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Who Worries About Hell the Most
« Reply #1160 on: February 07, 2019, 12:00:19 AM »

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Who Worries About Hell the Most

Baylor researcher: “If you believe in a harsher form of hell, you’re pretty sure you’re not going there.”


“And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness.” – The Westminster Confession.


Can belief in hell be considered a pathological fear?


Consider the stakes for many believers. With the prospect of an eternity of torture and other forms of suffering, one might say a crippling fear of hell would be warranted.


With those questions in mind, a team of researchers from Baylor University developed a series of measures on “hell anxiety” and tested them in what they say is the first systematic examination of the psychological consequences of belief in hell.


What they found was that individual belief in hell was not in itself connected to any neuroses, and that most people did not display an unhealthy focus on the possibility of eternal damnation.


The findings, some of which even surprised research team members, included:



     
  • The more religious an individual was, the less likely they were to display hell anxiety.

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  • Unhealthy fears were not related to dogmatism or religious fundamentalism.

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  • Free will, or the idea individuals have control over where they will spend their afterlife, was a key element in reducing hell anxiety.


That does not mean belief in hell may not have a dark side when other mediators are involved.


The study found those who viewed God primarily with fear, those who believed they were likely to go hell, and those with a sense outside forces could decide their fate, were more likely to experience greater hell anxiety and death anxiety.


Overall, the results suggested belief in hell should not be considered a pathological fear, “but is perhaps a rational response to personal theological” beliefs, researchers concluded.


Not for me


Hell matters to a lot ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/zuJVHUCKtFU/hell-belief-anxiety-arda-baylor-university.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89399.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/h/hell/
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13674676.2018.1443436
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/hell-belief-anxiety-arda-baylor-university.html
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20 Truths from “The Marriage Knot”
« Reply #1161 on: February 08, 2019, 12:00:10 AM »
20 Truths from “The Marriage Knot”

Excerpts from the Zappia's new book that will entice you to read the rest of it and strengthen your marriage bond.



1 – “Eventually, left unattended and unchecked, the knot comes undone” (Page 9).


2 – “It’s way easier to tie the marriage knot together at the altar on that perfect but expensive wedding day than it is to do the hard work of tightening it each day, week, month and year” (Page 9).


3 – “In God’s eyes, two are better than one” (Page 11).


4 – “We’re joined in marriage to get the most out of life. That’s God’s heart and his gracious desire is that we wouldn’t do life alone but rather we would be in partnership together seeing more, enjoying more and accomplishing more as we truly are better together. That’s why we need each other” (Page 12).


5 – “In our marriage relationships, we need to fight for the ‘we’ over the ‘me’” (Page 17).


6 – “As your marriage grows stronger in the Lord, you become a beacon of hope for those around you” (Page 19).


7 – “As a husband or wife, the spiritual choices we make determine whether we grow closer to God or move further away from Him” (Page 28).


8 – “God’s got a work He wants to do in you, God’s got a work He wants to do in your spouse, God’s got a work He wants to do your marriage. And it all starts with the choices to build on the rock individually and collectively” (Page 31).


9 – “The truth is that God has deposited himself in you by His Holy Spirit to guarantee the results He desires in you” (Page 35).


10 – “The Bible tells us we can win people over with our works better than we can with our words” (Page 39).


11 – “Let’s face ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/9_boAA1MsKM/20-truths-from-marriage-knot-zappia.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89419.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/february/20-truths-from-marriage-knot-zappia.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=9_boAA1MsKM:a7btJbXQGKE:yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/9_boAA1MsKM
http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

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Recovering the Good in Seasons of Lament
« Reply #1162 on: February 09, 2019, 12:00:16 AM »
Recovering the Good in Seasons of Lament

Our years on this earth are full of seasons—ups and downs that profoundly shape us and change the trajectory of our lives.


Most every single one of us has experienced disaster in one form or another over the course of our lifetime.


Like the Psalmist David, we’ve found ourselves calling out to God asking, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Ps. 13:1). Whether the disaster relates to one’s personal health, loss of loved ones, or financial challenges, many can’t help but wonder where he is in these greatest moments of despair. Many find themselves questioning God’s presence, goodness, provision, and faithfulness.


Worse still, after going through this intense phase of doubt and questioning, guilt often grows for having ever wondered these things in the first place.


For others of us currently watching friends or family members experience challenging times, it’s natural to want to step in and provide encouragement wherever possible. But often, many find themselves uncertain what to say or how to go about saying it.


Questioning God


Probably subconsciously, it’s easy for believers to hear questions about God’s presence amidst a storm as critiques on his character. We then feel pressured to defend him as if he were under attack—and as if we, mere human beings, were being asked to come to his aid.


This mentality often does more damage than we realize. I remember when my sister died, people would come to our family with the hopes of providing comfort saying things like “well, maybe God’s got a bigger plan” or “God works all things together for good.”


While these people had good intentions perhaps, their words did little to comfort me or my family. The truth is that when you just lost your twenty-year-old sister, you’re not thinking about the greater good ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/QwzpCPoBraM/recovering-good-in-seasons-of-lament.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89426.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/february/recovering-good-in-seasons-of-lament.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=QwzpCPoBraM:LU8KLAAp_HU:yIl2AUoC8zA
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Cliff Sims, 'Team of Vipers,' and Faith inside the White House - Part 1
« Reply #1163 on: February 10, 2019, 12:00:10 AM »
Cliff Sims, 'Team of Vipers,' and Faith inside the White House - Part 1

An interview with the former White House staffer about his new book and the role faith has played in his political career.


Ed: Give me a brief picture of your spiritual journey.


Cliff: My dad's a Baptist minister. I grew up in a Christian home and came to Christ when I was very, very young. Our whole life centered around church, every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I mean, I remember when they had Sunday night church. I don't even know if we do that anymore. I was there every time the doors were open and then pretty much every day in between because my dad worked there. One of my earliest childhood memories is on Sunday afternoons setting up a makeshift podium in our living room and mimicking my dad leading worship and preaching.


So, I had a pretty typical preacher's kid life growing up—including the teenage rebellion years.


My younger brother and his friend ended up actually starting a band at church to lead worship for kids on Wednesday nights. Because I had sung in youth choir growing up, they asked if I would be willing to sing. So I did. We started doing that and then we got this bright idea thinking to ourselves: "Well, you know what we really ought to do is just drop out of school and do this for a living." And so we did.


The next five years we toured all over the country playing in churches and Christian festivals and a lot of mainstream venues as well. That was kind of a crazy five- or six-year ride there.


In terms of my faith journey, I think going to Birmingham and getting to the church in Brook Hills and listening to David Platt preach every week just really gave me a real picture of what it's supposed to look like when you live out the Great Commission in your day-to-day life. That included, for the first time, the decision to devote a lot of our time, money, and focus on missions including ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/V3WeAGgegzE/faith-of-cliff-sims-part-1-interview-team-of-vipers.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89451.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/february/faith-of-cliff-sims-part-1-interview-team-of-vipers.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=V3WeAGgegzE:wBgX7GzVqvs:yIl2AUoC8zA
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‘A Theology of Everything’ for a Pluralistic World
« Reply #1164 on: February 11, 2019, 12:00:11 AM »
‘A Theology of Everything’ for a Pluralistic World

Fuller theology professor Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen thinks Catholics and Pentecostals are doing today's best theology.


It is rare these days for a theologian to write a full systematic theology—a complete inventory of their theological understanding of all major areas of Christian doctrine and how they relate to one another. Rarer still is someone who incorporates disciplines outside theology into their thinking. Even rarer yet is an individual who can complete such an ambitious project relatively quickly.


Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, has done just that, completing the final volume of his systematic theology in 2017, just five years after finishing the first volume. Unique to his five-volume work is its interdisciplinary focus and its intentional engagement with the pluralistic world of the 21st century. Christianity Today recently asked Kärkkäinen about his life, his ambitious systematic theology, and the future of evangelical theology.


You are currently professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and docent of ecumenics in the faculty of theology at the University of Helsinki in Finland. What led you here?


I was hugely influenced by my mother’s devoted Christian life in my early teenage years. She always has been a very pious person. By birth she was a Lutheran, but she found her primary spiritual home in Pentecostalism but without leaving behind Lutheranism. I think this is why I still consider myself a “hybrid Christian” or a “Lutherocostal.” Very early in my life, it seemed to me that my contribution to world missions would be in teaching and later in research. I taught theology in Thailand as a full-time college professor (I am fluent in Thai). I still consider this kind of missionary ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/Ba2sLP11iqU/veli-matti-krkkinen-interview-theology-of-everything.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89432.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/february-web-only/veli-matti-krkkinen-interview-theology-of-everything.html
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http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

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Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize
« Reply #1165 on: February 12, 2019, 12:00:11 AM »
Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize

Survey finds young believers want others to know about Jesus. They just don’t want to speak up about it.


Millennials used to be the group that churches and ministries were angling to evangelize. Now, all grown up and poised to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest generation, they’re the ones doing the evangelizing.


At least they should be.


But new research from Barna Group and the creators of the Alpha course offers some disappointing news regarding the 20-somethings and 30-somethings now on deck to carry on the faith: nearly half (47%) of practicing Christian millennials—churchgoers who consider religion an important part of their lives—believe that evangelism is wrong.


They’re more than twice as likely as their parents and grandparents—Boomers and Elders, respectively—to say that it’s “wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.”


While this statistic could easily bolster stereotypes of a lazy, distracted, and increasingly unaffiliated generation, the minority of millennials who have stayed active in their churches also show higher markers of commitment in other areas, as well as a savvier sense of the religious pluralism and diversity they were raised around.


The recent Barna release found that, despite the reticence around the practice, millennials consider themselves good evangelists and still see themselves as representatives for their faith.


Nearly all practicing Christian millennials (96%) said witnessing for Jesus is part of being a Christian, and they were more likely than any other generation to say they were gifted at sharing their faith (73%).


And Barna previously found that millennials who identify as born-again were the most likely age group to share their faith—and that ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/LHns-dF8M5U/half-of-millennial-christians-wrong-to-evangelize-barna.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89453.png?w=460
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/
https://www.barna.com/research/millennials-oppose-evangelism/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/half-of-millennial-christians-wrong-to-evangelize-barna.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=LHns-dF8M5U:fujPB99JGnY:yIl2AUoC8zA
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One-on-One with James Meeks on Going to Back to School
« Reply #1166 on: February 13, 2019, 12:00:10 AM »
One-on-One with James Meeks on Going to Back to School

Meeks is pursuing an M.A. at the Wheaton College Graduate School.



Ed: You've been a pastor for many years—and a remarkably successful pastor at that. We often joke that you're the Christian godfather of Chicago, and yet you're wanting to pursue more theological education. Can you tell us why?


James: Ed, for 39 years—and this is the 40th year I’m going to be a pastor—I have encouraged many people to go back to school and finish their education whether that be a bachelor’s, master's, or doctorate.


Every single year, I have parishioners come to show me an additional degree and they always tell me, "Pastor, if it were not for that message that you preached on going back, starting over, trying your best, I never would've gone back, so this degree is dedicated to you." It started dawning on me that I needed to listen to my own preaching. It was over 40 years ago when I stopped pursuing a master's degree. At that point in my life, it was just a timing issue.


I had just began pastoring, had recently gotten married and had a baby, so it was too many pressures at one time. I couldn’t drop any of the responsibilities I had on my plate and that meant school had to be the thing to go.


In all honesty, the master’s was always something that I thought I would quickly get back to, and 40 years later I happened to look up and discover that I had never gotten back to it. I knew right then that this was the right time and a good time to start that pilgrimage again.


Ed: How has it been jumping back into school while also pastoring one of the largest churches in the country?


James: One thing about being an adult learner is that the pressures are different. When iwas younger and in school, I believed that I would have to know everything that ...

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Source: One-on-One with James Meeks on Going to Back to School

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/ILtyEKBqeFg/one-on-one-with-james-meeks-on-going-to-back-to-school.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89463.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/february/one-on-one-with-james-meeks-on-going-to-back-to-school.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ILtyEKBqeFg:_I8DVY-bzKw:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/ILtyEKBqeFg
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The Imposter Syndrome and Pastoral Ministry
« Reply #1167 on: February 14, 2019, 12:00:10 AM »
The Imposter Syndrome and Pastoral Ministry

This phenomenon affects many, and pastors may be particularly susceptible.


“You’re a fraud.”


“Everyone’s going to find out…eventually.”


“Just stop, it’s not worth it.”


“What difference do you think you’re actually going to make?”


If you feel like I’ve just read your mind, welcome to the club! You’re officially a member of Imposter Syndrome Anonymous. In fact, since you’ve had these thoughts for a while, you might as well become a lifetime charter member. There’s just one catch—you can’t cancel your membership. It’s kind of like Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”


In 1978, researchers Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the phrase—the Imposter Phenomenon—and captured the essence of this very thing that seems to be progressively troubling so many of us. And with our lives increasingly being lived online, along with our follower counts displayed in a showcase for the world to see, this topic is of particular importance. After all, what’s healthier than comparing ourselves to one another in all of our filtered glory?


Although Clance and Imes initially researched how Imposter Syndrome affected high achieving women in a pre-internet and pre-social media world, 40+ years later it’s become quite apparent that this syndrome now affects everyone.


After all, when was the last time you found yourself in a room and felt like you didn’t belong—even though you had the academic credentials, degrees, experience, or whatever else you needed to get in? Or, have you ever wondered when people were going to find out and discover the real you? The you underneath the surface that you’ve hidden away? ...

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Source: The Imposter Syndrome and Pastoral Ministry

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/Bz3CB0KddTM/imposter-syndrome-and-pastoral-ministry.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/89469.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/february/imposter-syndrome-and-pastoral-ministry.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Bz3CB0KddTM:XTOkiT5Qu_c:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/Bz3CB0KddTM
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