It’s easy to talk about “unity within the church” as long as we’re talking in the abstract. However, what do you do when a Christian brother or sister offends you or sins against you? Do you “write them off” and go your separate ways? I submit this is often the easier choice, but Jesus and the standards of his kingdom rule do not permit us to do so.
Anyone who has been a Christian for almost any length of time understands God as “our Father.” Having received salvation at the age of twenty-one, I, too, understood the concept of God as Father but it wasn’t until last year—at the age of fifty-two—that I truly began to understand the fatherhood of God beyond the abstract.
Christians have throughout the centuries—and most especially following the Protestant Reformation—arrived at very different understandings about a multitude of issues related to the teaching and practice of the Christian faith. Unfortunately, we tend to form enclaves around these doctrinal understandings, which are eventually institutionalized.
By reducing our conceptions of the church to an institution or organization to be managed, there often follows a decreased expectation of the supernatural in the affairs and activities of the church and, by extension, the individual Christian.
Prior to Constantine, the church, although organized, was less institutional and more communal or organic. In other words, the outside world didn’t think of “the church” as that building on the corner. Instead they thought of a community of people who were distinct in both their conduct and character, the overarching characteristics being their love for others, compassion toward the needy, and joy-filled lives.
The brutal and senseless murder of twenty-seven people—including twenty children—at Sandy Hook Elementary has left the nation once again stunned and looking for answers. Beyond the obvious element of evil, we are all wondering, “What can possibly motivate someone to commit these heinous acts of violence?” “Why are such scenes becoming more and more frequent?” And, “What is the cause?”
This Christmas do not be swept away by the illusory claims of consumerism; instead, revel in God’s gracious gifts, drink deeply the joy of relationships and life and the wonder of this wonderful season—these will leave you truly satisfied and debt free!
One of the ways we can determine whether or not we are listening to the voice of God versus that other voice is to examine the four foundational relationships in our lives that the gospel is redeeming: our relationship with God, ourselves, others, and creation.
What we often perceive as the biblical way is often nothing more than the worldly way dressed up in piety and justified by familiarity and personal experience.
This is clearly the implication of the media reports following the latest Pew Research, “Nones on the Rise,” which shows a “steep decline” in the number of Protestants. Trying to spin this in such a way that the Christian faith appears culturally vital is a little like putting lipstick on a pig; but concluding that Christianity is losing and secularism is winning isn’t quite accurate either.
A rather obscure but important study conducted by the Swiss government in 1994 revealed some astonishing facts with regard to the generational transmission of faith and religious values.
Slacktivism, a term coined in the mid-1990s, refers to the increasingly popular phenomenon of casual activism.
This past week, I sent my 20-year-old son to war. As a father, how do I reconcile teaching my son to serve others when doing so is dangerous?
This government’s recent volley across the bow of religious freedom is nothing less than a direct assault on individual freedom of conscience.
Now that we are standing at the crossroads of the church's departure from the truth, we can look to the ancient paths: the Scriptures.
Opponents of religion think that religious faith persists by means of a stubborn, unenlightened, and uneducated lower class. But what do recent studies show?
The Christmas season is once again upon us and with it overwhelming encouragement from Madison Avenue to spend what we have not earned to buy what we cannot afford.
As we, once again, approach this national day of thanksgiving, I thought it necessary to reflect upon our nation’s long history of acknowledging and giving thanks to Almighty God.
Your immediate response may be, “What does Christianity have to do with economics?” In response, I would say: Everything, if you think of economics as the system and means of production and exchange whereby people meet their own and each other’s essential needs.
If the ecclesiocentric view of the church’s mission tends to focus on the building and maintenance of the institutional church (a place of like-minded believers), then a proper theocentric view will focus the organic church (a people who believe and obey) on the mission of God or missio Dei.