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Connecting to a Post-Christendom World: A Word to Leaders
« Reply #464 on: February 11, 2017, 07:06:28 PM »

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Connecting to a Post-Christendom World: A Word to Leaders

Jesus calls us to care for the hurting and marginalized in our communities.


As Christians seek to live out lives of hope and light, we are confronted with people who see our beliefs as increasingly irrelevant. And as much as some of us put our hope in government, institutions, etc., to change our culture, it won’t. The Christian faith cannot be forced. It is up to the Church to do what only the Church can do—point people to Jesus.


We live in a post-Christendom age. In other words, and among other things, Christianity is not the presumed right path in the day in which we live. That means we are at a different place and that’s always a good time to consider how we might connect with people in culture.


The truth is, if Christians are going to make a connection with those outside the Christian faith, it’s going to begin with shared values and move from there. Much of the world treats Christianity as if it were an archaic toy they’ve left behind as they mature. It is shunted off into the attic of their lives. In order to change this belief, we must start with open hands.


As I engage with people, I find many are confused as to why we follow a Jesus who served the hurting and healed the sick, while we ourselves don’t seem to be following suit. It seems that the world expects a certain level of value/care to be evident among Christians that does not naturally emanate from the world.


What I am talking about here is caring—actually caring—for those hurting and marginalized in our society. And we do it because Jesus did it. We do it because Jesus continues to call us to this kind of sacrificial and open love. I firmly believe that only when we care for those the world deems not worth spending time on that we can fully emulate Christ. And once we begin to truly care ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/w0dEza1ZAtU/connecting-to-post-christian-world-word-to-leaders.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75438.png?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/february/connecting-to-post-christian-world-word-to-leaders.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=w0dEza1ZAtU:ogX22dopTZI:yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/w0dEza1ZAtU
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Southern Baptists Back Away from Backing Mosques
« Reply #465 on: February 12, 2017, 07:07:03 PM »
Southern Baptists Back Away from Backing Mosques

Trustee scuffle over ‘unholy alliance’ leads IMB to leave ERLC’s side on religious freedom fights.


The trouble started last May, when several arms of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) reached out a legal hand to a Muslim community in New Jersey, publicly supporting their right to build a mosque.


The International Mission Board (IMB) and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) were 2 of 18 religious groups that filed an amicus brief decrying the Township of Bernards’ zoning board decision that required the proposed mosque to have more parking spaces than Christian or Jewish places of worship.


The town’s reasoning: since Muslim services are held on Fridays, people would be coming after work instead of together as families, and therefore more spots would be needed. But when the Muslim community offered to split the services, or use ride-sharing or overflow arrangements, the board still denied their application.


The amicus brief, which was also signed by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, argued that “such unequal treatment of the mosque in this case represents a potential threat to the free exercise rights of each of the amici represented here and is a affront to our nation’s commitment to religious liberty for all.”


On New Year’s Eve, a judge agreed.


Less than a month later, IMB trustee and Tennessee megachurch pastor Dean Haun resigned with a year left on his term.


“I love our IMB leadership and our missionaries and their work across the globe. I am not a rabble rouser and my heart is not to take down the IMB,” Haun told the Baptist and Reflector, the newspaper of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and one of the SBC’s oldest state papers.


“[But] if we defend the rights of people to construct places of false worship, ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/IHjg89akWew/southern-baptists-back-away-from-backing-mosques-imb-erlc.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75493.jpg?w=460
http://www.becketfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/3-ISBR-Proposed-Amicus-Brief-AS-FILED.pdf
http://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/3:2016cv01369/330708/93/0.pdf?ts=1483265811
http://baptistandreflector.org/tennessee-pastor-resigns-as-imb-trustee/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/february/southern-baptists-back-away-from-backing-mosques-imb-erlc.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/IHjg89akWew
http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

CFamily

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Christians at Sundance
« Reply #466 on: February 13, 2017, 07:01:15 PM »
Christians at Sundance

Artist reports from 2017 Sundance Film Festival


This past Sundance Film Festival, I enjoyed reuniting with the Windrider Forum. Between the note-taking and the water bottle filling, I saw communal lament, sincere prayer, and verbal commitments to fight for the rights of the oppressed.


The Windrider Forum donned its twelfth year at the Sundance Film Festival. The voices of keen minds and incandescent hearts thundered through the hall. You could almost feel the electricity buzzing through your limbs. These people just love the craft—cinema.


Of all the arts, cinema is the most widely accessed. The narratives that we consume transform our own lives. They nourish us with modern myths, giving insight into the past, patience for the present, and visions for the future. Yes, films entertain, but they are much more than mere entertainment. Film is not just an avenue to communicate a message, a monologue of one-way statements. Good films are always a dialogue.


Stories that call out our experiences transfix us.


They ask us questions that force us to respond. The dialogue of film weaves through our everyday lives.


The Windrider Forum exists “to create live and virtual community spaces across the globe that allow people to thoughtfully explore the centrality of story in how we make and understand meaning in the world.” A variety of screen fans gathered at this four-day program—from filmmakers to seminary students, writers to engineers. Windrider is now the largest ticket purchasing group at Sundance.


Alongside attending those whimsical and provocative Sundance-style films, the Windrider chums explored spiritual themes through and in the art of film.


This year, Windrider put up a panel discussion on Silence, which included visual artist Mako Fujimori and Professor ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/ZKVayMYcWcU/christians-at-sundance.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75440.png?w=460
http://www.sundance.org/now
http://www.windriderforum.info/forum/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/february/christians-at-sundance.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=ZKVayMYcWcU:EunBbyYlL6I:yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/ZKVayMYcWcU
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Theology for Life (Ep. 10): Protestant Denominations - Similarities and Differences

Dr. Vincent Bacote is Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.


What’s going on with the different denominations—with Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and the like? We begin by going back to the Reformation; as time goes on, divergences around various issues occurred (issues like baptism, conversion, the Bible, our response to God, holiness, predestination, the law, and sanctification).


What came out of the Azusa Revival and what denominations came out of that? What makes these denominations different from other denominations?


What’s the difference between the Charismatic Movement and the Pentecostal denominations?


Ed, Vince, and Lynn trace the changes and growth of churches that have emerged in the past 20-30 years. With many being so different, however, how are the older and newer groups also similar? What unites them?


How do we think of fellow Evangelicals who are part of differing denominations? A first step might be to reckon with our commonalities, remembering that we hold to the foundational beliefs of the cross, salvation, and the importance of scripture. According to Bacote, we ought to hold to a “generous conservative ecumenism.” Romans 14 seems to allow people to hold on to certain practices while also serving the Lord in complete fullness.


What does it look like to work out our commitment to an Evangelical conservative ecumenism?


When we seek to understand politics, do our denominational beliefs impact the way we see what’s around us and how we interact with our world and culture?


As a scholar of Abraham Kuyper, Bacote also gives a short background of Kuyper and his influence on culture and the Church, as well as his view of God in the world.


Bacote concludes with some advice for Christians today seeking to live out their faith in ...

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Source: Theology for Life (Ep. 10): Protestant Denominations - Similarities and Differences

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/SJRn26SltTg/theology-for-life-ep-10-protestant-denominations-similariti.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75458.png?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/february/theology-for-life-ep-10-protestant-denominations-similariti.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/SJRn26SltTg
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How to Welcome New Neighbors and Invite Them to Church at the Same Time
« Reply #468 on: February 15, 2017, 07:13:53 PM »
How to Welcome New Neighbors and Invite Them to Church at the Same Time

Invite new neighbors to church!


So, when I moved to Wheaton, I loved how my neighbors reached out and welcomed me.


They created a four-page (four page!) long list of things, including...


In Our Humble Opinion


Welcome to Wheaton, Stetzers!


I know you are going to find it to be a wonderful community to live in BUT it can be a little daunting at first. I moved into the brick house across the street from you when I was 12. Now we have lived in the cream house next door to that house for 23 years. I guess we like it here...


Thought I would share some tips from the 40+ years I have lived in Wheaton. Thus titled – In Our Humble Opinion.



     
  • Best Pizza for Deep Dish – Lou Malnati’s in Carol Stream – in a strip mall that faces Geneva Road to the west of Main Street (*at Geneva Road, Main Street Wheaton turns into Schmale Road) (Gino’s is walk to downtown Wheaton and so a good option but not my fav)

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  • Best Pizza to Share – Bricks on Front Street in downtown Wheaton (near Starbucks)

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  • Best Pizza Delivery – Papa Johns on President in Wheaton. Nothing fancy just good in a pinch.

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  • Best Starbucks – Corner of Geneva Road and Main Street because it is a Drive Thru. Downtown Starbucks is TINY and always crowded...

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  • Best Breakfast – I don’t even need to say because you will have your own opinion within a week. Everything social revolves around breakfast in Wheaton! The two rivals are Egg’lectic (corner of Hale & Wesley, as in really close!) and Egg Harbor (across the tracks on Hale) Moral of the story is PAY ATTENTION when you make breakfast plans or you can be waiting at the wrong location. There is also an Egglectic in Danada just to make it really confusing.

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  • Best Chocolate – Grahams is amazing. Pricey but worth it. This is on Front Street between Hale and Main. A great go to gift. All handmade in either in Geneva (*cute town 25 minutes west down Roosevelt) or Wheaton. “CPR” is caramel chocolate covered pretzel rod. My kid’s favorite. Stop in just to smell the goodness.

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Source: How to Welcome New Neighbors and Invite Them to Church at the Same Time

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/AWNn6AGsC6s/welcome-to-wheaton.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75454.png?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/february/welcome-to-wheaton.html
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Making Music and Babies: Christian Singers Open Up About Motherhood
« Reply #469 on: February 16, 2017, 07:19:49 PM »
Making Music and Babies: Christian Singers Open Up About Motherhood

For artists like Kari Jobe and Audrey Assad, family comes first, but that doesn’t mean their careers go away.


What happens when you’re in the middle of living the dream… and another dream comes along?


Jaci Velasquez had spent over half her life recording and performing Christian music by the time she gave birth to her first son a decade ago. “I remember thinking to myself, How can I ever go back? How can I ever make music again?” said Velasquez, whose No. 1 singles include “On My Knees” and “Llegar A Ti.”


Many popular female artists spend their 20s focused on their careers in ministry, releasing albums, going on tour, and picking up Dove Awards and Grammy nominations. But around 30, these Christian singers confront the dilemma that women across industries face: deciding when to start a family and figuring out what their jobs look like after motherhood.


Amid her uncertainty, Velasquez—now a mother of two, releasing her first album in five years—remembered that “being faithful to God is being faithful to all the things God has placed in your life, that being my husband, my children, and my ministry.”


Faith offers Christian artists a sense of assurance in the messy realm of balancing motherhood. For them, being a musician or a mother isn’t merely their choice but a calling affirmed by prayer and counsel. Still, that God-given confidence doesn’t eliminate the practical struggles of raising a family while writing, recording, and touring.


“While I was pregnant, I remember thinking to myself, ‘Babies are so portable! It'll be a breeze in the first few months! He'll just absorb into my life!,’” said Audrey Assad, a Catholic singer and pianist, who gave birth to a son in 2014. “I couldn't have been more wrong about our ...

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Source: Making Music and Babies: Christian Singers Open Up About Motherhood

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/TiN_d6uUIIw/how-christian-artists-find-harmony-between-music-and-mother.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75519.jpg?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/february/how-christian-artists-find-harmony-between-music-and-mother.html
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There’s No Crying on Social Media!
« Reply #470 on: February 17, 2017, 07:09:41 PM »
There’s No Crying on Social Media!

Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.


A cursory search of academic dissertations reveals a new interest in the origins of insults and curse words. For instance, I learned recently that the insult “phony”—as in “She acted like she was into EDM [electronic dance music], but then we found out she was a phony”—entered our lexicon with the arrival of the telephone. People started phoning other people randomly, pretending to be someone they weren’t. These were the original “phonies.”


New technologies always give rise to new cultural anxieties. As John M. Culkin said in summary of Marshall McLuhan’s work, “We shape our tools and, thereafter, our tools shape us.” If the modern news media had existed in the early 20th century, TV anchors would have breathlessly warned parents about the threat of phonies coming after their children. Websites would have compiled listicles with “eight signs your son is a phony.” And journalists would have dialed up leading psychologists to ask for tips on talking to college students about phony-ism.


Nowadays, it’s social media that has us worried, as stories of cyberbullying and “sexting” surface with alarming frequency. Parents, educators, church leaders, and even young people themselves want to know what Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—not to mention the smartphones that make them omnipresent—are doing to us. We all have feelings and theories on the ill effects of social media, but these are only anecdotal. Surprisingly little direct study has been attempted.


Onto this turf steps sociologist Donna Freitas with her book The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost (Oxford University ...

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How Christian Artists Blow the Whistle on Cultural Pollution
« Reply #471 on: February 18, 2017, 07:03:40 PM »
How Christian Artists Blow the Whistle on Cultural Pollution

An excerpt from ‘Culture Care.’


In the early 1960s, Fred Danback came home from the Korean War to work at Anaconda Wire and Cable, a copper wire factory on the Hudson River, north of Manhattan. It was a booming enterprise. But he became troubled by what he saw.


In a PBS interview with Bill Moyers, Danback said, “[Anaconda] and other businesses were hurting a second business, the shad fishermen. I didn’t think they had the right to do that. I became obsessed with fighting pollution.”


But each time Danback complained, it seemed, he got demoted. He ended up as a custodian. But Danback never gave up. He literally pushed his broom into every room. He also took copious notes and made maps of the company. What was intended as punishment ended up as the best possible opportunity. He had all the keys!


Danback and a few other pioneers of the environmental movement decided to sue Anaconda under an archaic law called the Refuse Act of 1899. In 1972, when the US Attorney’s Office found a way to prosecute Anaconda, they used Danback’s maps and notes as evidence.


I draw three lessons for culture care from this story. First, it requires sacrifice. In the current art world in which ego, selfishness, and self-destructiveness abound, we will stand out, eventually, if we have an ounce of human decency and generosity. What if we [were] willing to serve someone rather than do art for self-expression? What if we collaborated in humility and gave ourselves in service, not expecting the world, or our audience, to agree with us or applaud us?


Second, culture care requires remembering our first love. As Danback said, “I love that river. It’s a beautiful river. . . . It belongs to everybody. Who’s got a right to mess it up?” Do we ...

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