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Theology for Life (Ep. 3): Mary in Art and Icons
« Reply #416 on: December 28, 2016, 07:05:02 AM »

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Theology for Life (Ep. 3): Mary in Art and Icons

Associate Professor of Art History embraces Mary and Jesus in art


Lynn Cohick (Professor of New Testament) and I welcomed Matthew Milliner to the podcast this week. He is Associate Professor of Art History at Wheaton College. His scholarly specialization is Byzantine and medieval art, with a focus on how such images inform contemporary visual culture.


Milliner talks about the importance of art and icons in the Christian tradition, even touching upon the fact that Luke gives a verbal icon in his Gospel.


What can we learn from the icons of Mary and Jesus about God the Father and about the Incarnation? What does it mean that Mary is known by theologians as theotokos? Milliner talks about Mary, original sin, and the importance of ‘mother’ as we view our own sanctification.

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Before I Could Forgive, I Had to Lament
« Reply #417 on: December 29, 2016, 07:19:38 AM »
Before I Could Forgive, I Had to Lament

I needed to do more than hide my bruises and cover my pain.


I didn’t want to show up at church. The black-and-blue marks already beginning to appear up and down my arms documented another night of fighting between my mother and me. I hadn’t slept much and was sure I wasn’t ready to face the shiny, happy people in my church who never seemed to struggle with anything. But I knew that my absence from the Sunday service would raise more questions than not. Reluctantly, I covered up in a long-sleeve shirt and went.


The friendliest woman in the entire congregation greeted me at the door. Becky had a beautiful family. They were so picture-perfect that I felt embarrassed for her to know the kind of family I came from. Her home was always filled with her kids and grandkids, and they matched their outfits each year for their Christmas card photo. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be included on a Christmas card.


As I exchanged hugs with Becky, I did well at concealing the heaviness in my heart and my aversion to being there that morning. As I listened to Becky share her anticipation over her daughter Anna’s upcoming wedding, I felt even more miserable. Anna was her fourth child, and the last one to marry a godly spouse.


“Please pray for Anna,” Becky asked, a slight frown wrinkle forming on her brow. “She’s really struggling.”


I was confused by this request, considering how Becky had just gushed with excitement and joy over Anna’s wedded bliss.


“Anna doesn’t want to lose her last name,” Becky confided. “She doesn’t want to lose that connection to her family heritage.”


I had absolutely no idea how Anna felt. I hated my name—every part of it. Esther seemed too old for a young person, ...

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2016/december/before-i-could-forgive-i-had-to-lament-esther-fleece.html
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CFamily

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CT's 2016 Cover Stories, Ranked
« Reply #418 on: December 30, 2016, 07:05:59 AM »
CT's 2016 Cover Stories, Ranked

Here are the Top 10 features that readers read most.


Yes, we only publish 10 cover stories per year. But we’re proud of all of them!


Here are CT’s 2016 print features, ranked in order of which ones our online readers read most.



10. 11 Portraits of Charleston Survivors' Grief and Grace

CT sent a reporter and a photographer to be with the family members of several victims.



9. Realizing My Addiction Had Chosen Me Began My Road to Recovery

Framing addiction as a chronic disease gives a broader framework for understanding.



8. The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy

Goodness, truth, and beauty all come from the same Person.



7.How Churches Change the Equation for Life After Prison

One of the hardest days of incarceration may be the day it ends. The church can be there to make a difference.



6. Hope on the Refugee Highway: A Special Report on Christians in Iraq and Greece

CT visited eight refugee camps to learn how Christians on the front lines would advise American churches to engage the refugee crisis.



5. CT Makers: 20 of the Most Creative Christians We Know

Meet the artists, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists using fresh ideas for common good.



4. Incredible Indian Christianity: A Special Report on the World’s Most Vibrant Christward Movement

Why it’s the best and worst of times for India’s burgeoning churches.



3. Is It Time for American Christians to Disobey the Government?

When to practice civil disobedience.



2. Christianity Today's 2016 Book Awards

Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.


1. Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church

Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'—or dangerous?



CT has also compiled the most-read ...

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Source: CT's 2016 Cover Stories, Ranked

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/december/just-say-no-to-shame.html?share=sEcwcoxry%2f1cvDniYEmnGHYb9Ls5LTPR
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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/september/life-after-prison.html?share=sEcwcoxry%2f0JONDPoNjCWHMvpFy%2bM8Qq
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/march/hope-on-refugee-highway-christians-iraq-greece-syria-isis.html?share=sEcwcoxry%2f2Wi90jo1r%2bmAA0MqG%2fhWEg
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/julaug/ct-makers-20-of-most-creative-christians-we-know.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/november/incredible-india-christianity-special-report-christward-mov.html?share=sEcwcoxry%2f16pVRgP1Oiz9rPqiJG%2bloA
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/april/why-all-christians-should-consider-civil-disobedience.html?share=sEcwcoxry%2f2Srj7TgfdOKm3hDFoOdbq%2b
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/january-february/christianity-todays-2016-book-awards.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/may/cover-story-inside-popular-controversial-bethel-church.html?share=sEcwcoxry%2f3kmAy37ni9wJg7dvCbTWu%2b
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News: Gleanings: January/February 2017
« Reply #419 on: December 31, 2016, 07:14:39 AM »
News: Gleanings: January/February 2017

Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our January/February issue).


Indonesia: Christian governor accused of blasphemy


Indonesia’s first Christian governor in 50 years faced blasphemy accusations after quoting a passage from the Qur‘an in a speech last fall. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as “Ahok,” apologized to the archipelago’s Muslim community—the largest in the world—as more than 100,000 signed petitions and protested the Jakarta leader’s alleged offense. (His remarks were incorrectly transcribed on Facebook, rendering them more incendiary.) However, Indonesia's largest Islamic organization told its members not to take part in the protests. Ahok is among the 9 percent of Indonesians who are Christians, and among the 1 percent of Indonesians who are ethnically Chinese. He is running for re-election in February.


Brazil: Prosperity pastor named Rio mayor


Brazil’s booming Protestant population continues to make its way into the political arena. Preacher and singer Marcelo Crivella won a runoff race in November to become the mayor of Rio de Janeiro. The new mayor is the first Pentecostal pastor to hold a major executive office in Brazil, Reuters reported. Crivella ministered for decades through the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a prosperity gospel sect with a heavy emphasis on tithing that was founded by his billionaire uncle, Edir Macedo. Though Protestants make up only about a quarter of residents in heavily Catholic Rio, Crivella won his race by more than 20 percentage points.


What Wheaton learned from Hawkins hubbub


Nine months after Wheaton College and tenured professor Larycia Hawkins agreed to part ways over whether her views on Islam fit the school’s faith statement, trustees released a 15-page report reflecting ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/JQIivNHfMBA/gleanings-january-february-2017.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/november/first-christian-governor-indonesia-blasphemy-ahok-jakarta.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/october/wheaton-trustee-report-same-god-larycia-hawkins.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/january-february/gleanings-january-february-2017.html
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Christianity Without an Adjective
« Reply #420 on: January 01, 2017, 07:06:27 AM »
Christianity Without an Adjective

We shape society when we remember who we are first and foremost.


We shape society when we remember who we are first and foremost.


Historians will conduct postmortems on American Christianity’s recent relationship with politics and culture for years to come. Some Christians have felt pressured by the political right to trust the state to restore a cultural utopia that, arguably, was dystopia for many. The left pressured others to entrust the state with building a utopia that’s impossible on this side of eternity—and proven historically also to end in dystopia. Dissatisfaction with both camps has been palpable.


Large parts of American evangelicalism proved to be ineffective in navigating politics and culture in the name of conservatism or progressivism. As I mentioned in a previous column, that’s why some are now calling themselves “Christians in America” rather than “American Christians.” The labels “conservative Christians” and “progressive Christians” seem just as hollow.


A Christianity qualified by any adjective now feels restrictive. Many are turning anew to the Christ of Scripture, under whom our secondary identities are subsumed. He is not the god of ethnic nationalism or the god of the oppressed but the sovereign God of all nations, King over all.


American theologian Stanley Hauerwas anticipated this moment: “It is the politics of the kingdom that reveals the insufficiency of all politics based on coercion and falsehood, and finds the true source of power in servanthood rather than dominion.”


Many distinctions, like ethnicity and gender, are gifts from God. Yet when they become idols, they dehumanize us. No single temporal category can contain the whole of our being. Force a Christian into an ideological ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/CCnRb2BERu4/christianity-without-adjective.html
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Division Is Not Always a Scandal
« Reply #421 on: January 02, 2017, 07:17:48 AM »
Division Is Not Always a Scandal

What to think of the 45,000 denominations that rose from the Reformation.


Not every Christian is celebrating the Reformation’s anniversary this year. It’s not just Catholics who have reservations; many Protestants do as well. Our enthusiasm for the Reformation’s emphasis on Scripture as the highest and final authority does not mean we can ignore how Scripture repeatedly decries division in the church.


Paul, for example, rebuked the Corinthians, “One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor. 1:12–13). It sounds an awful lot like the eight different congregations on Main Street.


Paul noted four factions in the Corinthian church. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity counts 45,000 denominations around the world, with an average of 2.4 new ones forming every day. The center has an admittedly broad definition of denomination, but even a dramatically lower count will be absurdly high in light of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 that we all might be one. It makes some wonder about the Reformation. As one theologian lamented, “Isn’t this the movement that drove the church into the churches?” Should we wholeheartedly celebrate the Reformation when one of its main legacies seems to be so much division?


Rethinking that Memorable Story


The problem seems to have surfaced early on. No other theological matter of the Reformation has provoked more dispute than the Eucharist, and no other historical event has more reinforced the idea that Protestantism is divisive by nature than the Marburg Colloquy.


Perhaps you have heard the story: Martin Luther, the leader of the Wittenberg reformers, met with Ulrich ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/KCgWjv50_ls/division-is-not-always-scandal.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/74628.jpg?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/january-february/division-is-not-always-scandal.html
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The Pressure to be Justified
« Reply #422 on: January 03, 2017, 07:13:25 AM »
The Pressure to be Justified

Luther's law/gospel insight is as brilliant as ever—especially in 21st century America.


Playmobil, the German toy company, made unexpected headlines in 2015 when it released a limited edition Martin Luther figurine. Outside of how smiley it cast the cantankerous theologian, the toy itself wasn’t especially newsworthy. What got everyone’s attention was how quickly it flew off the shelves. Overnight little Luther became the fastest-selling item in the company’s 40-year history. While factories scrambled to catch up with demand, consumers descended on eBay in search of what they knew was the perfect gift for the pastor in their lives. At least, the ones with a sense of humor.


In retrospect, irony might have been the better word. It was not the first time Luther had been at the center of a collision between demand, expectation, and gift. Thankfully, the stakes were quite a bit lower this time around. The same cannot be said for those raised by his theology.


A few years ago, in response to a spate of suicides on its campus, the University of Pennsylvania put together a task force to explore the mental health of its students. What they found was tragic, but sadly unsurprising. “The pressures engendered by the perception that one has to be perfect in every academic, co-curricular, and social endeavor can lead to stress and in some cases distress,” the task force’s report said. “[I]n turn, [distress] can manifest as demoralization, alienation, or conditions like anxiety or depression. For some students, mental illness can lead to suicide.”


The mercilessness described here hints at a tragic escalation of a phenomenon experienced not just by college students, but by everyone today—the pressure to perform, to make something of oneself, to become acceptable, to make a ...

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Source: The Pressure to be Justified

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/january-february/pressure-to-be-justified.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/rN3GftrdmRo
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Offline Tes Johnson

Re: The Pressure to be Justified
« Reply #423 on: January 04, 2017, 03:08:46 AM »
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