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2014

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Jul 23, 2014
Politics

Faith and Politics: Living the Golden Rule

At the intersection of faith and politics, Christians must consider the Golden Rule.
Faith and Politics: Living the Golden Rule
Citypeek / Wikimedia

The political atmosphere at this moment in history in the United States, and around the world, is a tumultuous one. As tensions mount in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, foreign policy within American politics is being more hotly debated than it has in the last few years. We're ...

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Jul 23, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/23/14

Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage; Glory Days; Retro Report
Morning Roundup 7/23/14
Shutterstock

Big news report card: Oklahoma same-sex marriage rulingBobby Ross Jr.

I increasingly think that it is important to look at HOW news outlets cover news. This helpful post from Bobby Ross (of Oklahoma hat-wearing fame) takes a look at some solid reporting.

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Jul 22, 2014
Transformation

Stories of Transformation: Making Disciples

Churches must assess themselves in an effort to be more effective at making disciples.
Stories of Transformation: Making Disciples

Most churches do a good job of measuring what Micah Fries calls the "three B's"— budgets, buildings, and baptisms.

Those are helpful, he said. But they don't always show whether a church is fulfilling its mission to make disciples.

"Every ...

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Jul 22, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/22/14

America's First Churches; Church, Youth, and Sex; "Evangelicals"
Morning Roundup 7/22/14
Shutterstock

These Are America's First Churches — and They're Still WorshippingCorrie Mitchell

Ok, some historic nerd stuff… and I want to preach at one of these churches… so help me out!

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Jul 21, 2014
Missiology

Strategic Evangelism: The Power of an Invitation

Our God pursues the lost and so should we.
Strategic Evangelism: The Power of an Invitation
Laura Glover / FreeImages

The church is to be on mission with God. The God of the Bible is a missionary God who graciously pursues people.

...

The church exists to proclaim the gospel and demonstrate the kingdom of God in a lost and dying world. In being faithful to her calling, the church should ...

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Jul 21, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/21/14

Literal Bible; How Americans View Religions; Camps Built on Rich Heritage
Morning Roundup 7/21/14
Shutterstock

Meet the Non-Christians Who Take the Bible Literally, Word for WordTed Olsen and Ruth Moon

Good analysis of some confusing questions and conclusions from a recent Gallup poll.

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Jul 19, 2014
Seminars

Saturday is for Seminars: Coast to Coast, from Rhode Island to California (plus Boston, Orlando, Grand Rapids)

I'll be speaking in a number of places across the U.S. the next couple of weeks.
Saturday is for Seminars: Coast to Coast, from Rhode Island to California (plus Boston, Orlando, Grand Rapids)
Nick Aldwin / flickr

One of the privileges I have working at LifeWay Research is the opportunity to travel and speak to a variety of denominations about a variety of topics. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I'll be going from coast to coast in the U.S., meeting with everyone from ...

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Jul 18, 2014
Gospel

Defining the Gospel: Some Examples from My Class at Wheaton

How do you define the gospel?
Defining the Gospel: Some Examples from My Class at Wheaton

Back in 2009 I wrote an article about definitions of the gospel. At the time I had recently completed teaching a course during which we examined various understandings of the gospel. In that original article I referenced a number of various definitions of the gospel that ...

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Jul 18, 2014
Humor

Church Signs of the Week: July 18, 2014

Beer Church; Unified; Forgives Little
Church Signs of the Week: July 18, 2014

It's up to you to decide: are you going to be drunk on THE Spirit, or the spirits?

We are unified this Sunday, and this Sunday only!

That's not a very nice thing to say about Pastor Clint...

Thanks to Lynn Riley and Dave Miller for sending these in. As always, ...

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Jul 17, 2014
Thinkers

Sanctification, Rearview Mirrors, and Diversity in the Body of Christ: A guest post by Walter Strickland

Walter Strickland talks blind spots and diversity in the church.
Sanctification, Rearview Mirrors, and Diversity in the Body of Christ: A guest post by Walter Strickland

When my father taught me how to drive my first instinct was to jump into the car and race down the street. Like any good instructor, my father stopped me before putting the key in the ignition and walked me through a pre-driving checklist that included checking my rearview ...

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Jul 17, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/17/14

Build Character; Downwardly Mobile for Jesus; Subversive Kingdom
Morning Roundup 7/17/14
Courtesy of Derwin Gray

Instead of Building Your Platform, Build Your CharacterDerwin Gray

Good words from Derwin for pastors desiring a platform. I've seen what happens when platform trumps character.

Downwardly mobile for JesusLawrence Lanahan

Fascinating piece on how one guy ...

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Jul 16, 2014
CPLF

Why the CPLF, a North American Fellowship of Church Planting Leaders?

Why church planting learning experts gather together.
Why the CPLF, a North American Fellowship of Church Planting Leaders?

Several years ago, we launched the inaugural meeting of the Church Planting Leadership Fellowship (CPLF). Church planting leaders from over sixty denominations meet together twice a year to share resources, connect, and collaborate about church planting.

Because it is a ...

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Jul 16, 2014
Interview

Groups Matter: My Interview with Eric Geiger on Transformational Groups

Eric Geiger, co-author of Transformational Groups, interviews me about our new book and community groups.
Groups Matter: My Interview with Eric Geiger on Transformational Groups

Eric: Ed, you and I worked on this book together, so I know a little bit of your thoughts on groups and community, but why did you see a need for a book on church groups and community in the first place? Aren't there enough books on groups already?

Ed: That's a great ...

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Jul 16, 2014
Roundup

Morning Roundup 7/16/14

Sharing Info Online; Women Bishops; 30 Years of Victory
Morning Roundup 7/16/14

7 Things to Consider Before Sharing Info OnlineTodd Korpi

Helpful from Todd on social media.

Church of England Votes to Accept Women as Bishops—Stephen Castle

It's big church news and shows the continued movement toward egalitarianism.

30 Years of Victory

My ...

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Jul 15, 2014
Contexualization

Avoiding the Pitfall of Syncretism

Churches and pastors must respect the razor's edge between obscurantism and syncretism.
Avoiding the Pitfall of Syncretism
Greg Willis / flickr

A quick search for the word "contextualization" on this blog will reveal how important I believe it is for the church that truly wants to engage in God's mission. I have written and spoken on the subject extensively. And though I don't believe it to be the ...

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