditioned to see it as normal.
The link between the Holy Spirit and the Church is so organic that “for Benedict, Scripture, tradition, and the Roman magisterium always coincide because they are guided by the same Spirit”.
Let’s not allow the artificial and temporary newness, to take our focus away from the wonder of all that is new for us in Christ.
A review of John Mark Comer’s latest book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.
Todd Philipps' film is an adult exploration of the anatomy of evil, closer to a Kafkaesque tragedy or to Dostoyevsky’s novels than to the children’s universe of comic book superheroes.
Animator Bobby Rubio is father to Alex, a young Autistic boy, and ‘Float’ is his way of sharing their story.
The miracle of new beginnings, the miracle of justice realised and the miracle of changed hearts.
For Western European churches mission could be translated as: “Let’s go to other countries to serve”. However, for most Eastern European countries missiology is merely similar to theology.
Perhaps looking at it in this way helps us to understand both stories better, and to appreciate more fully the experiences, challenges and struggles of families that we know today.
Caring for God’s creation is one way in which we can express our love for God.
It might be more helpful to talk about Europe in the plural, to accept that there are probably several different versions of Europe.
Inter-denominational contacts are on the rise in Russia.
Without context, God’s epoch-defining intervention in human history to rescue and transform the world, is turned into an anodyne children’s story.
There is a strong connection between what is going on in the preacher and what will go on in the listeners.
We need to stop offering a cheap Christianity to a generation that is tired of consumerism.
All we could do was to give thanks to God and praise him for what he had done.
On the damages of Augustine’s formula and the correction of the Protestant reformation.
Make sure any flourishes work to support the preaching of the text, not to steal the spotlight away from it.
We all long to be liked, to have friends, to be included and to belong.
This is not a horror story, but a story about horror.
Leaving behind individualistic materialism for integral mission.
Revive Europe will include extensive times of prayer, worship, repentance, and study of Acts 1-5. The belief is that a move of God starts, first of all, in our hearts.
The disciples had proved powerless and the father’s faith was limited. It is God alone who decides who will be healed or not, rather than the level of faith or lack of faith of the parents.
To act justly is to pay fair wages, and also to pay workers in a fair manner.
Understand me: “If you tell me to sit up straight, now I have to use all of my brain to do just that.”
These words count for everyone.
The Bible teaches that mission requires believers in Jesus Christ to be sent, not people baptized by the Church. This is a significantly different view than that of Pope Francis.
Seven Christian intellectuals ask the state to “respect, guarantee and protect freedom of thought”, and demand “the freedom for Cuban parents to choose their children education”.
If we look through the history of the church, we see time and time again that Christians have stood up in the public sphere as agents of change for the good of society. We need such people now.
You are so much more than you seem, you are so much more than what people see.
Small blessings are still blessings; if it’s good, then it comes from above (James 1:17).
Many crime fictions happen in the past, as if by looking back, we find a way of diagnosing the traumas of the present.
Concerns about the digital currency being used to facilitate money laundering, drug purchases and terrorist financing are high on the list.
The need for transformative pastoral training in the majority world.
Let’s resist being caught up in polarising narratives and instead adopt the Samaritan strategy: see others through God’s eyes.
Perhaps we too easily skim over the more minor characters that fill the pages of our Bibles?
There is nothing wrong with generous hospitality but sometimes we can overdo it or be so focussed on everything being perfect that we forget the very reason we are doing it at all.
This popular culture icon is nowadays described to us as a sad and vulnerable figure, timid and unsure – a far cry from the frivolous, joyful and radiant star that she was for her contemporaries.
Standing on the shoulders of the apostolic catholicity recovered by the Reformation, this is a promising way to reclaim and to live out the catholicity of the Church in our broken world.
How can Christians think about decluttering, our values, and our relationship with the things which surround us?
Candles can be vulnerable, but they can also burn brightly, lighting up a room, changing darkness into light.
Finding the balance between safety and compassion.
You might be a good communicator, your message might be technically accurate in every detail, but if there is a leap from text to message, then you are undermining the foundational reality that God is a good communicator.
These sixteen stories serve as a useful read for evangelical leaders seeking to understand common themes that might help to understand what influenced an evangelical intellectual to embrace the Roman Catholic Church.
Bridging the field and academia.
As preachers, as pastors, or as parents, let’s not usurp the Spirit’s role and try to force things along.
The Italian politician’s worldview precludes the teachings of the good Samaritan, despising it as naïve do-goodism.
His Bible expositions were adorned by familiar illustrations taken from everyday life. Deceptively simple in appearance, they concealed a vast erudition and deep understanding of Scripture.
What our churches need is for people to have their hearts and minds engaged with the Word of God.
We can relate to refugees because we, too, have no permanent home in this life. We are on a shared journey, equals in the eyes of the Lord, all dependent upon His grace.
Jesus message of selflessness, putting others first, serving others, loving others, is counter-cultural in today’s society.
History was indeed written on that forest road thirty years ago.
At times, additional needs parents can play many of the familiar roles of circus performers.
Throughout the history of the church, the relationship between our faith and art has often been tense, ambivalent and confusing.
Despite all that can go wrong, testimonies can be so powerful.
James’ journey through life has not been an accident; it has and continues to have purpose.
I can tell you that people whose presence I once resented have become good friends. That is what the gospel does!
The dynamics of global collaboration among Christians are changing. Not only Skype, Whatsapp and Zoom are used frequently, but also smaller, more specific tools are of great use in specific mission contexts.
Yes, he did. He made you perfectly, he made you wonderfully.
Human activity is threatening biodiversity across all animal species.
True biblical preaching is not primarily about outlines. It is about heart-to-heart communication.
Doctrines and practices cannot be disjoined as if they were independent silos, but must be seen as mutually influencing one another.
The hardest question can be the one from a child themselves… “Why am I different?”
The Bible warns against using dishonest weights, but we have raised that to an art form.
The seed has the capacity to be stored and kept for a long time. However, if we decide to plant it, the event becomes a process.
It should be about that genuine, heartfelt, willingness to work together to create an environment where everyone can join in.
Confronting gender bias and cen in reintegration.
It’s not your fault that our child is Autistic. It’s not your fault that he has Learning Difficulties and struggles to communicate effectively. None of these things are your fault, or mine; they are no-one’s fault.
Spanish newspaper El País interviewed Nancy Roncesvalles, the director of the Gospel Choir of Madrid since its foundation.
Leaders who have the character and resilience to thrive in the midst of adversity are not born; they are formed by the choices they make.
The main thing that J.R.R. Tolkien inherited from his mother was the Roman Catholic faith. With the help of a priest, he was able to gain access to higher education.
Jesus is not in the habit of fanning the flames of our egos as we pray.
Marian devotions were fueled by writings that were never considered to be inspired. Mariological ideas and practices were added from the outside and allowed to penetrate the faith of the people.
So-called haugeans established churches in the New world as more and more Norwegians chose to cross the Atlantic throughout the 19th and 20th century.
When I’m seeing parents who are looking for tips about how to support their child better in church, at home, and elsewhere, it’s often Mum that I see.
Some of the biblical themes underlying specific verses about remuneration are justice, dignity and reward.
It is important to provide a child with additional needs with someone they can trust who can help them understand what is happening, where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing.
What did it mean to be a priest during the time of Moses? What ideas did the holiness of priests convey?
In the science vs faith debate, each side seems oblivious to the quotes opposing its views, which allows the “ping-pong quote” to go on forever.
For many of us, our child with additional needs or disability is not our only child.
Instead of simply provoking a celebratory nod from “the choir” in your church, why not clarify what you mean in your explanation, and what you mean by way of application?
Members of churches often ask what one change can make the most difference, can have the greatest impact, can enable lasting transformation.
Evangelical theology needs to pursue a realistic reading of the Fathers under the supreme authority of Scripture and at the service of the cause of the gospel.
About 821 million people in the world today are undernourished. Jesus gives us a wonderful example when it comes to thinking about food.
The cinema shows many examples of viruses that affect humans, producing devastating epidemics that remind us of our fragility and vulnerability.
As the epidemic rages in Europe, let us not forget that worldwide inequalities mean that some countries will be more affected than others.
While all cultures and religions may display aspects of servant-leadership, Jesus Christ is the ultimate embodiment of a servant-leader.
Despair, distraction and compromise are three of them.
“We need to realise that behind the trends, ideologies and mindsets that we face, there are spiritual realities”, says the general secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance.
Mursilis was unsure if the storm god was indeed the reason for the plague that happened between 1350-1325 BCE. He panicked because libations and offerings were about to cease.
This situation may be new to most of us, but it is not new for most people, in most of the world, for most of history. This situation is new to us, but it is not new to God’s people.
I lead a congregation in Rome that thrives on handshakes, greet kisses, and physical contact. This winter, the coronavirus has taught Italians the cautions of distance and isolation.
Is there a way for us to talk about Christian eschatology that both acknowledges brokenness and affirms goodness?
Pope Francis tends to idealize native cultures, seeing them as already infused by the grace of God.
Franklin Graham and mass evangelism in a post-Christian UK.
Prevention is key but panic and fear are irrational feelings that only lead to impulse-driven decisions.
He often used the opportunity to heal someone as a practical way of teaching us something else.
Many Christians seem to uphold traditional ideas about fatherhood that lack both the precision and nuance needed to father in today’s world.
The case is closed, the debate continues.
The words of the president of the Italian Bishops Conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, show that evangelicals are often brought into play both from the right and from the left.
Global Integration is a framework for engaging actively and responsibly with our world, locally through globally, for God’s glory.
Many Disney movies mix Judaeo-Christian teaching with other religious elements and spirituality and then ‘put some magic on top’ as the final solution for making your dreams come true.
Concern for the poor, starting with those within the Christian ‘family’, is laced through the fabric of the Gospels and Epistles.
“There have been many, many times, particularly soon after ‘D’ was diagnosed, when I’d love to have just been able to run away from it all” . 12 testimonies.
Healthy families are central to a Christian understanding of flourishing society. They are the primary institution where commitment, sacrificial love, support and guidance can grow.
We have reduced our central heating thermostat by 1 degree and will look to reduce it further in stages. Jumpers are lovely, we should wear them more when it’s colder.
A local Christian businessman offered his fleet of large vehicles to distribute aid and transport people around the clock truly becoming the feet of our undertaking to be God’s caring hands to hurting people.
It can be tempting to rush to act or just to ask for help but not actually make it possible for this assistance to be given.
That is the beauty of the Psalms. Even though our circumstances are so different, often we will find the Psalm writer putting his words right on top of our feelings.
There are 13 million disabled people in the UK, including children and adults, plus all of their friends and family. By voting for the party that seems nearest to how you think, you can be a part of influencing change rather than being on the sidelines.
Scripture engagement in the remotest regions of Uzbekistan.
Brexit has had a reductionist and therefore dehumanising effect. It encourages us to see people as ‘The Other’.
Christians need to be more aware of the use of data concerning them, and of both the opportunities and risks associated with AI.
Women have always advanced God mission through history. They are used by God to continue doing this today.
We the citizens have a responsibility, not just the politicians, for seeing justice done and advancing the good of our society.
Recovering a vision of elderhood for the global church.
The ending of Asterix books reminds us the Story par excellence, the Bible - banquets point to our yearning for a happy ending.
Speaking the truth may be challenging, but building up takes it to a higher level again.
31 October, Reformation Day. Learn more about two of the most influential Reformers in 16th century Europe.
Being healed physically or not is not promised; but what Jesus does is to bring healing to our souls, restoring us. calling us “daughter”, calling us “son”.
The peoples in the east have resisted militant atheism. We, the west, are under another form of atheism which is a sort of political agenda.
The three years since the vote to leave the EU have shown the heightened impact of speech on political culture and how that flows into society and community relations.
Disability is neither due to a person’s sin nor the sin of their parents.
How does the way that David welcomed Mephibosheth into his royal court challenge the way we welcome children and young people with additional needs into church?
In a major speech in 2016, President Xi Jinping called for the ‘sinicization of religion’. For the Chinese Communist Party, the rise of religion, especially Christianity and Islam, represents an existential threat to its political health.
Throughout the summer, a number of attacks on graveyards, church buildings and other church properties have been reported in Europe.
How should we report about Justin Bieber, Kanye West and other cases of well-known personalities who are considering the Christian faith?
Sensory Processing Disorder can mean that children or adults have under-developed or over-developed senses.
What older generations can be great at is having a heart to help a particular child or young person, having the pastoral skills to see when they are struggling and to help them.
The temptation facing us is either to push the panic button, adding further confusion to the chaos, or to take flight and escape into denial about what’s going on in society. For Christians both of these options are simply unacceptable.
Much of our time as parents of children with additional needs is spent tending to their needs, supporting them. Jesus modelled this in so many ways during his ministry, and during those times that he served people he taught them too.
Something is missing in the answers of the Pope. Christ is never mentioned in the whole interview.
Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies, and pray for those who persecute them.
With different speakers (be they team members or visiting speakers), there is potentially some need to introduce the speaker.
As students head off to university, there are several ways we can be praying very specifically for them.
4 reasons why projects like the new luxurious temple built by the Mormons in Haiti are unhelpful.
If difficulties arise, immature Christians soon disappear, because the last thing they are willing to do is endure difficulties.
Politicians often emphasise the sense that they will be ‘judged by history’. Jesus though, said that our ultimate accountability is to God.
Migration is our time’s greatest challenge (and opportunity).
A nominal Christian at that stage of his life, Irwin experienced an unexpected spiritual encounter on the moon that changed his life forever.
The Bible warns us that an obsession with the ‘good’ of productivity actually prevents us from doing real good.
Stephen knew that the only listener that ultimately mattered was the one standing to receive him into glory.
Systemic persecution and its implications.
Never, in a million years, did we expect to have a disabled child.
Are we simply critiquing the environmental debates being played out in public, or is there a solid biblical agenda for engagement?
What do you see when you first meet a child with additional needs or a disability?
Christians in these rural areas often find themselves in the middle of two armed groups fighting each other for territory and for corridors through which to traffic their illicit goods.
What is the connection between the burning of Norwegian churches in the 90s and the appearance of the Scandinavian rock genre?
Embracing our mission of holistic transformation.
Transformation occurred when the story of Jesus changed the way people thought about God, the gods, and human life.
How integrity can tame the beast of bribes and extortion.
The impact of demographic change on religious populations and how this could relate to the future of secularisation in Europe.
VIctor Hugo’s perspective helps us realise we cannot take the privilege of voting in the European elections for granted. This weekend saw the highest turnout in the EP elections.
We have experienced a change of destination, we’ve ended up somewhere we didn’t expect, or initially want, to go… How will we respond? How will it affect us?
Let’s vote for those who value a Europe of partnership, respect, compassion, peace, equality and freedom.
After three decades of loosening Communist Party control and expanding freedoms, Xi Jinping is systematically trying to reassert Party control over all sectors of society.
The environmental crisis of the current age is symptomatic of a deeper relational crisis.
What is the attitude of the parties / candidates towards freedom of religion for all, including in public? How will they make sure that people of all faiths and none can live together as good neighbours?
It is heartening to see Christians take a robust, positive and directive stance on artificial intelligence.
A visual timetable may also be really helpful for some children with additional needs, helping them to know what is happening now, what is coming up next, and how much longer the session is going to last.
Remember that how we support the bereaved can bring glory to God.
Do we see that what every child brings to Jesus, whether they have additional needs or not, is enough and can be used by him?
The recent book by Thomas G. Guarino, The Disputed Teachings of Vatican II. Continuity and Reversal in Catholic Doctrine, is particularly helpful for evangelicals for at least two reasons.
Anna from Afghanistan became a Christian in India. In the camp, she has started a WhatsApp group which gets 20+ women to do sports each morning at 6:30am.
James’ Autism is neurodiversity, a different way of ‘being’. His brain is wired differently to mine, he thinks differently to me, sees and responds to the world differently to me.
One of the most overlooked items in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum is the 8th century BCE marble Lamassu statue discovered in Assur, Iraq in 1845.
The warning is clear - if you really must have a faith, keep it private. But there is no such thing as private faith.
Playing a healthy and contributing role on a multicultural team in cross-cultural Christian service is increasingly part and parcel of the normal requirements of serving Christ well.
Jesus in an age of secularism, relativism, and tolerance.
Like a good parent you won’t be able to serve up a feast at every meal, but you will look to offer health at every opportunity.
What did the “Lordship” of Jesus mean for first century Christians?
The response to date, and what still needs to be done.
Present the object of faith better, don’t just pressure people to have better faith.
The Brexit crisis has overwhelmed almost everyone who cares about the issue and the feelings of exhaustion and confusion seem unbearable. The temptation now is to switch off and go to sleep.
A summary of the sermon Lindsay Brown preached at Michael Green’s funeral on 2nd March, 2019.
A healthy church requires more than just a good diet from the pulpit.
There is always hope, hope for every child. No matter how profoundly they are impacted by their additional needs or disabilities, the love of Christ can and does reach them as powerfully as anyone else.
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