Blogroll Category: Christian Resources
I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 203 posts from the category 'Christian Resources.'
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From its inception, The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has tread carefully and selectively on political matters.
A study in the contrast between Political and Pneumatic Christianity in the light of the life and death of Billy Graham
Graham’s life ought to remind the Church that there is nothing to be gained by adapting to secular values, and everything to be lost.
The Department of Health has preemptively responded to an online petition calling for a ban on gender reassignment for under-18s. The petition, which is still open, was set up by Christian campaign group Voice for Justice, and has attracted over 9,000 signatures.
Canadian professor of psychology Jordan Peterson has risen to fame through an interview with Channel 4 which went viral. Tim Dieppe discusses the wisdom found in his new book “12 Rules for Life” which has become a bestseller. He finds that Peterson has great respect for the Bible, defends original sin, and proclaims a biblical approach to parenting. Peterson is unafraid to be counter-culture.
The most common reasons for abortion
The new Discipleship Explored features brand-new documentary-style films and inspiring real-life stories from around the world. With less than a month to go until its launch, we thought we'd introduce you to some of the people in front of the cameras.
This is Judy's story.
"I grew up in Southern California in a very unsettled blended family environment. I moved every year of my life while I was growing up so there was no sense of stability. My father was an alcoholic and sometimes abusive. Our household was full of conflict.
My father was a Catholic and as a child I would attend catechism classes. I used to hate them but one day, when I was about six years old, one of the nuns told a story that stuck with me, and was instrumental in my conversion decades later.
She told me the story of King Solomon (1 Kings 3:16-28). If you don’t know the story, it’s about two women and their two babies. One woman accidentally kills her child in the night, and decides to swap the dead child with the living one. The living child’s real mother realises what has happened and takes the case to the King.
The King listens to the case and because both women claim the living child is theirs, judges that the baby should be cut in two, so they can each have part of him. One of the women agrees to this plan immediately, but the other cries that the baby’s life must be spared at all costs, even if it means the child can’t stay with her. This proves to the wise King that she is the real mother and the case is resolved.
This story blew my mind. It showed a woman who was willing to give up what she loved to save what she loved. It’s a picture of the Gospel and one that I’ve kept coming back to nearly every day of my life. It’s the story that made the Gospel make sense to me when I heard it years later.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has remained my central focus over the years
At the time, this story of sacrificial love, wonderful though it was, felt more like a myth than reality. I hadn’t ever seen or experienced this kind of love, and I didn’t believe it really existed.
Throughout the rest of my childhood and teens, as we moved from place to place, I’d often go to church, either with my mother or my siblings, but it was hard to settle into a church community as we moved so often.
I remember when we lived in New Mexico I found out about a local Baptist church, and I called them to ask whether they picked people up in a bus to take them to church. They did, and they would pick me up with my brother and take us along on Sundays.
However, I wasn’t sold on Christianity and in my teens I explored other faiths too, even becoming a Messianic Jew for a time.
Then when my parents divorced, I became angry with God.
Knowing the pain of destructive conflict makes me passionate about peacemaking.
I married young and my son was born in my early twenties. He was very ill with a heart condition. Throughout this time I had a sense of God’s presence with us. Before one of his operations, the paediatric surgeon asked if he could pray for us. We prayed together in his office and I thought it was amazing that this skilled doctor believed in talking to God and was willing to do this in front of us.
God really prepared my heart during my son’s illness to receive the Gospel.
When I was 27, I was working in a digital equipment company and one of my co-workers invited my husband and I to a Bible study. Little did we know at the time, but he and his wife had set up this Bible study just for us!
We went through the book of John, and as I encountered Jesus in the Gospel I was reminded again of the truth I had learnt as a six-year-old: I had found someone who really was willing to give up what he loved to save what he loved.
My husband and I stayed in the church for a few years until they sent us off to seminary — we had so many questions!
From there, I trained as a counsellor and then became a certified Christian Conciliator. Being reconciled with God through the saving work of Jesus Christ and knowing the pain of destructive conflict make me passionate about peacemaking.
I have logged more than 25,000 hours of reconciliation ministry in coaching, mediation, consulting, and education. I have enjoyed the privilege of educating future pastors and counselors and training over ten thousand individuals in the US and abroad on how to apply biblical principles in the midst of painful and complicated conflict.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has remained my central focus over the years."
Judy lives in St Louis with her husband and is founder of Creative Conciliation
One of the things I’ve noticed about children’s and youth ministry in the past few years is a renewed and increased evangelistic impulse—an urgency to teach children about Jesus and the Gospel so that they might be saved. This is a wonderful change from the all-too-common emphasis on Gospel-less moralism of the past. My concern, however, is that sometimes for the sake of urgency—wanting our children to get saved as soon as possible (a really good desire)—we may be minimizing the very foundation on which that salvation depends. I found this illustration, from an article over at 9Marks, to be really helpful:
Let’s say, for the sake of illustration, that you are on a ship sailing to a faraway town to warn the people of impending doom. If you don’t get there in time, everyone dies. Needless to say, you want your ship to sail as fast as possible. You avoid any excess cargo that might slow your progress. You don’t waste time worrying about clean decks or polished brass. The urgency of the task requires you to operate with efficiency and leanness.
People…argue that the urgency of the Christian mission requires us to trim our theological sails and jettison the heavy freight of doctrinal precision.
…Doctrine is not freight on the ship. It’s the hull and mast.
A church’s doctrine determines the character and quality of its witness. Its theology shapes its goals and the way it tries to achieve those goals.
So the question is this: does disciple-making require churches to know and teach doctrine?
Critics of doctrinal necessity sometimes snidely remark that surely God is not going to open up people’s heads on the last day to ensure the right doctrinal formulas are inside. No, probably not. But he will ask them something like, “Were you trusting me? The real and true me, and not a made-up version of me?” In other words, God is very much interested in whether we are trusting in certain truths, because with God doctrinal truth is personal truth.
To experience Christ’s salvation, a person must believe and trust real truths about the real God. If someone has not turned with his or her whole heart to God and trusted him, he or she cannot be saved (Rom. 10:13–17). Doctrine is required for salvation!
So, along with a renewed evangelistic impulse in our ministry to children and youth, let us also have a renewed discipleship impulse that must concern itself with a slow, progressive, precept-by-precept teaching of doctrinal truth. These essential truths are the hull and mast of the ship!
It seems like everyone knows someone who was converted through the ministry of Billy Graham. The trickle down effect is awe-inspiring. Just think of the untold numbers of generations upon generations who have been impacted by the preaching of this dairy farmer from North Carolina.
And perhaps none more so than the evangelists ploughing the same fields today. Here, three of them reflect on Billy Graham who has just died aged 99.
Peter Woodcock: Evangelist and pastor, London
When I was first converted and started to preach, I listened repeatedly to a couple of Billy Graham's full sermons from the 1960s; they were powerful and direct. I loved the fire and the passion in the early days. I remember thinking: he spoke like a prophet — he was calling people to turn from sin and trust Jesus. But he was also a dignified man who clearly wasn’t in it for money or fame. There was a deep humility about him. I thought Billy was magnificently simple. He taught me to just preach the cross. I had a friend who did a tour of Russia with him who said to me: “Whether he had 30 seconds or 3 hours with someone, he would always share the gospel with them."
Rico Tice: Evangelist at Christianity Explored, London
Three things that have always impressed me about “Big Billy”.
1. His "Modesto Manifesto" which was the requirement for personal purity he demanded in both himself and his team—for example, always keeping the door open if there was a meeting with a woman. There was a real insistence on godly behaviour.
2. "The stone of witness” which was a turning point in his own ministry. He laid his Bible on a stone and said to God: “I am trusting this book to be your word, I know I have questions about it, but I am going to preach it as your word." That transparent and obvious belief that the Bible is God’s word was what gave him such incredible power in his preaching.
3. Having done missions myself I was so impressed by his endurance. It is exhausting to preach evangelistically. And yet Billy did it night after night after night.
Glen Scrivener: Evangelist, Eastbourne, UK
I was working as a ministry associate at All Souls Langham Place, and was working my way through the tape library. I listened to a number of Billy’s sermons on repeat on my walkman when I was hoovering the church. And then when no-one else was around, I walked into the pulpit that he had preached from, and delivered some of his lines myself: A sermon on 1 Corinthians 1 has stayed with me: “Why is the cross an offence to man; because it stands to condemn him in his sin.” It was the authority of his preaching that stood out for me: declaring the truth by someone who meant what they were saying, it just connects with people. He spoke the truth as though heaven and hell depend on it. Today, sadly, comedians like Russell Brand and psychologists like Jordan Peterson seem to be filling the gap left by preachers.
Billy Graham (1918-2018).
Secretary of the House of Bishops repudiates claims bribery secured the election of Bishop Humphrey Olumakaiya