Category Christian

Victoria Loorz, Founder of Wild Church Network, Welcomes the Coupling of Easter and Earth Day

A gathering of Church of the Lost Walls. Photo courtesy Rev. Matt Syrdal.
Easter and Earth Day arrive on successive days this year, and some churches are welcoming the coupling.
Among them are the 100 or so churches that are part of the Wild Church Network, a loose circle of Christian congregations that meet outdoors as a way of fostering a deeper relationship with God through nature.
The three-year-old network was founded by Victoria Loorz,a graduate of the evangelical nondenominational Fuller Theological Seminary and an environmental activist. Loorz, 57, now leads Echoes Church in Bellingham, Wash., which this year will host an Easter Walk starting at Bellingham City Hall and ending at the Maritime Heritage Park.

Victoria Loorz

The Wild Church Network includes pastors from the Episcop...

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How the Evangelical Council of Venezuela Is Seeking a New Way of Societal Accord, Peace, and Reconciliation

by Brian C. Stiller
Venezuela, with the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia, today looks more like Syria, noted a journalist. With the country in free fall, it is hard to imagine how it can last much longer. In daily updates, we listen to multiplying horror stories of no food, empty medicine shelves, stunning numbers of kidnappings, and the hemorrhaging of ten percent of its population in a matter of months.
This incredibly beautiful and rich-in-resource Latin American country is the paradigm of ideological delusion, bureaucratic dissonance, governmental piracy, police intimidation, and outright robbing of the public pursue.
Keep in mind what we are talking about. With 30 million in population, about the size of Canada, it is harbored on the northeast coast of South America...

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Drew Shriner on the Controversy Sparked by Mike Pence’s Planned Commencement Address at the Evangelical Taylor University

Image: Keith Srakocic / APVice President Pence spoke at Grove City College’s commencement in 2017.
Taylor University recently made national news with its announcement that Vice President Mike Pence will deliver this year’s commencement address—spurring backlash from students, alumni, parents, and faculty.
This is not the only recent political clash to put the small evangelical college in the spotlight. Last year, an anonymous newspaper titled Excalibur was created and distributed by a group of Taylor faculty who wanted to take a stand against the increasing liberalization that they perceived on campus.
In many ways, it is fitting that the 2019 commencement has become so controversial...

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Jeff Christopherson on Why We Need Christians Marked by the Living Presence of Christ

“Follow me, as I follow Christ,”[1] seems like a pretty audacious statement to make for the average modern-day church leader. It presupposes that the things that I spend my time doing, if carefully imitated,[2] would have a kingdom revealing affect[3]. It presumes a level of spiritual integrity that is wide open to personal inspection and private scrutiny. It is the quintessential call of disciple-making in its original first-century intent. And it is as foreign to most twenty-first century evangelicals as a medium-rare filet mignon in a church potluck. In theory we believe its possible, but we’ve never seen it.
Now we have more modest goals...

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At 94-Years-Old, Former President Jimmy Carter Still Teaches Sunday School at Georgia Church to Crowds of People Who Line Up to Hear Him

Visitors line up early to squeeze into the small sanctuary of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.
Headlights piercing the black night, cars arrived one by one, at 1:45 a.m., 2 a.m., 2:11, every few minutes until past dawn, just as they always do when former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church.
On Sunday of Presidents Day weekend, we turned into the parking lot at 2:52 a.m., car No. 20, written on a piece of paper handed over by George Williams, who, as always, is there welcoming each car with a hearty, “Good morning. I’m George. Where y’all from?”
He tugged at his orange Ronald McDonald cap and told us the rules: You can take a cellphone OR a camera inside, no big purses, no knives, no nail clippers. “Thank you for coming.”
George, 75...

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In New Book, R. Albert Mohler Jr. Explains Why The Apostles’ Creed is Above All Other Church Statements and Confessions

SBTS photo
Among all the statements and confessions in the history of the church, the Apostles’ Creed stands above them all, R. Albert Mohler Jr. writes in a new book seeking to rekindle a love for the creed nearly 2,000 years after its writing.
Recited in churches of all traditions and varieties across the world — and in every commencement ceremony at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — the Apostles’ Creed has long been considered the basic teaching of Christianity.
It is much more than a historical document but a deeply compelling and transformative link between Christians old and new, Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, writes in “The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits,” released by Thomas Nelson publishers.
As the oldest creed in Chris...

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Jonathan Merritt on His New Book ‘Learning to Speak God From Scratch’

Ed Stetzer: I am glad to welcome Jonathan Merritt to The Exchange. Jonathan is one of America’s most prolific religion and culture writers. Yesterday we started our conversation. You can view that exchange here. Today, we dive deeper into his new book, Learning to Speak God from Scratch.

Ed: You talked a lot about the importance of learning to speak of God, particularly as you went from the South to NYC. How did that change impact your relationships in NYC?
Jonathan: When I moved to New York City, I encountered an unexpected language barrier. I could still speak English, but I could no longer speak God. I couldn’t have free-flowing conversations on spirituality and faith because I was encountering people who practiced different faiths or none at all.
And even many of my Christian friend...

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Jay Riley Case: Both Missionary Opponents and Evangelicals Misunderstand Jim Elliot’s Waorani Mission

Image: Photos Courtesy of the Billy Graham Center Archives, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. / From the collection of Lars GrenElisabeth Elliot sits with Waorani women, one of whom is examining her Dictaphone.
When news broke in November 2018 that missionary John Allen Chau had been killed while trying to contact the isolated Sentinelese tribe off the coast of India, debates about his methods and motivations erupted across the media landscape. Some critics argued that Chau behaved unethically in trying to contact an isolated people who clearly resisted interaction with the outside world. Some Christians wondered whether Chau had gone about his goals in the best way...

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Jay Kim: Is Jesus the Surgeon or the Scalpel?

In the mid-2000s, I spent several years as a youth pastor. One of the most rewarding aspects of working with teens was seeing their eagerness to bring about positive change in the world. On almost a weekly basis, they would share with me about some new global crisis they had discovered and their wide-ranging ideas for how we could do something about it. Wanting to empower our students, we often took their ideas and ran with them.
One of these events was a march through the downtown area of our city to raise awareness about the atrocities being done to children in northern Uganda. To help our teens promote the event to our church, I leveraged the story of Jesus and his family fleeing to Egypt in Matthew 2:13–15...

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Jim Denison: 3 Biblical Responses to the Released Summary of the Mueller Report

While I was flying home from Israel yesterday, US Attorney General William Barr released his summary of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s two-year-long investigation into President Trump and his aides.
The summary addressed the question America has been asking for the last 676 days: Did the president, or anyone working for him, conspire with Russia to influence the 2016 election in his favor? Further, did he or those working on his behalf attempt to obstruct federal investigations into this matter?
The significance of the Mueller report is enormous. If the special counsel determined that such collusion or obstruction took place, the ramifications for our democracy would be foundational and tragic.
WHAT THE REPORT TELLS US
Mr...

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