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[Cfamily]What Ravi Zacharias Said at Nabeel Qureshi’s Funeral
« Reply #664 on: September 27, 2017, 01:00:54 AM »

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What Ravi Zacharias Said at Nabeel Qureshi’s Funeral

Eulogy at Houston memorial service honors “abnormally born” 34-year-old apologist.

At his memorial service Thursday, Nabeel Qureshi was remembered for his unusual passion for Christ and the significant evangelistic impact he made before he died last Saturday at 34.

Hundreds gathered at Houston’s First Baptist Church and thousands more online to honor Qureshi, whose life and ministry was cut short by aggressive stomach cancer.

The young speaker and author was eulogized by his mentor, Ravi Zacharias, who compared him to the apostle Paul as well as to other noteworthy Christians who died young. (Zacharias also wrote a tribute to his young protégé.)

“He was a man of incredible, undying energy, and it was a privilege to cover the globe with Nabeel Qureshi,” said Zacharias, who recalled stories from their final ministry trip together—to Malaysia—earlier this spring. He said he had recently heard from an employee at the hotel in Kuala Lumpur who remembered Qureshi and had begun to watch his messages after meeting him a single time.

When Qureshi would preach from a favorite text, 1 Corinthians 15 (where Jesus appears to Paul, one “abnormally born”), Zacharias said he’d think, “You’re just like that, Nabeel. You’re a very abnormal person.”

The global evangelist shared with the crowd the unusual distinctives of Qureshi’s deep understanding of sin; Qureshi’s devotion to his family, who were heartbroken when he left Islam to claim Christ; and his confidence in his evangelism.

Zacharias addressed Qureshi’s parents, who are Pakistani Americans and Ahmadi Muslims, greeting them in their native tongue. Their only son had converted to Christianity while in medical school.

“His biggest heartache was the pain the family ...

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[Cfamily]Iraqi Christians at Odds with World on Kurdish Independence Referendum
« Reply #665 on: September 28, 2017, 01:00:54 AM »
Iraqi Christians at Odds with World on Kurdish Independence Referendum

Kurds and Christians both want security and autonomy as minorities in Iraq. But one’s dream could dash the other’s.

Despite intense opposition, a referendum that could lead to the establishment of an independent Kurdish nation appears set for Monday, September 25.

Upwards of 35 million Kurds—a majority-Muslim community and the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, spread across Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria—are on the verge of setting their century-old dream of a homeland on the path to reality.

Victimized by the Ottomans during the Armenian (and Kurdish) genocide of the 1910s and regularly persecuted since, the Kurds have long been a marginalized population. Ironically, the recent upheaval in the Middle East has presented them with an opportunity. Many are moving to take advantage of regional mayhem and political malfeasance, filling a void of security and governance with self-determination.

The idea of a free Kurdistan isn’t popular among non-Kurds. Turkey has openly fought with its Kurdish population in a decades-long conflict that has killed between 30,000 and 40,000 since 1984; the Syrian regime readily repressed Kurdish rights; and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq murdered tens of thousands of Kurds in the country’s north.

But as war has ravaged Syria and Iraq, and as ISIS swept from Raqqa to Mosul and nearly to Baghdad, the Kurds are not throwing away their shot.

Kurds in Syria have declared autonomous enclaves collectively called Rojava. In neighboring Iraq, where Kurds have claimed a level of autonomy since 1970, the recent turmoil has given Iraqi Kurdistan new territory and greater autonomy. It has also given Iraqi Kurds momentum to finally push the long-desired referendum.

Christians in the Middle East share a bond with the Kurds, both being minorities. That doesn’t mean they’re always political ...

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[Cfamily]Kaepernick, Speech, and a Job: The Cleat May Soon be on the Other Foot
« Reply #666 on: September 29, 2017, 01:00:54 AM »
Kaepernick, Speech, and a Job: The Cleat May Soon be on the Other Foot

Free speech is important, but is it always helpful, and how does it relate to employment?

Free speech can be quite controversial.

But this shouldn’t be surprising. If we all agreed on everything, we wouldn’t need the First Amendment. Unpopular speech is why we have the First Amendment. And, let me be clear, Colin Kaepernick was exercising his First Amendment right when he kneeled during the national anthem.

Yesterday, President Trump exercised his right to speak out when he called on NFL owners to release players who took a knee during the anthem. And when the president called on fans to boycott NFL football, that was still about citizens exercising a right.

So, none of these things are illegal. But the question is, Are they helpful?

To be honest, I don’t know much about football. Google only recently told me that Kaepernick is a quarterback. He has been protesting what he sees as racial injustice in America by kneeling during the national anthem.

Protests and Patriotism

Now, let me say, I’m not a big fan of “totalizing” protests—the national anthem is a symbol of many things and so much of that is good. Furthermore, the flag and the anthem represent the sacrifice of many who have fought and died for freedoms, including the freedom of speech we are discussing today. As such, I do find such protests disrespectful.

However, I do not have to be a fan of the protest to reflect on the president's comments and how Christians might react. So here are a few ways we might respond to what is now a national conversation surrounding Kaepernick and President Trump.

How Might We Respond?

First, the response of many African Americans (including fellow Christians) should give us pause to reflect on their response.

Sure, I get it. Like me, many of you are offended by people who dishonor the ...

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[Cfamily]There’s No Dishonor in Kneeling: A Response on Colin Kaepernick
« Reply #667 on: September 30, 2017, 01:00:54 AM »
There’s No Dishonor in Kneeling: A Response on Colin Kaepernick

Charlie Dates responds to Ed Stetzer's article on Kaepernick’s protest

Let me rush to acknowledge that the growing racial tensions in America need not create further racial division in the Church of Jesus Christ. I submit these words to you not to intensify an already hostile culture, but to say that the Church must not be silent while bigotry holds the mic in America.

Ed made it clear that he thinks Colin Kaepernick’s approach is unhelpful. I admire, love, and appreciate Ed. He is a delightful and genuine Christian man. And still, I respectfully disagree with Ed.

Kaepernick and the others have done the right thing.

By quickly disagreeing with Kaep’s method, we divert attention away from the issue itself and magnify the protest. Kaep’s method is what gives voice to the message. Let’s not dismiss the protest because some don’t agree with it, but rather let us ask the pertinent question, “What would make pro athletes do this?”

If you are ambivalent or offended about their kneeling, here is what you might be missing.

It’s not about patriotism.

By kneeling, these guys are not dishonoring the flag or the anthem. They are raising the moral argument that our nation has failed the ideals of the flag and the anthem. They are calling both the nation and its leadership to fulfill the great ethics of the anthem by recognizing that its lyrics and promises remain unfulfilled for many black Americans. This is to be the land of the free. That freedom is not equally distributed in policing, economics, education, and housing to black people in America.

Black Americans possess a distinct relationship with the Declaration of Independence. You won’t find many African American families reading it on the 4th of July. In fact, we were not set free on the 4th of July. ...

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[Cfamily]Died: David Mainse, Canada’s Top Trusted Televangelist
« Reply #668 on: October 01, 2017, 01:00:55 AM »
Died: David Mainse, Canada’s Top Trusted Televangelist

The late “100 Huntley Street” broadcaster told generations of viewers each day, “Jesus loves you.”

David Mainse, the pastor who launched and hosted Canada’s longest-running Christian TV program, died Monday at 81.

The Crossroads Christian Communications founder leaves behind a legacy of media ministries, including the talk show 100 Huntley Street, the Yes TV network, a Christian broadcast school, and a national prayer hotline that fields over 30,000 calls a month.

“There has been no Canadian Christian leader in the past 50 years of Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, or evangelical communities who has had more singular influence than David,” said Brian Stiller, the Toronto-based global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance.

Mainse pioneered Christian broadcasting at a time when religious organizations in Canada were banned from owning networks and local stations were wary of giving preachers airtime.

Yet, “no one in Canadian history has anchored and produced as many TV programs as David did,” said Lorna Dueck, a TV host who was mentored by Mainse and now serves as Crossroads’s CEO. “No media in the nation has left as unique a legacy of social good around the world.”

Mainse’s broadcast career began in 1962 with a weekly 15-minute segment airing after the local news on an Ontario station. It eventually was picked up by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. By the 1980s, he convinced the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to lift a 50-year ban on religious-owned TV stations, and expanded to offer 24-hour programming.

100 Huntley Street, which Mainse began in 1976 and hosted until his retirement in 2003, has become the country’s longest running daily television show. Canada’s National Post yesterday described how his approach took ...

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[Cfamily]Matt Chandler’s Village Church Ends Multisite Era
« Reply #669 on: October 02, 2017, 01:00:56 AM »
Matt Chandler’s Village Church Ends Multisite Era

Why the Dallas megachurch has decided to go from one church to six.

The Village Church, the multisite Texas megachurch led by Matt Chandler, will transition from several campuses across the Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex to individual autonomous churches within the next five years, leaving behind a multisite model for a deeper commitment to local ministry and church planting.

Village expanded to a total of six campuses since Chandler became senior pastor 15 years ago, including one location—The Village Church Denton—that spun off in 2015.

Last Sunday, Chandler announced plans for the remaining five campuses to do the same by 2022, pending a members’ vote at each location. Village will not launch any future campuses, and the churches will roll out new names, original preaching, and more “contextualized” ministry programs.

“We believe, compelled by the Holy Spirit, that … to multiply out to individual autonomous churches gives us the best possible ability and capacity to contextually reach the city of Dallas with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Chandler, also the president of the Acts 29 church-planting network, in a video.

“We’re all a bit anxious right now … because this thing really is beautiful, and God has done some stunning and spectacular things. We’re just compelled that there are better days ahead.”

A Southern Baptist congregation, The Village Church gathered 11,400 weekly worshipers across its locations in 2015, with about half at its Flower Mound headquarters. Multisite churches tend to number 1,000 or more worshipers, but only about 8 percent are as big as The Village, according to research by Leadership Network.

The church’s Plano campus is slated to transition first, as soon as 2019. Current ...

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[Cfamily]Breathing New Life into the Christian University
« Reply #670 on: October 03, 2017, 01:01:00 AM »
Breathing New Life into the Christian University

What would it look like if higher education were grounded in the worship, love, and study of God?

Some weeks ago I woke up to Twitter going crazy. I opened the video that was getting so much attention, and there was my friend and former colleague, now president of Evergreen State College in Washington State, facing an assault by a wildly angry group of students. You could hear some of the exchange: “F*** you, George. You talk so f***ing much. Just shut up, George.” These comments were directed at the president of the university! It made my heart sick, and not only for my friend. Here was yet another signal that something is deeply broken on our campuses.

The university is one of the great institutions in the history of Western civilization. And yet it feels like something is slipping away. Watching this video and witnessing so many other scenes like it, I feel the aching need for our nation to regroup on where our universities are headed. We need to get back to a bedrock question: What exactly is the university for? These scenes cry out for a wholly revised vision for higher education in our day.

The moment is ripe, then, for a book like Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in A Fragmented Age. The authors are three professors, Perry L. Glanzer, Nathan F. Alleman, and Todd C. Ream (the first two from Baylor University, the third from Taylor University). As I pondered this stimulating book, I began to glimpse the outlines of a renewed vision for the future of the broken university. This book is sweeping in concept, grounded in historical research, utterly relevant to contemporary concerns. The focus is ultimately on the Christian university. And the animating question can be put like this: What if the unifying center of the university, its soul, were reclaimed by a winsome ...

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[Cfamily]Your Calling Actually Isn’t About You
« Reply #671 on: October 04, 2017, 01:00:55 AM »
Your Calling Actually Isn’t About You

From our special issue: resisting the draw of self-serving discipleship.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of “Change Makers,” our recent CT special issue focused on some of the ways women are influencing the church, their communities, and the world. In this special issue, we’ve included articles that explore trends in women’s discipleship, examine research on women and workplace leadership, highlight women who are making a difference, and grapple with the unique challenges female leaders face. Click here to download your own free digital copy of “Change Makers.”

I thought I would grow up to become a psychologist. I had always wanted to help people, and counseling seemed like a great option. I left for college with a lot of certainty about my future. I would major in psychology and that was that. So I signed up for Developmental Psychology and began the work of fulfilling my destiny. I was ready to step into my calling.

What I didn’t realize until halfway through the semester is that psychology involves more than listening to people and helping them. If you want to major in psychology, you also have to do math.

As it turns out, I was not called to psychology.

Outside of class, I was becoming more involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. My faith was growing like it never had before, and my passion for God was bursting at the seams. That season of my life was like a spiritual rebirth, and it was then that I discerned a call to ministry.

A subtle shift

Although my calling was clear, it took awhile to figure out the shape of my call. After college I spent a year working for Proverbs 31 Ministries and learning the ropes of women’s ministry. Then I went to seminary. Then I worked as a college minister. Then I went back to seminary. Somewhere ...

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