Matthew Lunders and Becky Castle Miller serve on the pastoral staff of Damascus Road International Church in the Netherlands. They both worked as journalists before going into vocational ministry. They wrote this dialogue between two disciples dealing with the ascension aftermath as a script and performed it for the church to help them engage their imaginations in studying the Bible. All three pics are by Ger van den Elzen <https://www.instagram.com/ger_van_den_elzen_photography/> Damascus Road website Damascus Road YouTube channel Mary of Magdala… Read more

What does it mean to be a self that is Christian? What is Christian identity? These are the questions in the magnificent tome edited by James Houston and Jens Zimmermann, Sources of the Christian Self: A Cultural History of Christian Identity. A big big volume, second-to-none for those studying Christian identity, and written but dozens of authors and specialists. From this time forward it would be by the name “Christian” that the followers of Jesus would be identified. But what did… Read more

Boots on the Ground, by Mike Glenn One of my friends is a retired Army officer. To be more precise, he’s a retired infantry officer. While the infantry is usually the point of military humor, my friend will tell you the battle isn’t really engaged and never really won until the infantry gets there. He’s not really impressed with drones, satellites and cyber warfare. For him, the enemy isn’t conquered and the battlefield is never owned until an infantry soldier… Read more

What’s your score? From Inc.: In an intriguing article, Anna LeMind, founder and lead editor of Learning Mind, clues us in to what “every introvert has done at least once in their lifetime in order not to talk to people.” I’d be curious to know if my introvert readers actually agree with her assertions. Here are the ones that really stood out for me, according to LeMind. 1. THEY PRETEND THEY’RE NOT HOME WHEN THE DOORBELL RINGS. 2. THEY CHANGE WALKING DIRECTION… Read more

John Walton and Tremper Longman III (The Lost World of the Flood) consider many of the stories in the old Testament, and in Genesis 1-11 in particular, to be theological histories. These stories refer to historical events in some sense, but they are not exhaustive accounts. They are structured to convey a theological message. Biblical narrators thus speak from their worldview and select and emphasize aspects of the past that communicate their interest in God and the relationship between God… Read more

In his important book, Faith Formation in a Secular Age, Andrew Root discusses how the age of authenticity (be true to yourself, you gotta be you, I am who I am) is perceived by many as an era of subtraction, and he contends that in this age of authenticity what may be needed is to indwell Secular 3 with our eyes wider open to experience as an echo of transcendence. First, his (Charles Taylor’s) concept of Subtraction, and that we see… Read more

This is the final part in a four-part series (part 1 part 2 and part 3) that applies the instruments of social science to address the declining attendance rate in the American church and what to do about it. The 3rd ACF: “Me” Culture How hyper-individualism is killing the Church A shift has occurred. We have moved from a “we” culture to a “me” culture. Since the 1950s, American society has been reorienting markedly toward valuing individualism, and it’s reached… Read more

Bible scholars tend to be experts in languages and they focus on texts. But, but, but … there are other groups of Bible scholars who, as one of my old colleagues liked to say, get dirt under their nails. He then said, “I only want ink on my fingers.” He was saying textual study is far more important than archaeology or geography. Now that’s where I want to begin. Lexham Press has a new book for those who love Jesus… Read more

Why do scientists – even Christian scientists – find evolution convincing? What is the evidence for common descent, the relatedness of humans and great apes with a common ancestor millions of years ago? Darrel Falk, professor emeritus at Point Loma Nazarene University, former president of BioLogos, author of Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Gap Between Faith and Biology, has turned his efforts toward the production of a series of short videos (6 to 9 minutes) explaining much of… Read more

In his important book, Faith Formation in a Secular Age, Andrew Root discusses how the age of authenticity (be true to yourself, you gotta be you, I am who I am) finds expression in the church as Moral Therapeutic Deism (MTD). Read these descriptions: Prior to 1965, in the age of conformity, few adults lived for fun and excitement—this would have been considered juvenile and a revolt against duty. … Youthfulness, then, is a spirituality without transcendence or divine action (the… Read more

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