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The BGC Gospel Life Podcast (Ep. 22)
« Reply #592 on: July 23, 2017, 01:00:09 AM »

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The BGC Gospel Life Podcast (Ep. 22)

Start each week with this encouragement to show and share the love of Jesus.


Episode Twenty-Two | Are You Prepared for a Gospel Conversation?


Laurie Nichols, Director of Communications at the Billy Graham Center, shares about a recent gospel conversation and what she learned about the importance of being prepared. Without the armor of God’s word in our hearts and minds, we likely don’t have the full toolkit necessary for when the hard questions arise in a conversation. This week, prepare yourself for evangelism opportunities by immersing yourself in God’s word.


Episode Twenty-One | What Does Research Say about Our Prayers and Our Actions?


Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, discusses the correlation between prayer and action. Research has shown that many people pray that they would see others come to faith, but fewer are actually mobilized to put their prayers into action in seeing lives changed for Christ. Will your actions match your prayers? Our prayer is that this week they will.


Episodes 11-20


Episodes 1-10


Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/oVXX7Ux1pPI/bgc-gospel-life-podcast-ep-22.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/77848.jpg?w=460
http://www.gospel-life.net/are-your-prepared-for-a-gospel-conversation-gospel-life-series-podcast/
http://www.gospel-life.net/what-does-research-say-about-our-prayer-our-actions-gospel-life-podcast-series/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/july/bgc-gospel-life-podcast-ep-21.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/may/bgce-gospel-life-podcast-ep-.html
https://twitter.com/edstetzer
http://www.wheaton.edu/
http://www.wheaton.edu/bgce
https://edstetzer.com/mission-group/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/july/bgc-gospel-life-podcast-ep-22.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=oVXX7Ux1pPI:tczEtsHdI_E:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=oVXX7Ux1pPI:tczEtsHdI_E:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/oVXX7Ux1pPI
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Jehovah's Witnesses Remain Banned as Russia Rejects Appeal
« Reply #593 on: July 24, 2017, 01:00:52 AM »
Jehovah's Witnesses Remain Banned as Russia Rejects Appeal

And most Russians are okay with it.


The last-ditch efforts by Jehovah’s Witnesses to appeal Russia’s ban against their faith have failed in the country’s Supreme Court.


With all three judges siding on Monday with Russia’s Ministry of Justice, the April 20 ruling to liquidate the Witnesses’ centers and criminalize their worship stands—despite desperate pleas from members of the faith and religious freedom advocates.


“The Supreme Court’s decision sadly reflects the government’s continued equating of peaceful religious freedom practice to extremism,” said Daniel Mark, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which called out Russia’s violations earlier this year. “The Witnesses are not an extremist group, and should be able to practice their faith openly and freely and without government repression.”


In Russia, where the Russian Orthodox Church remains the dominant religious affiliation, support is high (79%) for the government’s ban designating Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist group, according to a survey conducted by the Levada Center last month.


Almost half of Russians view Witnesses as a “Christian sect,” while small minorities think of it as a Protestant offshoot (5%) or a variant on ordinary Christianity (2%).


Russian Protestants, though also a minority, view Jehovah’s Witnesses as having their own theology and methodology. While Witnesses stand out with their distinct materials and eager proselytism, evangelicals have enjoyed a better reputation with the Russian government in many cases, as CT has previously reported.


Still, all religious groups attempting to share their faith and gain converts must adhere to the new ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/R3TjFJMKkfA/jehovahs-witnesses-stay-banned-russia-supreme-court-appeal.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/77853.jpg?w=460
http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/170717b.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/april/russia-bans-jehovahs-witnesses.html
http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2297
http://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases/russia-jehovah-s-witnesses-banned-after-supreme-court-rejects-appeals
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/april/uscirf-ranks-russia-worst-violators-religious-freedom-cpc.html
http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/170713b.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/july/jehovahs-witnesses-stay-banned-russia-supreme-court-appeal.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=R3TjFJMKkfA:-bMS_j2ljwQ:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=R3TjFJMKkfA:-bMS_j2ljwQ:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/R3TjFJMKkfA
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A Kairos Moment for Small Town America
« Reply #594 on: July 25, 2017, 01:00:10 AM »
A Kairos Moment for Small Town America

Over 30 million people still live in rural areas.


When is time more than just seconds and minutes stuck end-to-end? If you’ve been around the Church for a while, you probably know the answer. As the Greeks and the authors of the Greek New Testament knew, there is time (chronos), and then there is time (kairos). The first gives us our English word chronology and basically describes the time we chart with clocks and calendars. Kairos time, on the other hand, carries the implication of time “especially fit for something.”


When it comes to rural ministry and small town church planting, we are living in a kairos moment that we in the Vineyard—and we as Christians in America—too often neglect at our own peril.


Regardless of what one thinks about our last presidential election cycle, virtually everyone admits that it illuminates a deeply polarized society. Geography stood as one of the most notable indicators of this divide. In the gear up for election day, it became increasingly obvious that rural and small town folks were residents of what Tish Harrison Warren had the courage to describe, in an August 2016 Christianity Today article, as “The America I Forgot.” Indeed, as commentators across the country demonstrated by their extreme confusion on election night, it was an America many people, from journalists to pollsters, seemed to have forgotten.


Trump’s victory further catalyzed a growing fascination among America’s urban elite (and not-so-elite) with an entire segment of America that they had never taken very seriously. Books like Robert Putnam’s Our Kids (2015) and J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy (2016) became essential tour guides to a culture just as foreign to many Americans as another country. ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/gSm6TLz8XLg/kairos-moment-for-small-town-america.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/77852.png?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/september/i-overlooked-rural-poor-then-trump-came-along.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/july/kairos-moment-for-small-town-america.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=gSm6TLz8XLg:cRLodq0a2zQ:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=gSm6TLz8XLg:cRLodq0a2zQ:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/gSm6TLz8XLg
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'To the Bone' Is Big on Anorexia and Lean on Healing
« Reply #595 on: July 26, 2017, 01:00:53 AM »
'To the Bone' Is Big on Anorexia and Lean on Healing

The new Netflix film seems more aspirational than instructional.


Here’s how you know when a movie is possibly a cliche: You ask your mom if she wants to watch it with you. She asks what it’s about. You say, “It’s a movie about anorexia.” She says, “Yes! I love those!” Then she says, “Wait—that sounded terrible.” You agree, but both of you laugh, because the pleasure these stories afford is complicated: Is it morbid fascination? Comforting reassurance of one’s basic wellness in the face of another’s extreme sickness? Cautionary tale? Or—in a twisted sense—instructional and aspirational?


That’s the essence of the controversy sparked by the portrayal of anorexia in To The Bone, which premiered at Sundance in January and recently released on Netflix. Both the writer/director and the actress in the starring role—Marti Noxon and Lily Collins respectively—have openly discussed their histories with anorexia, and the story is loosely based on Noxon’s personal experience with the eating disorder. Although the Los Angeles Times suggests that it’s a “relatively underdramatized subject,” anorexia dramas and documentaries abound, and To The Bone fits comfortably into the genre. Ellen’s clandestine, obsessive sit-ups in bed recall a scene in the 1981 TV film The Best Little Girl in the World, which I watched in high school health class and which probably inspired more than a few American teenagers (like me) to dabble in disordered eating.


One of the deadliest of all mental illnesses, anorexia affects 0.9 percent of Americans. More generally, disordered eating and body image challenges impact a huge portion of the population. Nearly three quarters of women ages 25–45 ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/pTNUZt2JFy4/to-bone-big-anorexia-lean-on-healing.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/77856.jpg?w=460
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-to-the-bone-review-20170713-story.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/july/to-bone-big-anorexia-lean-on-healing.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=pTNUZt2JFy4:Xi7U1avToSk:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=pTNUZt2JFy4:Xi7U1avToSk:V_sGLiPBpWU
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=pTNUZt2JFy4:Xi7U1avToSk:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=pTNUZt2JFy4:Xi7U1avToSk:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=pTNUZt2JFy4:Xi7U1avToSk:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=pTNUZt2JFy4:Xi7U1avToSk:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/pTNUZt2JFy4
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One-on-One with Clayton King about Overcoming the Lies Christians Face
« Reply #596 on: July 27, 2017, 01:00:11 AM »
One-on-One with Clayton King about Overcoming the Lies Christians Face

God loves us and is not trying to get even with us.


Ed: First of all, what are the lies that hold us down that need to be replaced that you talk about in your latest book?


Clayton: My attempt in this book was to identify the ten most common lies that people predominantly believe. Sometimes we hear these voices. I use the illustration of the old cartoon character with the demon on one shoulder and the angel on the other, whispering into each ear. And although I don't believe it is as simplistic as that illustration, I think people oftentimes feel that way. So the lies that we tend to believe can vary from day to day, and from moment to moment.


One example is that God is mad at us. So if something bad happens in our lives, or things don't work out, the assumption based on that lie is that God is punishing us. Another lie is that we will always be alone and unloved. This seems to be a prevalent lie especially in youth culture. This is one that I struggled with after I lost my parents since I was adopted. I identified this as a personal lie that tended and still does tend to attack my mind. Another lie is that money will solve all our problems.


Ed: One of the things you talk about in the book is that there are truths that respond to those lies. Give an example of this.


Clayton: Let me use the example that God is mad at us. This is a lie that we do tend to believe. The truth that replaces that lie is from scripture, where we see that God is not angry with us. God loves us and is not trying to get even with us. And we go straight to scripture. John 3:16 is the one that so many evangelicals know, God loves the world so much that He gave His only son. But then John 3:17, which was actually the words of Jesus, tells us that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/Z1mKbVYQqVA/one-on-one-with-clayton-king-about-overcoming-lies-christia.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/77916.png?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/july/one-on-one-with-clayton-king-about-overcoming-lies-christia.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=Z1mKbVYQqVA:yzWSrtIfd_s:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/Z1mKbVYQqVA
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'A Ghost Story' Is a Haunting Ode to the Privilege of Witness
« Reply #597 on: July 28, 2017, 01:00:56 AM »
'A Ghost Story' Is a Haunting Ode to the Privilege of Witness

David Lowery's superb supernatural drama offers a God's-eye perspective on the intimate and the infinite.


Surfaces turn, find their places. In time,

The rhythm could not be simpler.


—David Wright, "Altar Piece"


The desire to leave a record of ourselves is among the most reliable of human impulses. From cave paintings to monuments to grave markers, we want to make sure that people will remember us, that some part of ourselves will remain for future generations to observe. In the digital age, this impulse manifests itself in petabytes upon petabytes of internet text, photos, and videos, all secreted away within hard drives or invisibly navigating the Wi-Fi-saturated air. We document personal events for the benefit of presumed audiences—friends, descendants, even a future version of ourselves. Accumulate enough such recordings, and the shape of a life begins to reveal itself.


Of the many reasons to treasure David Lowery’s new film A Ghost Story, one of the biggest is the way it outlines the shape not just of one human life, but of human life in general. With its round-cornered, boxy aspect ratio—familiar to anyone who’s ever used a slide projector or watched a home video on Super 8 film—A Ghost Story offers us a cosmic home video of sorts. The lives of one married couple fold into the lives of the people who come after them, which then fold into the eternal, which in turn encompasses and contextualizes the lives of the husband and wife we started with.


This may sound like the concept for an abstruse philosophical epic, but the miracle of Lowery’s film lies in how it teases out these connections through the simple act of observation. Under the patient gaze of Lowery’s camera, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and vice versa. The cosmic and the commonplace are woven into a ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/V2Hn3Usaes0/ghost-story-is-haunting-ode-to-privilege-of-witness.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/77921.jpg?w=460
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/july-web-only/ghost-story-is-haunting-ode-to-privilege-of-witness.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=V2Hn3Usaes0:74h2sgcc5B4:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=V2Hn3Usaes0:74h2sgcc5B4:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=V2Hn3Usaes0:74h2sgcc5B4:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/V2Hn3Usaes0
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Died: Haddon Robinson, Champion of Biblical Preaching
« Reply #598 on: July 29, 2017, 01:00:53 AM »
Died: Haddon Robinson, Champion of Biblical Preaching

The seminarian who taught and inspired decades of expositors ‘goes home to God.’


Haddon Robinson, the respected author and seminary president who set the standard for expositional preaching, died Saturday. He was 86.


Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where Robinson served as an interim president and professor of preaching, broke the news of his passing and posted a tribute this weekend. Robinson also taught at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and was president of Denver Seminary.


In his books, classes, and radio instruction, Robinson taught that sermons should be guided by the biblical text and focus on one idea or theme.


Christianity Today featured Robinson—formerly the senior editor of a fellow CT site, PreachingToday.com—in a 2002 article on the neglected craft of expository preaching:



 

Robinson has been teaching students about expository preaching for decades. His classic (and recently updated) tome Biblical Preaching, which is used in more than 150 seminaries and Bible colleges, has become the go-to text for aspiring expositors.


 

“The number of preachers who really begin with the text and let it govern the sermon is relatively small,” laments Robinson. “Today, the danger is that some preachers will read the latest psychology book into the text. They're not driven by a great theology but, instead, by the social sciences.”



In addition to Biblical Preaching, Robinson wrote more than a dozen books on the topic and regularly taught through radio ministries Discover the Word and Our Daily Bread. He warned preachers about veering into heresy with biblical application; distracting the congregation with sermon illustrations; or ostracizing parts of the audience with tone.


Among many striking quotes about preaching, Robinson had said, “There are no great preachers, ...

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Source: Died: Haddon Robinson, Champion of Biblical Preaching

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Caste Aside: India’s New President Has ‘No Room for Christians’
« Reply #599 on: July 30, 2017, 01:00:54 AM »
Caste Aside: India’s New President Has ‘No Room for Christians’

Church leaders believe Hindu nationalism will outweigh the Dalit leader’s lower-caste loyalties.


Ram Nath Kovind, India’s new president who took office today, represents an unusual case of a little-known politician from the country’s lowest caste, the Dalits, rising to power.


However, as others champion his victory, India’s Christian minority—the majority of whom are Dalits themselves—know that a Hindu nationalist politician from the Dalit caste is still a Hindu nationalist politician.


Like the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that nominated him, Kovind represents a continued threat to non-Hindus in India, including its estimated 25 million to 60 million Christians. (As CT has noted, that’s a tiny minority amid 1 billion Hindus, but still sizable enough to rank among the 25 countries with the most Christians, surpassing “Christian countries” such as Uganda and Greece.)


If Indian officials were to move forward with anti-conversion legislation or other policies directed at Christians, “he would be a good rubber stamp for the government,” said Sandeep Kumar, a church planter and principal of Mission India Bible College, in an interview with CT. “There is no room for Christians in his understanding.”


Since 2014, India has been led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a BJP leader notorious among Christians for permitting religious freedom violations to spread unchecked. Meanwhile, the position of president is mostly ceremonial and selected by lawmakers.


Kovind’s election this month indicates that the BJP is gaining support among Dalits (once called “untouchables”) with its polarizing vision of India as a nation whose religion, language, and culture is solely Hindu, an ideology known as Hindutva that originated among the higher castes.


When ...

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Source: Caste Aside: India’s New President Has ‘No Room for Christians’

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