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July-August 2018 Issue

Worth Repeating

“If any ministry is biblical, it is prison ministry.” Travis Collins, pastor of First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Ala. (EthicsDaily) “Rather than bemoaning the fact that there are a lot of older folks in the church, take advantage of them…They long to make connections and to make a difference.” Mike Queen of the Center for […]

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Stumbling over rocks and other obstacles to faith

In my youth, whenever persons of influence wanted to add a restriction to our already restrictive code of personal ethics, and no clear biblical prohibition was at hand, they would turn to Romans 14. The emphasis was on “stumbling block” in verse 13 — followed by Paul’s words about not eating meat. It was presented […]

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Still celebrating

Ragan Courtney on the long artistic trail of life SANTA FE, N.M. — “I wanted to be Roy Rogers,” said playwright and poet Ragan Courtney, sitting comfortably in the Santa Fe home he and his wife, singer Cynthia Clawson, moved into earlier this year. Over cups of coffee he told of growing up thoroughly Southern […]

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Expansive world, expanding faith

Nature nurtures belief in a bigger God says scientist/columnist Paul Wallace WAIMEA, Hawaii — The skies didn’t cooperate as well as we hoped for the Nurturing Faith Experience to the Big Island of Hawaii in March, but the group shared remarkable explorations of nature and expanded understandings of the divine creator. “There has always been […]

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Common Grounds

COFFEE COUNTY — Bruce Gourley of Bozeman, Mont., points to a coffee-themed directional sign at Kauai Coffee in Hawaii that includes the rural county 4,678 miles away where he grew up in South Georgia. Photo by John D. Pierce. History of coffee brews up a blend of beans and beliefs KONA, Hawaii — During our […]

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Being church in changing times

Reflections on a pastoral care failure A column provided in collaboration with the Center for Healthy Churches (chchurches.org) Let me begin by getting to the hardest part — at least as far as my pride is concerned: Some time ago, when a family in one of the churches I served went through a gut-wrenching ordeal, […]

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Remembering James Cone, ‘powerful testifier and storyteller’

On April 28, my birthday, I awoke to well wishes from friends and family. But the day wasn’t very old when someone posted on Facebook about the death of James Cone. Like others touched by his life and writings, I spent a few moments crying over the loss. Later, I re-read passages from some of […]

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THEOLOGY IN THE PEWS: The Church as a sign of the Kingdom

The church is sent into the world by Jesus (John 20:21) to bear God’s image as a sign of the Kingdom of God, a visible community that bears in its own life the presence of God’s coming reign. This notion is connected with the idea that humans are created in the image of God. However, […]

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REBLOG: The Sunday challenge

In just a couple of hours my house will most likely look as though something exploded. How do I know? Because it happens almost every week. Tiny shoes will be dumped out of the basket and onto the floor of the closet in an attempt to find matches. Clothes will be strewn in the bedroom […]

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THE LIGHTER SIDE: Yikes! Yelp

Perhaps I am being defensive, but I do not believe that our church’s three reviews on Yelp are a fair indicator of who we are as a congregation. Mike O. writes, “There were all these signs about puttin cell phones away and such. When I entered, I could have sworn I’d seen the inside of […]

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CLASSIFIEDS

Minister to College Students and Young Single Adults: Calvary Baptist Church (calvarybaptistchurch.com), located in downtown Lexington, Ky., two blocks from the University of Kentucky, is seeking a full-time minister to college students and young single adults. Calvary is a growing faith community of approximately 1,500 resident members who are deeply committed to maintaining a ministry […]

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RECOGNITION & REMEMBRANCE

Ka’thy Gore Chappell is the first executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry of North Carolina, effective July 1, coming from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina where she served as coordinator of leadership development. Priscilla Eppinger was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. College of Ministers and Laity at Morehouse College in […]

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Generation to generation generosity

From Genesis to Revelation the biblical message is one of God’s people being called to live in the present — but also to positively impact the next generation. From Deuteronomy’s Mosaic proclamation to God’s people on how to live the ancient covenant in a land that Moses would not enter to Jesus blessing his followers […]

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Gun violence deserves better response from faith communities

Having never considered myself a political person, I generally favor innocuous topics such as music, college football or baseball trivia. Typically, my introverted nature causes me to avoid controversy at the risk of offending someone or casting myself in an unwanted spotlight. However, I feel compelled to speak out although my message poses the risk […]

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Finding connections

Is the God of the Bible the God of the universe? I believe that the God of the Bible is the God of the universe. But what connections are there between biblical beliefs about God and scientific understanding of the universe? Summarizing what the Bible has to say about God is extremely challenging. After reading […]

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REBLOG: What does it mean to believe in God?

“It’s good that you believe that God is one. Ha! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble with fear.” Rather than using the more-commonly translated “Good!” or “Good for you!” the Common English Bible (CEB) renders as the middle line in James 2:19 the well-communicated English term, “Ha!” That verse came to mind when […]

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Counting what counts with Nelson Morgan

ROSWELL, N.M — This New Mexico town may be best known for a 1947 UFO incident that flooded the area with conspiracy theories rather than green aliens. However, my drive here through wide-open plains was to visit a remarkable man whose support and encouragement I’d long appreciated — but someone I’d never met. Morgan Nelson […]

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DIGGIN’ IT: Is this Isaiah’s autograph or the seal of another?

Has a lump of clay bearing the prophet Isaiah’s personal seal been discovered in Jerusalem? Maybe; maybe not. Archaeologist Eilat Mazar, in a Biblical Archaeology Review tribute article to retiring editor Hershel Shanks, recently described a clay bulla found in the “City of David” excavations, suggesting that it might reflect the personal seal of Isaiah […]

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Former inmate becomes minister of healing

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — “I know what it’s like to be an outcast,” Charlyne Boyette told her ministry ordination council at First Baptist Church of Asheville. She identifies herself as a person in long-term recovery, a representative of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, an ambassador of reconciliation, a messenger of hope, and a minister of healing. […]

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RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS: Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921)

Divisions and distrust hovered over American politics in the summer of 1912. From the left, progressives — represented by the Democratic and Progressive (Bull Moose) parties, the latter led by former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt — focused on using the expansive levers of government to extend rights, protections and assistance for ordinary Americans. Political policies […]

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Timely conversation

Melissa Rogers talks about working in and out of government to advance religious liberty WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Religious liberty advocate Melissa Roger received the 18th annual Judson-Rice Award from Nurturing Faith Publishing. She is a nonresident senior fellow in governance studies with the Brookings Institution and a member of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, […]

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YWH 9145

While unsure about the last four numbers, I am positive about the first three letters: YWH. They were on the license plate on the car in front of me at a stoplight. The car was soon lost in traffic, but my mind has been whirling ever since: YWH 9145! Those who know something of Judaica […]

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Questions Christians ask scientists

What does science have to do with my day-to-day faith? The war between science and religion gets a lot of press, but many people — believers and nonbelievers alike — think the two do not overlap. In this view, science and faith are like strangers who live in different neighborhoods, invest in different communities, and […]

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