• Why Does the Red Planet Call to Us?

    What space exploration tells us about human curiosity, from Eden to Mars.
    Blue is the color of Mars at sunset.From the surface, the cold, dim light of the setting sun comes in from the horizon as it competes with the ever-present dust, thick in the air. The plains of graveled hematite that were once shades of ochre and umber by day are now jet and onyx.
    In the darkness, Mars may seem to be a dead planet. But in Gale Crater, there is human movement, as NASA’s Curiosity rover slowly treks it
  • When God Makes Sunbeams Collide with Waterfall Spray

    Rainbows signify something more than a post-Flood peace offering.
    There is more to a rainbow than meets the eye. In one sense, I mean that literally: The human eye cannot see the colors at either end of the spectrum, despite the pictures you see in children’s Bibles. But in another sense, I mean it symbolically. The rainbow carries a number of meanings in Christian thought to which many of us are blind. I count at least five.
    Rainbows mean beauty. This is true for everyone, whether or not
  • What Trees Teach Us about Life, Death, and Resurrection

    Other than God and people, they’re the most mentioned living thing in the Bible.
    I’ve always loved trees. I love their look, their shade, the sound of wind in their leaves, and the taste of every fruit they produce. As a grade-schooler, I first planted trees with my father and grandfather. I’ve been planting them ever since. Once, as I was training to become a doctor, my wife and I tree-lined the whole street where we lived. But a dozen years ago, when I offered to plant trees
  • Should Hymns Keep the Theology of Their Writers?

    Experts weighed in.
    John Piper needed “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” to match a sermon, so he wrote two new Reformed verses. Many of writer Thomas Chisholm’s fellow Methodists, who “sing their theology,” couldn’t sing along.Answers are arranged on a spectrum from “yes” answers at the top to “no” answers at the bottom.
    “Many gentlemen have done my brother and me . . . the honor to reprint many of our hymns. Now they are perfectly welc
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  • Reflecting on the Rewards and Risks of Going on the StartUp Business Podcast, Part 1

    'Fascinating' and 'terrifying' are the words that come to mind when I think about my experience of being recorded for days on end.
    I recently had the pleasure of being shadowed by an ambitious young journalist named Eric, and his omnipresent microphone. He works for Gimlet Media and produces “StartUp,” a secular podcast with over one million listeners. When Eric decided to focus on church planting in the show’s latest season, I mysteriously and unexpectedly became the subject o
  • Interview: Richard Foster: Effort Is Not the Opposite of Grace

    As he retires from public ministry, the ‘Celebration of Discipline’ author reflects on the heart of spiritual formation.
    Richard Foster wrote Celebration of Discipline 40 years ago as a young pastor. The book—which has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into 25 languages—launched a ministry of speaking, writing, and teaching on spiritual formation and the classic spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. Foster founded and led Renovaré, a spiritu
  • God Shook My World at an EDM Concert

    I was rolling on Ecstasy when the scales suddenly fell from my eyes.
    I never thought I would become a Christian. I wasn’t raised in church. I grew up believing science had all the answers, that religion was merely lingering superstition from a more primitive time. Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, Jonah living in the belly of a whale for three days—none of it seemed plausible. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny weren’t real, and Jesus Christ probably wasn’t either.
    I spent my
  • Gleanings: October 2018

    Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our October issue).
    Israel: Christians worry about official secondary status
    Israel’s legislature passed a special law this summer officially cementing the nation’s nature as a Jewish state. Most provisions aren’t controversial—they formally establish the flag, emblem, and anthem. But Palestinian Christians and some Messianic Jews, along with other religious minorities, object to statutes declaring Je
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  • Evangelicals Argue Against US Reducing Refugees to 30,000

    Trump administration says Christians in Iraq face genocide; only 18 have been allowed to resettle in America this year.
    A maximum of 30,000 refugees will be allowed to resettle in the United States next fiscal year. The new ceiling imposed by the Trump administration marks a dramatic decrease from this fiscal year’s 45,000-person cap, which had also been a significant reduction.
    For three decades before that, the US resettlement ceiling hadn’t dropped below 70,000.
    The policy shift w
  • Cover Story: God of the Second Shift

    The theology of work conversation is thriving. Why are most workers missing from it?
    Our group was white, college-educated, and passionate about helping people find meaning in their careers. We looked at Josué “Mambo” De León, pastor of a bilingual working-class congregation called Westside Church Internacional, eager to hear his thoughts on a recent “faith and work” conference.
    “For us, work isn’t about thriving,” Mambo said. “It&rsq
  • How Faith Changes Campus Sex Assaults

    Cultures of restraint fare better than cultures of mere consent, research shows.
    When college freshmen step on campus for the first day of school, they will be entering what experts consider the riskiest period for sexual assault, spanning from the start of the semester to Thanksgiving break.
    One Christian college graduate remembers her first weeks as the time when a guy from her “brother hall” grabbed her hand and shoved it down his pants. Another met her college boyfriend early on.
  • What Happens When You Love a Racist

    He was a budding white nationalist leader. His friends thought he could be something different.
    Growing up, I imagined I could easily spot the racists around me. They were the ones proudly displaying the Confederate flag across the back of their pickup trucks or blatantly disregarding other people based on the color of their skin. I looked at them and counted myself lucky that I hadn’t been born into that kind of family or raised in that distorted version of Christianity.
    But then I starte
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  • The Myth of Missionary Neutrality

    Everything we do either propels God’s mission forward or hinders the embodiment of his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.Cars rarely operate in neutral, but churches do all the time.
    Maybe this is because neutral is the normative posture of those who make up the church.
    It’s common to hear people speak as if there are three possible positions for life in relation to God. Some are in drive—moving forward in active obedience to the Great Commission. Others are in reverse, demon
  • The #MeToo Movement Has Educated Pastors. And Left Them with More Questions.

    More pastors say they are addressing these issues from the pulpit. Still, half say they lack training in how to address sexual and domestic violence.
    In recent months, churches have been rocked by high-profile accusations of sexual misconduct among clergy.
    While the Catholic church’s continued abuse scandal has dominated the headlines, Protestant churches have also seen high profile pastors accused of sexual misconduct.
    More accusations are likely to come—from congregations big and s
  • How Poetry Quiets the ‘Pandemonium of Blab’

    Poet Christian Wiman helps us tune our ears to silence, so God's voice won't be lost in the noise.
    If I could, I would give this review a flashing, neon title. I would aim on it a bright and roving spotlight. I would print it up like a recruitment poster, pointing finger and all, because I WANT YOU, yes you, to read this book.
    You’re not that interested in art? Poetry isn’t really your thing? Your stack of books to read is already too high? Make those apologies, and I will only press
  • China on My Mind: Why We All Must Care about Our Suffering Brothers and Sisters

    Their suffering does not go unnoticed by God, and so it should never go unnoticed by us.Friends, our brothers and sisters in China covet your prayers.
    This past Sunday, Zion Church—one of Beijing’s largest house churches—is being persecuted by Chinese government authorities. These threats came after months of persecution and harassment endured by Zion’s pastor Jin “Ezra” Mingri and many parishioners.
    To add some background, the persecution of Christians and ot
  • Can You Hear Me Now?

    In an age when most are rushing to have their say, Christians can love by giving others a hearing.
    I remember having a discussion around faith matters years ago with an intelligent person. I met him at an event I was attending with a few friends. On one particular evening, we all decided to have dinner together. Just from the incidental conversations we had before this meal, I knew that he and I did not see eye to eye on many issues.
    After the meal finished, the three others got up to use the re
  • Destroying America: It Is Being Projected That The U.S. National Debt Will Hit 99 Trillion Dollars By 2048

    Temporary prosperity that is created by exploding levels of debt is not actually prosperity at all.  At this moment, the U.S. government is 21.4 trillion dollars in debt, and we have been adding an average of more than a trillion dollars a year to that debt since 2009.  And if we stay on the path...
  • Raw Video Shows Dozens Of People Looting A Dollar Store As Flooding Cuts Wilmington Off From The Rest Of North Carolina

    A major emergency brings out the best in some people, but in others it brings out the absolute worst.  Shocking images of “dozens of people” ransacking a Family Dollar store in Wilmington, North Carolina have stunned the nation.  This happened in broad daylight, and many of the looters didn’t even seem to care that a...
  • The Dark Night of the Dark Knight's Soul

    The hype declared Batman an atheist. There’s more to it than that.
    A young boy kneels by his bed, lit by a single candle. His hands clasped in a prayerful posture, he pronounces a vow that will shape the rest of his life: “And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals.”
    In the original telling of Batman’s origin, the traumatized young Bruce Wayne, days after witnessing the brutal murders of his par
  • One-on-One with Tom Lin on InterVarsity’s 2030 Calling

    "Longing for revival, we catalyze movements that call every corner of every campus to follow Jesus."
    Ed: Ministry on 2,500 college campuses is a huge goal. Can you share a bit about how InterVarsity came to this calling?
    Tom: When I became president of InterVarsity in 2016, I started praying with InterVarsity’s leadership team about where we were as a ministry and what God wanted to do next through us.
    Right now, the Spirit is doing tremendous things on campus. By God’s grace, we hav
  • Myers-Briggs and Other Mirrors for the Soul

    A new history of the ubiquitous personality test sheds light on what it can and can’t deliver.
    Know thyself. This phrase is inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, which was built in the 4th century B.C. It’s most commonly attributed to Socrates (470–399 B.C.), who often referred to this Delphic aphorism in his teachings. Suffice it to say, this phrase has a long history.
    Without knowing its origins, however, one might mistake it for the anthem of our own
  • More Than Material Minds

    As a Christian and a neuroscientist, I keep learning that to be human is to have a soul.
    From Plough Quarterly No. 17: The Soul of Medicine (Summer 2018) Copyright © 2018 by Plough Publishing House. Reposted with permission.
    I watched the CAT scan images appear on the screen, one by one. The baby’s head was mostly empty. There were only thin slivers of brain—a bit of brain tissue at the base of the skull, and a thin rim around the edges. The rest was water.
    Her parents had feare
  • If You Really Want to Help after Hurricane Florence, Set Out to Be Humble—Not a Hero

    Leave the cape at home before leaping into action because it’s humble hearts and hands that are needed to save the day.
    Hurricane Florence has begun pounding the East coast. If you’re wondering how you can help, the best place to start isn’t an immediate action, but an attitude of humility.
    Scripture is clear that humility is essential to service. Jesus instructs his disciples, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
  • How to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors

    When Christians live communally, outsiders find intimacy within the family of God.
    Some believe that we live in the midst of a moral revolution, with “liquid modernism” flooding into the bulwarks and mainstays of post-Christian cultures. Others call this sort of talk “alarmist” and believe that we live in the days of happy progress, where we can finally realize a true melting pot of human potential. No one feels this tension more than Christian parents whose children are,
  • Evangelism Is a Work of Social Justice

    How critics can help us keep such social ministries vibrant.
    I find myself scratching my head as to why so many evangelical Christians committed to social justice are reacting so strongly to the recent statement on social justice.
    In part it may be due to matters of style and tone; the statement, for example, is a list of bold affirmations and denials. This is not in tune with our times. While we are wont to make definitive and sweeping pronouncements on social or political matters, we’re
  • Announcing ‘Ed Stetzer Live’ on Moody Radio

    Moody Radio is launching the new Saturday morning talk show on September 15.
    Moody Radio announced today its newest national program, Ed Stetzer Live, will launch on Saturday, Sept. 15.
    Hosted by Ed Stetzer, a well-known author, speaker, teacher and pastor, the program will tackle today’s cultural trends and issues facing the Church and Christians. He will take calls from listeners and invite special guests and topical experts each week. The program will be heard live across Moody Radio&rs
  • John MacArthur's ‘Statement on Social Justice’ Is Aggravating Evangelicals

    Christians are talking past each other once again. What's going on?
    Last week, John MacArthur and a dozen other Christian leaders launched a website presenting The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel. In the statement, the signatories claim that the social justice movement endangers Christians with “an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
    Over the course of 14
  • Interview: Look Outside America for Fresh Insight on American Evangelicals

    Melani McAlister’s new history aims to capture what the familiar political story leaves out.
    Since the 1980s, when the Religious Right helped elevate California governor Ronald Reagan to the presidency, outside observers have typically understood American evangelicalism through the lens of American politics. Melani McAlister, a professor of American studies at George Washington University, wants to tell a broader story by looking outside American borders. Studying American evangelical miss
  • A Record 7 Named Storms Are Swirling Across The Globe – Has ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ Arrived?

    Is something extremely unusual happening to our planet?  At this moment, Hurricane Florence is just one of seven named storms that are currently circling the globe.  That matches the all-time record, and it looks like that record will be broken very shortly as a couple more storms continue to develop.  Back in 2004, a Hollywood...
  • School Board Decides to Fight Lawsuit After Initially Ordering Students to Paint Over Christian Logo on Football Field

    Photo Credit: Christ Fit Gym/Facebook SHREVEPORT, La. — A school board in Louisiana has unanimously voted to fight a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State after it initially instructed the field crew to spray paint over a paid advertisement on the Benton High School football field that includes a Scripture...
  • “I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This”: Florence Is Now Expected To Stall And Hammer The East Coast “For Days”

    The bizarre story of Hurricane Florence just keeps becoming even more strange.  The good news is that meteorologists are telling us that the storm is expected to lose intensity as it approaches the east coast, but the really, really bad news is that it is now being projected that Florence will slow down and finally...
  • New Mexico Late-Term Abortion Facility Sued After Mother Dies Along With Her Baby

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico abortion facility that offers abortions throughout all three trimesters has been sued by the family of a woman who obtained a late-term abortion last year and died two days later from an infection and sepsis. According to the legal challenge, Keisha Atkins, 23, had been referred by the University...
  • Appeals Court Reluctantly Upholds Ruling Ordering Removal of Florida Cross, Calls for Own Decision to Be Overturned

    Photo Credit: Freedom From Religion Foundation PENSACOLA, Fla. — A panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling ordering the removal of a cross from a public park in Florida, stating that they were “bound by existing circuit precedent.” Two of the three judges said they were uncomfortable with the result...
  • What I Learned from Same-Sex Abuse Inside the Church

    My church mishandled my case. Yours doesn’t have to.
    The first time I was groomed, I opened the door to find Liz* standing there with a jar of cream for muscle pain. I had fallen from a horse and hurt my legs, so she was stopping by to check on me.
    At the time, I was 20 years old and had recently gone through a spiritual and sexual identity crisis. The Bible church in the town where I went to college had offered me respite—a place to follow Jesus and rebuild my soul. Thanks to a refe
  • The Metrics of Mission: How to Count What Counts

    Five examples of kingdom behaviors that should be quantified.
    Numbers can be deceptive. Everyone knows that.
    Bigger doesn’t equal better. Often, it is much worse.
    Strength is no indicator of spiritual significance. In fact, weakness is the biblical meta-narrative.
    More is not always the means to mission. Often, it becomes the very appeal to maintaining mediocrity.
    So, our numbers – the metrics that we frequently count – can be missionally deceptive.
    But it’s easy to throw
  • Preparing to Witness an Act of God

    Science can explain why Hurricane Florence is threatening my home. But it can’t interpret it.
    On Ash Wednesday 1962, the dead didn’t just rise again. They floated.
    The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 was one of the worst storms to hit the Eastern seaboard in modern memory. One of the places hardest hit was Chincoteague Island, a tiny barrier island off the coast of Virginia. As the island flooded, and residents scurried into their upstairs bedrooms, the tidal surge was so great that it s
  • One-on-One with Christine Caine on Going Back to School

    "If I want to continue to speak effectively into our culture, I must keep studying."
    Ed: We recently gathered together with the partnership between Propel Women and the Wheaton College Graduate School. What are your initial thoughts about what God is doing through this partnership?
    Christine: I am blown away. Even just the fact that we've doubled in size this first year is incredible. I saw a glimpse in the natural of what I had seen in my heart when we started it. I love that all of these young
  • Making Strides Against the Opioid Crisis: Churches and Government Working Together for Good

    Many Americans wonder what to do and, most importantly, who to turn to for answers.
    Last October, President Trump declared the opioid crises a public health emergency. With the loss of 72,000 lives in 2017 due to an overdose of prescription drugs, our country is still firmly in the midst of an opioid epidemic, leaving many Americans wondering what to do and, most importantly, who to turn to for answers.
    The difficult truth is that drug overdoses are currently our nation’s leading cause of
  • How the Church Becomes a Community of Holiness

    Imitating Christ is not just an individual concern but a corporate affair.
    “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you,” says Paul to the young church in Corinth. “And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning … ? Your boasting is not good,” he continues. “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you rea
  • David Foster Wallace Broke My Heart

    Ten years after his suicide, I marvel at his genius but mourn the crushing burdens he carried.
    I miss David Foster Wallace.
    That may seem a strange thing to say since I never met him. When he died—ten years ago to the day, by suicide—I had barely heard of him.
    But at different times, and in different ways, he started showing up in my life. And, slowly, I started paying attention.
    And it was in that paying attention that I came to miss him.
    ‘And But So …’
    First, a l
  • China Mulls Major Restrictions on Online Ministries

    Foreigners would be prohibited from providing “religious information” to mainland Chinese via the internet, according to draft rules.
    Chinese Christians have one month to tell their government what they think of proposed new rules that ban the sharing of prayer, Bible reading, baptism, communion, and other forms of religious activity online.
    China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) posted a draft yesterday of new regulations on online religious activities that
  • China Bans Zion, Beijing’s Biggest House Church

    Shut down after Sunday services, influential congregation had refused orders to install government surveillance cameras.
    Beijing authorities threatened to close Zion Church last month after the 1,500-member congregation, one of the Chinese capital’s largest house churches, refused to install surveillance cameras in its sanctuary.
    After services on Sunday, officials delivered on their threat to the unofficial Protestant congregation, which meets in a renovated hall in northern Beijing. Zion
  • People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”

    Hurricane Florence is about to make a “direct hit” on the east coast, and public officials are making one ominous declaration about this storm after another.  Florence is being called “extremely dangerous”, “a monster”, “the worst in 60 years” and “the storm of a lifetime”.  By the end of this week we shall see if...
  • After Chinese Officials Shut Down Chengdu House Church, Members Take the Gospel to the Streets

    CHENGDU, China — Members of a house church in China recently took the gospel to the streets after the government shut down their unregistered church, video footage reveals. A video shared on Sunday by Christopher Gregory of the organization China Missions shows Christians gathering in the public park to sing, preach and pray. Sometimes they...
  • Judge Strikes Down Texas Law Requiring Burial, Cremation of Aborted Babies as ‘Burden’ on ‘Right’ to Abortion

    AUSTIN, Texas — A Hawaiian federal judge that was asked in 2013 to assist with the caseload in Texas by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has struck down a Texas law that would require preborn babies killed at abortion facilities to be buried or cremated instead of being discarded as medical waste. Referring to...
  • Hurricane Florence To Intensify “To Near Category 5 Strength” And There Are 12 Nuclear Power Reactors In The Carolinas

    The latest forecast is projecting that Hurricane Florence will strengthen “to near category 5 strength” before it makes landfall in the Carolinas, and it is being called “a serious threat to lives and property”.  It is extremely rare for a hurricane of this intensity to come this far north, and one expert is claiming that...
  • Canadian Group to Indoctrinate Children on ‘Gender Identity’ With Videos Featuring Girl Puppet Who Identifies as Boy

    A Canadian group has released several short videos for teachers and parents featuring a girl puppet who identifies as a boy, as well as “social and emotional guides,” in an effort to “help children with the process of identity affirmation.” The Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation, which focuses on providing resources to address bullying and...
  • Judge Thwarts South Carolina Governor’s Order Ending Medicaid Funding to Planned Parenthood

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama has issued a preliminary injunction thwarting an order from the governor of South Carolina that directed the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DDHS) to deem abortion facilities as being “unqualified to provide family planning services” and to cancel...
  • Christians in Egypt Jailed for Operating House Church

    Authorities detained several Christians for worshipping at a Church which was unlicensed. The Christians were worshiping at the location because Muslim mobs had demonstrated against the Virgin Mary and St. Mahrael church in Luxor Governorate. Local police closed the church in Al-Zeneeqa village, in Esna, which was in operation for eighteen years. Five Muslims were...

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