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Franklin Graham Declared a Day of Prayer for President Trump. Christian Leaders Weigh In.

How is the church meant to heed Paul’s directive to pray for “those in authority”?

This Sunday, hundreds of Christian leaders and congregations across the US will join Franklin Graham in a special day of prayer for President Donald Trump.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association president, who prayed at Trump’s inauguration, said that the president needs prayer to “protect, strengthen, encourage, and guide” him in the face of political attacks.

He cited the call to pray for leaders from 1 Timothy 2:


I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (v. 1–4)

Beyond a designated day of prayer, many congregations include political leaders in their weekly petitions during Sunday gatherings. As they pray, leaders often emphasize God’s sovereignty over earthly kingdoms, unity in the body of Christ, and our desire to see goodness and flourishing in our country.

Some US Christians have questioned whether national calls to prayer around certain issues or leaders “politicize” prayer to partisan ends. Each year around holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day, leaders caution against conflating patriotism and worship. (This year, the National Association of Evangelicals has focused on the Great Commandment [Matt. 22:37–39] for its “Pray Together Sunday” over the July 4 weekend.)

Many of the president’s evangelical advisers have signed on to Sunday’s day of prayer, including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jack Graham, Robert Jeffress, and Paula White, who ...

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Source: Franklin Graham Declared a Day of Prayer for President Trump. Christian Leaders Weigh In.

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David Platt Asks God to Grant Trump ‘All the Grace He Needs to Govern’

The “radical” pastor prayed for the president during an unannounced stop at his suburban DC megachurch.

David Platt did not publicly sign on to Franklin Graham’s day of prayer for President Donald Trump. He is not a member of his White House faith advisors, he did not endorse him, and he is not known for weighing in on day-to-day political happenings.

But yesterday afternoon, when the president made a surprise visit to McLean Bible Church, the DC-area megachurch where Platt has served as teaching pastor for the past two years, the Southern Baptist preacher prayed for him from the stage.

Platt cited 1 Timothy 2—the passage Franklin Graham used in his call for churches to pray for the president that day—as he put his arm around Trump and offered a two-and-half minute prayer.

“We pray that he would look to you; that he would trust in you; that he would lean on you; that he would govern and make decisions in ways that are good for justice, good for righteousness, good for equity, every good path,” the former International Mission Board president and Radical author said. “Lord, we pray that you would give him all the grace he needs to govern in ways that we just saw in 1 Timothy 2 that lead to peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.”

Platt said in a letter to his congregation that he did not learn of the president’s visit until after he preached the sermon, minutes before the two took the stage together. “Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God,” he explained.

Platt asked that Trump would be granted grace, mercy, and wisdom; that he would know God’s love and that Christ died for ...

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Source: David Platt Asks God to Grant Trump ‘All the Grace He Needs to Govern’

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[Cfamily]Nominate a Book for the 2020 Christianity Today Book Awards
« Reply #1290 on: June 07, 2019, 01:00:09 AM »
Nominate a Book for the 2020 Christianity Today Book Awards

Instructions for publishers.

Dear Publisher,

Each year, Christianity Today honors a set of outstanding books encompassing a variety of subjects and genres. The CT Book Awards, along with our “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year, will be announced in December at Winners will be featured prominently in the January/February 2020 issue of CT and widely promoted in CT newsletters and on the site. Publishers of the winning books will have the opportunity to participate in a marketing promotion organized by CT’s marketing team, complete with site banners and social media promotion.

Awards Categories:

  1. Apologetics/Evangelism

  3. Biblical Studies

  5. Children & Youth

  7. Christian Living/Discipleship

  9. The Church/Pastoral Leadership

  11. Culture and the Arts

  13. Fiction

  15. History/Biography

  17. Missions/The Global Church

  19. Politics and Public Life

  21. Spiritual Formation

  23. Theology/Ethics

  25. CT Women*

  27. The “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year**

*Learn more about CT Women.

**Beautiful Orthodoxy is the core philosophy guiding CT’s ministry. It describes a mission, across all our publications, to proclaim the truth, beauty, and goodness of the gospel in a gracious, non-antagonistic tone. Learn more about the cause of Beautiful Orthodoxy from CT editor in chief Mark Galli, in an essay and interview with Mark.

CT Women and Beautiful Orthodoxy are special add-on categories. Books nominated in these categories must have first been nominated in one of the other main categories. (They will be eligible to win more than once.) The add-on fee is $20 for either CT Women or Beautiful Orthodoxy, or $40 for both.

What and How to Submit:

To be eligible for nomination, a book must be published between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. We are looking for scholarly and ...

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Source: Nominate a Book for the 2020 Christianity Today Book Awards

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[Cfamily]Billy Graham Archives Begin Move from Wheaton to Charlotte
« Reply #1291 on: June 08, 2019, 01:00:12 AM »
Billy Graham Archives Begin Move from Wheaton to Charlotte

While Franklin Graham aims to consolidate the late evangelist’s legacy, some scholars raise concerns about research opportunities.

This week, at Wheaton College in Illinois, specially trained movers will begin organizing, preparing, and packing 3,235 boxes of paper items, 1,000 scrapbooks of news clippings dating back to the 1940s and more than 1,000 linear feet of videos, cassettes, reels, films, and audio.

All of it documents the life and ministry of evangelist Billy Graham, the Christian college’s most famous alumnus. And soon, all of it will be headed to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in Charlotte, North Carolina, Graham’s hometown.

The big transport trucks that will haul the valuable cargo won’t make the nearly 800-mile trip until mid to late June. But the controversy over moving the Graham materials all began more than two months ago. That’s when it was announced that, after June 1, the materials would no longer be housed at Wheaton’s highly regarded Billy Graham Center Archives.

Since it opened with Billy Graham’s blessing in 1980, more than 19,000 scholars, journalists, and other researchers from around the world have spent 67,000 hours doing work there.

The BGEA’s Charlotte site does include the 12-year-old Billy Graham Library, but it was not designed as a research facility. Instead, it is a presidential-like museum celebrating the life of Graham, who died last year at age 99, and is a brick-and-mortar continuation of his worldwide evangelism efforts.

“The so-called (Billy Graham) Library is not a library,” said Edith Blumhofer, a longtime history professor at Wheaton who is now completing a study of the music of the Billy Graham Crusades. “It has no archives. It has no archivist.”

In a Sunday email answering questions posed by Religion News Service, Franklin Graham, ...

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Source: Billy Graham Archives Begin Move from Wheaton to Charlotte

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[Cfamily]The Age of Pelagius
« Reply #1292 on: June 09, 2019, 01:00:10 AM »
The Age of Pelagius

An ancient heresy continues to affect our culture in surprising ways.

We stand at one of the great turning points in our national history, when the failure of our public philosophy and the crisis of our public life can no longer be ignored. And what we do about these needs will define the era to come.

For decades now our politics and culture have been dominated by a particular philosophy of freedom. It is a philosophy of liberation from family and tradition, of escape from God and community, a philosophy of self-creation and unrestricted, unfettered free choice.

It is a philosophy that has defined our age, though it is far from new. In fact, its most influential proponent lived 1,700 years ago: a British monk who eventually settled in Rome named Pelagius. So thoroughly have his teachings informed our recent past and precipitated our present crisis that we might refer to this era as the Age of Pelagius.

But here is the irony. Though the Pelagian vision celebrates the individual, it leads to hierarchy. Though it preaches merit, it produces elitism. Though it proclaims liberty, it destroys the life that makes liberty possible.

Replacing it and repairing the profound harm it has caused is one of the great challenges of our day.

Birth of a Heresy

Pelagius was born sometime between A.D. 350 and 360 in Britain, possibly Wales. Highly educated, unusually gifted, a scholar of both Latin and Greek, he made his way to Italy and then to Rome. There he became famous for his teaching on Paul’s letters.

Pelagius held that the individual possessed a powerful capacity for achievement. In fact, Pelagius believed individuals could achieve their own salvation. It was just a matter of them living up to the perfection of which they were inherently capable. As Pelagius himself put it, “Since perfection is possible ...

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Source: The Age of Pelagius

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Praying for a President Is Not that Radical: Platt, Prayer, and Polarization

The outrage against David Platt's prayer for President Trump reveals more about us than David.

This past weekend, President Trump dropped by McLean Bible Church and was prayed for by Pastor David Platt. You can see the video here.

In years past, this would probably have been seen by many as an admirable practice—a president stopping by for prayer. However, as Emma Green explained in the Atlantic, “Donald Trump’s controversial stop at a Virginia mega-church after a mass shooting showed how even normal Christian behavior has been scrutinized during this administration.”

Yet, this is a different time, and (as most would agree) President Trump is a different kind of president. Four things come to my mind when we think about this situation.

First, the criticism of David Platt was often not fair.

I was frustrated at the arm-chair quarterbacking I saw online, with some saying that he should prophetically have rebuked the president, others saying he should have denied the request, and still others wishing that he’d been more affirming of the president.

I tweeted:


I know that every person tweeting criticism of @PlattDavid would have handled it so much better if @POTUS showed up to your place with little notice, but maybe just consider that he is not as smart, godly, or prophetic as you are and try to extend grace to your lesser brother.

Simply put, David Platt made a fast decision when the president came by. To condemn him for that is simply not appropriate. He basically had two choices—either honor the request or not.

Platt could have chosen to decline the visit. This would have inevitably led to attacks from Trump supporters, a public outcry over a pastor refusing to pray for the president, and questioning of his personal position on the president.

Instead, he chose the second option and, in his ...

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Source: Praying for a President Is Not that Radical: Platt, Prayer, and Polarization

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[Cfamily]How Road Trips Teach Me to Trust Jesus
« Reply #1294 on: June 11, 2019, 01:00:20 AM »
How Road Trips Teach Me to Trust Jesus

As I approach this season of pilgrimage, Scripture offers me a theology of travel.

My husband, Daryl, experiences more wanderlust than I do. He grew up in Southern California, traveling across the valley for high school basketball games, taking class field trips up the coastline, and loading up the church van for missions to Tijuana. On our family Sabbath, it’s Daryl who takes us out on the roads of Orange County. When I ask where we’re headed, he smiles and nearly always says, “I’m not sure. Let’s just have an adventure.”

In particular, our trips to visit extended family bring out the differences in our travel methods. I plan ahead while Daryl enjoys serendipity; I prepare for every eventuality while he prefers to throw a few diapers and a bag of tortilla chips in the car and hope for the best. But since my husband’s side of the family lives in Los Angeles—a thriving metropolis with all manner of convenience stores and restaurants—I’m learning to hang loose on these local treks.

As these drives to LA become more common, God is faithfully teaching me that my rigid, planned-up-to-the-minute travel method isn’t always the best one. In fact, the biblical model for following Jesus is much more Spirit-led than plotted in advance. It isn’t that preparation isn’t necessary or helpful, it’s that openness to the Spirit of God is more important still. “The wind blows where it wills,” Jesus tells Nicodemus in John’s gospel.

Paul’s journeys were continually interrupted by storms, bandits, imprisonments, and mobs, and once, when he made it all the way to the outskirts of the province of Asia, the Spirit of God turned him away at the last minute. Perhaps that’s why when God speaks to individuals in Scripture, ...

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Source: How Road Trips Teach Me to Trust Jesus

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[Cfamily]And God Said to Pastors: Use More Sermon Puns and Plan More Parties
« Reply #1295 on: June 12, 2019, 01:00:11 AM »
And God Said to Pastors: Use More Sermon Puns and Plan More Parties

Three reasons to practice levity and humor in public worship.

When I was a student at Regent College, I once impersonated J. I. Packer in a chapel service. I pretended he was C-3PO from Star Wars. He laughed, I laughed, people laughed. We laughed, I’d like to think, because the impression fit the man: Both J. I. and C-3PO are tall, lanky creatures, all joints and sockets. They’re both British, über-rational, uncommonly smart beings possessed of photographic memories that lead them on occasion to boast of this particular ability. They’re also both catch-you-by-surprise funny.

As Packer’s teaching assistant for three years, I had the privilege of watching him up close. The point of comparing him to C-3PO was not to stress Packer’s ostensibly robotic appearance or preoccupation with etiquette but rather to highlight certain quirky details of Packer’s wonderfully idiosyncratic self. It was, if you will, an act of testimony. To bear witness to Packer in this context was to bear witness to the grace of God in his life, quirks and all.

This moment of witness also reflected an oft-forgotten aspect of Christian worship: the call to joy, levity, and humor.

“Seriousness is not a virtue,” G. K. Chesterton states in his marvelous book Orthodoxy. “It would be a heresy,” he continues, “but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. It is much easier to write a good Times leading article than a good joke in Punch. For solemnity flows out of men naturally, but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.”

If Chesterton is right, that a certain ...

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Source: And God Said to Pastors: Use More Sermon Puns and Plan More Parties

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