Article January 31, 2017

Preaching as a Means of Survival

Preaching, doctrinally robust and exegetically rich preaching, is the only mechanism for the church’s survival in a secular age.

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This post is the last of three in a series on Preaching in a Secular Age.

With our cultural analysis behind us, I would like to consider the role of preaching in a secular age, particularly preaching as a survival strategy for the church. Many today are reconsidering the role and ..

Article January 23, 2017

Impossible to Believe — Preaching in a Secular Culture

The question remains, what does preaching look like in the secular city?

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This post is the second of three in a series on Preaching in a Secular Age.

The previous post in this series examined Peter Berger’s explanation for the progress of secularization in the Western world. In addition to Berger, Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor has also carefully traced the influence and effects of..

Article January 12, 2017

Secularism, Preaching, and the Challenges of Modernity

The only authentic Christian response to the challenge of secularization is faithful, clear, and informed expository preaching

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This post is the first of three in a series on Preaching in a Secular Age.

I began my chapter on preaching and postmodernism in We Cannot Be Silent with these words, “A common concern seems to emerge now wherever Christians gather: The task of truth-telling is ..

Article December 24, 2016

“And Them that Mourn” — Celebrating Christmas in the Face of Sorrow

On the very evening of the celebration of Christ’s birth, Christians are called to remember, in Christ’s name, the poor and the helpless, the cold and the hungry, the oppressed and the sick, the lonely and the unloved, the aged and the children, those who do not know Christ, “and them that mourn.”

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Families across the Christian world are gathering for Christmas even now, wi..

Article December 15, 2016

From One Reader to Another: Books to End a Year’s Reading, or to Bring in a New Year

I share these titles as one reader to others. Books are almost always read alone, but they are seldom truly enjoyed alone.

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Columnist Dave Barry got this one just right: “The problem with winter sports is that — follow me closely here — they generally take place in winter.” On the other hand, winter is a great season for reading. Herewith I offer some books..

Article December 9, 2016

“I Loved Heresy…But the Holy Spirit Found Me” — Thomas C. Oden (1931-2016) and the Recovery of Christian Orthodoxy

“I think the honest answer is that I loved the fantasies and I loved the revolutionary illusions. I truly loved them…. I was one of those who was way out on the far left edge of accommodating to modernity. And I don’t know how but the Holy Spirit found me.”

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Thomas C. Oden, one of the most gracious and respected theologians of..

Article December 2, 2016

His Winnowing Fork Is in His Hand

The Christian ministry is a terrible profession, but it is the greatest calling on earth.

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The Christian celebration of Christmas brings essential truths into clearer view. The central fact of the incarnation of the Son of God looms before us as the dividing line of all human history and the fulfillment of God’s promises. Priests and prophets and kings had long awaited the coming of the King of Kings and the..

Article November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving as Theological Act: What Does it Mean to Give Thanks?

A lack of proper thankfulness to God is a clear sign of a basic godlessness.

“Thanksgiving is a deeply theological act, rightly understood.”

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Thanksgiving is a deeply theological act, rightly understood. As a matter of fact, thankfulness is a theology in microcosm — a key to understanding what we really believe about God, ourselves, and the world we experience.

A haunting..

Article November 1, 2016

Will Beauty Save the World?

The cross of Christ may not be pretty, but it certainly is beautiful.

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Sometimes persistent questions demand a response. The question I would like us to ask and answer this morning is will beauty save the world? It may sound like an odd question. It’s a question occasioned by Dostoevsky the great Russian novelist, in his work The Idiot—a novel drenched in Christian content and deeply engaged with Christian theolog..

Article October 27, 2016

How Will We Live Now? Francis Schaeffer’s “How Should We Then Live” After 40 Years

While most evangelicals were watching Gunsmoke and taking their kids to the newly opened Walt Disney World, Schaeffer was listening and watching as a new worldview was taking hold of the larger culture.

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The year 1976, the very year that many Americans came to know that evangelicals even existed, continues to reverberate throughout evangelical Christianity. Th..