Getting Clear on Evangelism

Jonathan Parnell

We might have evangelism mixed up.

When evangelism is often discussed, it tends to focus on how churches mobilize their people to get out and connect with unbelievers. But when we think in these terms, the definition of evangelism can be mistaken as a maneuver, rather than proclamation.

To evangelize, explains pastor Jeff Vanderstelt, simply means to herald the good news of Jesus. The evangelist, or messenger, is the one…

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True Kinship in God’s Family

Nick Roen

Recently, I had the amazing joy of welcoming into the world my newest niece and nephew. It’s a privilege beyond measure to be called an uncle.

However, by all natural accounts, this is an impossible reality because I only have one legal sibling, and she has never had a child. How can this be?

The Hundredfold Family

As a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction, the topic of family has long…

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Good News: You Can’t Do It

Matthew Barrett

It’s common practice among some Christians to say, “You must be born again,” in such a way that it is equivalent to the command to repent and trust in Christ. However, as Sinclair Ferguson reminds us, these Christians wrongly assume that the new birth “is something we must do.” It’s not.

“In the New Testament,” says Ferguson, “new birth is something God gives. The point of the metaphor lies in…

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Finding Joy in the Clouds

Vaneetha Rendall

A few months ago, I made a startling discovery.

In Scripture, clouds are associated with the very presence of God.

Before my surprising insight, my view of clouds had been entirely negative. I’d never liked cloudy days, especially when they were accompanied by storms. I like clear days and sunshine, blue skies and smooth sailing.

But as I was reading Exodus, I was amazed to see that clouds always brought…

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Soul Food for Mom

Gloria Furman

Is it normal to wander into the kitchen and open the refrigerator multiple times while you are standing there? (I’m asking for a friend.)

It’s a mindless, yet hopeful habit. Who knows? Maybe something new to eat will appear when that little light comes on again.

In a similar manner, I tend to treat the Bible like a fridge. Sometimes I stare at the words, and I can’t see that…

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Don’t Give Up on Don

Marshall Segal

This weekend, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Donald Sterling has asked for forgiveness.

Now, you won’t have to listen to the interview very long before you’ll be tempted to raise questions about the depth of his remorse and contrition. It certainly doesn’t help his cause that he’s immediately shoving blame onto his mistress. It will be easy to hurry to conclusions about his “confession,” but I want to…

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When Waiting Doesn’t Work

Jon Bloom

Fifty-one years ago this spring, thirty-four-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in a Birmingham jail cell, technically because he had been “parading without a permit.” But that was a sham. Everyone knew it. He was in jail because he had led thousands in a non-violent protest against unjust and dehumanizing laws of racial segregation in Alabama.

Sitting in the cell, Dr. King read an open letter in a newspaper by…

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The Long Arc of Real Love

Jonathan Parnell

Packed away in the laundry room of my basement, off the beaten paths of normal household traffic, smashed together with the dried-up ladybugs and an occasional spider, are twenty garbage bags filled with toys.

They belong to our kids.

A few weeks ago, after more than one prophetic notice, my wife and I packed up every single toy in our house. Our gentle, shepherding efforts, so often used to break…

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Confessions of a Grown-Up Momma’s Boy

Marshall Segal

Mothers are mind-blowing people if you stop to look at them.

In their body, they can carry, feed, protect, and eventually deliver a child — a human being, like you or me. They often set aside personal gifts and aspirations for the sake of the family. They very often are the ones to confront and conquer the warzone of the home — a world of overwhelming, ever-changing, and ever-undone demands.…

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Preparing to Worship in Attending a Wedding

Catherine Parks

It’s the beginning of the wedding season, which for many of us will mean multiple opportunities to witness afresh the symbolic representation of Christ’s covenant with his church.

Of course, this is especially the case at a Christian wedding, but even if the bride and groom are not believers, their wedding points to a far greater reality than they know, designed by our creator to anticipate the union of his…

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