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January-February 2018 Issue

Worth Repeating

“Jesus died to take away our sins, not our minds.” —Susan Sparks, comedian and pastor of Madison Ave. Baptist Church in New York City, on the young-earth perspective promoted by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis (BNG) *“White supremacy is not just backward but devilish.” * —Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics […]

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We can’t ‘just move on’ yet

Writers take different routes to the finished product. My approach usually involves jotting down a thought or two on a scrap of paper or a napkin — with a later determination to discard, hold for further consideration or develop it for publication. The roots of this editorial go back beyond the public debates over sporting […]

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EDITORIAL: Diggin’ it — for real

Have you ever wished that, just once, you could participate in a real live archaeological dig in Israel? Here’s your chance! Nurturing Faith Experiences, in partnership with Campbell University Divinity School, has arranged for a limited number of participants to join the Jezreel Expedition for two weeks next June. Jezreel, about an hour and a […]

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Beauty in the ashes

‘Blue Note’ preaching finds hope in despair “Is it not strange and a peculiar irony that America places a monument in Washington, D.C., to a small Southern preacher who pastored a church in Montgomery, Ala., that could not seat more than 250 people?” asks Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in […]

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World’s best-prepared Sunday school teacher

Atkins writes, illustrates studies taught in his museum-like classroom ORLANDO, Fla. — Wise writers avoid superlatives such as oldest or largest, because some reader usually provides evidence to the contrary. But I feel safe deeming R.L. (Dick) Atkins as the most prepared Sunday school teacher in the world. If anyone has put more time and […]

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KOINONIA FARM @ 75

Clarence Jordan’s ‘demonstration plot’ for God’s kingdom is going forward to its past AMERICUS, Ga. — For 75 years the fields and groves of Koinonia Farm have produced pecans, peace and people of passion as a Christian community committed to simple, shared living, nonviolence and justice. Clarence and Florence Jordan and Martin and Mable England […]

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THEOLOGY IN THE PEWS: Epiphany—past and present

The word “Epiphany” comes from Greek and in that context means “manifestation.” The Christian season of Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of God in Jesus Christ to the world during the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. This manifestation is both the culmination of the unfolding mystery foretold by the prophets of Israel and […]

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REBLOG: ‘Only when it’s dark enough can we see the stars’

What is happening? This has been a lingering thought as I’ve scrolled through my newsfeed over the past year: A white nationalist rally in Virginia. A vehicle driving into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring others. North Korea and the U.S. blustering about who has the biggest bombs and the farthest reach. So […]

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THE LIGHTER SIDE: Someone’s praying, Lord, that we sing ‘Kum ba yah’

The next time someone says, “We don’t need a Kum ba yah moment,” tell them, “I think we do.” Musicians who did not know how to play “Kum ba yah” were once afraid to take their guitars to camp. Many of us remember sitting in front of a crackling fire, trying to find the distance […]

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CLASSIFIEDS

Senior Pastor: Azalea Baptist Church located in Norfolk, Va., is seeking a full-time senior pastor. We are a moderate, community-minded church with strong military ties whose members come from diverse backgrounds. We affiliate with the CBF, CBF of Virginia and BGAV. We affirm the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, and support both men and women […]

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RECOGNITION & REMEMBRANCE

Douglas Avilesbernal is executive minister of the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches based in Kent, Wash. Don Flowers is pastor of Port Williams United Baptist Church in Port Williams, Nova Scotia, coming from Providence Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Randy Hyde retires at the end of 2017 as pastor of Pulaski Heights Baptist […]

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Being church in changing times: Ending options: failure or fruit

A column provided in collaboration with the Center for Healthy Churches (chchurches.org) Has your church ever had to choose between careening to a fiery end or settling into a perpetual orbit? If not your church, how about a marriage, job, project or dream? The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (better known as NASA) recently had […]

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The importance of being defined by love

Whenever I meet someone new, it usually doesn’t take too long for them to ask the standard question, “So, what do you do?” I’ve had my current job for 13 years, but I still don’t have an easy answer to that question. But whatever answer I give, usually, immediately or eventually, it involves the word, […]

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Good & Bad

Just how moral is the Bible? Morality has to do with good and bad, with right and wrong, with what should and what should not be done. People often disagree on morality, over what is moral (what should be done) and what is immoral (what should not be done). Is there a good way to […]

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Getting down to business

A conversation with Nathan Edwards about administration as ministry GADSDEN, Ala. — Nathan Edwards is the founder and managing member of Missional Business Services (mbservicesllc.net), a provider of short-term and long-term administrative services to churches and other organizations, of any size, with a mission focus. Editor John Pierce explored the topic of administration as ministry […]

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Finding redemption, restoration after a bad experience

According to a recent poll, many young adults are leaving the church. As Pew Research Center notes, “As the Millennial generation enters adulthood, its members display much lower levels of religious affiliation, including less connection with Christian churches, than older generations.” More specifically, “fully 36 percent of young Millennials (ages 18 and 24) are religiously […]

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The continuing self-destruction of American Christianity

Recently a friend of mine died, a victim of an autoimmune disease. The cells that should have helped him stay strong and productive began to attack the healthy tissue, ultimately leading to his death. This seems to be a frightening analogy for what is happening in much of Christianity today in the United States. Those […]

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REBLOG: Wasted days and wasted nights

Jesus’ life and teachings didn’t matter very much. At least that’s the idea one gets from those American Christians who see his only earthly purpose in coming to die as a penalty for human sinfulness — and then rocketing off to heaven to fix up some cushy mansions for our afterlife while awaiting our arrival. […]

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Why do Christians post THE TEN COMMANDMENTS more than Jesus’ greatest ones?

Amid the many marvels of our modern age is the transition of print media into digital formats. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are collectively the primary information medium of hundreds of millions of people. Short-form digital communication dominates today’s publishing market to such an extent that various studies indicate that […]

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Rev it up

Racing chaplain brings a pastoral presence to the pits MARTINSVILLE, Va. — David Daly is a “Rev.” who spends most days with people who love to “rev it up” in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series and its second-tier Xfinity stock car circuit. Daly began his ministerial career as a pastor before shifting to a staff […]

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RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS: William McKinley (1897–1901)

Born in Ohio in 1843, William McKinley Jr. grew up in an abolitionist family and a Methodist church. Both proved formative, but only one, Methodism, remained a lasting influence. As a young man, McKinley formally joined the Methodist church and briefly attended a Methodist college. Falling ill and lapsing into depression while in college, however, […]

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Brinson shared ministry, mission with King family, others

ATLANTA— “It was the church that made us who we were,” said Albert Paul Brinson, standing in the historic sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church, that he attended as a youth and later served as associate minister to co-pastors Martin Luther King Sr. and Martin Luther King Jr. “It was our hope.” Brinson, 79, told participants […]

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Questions Christians ask scientists

As a Christian, I want to believe in miracles but am a little skeptical. Does science disprove miracles? A boy lies on his deathbed while his family prays for a miracle. Not only his family, but his entire church also prays. This congregation knows Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow, and believes in […]

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