3 Things American Citizens Could Learn from Christian Missionaries by Bruce Ashford
A Christian missionary typically moves overseas to minister among a group of people who differ from him or her linguistically, religiously, socially, culturally, and politically. The missionary’s goal is to minister to the people’s needs and to persuade them to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. But in spite of—even because of—these deep differences, good missionaries are known for refusing to caricature the people’s religion, mock their culture, or impugn their motives.
Reason Within the Bounds of Liturgy by Michael McEwen
The “spiritual, not religious” ethos in America is malnourished because Christian identity is cultivated when the Scriptures meet the gathered community. Liturgy thus offers a fecund space where the Spirit can “sow” his Word through confession, song, bath, sermon, and bread and wine. As worshipers commune with others within such a sanctified space, they are beckoned to participate in the redemptive drama enacted in a historical liturgy. The “spiritual, not religious” wants Jesus without his local body–a gross and gnostic portrait of Christ. This is what Charles Taylor refers to an “excarnation,” or “the steady disembodying of spiritual life, so that it is less and less carried in deeply meaningful bodily forms, and lies more and more 'in the head'" (The Secular Age, 771).
Thinking About Those Angry Yard Signs by Stan Guthrie
This proliferation of the political over the personal is evidence of the decline of Edmund Burke’s “little platoons”—those mediating institutions between the individual and the state, such as church, family, and community, that incline citizens toward virtues such as temperance and fortitude. As these institutions falter, politics looms ever larger in our imaginations. If our communities can no longer shield us from harm and give our lives meaning, we will demand these things from our politicians—and will overlook their flaws if they can deliver the goods. And we’ll demonize and destroy any who stand in our way.
Two Secret Churches in North Korea Show How Powerful the Bible Really Is by Rachel Godwin
There are only a few Bibles among the church members – not nearly enough for everyone. And each copy is practically falling apart. After years of being carefully studied and then hidden over and over again, the bindings have come loose and pages are beginning to slip out. Many of the Bibles have water damage from these early morning meetings on the boat. But they are still these Christians’ prized possessions … they risk their lives for these Bibles.