January 12, 2016

By Charlie Self Followers of Jesus worship a God who is at once the Almighty and Abba, infinite and personal, uniquely One and a relation of Three, utterly perfect and unchanging in character and nature, full of pathos and personally engaged in every detail of life. Our God is the Source of all that is good about being human: from our creativity and relationships to the diversity of our genders and personalities. “God so loved the world…” includes God becoming… Read more

January 11, 2016

By Evan Koons I first met Karl Fisher, founder of Alabaster Coffee Roaster + Tea Company, while dancing in a hotel lobby with a handful of college kids. It was during the annual Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh. Having made a glorious fool of myself, I looked over to see his face curiously peering from around a booth. We chatted a bit, and then a bit more over the duration of the conference. I was blown away by what he was doing in the small-ish town of Williamsport,… Read more

December 29, 2015

By Joseph Sunde After years of rejecting or downplaying so-called “organized religion,” evangelicals are beginning to appreciate the church not only as organism, but as institution. As Robert Joustra explains at Capital Commentary, a “minor renaissance in thinking” is taking place, wherein the church is viewed “not as a gathering of hierarchy-allergic spiritualists” but as “a brick and mortar institution, something with tradition, and weight, and history.” Evangelicals are beginning to see view it not as a “catchphrase and metaphor for likeminded people who love Jesus,” Joustra continues, but “as an inheritance, as spiritual… Read more

December 28, 2015

By Joe Carter “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, first released in 1984 as part of Band Aid, is definitely, as Jordan Ballor says, “the worst Christmas song ever.” Last year, it was recorded again (for the fourth time in thirty years!) by well-intentioned but misguided musicians who wanted to raise awareness and funds for Africa. But why don’t Africans every raise awareness and aid for Westerners? Fortunately, one group of Africans has united to save Norwegians from dying of frostbite. By joining Radi-Aid, you… Read more

December 22, 2015

By Jordan Ballor Over at the Calvinist International I’ve posted the text of a Christmas meditation by Abraham Kuyper, made possible by the work of Jim DeJong and the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. It’s a rich devotional reflection inspired by the text of Luke 2:8: “And there were shepherds in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flock at night.” Using the pastoral trope, Kuyper enjoins his readers to: Think only about your own situation. Think about your shepherding. Think about the flock… Read more

December 21, 2015

By Joseph Sunde Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”). In each case, the response takes the shape of heavy-handed strategery or top-down mobilization, whether to or from the hills. And yet the cultural witness of the church ought to flow (or overflow) a… Read more

December 14, 2015

By Chris Horst It is more blessed to give than to receive. How many times will you hear these wise words this holiday season? This is my favorite time of year primarily because of this season’s emphasis on giving. The charitable and gift-giving yearnings among us all are stoked and encouraged more in December than at any other time of the year. This spirit is encapsulated and affirmed in what might be our favorite Christmas saying: It is more blessed to… Read more

December 10, 2015

By Jordan Ballor At this point in the holiday season, whether we like it or not, we’ve all got Christmas melodies echoing through our heads. Everyone has a favorite or two; I particularly enjoy the smooth sounds of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. But there are plenty of annoying Christmas tunes as well. One song stands out for Christmas crapulence, however, and it has little to do with the catchiness of the song. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was released… Read more

December 9, 2015

By Joseph Sunde The other night, I sat down with my kids to read one of my favorite Rudyard Kipling poems, “The Camel’s Hump,” a remarkable 19th-century takedown of 21st-century couch-potato culture. With typical color and wit, Kipling takes aim at idleness, decrying “the hump we get from having too little to do” — “the hump that is black and blue.” Kipling proceeds to elevate labor, noting that hard work refreshes the soul and reinvigorates the spirit: “The cure for this ill is… Read more

December 7, 2015

By Samuel Gregg Envy, I’ve often thought, is the very worst human emotion. The epic Biblical narrative of Cain’s slaying of Abel reminds us that people have been jealous of others’ successes and well-being from time immemorial. When mixed, however, with the near-obsession with inequality that dominates much public discourse these days, there’s a serious risk that envy — and desires to appease it — can start driving public policy in ways that aren’t economically wise or politically healthy. Remarks… Read more

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