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May-June 2019 Issue

Monthly Teaching Resources Password

Digital subscribers may scroll to the bottom of this post to access the current Teaching Resources password. Published bimonthly (in print or digital access), Nurturing Faith Journal is an autonomous, national journal offering thoughtful analysis, inspiring features and helpful resources for Christian living. With abundant original content found nowhere else, this high-quality, 64-page magazine focuses […]

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WON’T YOU BE MY HERO?

Mr. Rogers left the world a better place, and showed us how we can too Fred McFeely Rogers was born in 1928 and died shortly before his 75th birthday in 2003. For more than three decades he produced and was the central figure in the award-winning children’s TV show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Rogers had intended […]

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Worth Repeating

“Evidence seems to indicate [a new Christian movement] is already underway and will be led by the emerging generation. This new movement will bend toward God and justice, bending slowly at times but always bending from the results of radical love.” Mitch Randall, executive director of ethicsdaily.com “All evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is […]

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Jesus and our unnecessary additives

Christ alone is just not enough for some of us. There is a propensity to keep adding requirements for what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus. There is always some theological affirmation or political ideology to which someone seeks our allegiance in order to be considered verifiably “Christian.” While working more comfortably […]

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Remembering Jack U. Harwell

Editor’s Note: Editor Emeritus Jack U. Harwell, 86, died January 18 in Atlanta. He served as editor of this publication from 1988–1997. Jack Harwell will be remembered by many as one of the most influential Baptist journalists of the latter 20th century. People who knew him or read his editorials felt very strongly about him, […]

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My favorite Jack Harwell story

A tiny black-and-white image of Jack Harwell — in his younger, bespectacled days — was a weekly visitor to my family’s home in northwest Georgia. It was set within his allotted words on the editorial page of the Christian Index. Even many years later, as a young campus minister who got to know Jack personally, […]

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We need each other

Our family struggles with knees—specifically, left knees. As I write, my wife, Kim, is recovering from knee replacement revision surgery. That’s right, I said “revision.” This surgery replaced some of the new parts that were installed in her left knee just two years ago. We are also celebrating the sixth anniversary of my famous “gas […]

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A psychiatrist and a theologian respond to 12 questions about prayer

‘We should be patient with ourselves, since God is patient with us.’ Is prayer the same thing as meditation and contemplation? Often these three words are used interchangeably. However, these are three distinct practices, and some writers use each word to speak of just one of the three practices. Contemplation is silence. “Be still and […]

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What do we need to jettison?

This column is provided in collaboration with the Center for Healthy Churches (chchurches.org) For the 25 years I served as a pastor, I never bought the line, “What Jesus wanted was a movement; what he got was a church.” Now I serve outside the church, and I still don’t buy that line. When others say, […]

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THEOLOGY IN THE PEWS

Jesus the Truth Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (14:6). In this series on a Jesus-shaped worldview, I want to reflect on the claim that Jesus is the truth. It has often been interpreted as mandating that Christians should attempt to impose the idea […]

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REBLOG: When being first means being last

As our family enjoyed some fun-filled days at Disney World recently, I had the opportunity to observe a lot of people. Standing in lines for elevators, restaurants, rides, ice cream vendors, and yes, bathrooms, affords you a lot of time to watch and listen. Throughout our days I noticed so many kind people — people […]

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THE LIGHTER SIDE: Faith and Frisbees

The Book of Mormon — the Broadway play, not the actual book — follows the story of a young Mormon missionary in Uganda. The violence he sees makes him start to lose faith in his religion, but instead of abandoning his church, he decides to reaffirm everything he has been taught. He sings a triumphant […]

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Being Church

Thoughts about traditions, trends and changing times In this new series, Nurturing Faith Editor John Pierce raises questions with a variety of leaders about the future of congregational life. This second entry features responses from Chris Gambill, director of the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. NF: Sunday school attendance has been a primary […]

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CLASSIFIEDS

Pastor Boulevard Baptist Church, a CBF church in Anderson, S.C., is seeking a pastor. Ours is a missional church seeking to bear witness “at the corner of Boulevard and the world.” We have both long-term members and a growing group of young families and recent additions to our church. We are seeking a minister who […]

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RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS: PART TWO

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933–1945) In the summer of 1936 and seeking re-election, Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, having rescued America from the nation’s worst crisissince the Civil War, found himself in the middle of a growing political and religious whirlwind. HOPE OR DESPAIR? The worst of the Great Depression was over, and jobs were far […]

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The Prodigal Son story retold

The story of the Prodigal Son (or the Loving Father) is being retold in many of our churches today. It goes something like this: Once there was a man who had two sons. The second son demanded his inheritance, went to a far country and wasted his money in depravity and shameful living. He eventually […]

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WALK of FAITH

Tour tells tale of Hollywood’s Christian beginnings LOS ANGELES — April Clemmer pauses when walking past the First Baptist Church of Hollywood. “This church is a survivor,” she tells the dozen or so people taking her Walk of Faith tour in a neighborhood better known for its movie-star-spangled Walk of Fame. “I will show you […]

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Walter Rauschenbusch and the reception of the social gospel movement

Westward rail construction opened vast lands but enriched only a few. In the East and Midwest, millions of toiling urbanites were weary and despaired. The economic chasm in 1886 was vast. Former President Rutherford B. Hayes warned in a speech: “Free government cannot long endure if property is largely in a few hands and large […]

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Pavlovitz irreverently pushes readers from dismay to hope

When pulling John Pavlovitz’ new book from a FedEx envelope, my first thought was: “Hmm, this is the only book I’ve received with ‘butt-kicking’ in the title.” OK, it’s in the subtitle — but still. However, anyone familiar with Pavlovitz’ widely read blogs and columns knows his voice has no semblance of a pacifying, safe-seeking […]

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Questions Christians ask scientists

Are beliefs about God just patterns of neurons firing in our brains? Keith, my brother-in-law, is a Baptist like me. Unlike me, however, he spent a number of years in the Episcopal Church. He’ll tell you that Baptists know how to teach children and Episcopalians know how to teach teenagers. Baptists tell the story to […]

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DIGGIN’ IT: Raining heads AND horses

It’s been dry in Israel for several years, a small reminder of periodic droughts mentioned in the Bible. That recently came to an end with a spate of heavy winter rains. Israel typically has seasonal rains, usually beginning with scattered showers in October, intensifying through the winter months, and petering out in March or April. […]

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REBLOG: Finding Will in the Hall

My two daughters, two nieces and I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, where we saw Webb Pierce’s 1962 Pontiac Bonneville convertible adorned with steer horns, six-shooter door handles, a saddle console and more than l50 silver dollars. Tacky was a big part of country music history — thanks mostly to the […]

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Art and Architecture

Oldest church in Paris getting restoration help from American friends Saint Germain des Prés is often described as the quintessential Parisian neighborhood — and at its heart is the oldest church in Paris, with roots growing deeply to the year 543. The current structure is more than 1,000 years old and is being restored — […]

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