Stephen Fry, God, and the Church’s Response

Many people, especially those who are dealing with loss within their family due to sickness, natural disasters, accidents, and more, are trying to comprehend God in light of their experiences. This is the struggle we find in Fry’s comments. He is trying to take what he has heard from the Church and from Scripture and make sense of it in light of the evil and suffering we see around us all the time. How then can we as Christians respond to those who struggle with the reality of evil in our world today?

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Religious Media and the Christian

Media, as of late, has seemed to embrace religious, and sometimes even Christian elements within TV, movies and music. There has been a “resurgence” so to speak of media caring about religious subplots and overtones. However, is it really that media has really embraced religious expression, or is it doing what it has always done, intersect entertainment with life?

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Celebrating Death – Loving our Enemies

Recently, on November 25th, Fidel Castro, the revolutionary and long-standing political leader of Cuba, passed away. With such a political history, one that also included much persecution and pain for large groups of people, it should come as no surprise that there are people who are celebrating his death. However, as Christians, how are we supposed to react in times of death? Are we supposed to cheer on the death of those who are persecutors?

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The Madness of Learning

There has been somewhat of a stigma that too much theological learning, too much questioning, or too much interaction with those who might question some orthodox beliefs will lead one to lose his/her faith. Sometimes Acts 26:24 is even cited poorly as an attempt to credit those claims. We recently asked Dr. Craig Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and author of over 20 books ranging from works for the church to dense theological tomes, how he understands the intersection of faith and learning.

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Worth and the Image of God

There is a trend within culture that seems to have infiltrated the church. Culture, especially here in the west, tends to equate one’s importance – and therefore their worth – with what they do, who they know, and how much power, money, or influence they may have. To see how this might have influenced the church, how many Christians do you think would rather meet with the Carl Lentz’s, Judah Smith’s, Matt Chandler’s, and Hillsong’s of today than people who are being prostituted, substance abusers, homeless, and those considered “worthless” by society? Don’t get me wrong, the ministries of the aforementioned are amazing and important to bringing people to Christ.

But should the influence, ministry, money, or power one has make his/her worth more or less than others?

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The Failure of Numbers (and the Success of Discipleship)

It is easy to see why most people rely on the “numbers” of a church to determine success, it is easier to track. The numbers of the church give us easy metrics to say “our church is successful”. However, is this really the most helpful or even most honest way to look at success at the church?

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Interview with The Lighthouse and The Whaler

In ECCLESIAM’s series on the intersection of art and faith, I was able to spend some time catching up with Michael and Matt LoPresti, brothers who started The Lighthouse and The Whaler, while they were on their most recent tour to talk about how they understand this enigmatic intersection.

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I’m Asking you Jesus, Show Yourself

What are we as the church doing? We are missing the struggle, the pain, the hurt of those around us. We keep saying “come to my church, you’ll find Jesus”. We keep writing songs on how great God is, and the world keeps writing songs talking about their pain. Could it be that we are hindering people from finding Christ because we are not hurting along side of them (or showing the hurt that we have at least)?

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An Interview with Toby Morrell from Emery and Bad Christian

Emery has been a staple in music for many who grew up in the church but wanted music that was outside of the typically accepted realm of what some would call “Christian”. Being a Christian in a band that was not quite the accepted medium of art, Toby Morrell offers great insight into the real of music, art, faith, and the church. Toby, while still touring and making music with Emery, is now a worship pastor, blogger, and curates a popular podcast and brand entitled “Bad Christian”.

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Dreams and God’s Will

Dreams can motivate us, get us out of bed in the morning, push us towards the life we want to see for ourselves or help mold us into who we want to become. But, dreams can also be devastating, disappointing and even lead us away from the life God wants for us. How we understand and shape those dreams in our lives is instrumental to living a fulfilling life that brings us into perfect relationality with God and with others.

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