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[Cfamily]Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical.
« Reply #552 on: June 15, 2017, 01:01:03 AM »

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Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical.

Why conservative theologians are defending changing certain Bible verses to include women.

Nothing gets a bunch of evangelicals going like debates over Bible translation.

The latest chatter centers around one of the newest: the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). This translation came out in March as an update to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), which Southern Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Christian Resources introduced about 15 years ago.

A recent article in The Atlantic compared the CSB’s use of inclusive language over masculine nouns for mixed-gender groups to the changes made in the 2011 New International Version (NIV) and the controversial Today’s New International Version (TNIV) before that, which Southern Baptists famously railed against.

“Such changes in Southern Baptists’ Bible translation of choice are more than a mere denominational matter,” wrote Jonathan Merritt and Garet Robinson. “The SBC is America’s largest Protestant denomination and one of its most conservative. If its leaders and members are tolerating a softer, more inclusive approach to gender, it might be a bellwether of things to come in the culture war over gender.”

Gender inclusivity is a polarizing term among American evangelicals, especially those eager to preserve the distinctions between male and female that they see taught in Scripture. Now, CSB supporters have defended the translation’s “gender accurate” revisions as a means of faithful translation, rather than a progressive agenda.

“In terms of The Atlantic piece, I would summarize it this way: It was an attempt to find a team of translators guilty of doing exactly what they set out to do as assigned and exactly within the guidelines for appropriate gender inclusivity and, more importantly, textual translation ...

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[Cfamily]10 Characteristics of Movemental Christianity
« Reply #553 on: June 16, 2017, 01:00:36 AM »
10 Characteristics of Movemental Christianity

moving from addition to reproduction

In the West, if and when we see movements of churches planting 1,000 churches in their lifetime, ?then we believe the following ten characteristics will be present. Based on our observations, movemental Christianity will have some of these characteristics.

1) Prayer

Prayer will need to be more than? a habit or a discipline. It must be a conviction that establishes its priority and is expressed in a consistent rhythm of repentance and renewed faith. Before we see movemental Christianity, where we are moving from addition to reproduction, we will have to be fervently praying and asking God to change us first.

2) Intentionality of Multiplication

We will also need to show the intention of being movemental (see the next eight elements). This involves an outward vision instead of inward, raising up others instead of increasing ourselves, and seeking the kingdom? of God and not building or protecting our personal kingdom. As of now, I believe our focus is primarily defensive and incremental, not intentional? and exponential.

3) Sacrifice

Change will not come without giving something up. No movement will happen until pressure is applied to move the church from the place of being static to a body of believers in action—from addition to reproduction. Just as the body grows muscle and changes with the tension of weights being lifted, so the church will change and grow in the midst of tension. Denominations, individual churches, and believers must pay this sacrifice.

4) Reproducibility

Movements do not occur through large things (big budgets, big plans, big teams). They occur through small units that are readily reproducible. If you want to see a movement, things need to be accessible and reproducible at every level. Accessible means ...

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Southern Baptists, Racism, and the Alt-Right: It's Time to Make This Right, Plain, and Clear


Update: #SBC17 just passed a resolution condemning the alt-right white nationalist movement. 99.9% vote, followed by standing ovation. Here’s the original article:

Last night, here in Phoenix at the Southern Baptist Convention, things got a bit unhinged.

Emma Green explains in a story in The Atlantic, A Resolution Condemning White Supremacy Causes Chaos at the Southern Baptist Convention.

And she’s right. There was some chaos, but maybe not in ways that social media always understands. And it’s chaos using Robert’s Rules of Order with polite Baptists asking why they can’t just condemn White Nationalism.

But this is an important moment and Southern Baptists need to push through the chaos and make this right, plain, and clear.

As someone who was, until recently, a SBC-related employee, and who just spoke at the Pastors Conference that preceded last night’s business meeting, I watched a lot of this unfold. And, as a current Southern Baptist, it matters to me that it ends well.

Here are three things you need to know about what’s happening in Phoenix, and some path forward to get to that right resolution.

First, there is not some alt-right wing at the SBC arguing the other side of this motion. The issues were around what the committee considered poor wording of the submitted resolution.

Now, I don’t think that’s enough of a reason, and I imagine that by this afternoon the SBC will agree. The committee had the power to reword the resolution, and should have, because Southern Baptists need to speak to this issue.

Nobody here is defending the alt-right, a mix of far-right groups with significant ties to white nationalism. The alt-right is antithetical to the Christian gospel, as I explained ...

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Three Reasons Why Evangelicals Stopped Advocating for the Environment

It's not theology, it's politics.

The recent announcement by the Trump administration that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Accord, an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions signed by President Obama and leaders from 194 other countries in 2016, has produced a flurry of reactions. The legalities of the international pact are debatable, with strong opinions on both sides, but either way there is little clear guidance or precedent for withdrawal from such an agreement by the United States. The continued support among evangelicals for President Trump has caused some to wonder why evangelicals seem to be disinterested in environmental activism.

But there is a clear case to be made for ecological stewardship within the pages of Scripture. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given the task of tending the garden (Gen. 2:15). God preserved both human and non-human creation while judging the earth through a cataclysmic flood and entered into a covenant with all living creatures not to destroy the earth again by a flood (Gen. 8–9). The Psalms bear witness that creation testifies to God’s character (e.g., Ps. 19:1–6). Paul tells us that Jesus came to reconcile “all things” to himself (Col. 1:15–20), which is a state for which creation is eagerly longing (Rom. 8:18–25). There is a biblical case for evangelical Christians to be actively engaged in environmental activism, but political polarization has put creation care among the issues that often divide the right and the left. It has not always been this way.

When the first Earth Day celebration was held in 1970 it was a bipartisan event with over 20 million Americans of various political views participating. The commemoration of this day came under a Republican ...

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[Cfamily]Turning the World Upside Down, Down Under
« Reply #556 on: June 19, 2017, 01:01:04 AM »
Turning the World Upside Down, Down Under

As Americans debate the Benedict Option, anti-Christian fervor in Australia has convinced me that we need a more disruptive strategy.

Australia is one of the most secular countries in the world. While 60 percent of the population identifies as Christian, only 15 percent are connected to a church, and probably even fewer attend a church with any regularity. Australia has more Buddhists than Baptists, and 22 percent of its people claim “no religion.”

What is more, Australia has never had a glorious Christian heritage. Except perhaps for Billy Graham’s 1959 visit, which did lead to a temporary spike in church affiliation, the country has no great tradition of revival. It helps to remember that Australia was originally founded as a British penal colony, not settled by English Puritans or French Huguenots looking for religious liberty.

Since federation in 1901, Australia has also been self-consciously secular, not wanting to import the Protestant-Catholic divide of the British Isles. The universities of Sydney and Melbourne were founded with explicit rules against teaching theology, and clergy were forbidden to hold academic positions. Australian secularism has been a key element in fashioning Australia’s unique multi-cultural and multi-faith identity.

On the other hand, Australian churches have always been very important in the education and welfare sectors, operating schools, hospitals, orphanages, and hospices with government support. Australian charities like the Salvation Army are well regarded by the public, and the federal government continues to provide partial funding to faith-based schools.

Soft Persecution

Australia, like most Western nations, has experienced intense divisions and heated debates over legalizing same-sex marriage. (Australia does not yet recognize same sex marriage.) The debates have largely pitted religious conservatives ...

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[Cfamily]The Power of Polarity
« Reply #557 on: June 20, 2017, 01:01:10 AM »
The Power of Polarity

It’s past time the ongoing divide between justice and evangelism was broken down.

The Western mind, by default, seeks resolution of tension, elimination of ambiguity, and distinction in borders. This is true in the world of music, which is mostly storytelling set to song. It is true in the world of television and film, which is mostly storytelling set to action. It is true in the world of the Sunday sermon, which is storytelling set to theology.

But what if the Western mind is wrong? What if we have superimposed a set of assumptions about storytelling that are not universally true? If that were the case, then all kinds of things would be ‘off.’

What if the song didn’t have to end in what musicians call a terminal cadence? What if the movie didn’t have to end with all the points of tension resolved? What if the Sunday sermon didn’t have to end with all the questions answered so that we could live our best life now?

Christian theology, which is mostly the telling of the story of God, is not a Western construct, but because we have thought it so and made it so, we superimpose all kinds of assumptions onto it.

There is a concept in the wild world of storytelling referred to as a ‘polarity.’ Polarities are not native to Western thinking; in fact, it kind of rubs us the wrong way when we encounter them. A polarity is the durable tension that exists between two things that are, in fact, on opposite ends of a spectrum but are not intended to be resolved.

Polarities are not either/or realities, not tensions to be resolved or problems to be fixed. Polarities are durable points of tension to be embraced and lived into. Simple examples of polarities include the need for large and small forms of spiritual expression and interaction, and the personal needs of individuals and the ...

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[Cfamily]How Discipleship Is Transforming Nairobi, One Woman at a Time
« Reply #558 on: June 21, 2017, 01:00:59 AM »
How Discipleship Is Transforming Nairobi, One Woman at a Time

Women in urban East Africa face challenges that are both unique and universal.

This week wraps up our #AmplifyWomen series. As an organization that represents the global church, Christianity Today is committed to platforming voices from around the world. In that spirit, our final essay takes readers inside women’s discipleship in Nairobi, Kenya.

This last Christmas, I almost didn’t notice the young woman sitting at the reception desk at work. She hid behind her sunny smile and didn’t share anything about her family or holiday plans. During a brief chat, I was surprised to learn that she had no one in the city to celebrate the holiday with and no one to visit outside the city. In two generations of her family, relationships were broken between people, God, and their home communities. At 24, she was an orphan with no shalom, no wellbeing, and no abundance. Her job only brought in enough for subsistence—rent for a shared room with another orphaned young woman who was also struggling to survive.

As I listened to her story, I felt prompted to ask her to join our family for the holidays. She jumped up with an enthusiastic Yes! and with joy, I opened my heart and home to her. Within a few days, she was joking and laughing, playing in our family’s Friday game night challenge, connecting with others on WhatsApp, and generally acting young and carefree. She radiated the image of God—an image that had been obscured by years of pain.

Sadly, this young lady is not alone. She is an example of a larger challenge faced by many women in Africa who don’t have access to so-called “experiential discipleship.” According to Randy White in Encounter God in the City, experiential discipleship involves a cycle of scriptural study, action, reflection, and whole-life application. ...

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[Cfamily]How to Nominate a Book for the 2018 Christianity Today Book Awards
« Reply #559 on: June 22, 2017, 01:00:55 AM »
How to Nominate a Book for the 2018 Christianity Today Book Awards

Instructions for publishers.

Each year, Christianity Today honors outstanding books of special interest to the Christian community. In the January/February 2018 issue, CT will feature the best books published between November 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017, divided into categories according to subject and genre. We will also announce the winner of our "Beautiful Orthodoxy" Book of the Year. Here are the 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. CT’s “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year***

*Children & Youth is a new category this year. The category includes books geared toward younger children, middle grades, and young adults (with the exception of curriculum materials).

**Learn more about CT Women at

***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 Mark Galli, in this essay and this interview. The winner of CT's Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year will be featured prominently in the January/February 2018 issue.

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 $15 for either Her.meneutics or Beautiful Orthodoxy, or $30 for both.

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Source: How to Nominate a Book for the 2018 Christianity Today Book Awards

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