man to man to God
For week of October 10, 2010
weekly newsletter of Path
Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
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the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no
food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no
herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult
in the God of my salvation.”
man does not call a line crooked, unless he has some idea of a
is Domestic Violence Awareness Month --
IN THE HOME
Victor M. Parachin
a US Department of Justice study indicates that approximately 1
million violent crimes are committed by former spouses,
boyfriends, or girlfriends each year with 85% of the victims being
women. For domestic violence to be defeated, it must begin with
information. Here are 11 myths and facts about domestic
violence.... Read this in full at
WAYS CHURCHES CAN STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
church can and must play a vital leadership role in dealing with
domestic violence. Scripture calls on people of faith to be
responsive with both compassion and comfort: “Comfort,
comfort my people says your God” (Isa. 40:1); “Encourage
one another and build each other up” (1Thes. 5:11). Here are
8 ways churches can help:
Affirm publicly, via preaching and teaching, the dignity and worth
of every human being and speak out against all forms of domestic
Educate the congregation routinely by including information via
the church newsletter and website and by providing workshops on
domestic violence issues. Periodically, have an adult Sunday
school class study the topic for a semester.
Be a resource for church and community. Do your own biblical and
theological homework so that you, as a community leader, can speak
authoritatively on the subject.
Partner with the community. Include a line item in the church
budge to provide generous financial support to a domestic violence
organization in the community. Consider adopting a local shelter
to which your congregation will provide material support to the
families it protects.
Lead by example. Volunteer to serve on the board of a local
shelter or offer yourself as a resource to the families in the
shelter. Consider taking additional training to become a crisis or
Offer space. Open your doors, without a fee, to host a support
group or serve as a supervised visitation site when parents need a
place to safely visit children.
Intervene. If you suspect violence within a relationship, ask
questions of those involved. Help the abused to plan for safety.
Hold the abuser accountable.
Strengthen family life through education and enrichment programs
which teach and empower people to relate with one another in
healthy, functional ways.
see the website Peace and Safety in the Christian Home
AT THE CROSSROAD
is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18
estimated 40 million Americans view Internet p*rnography on a
regular basis. The average age of exposure is 11. What’s
worse yet is that 47% of Christians polled said that p*rnography
on the Web was a major problem in their home.
light of these alarming statistics, I wasn’t really
surprised when I received a letter from a man who had given in to
the lure of Internet p*rn. Broken and ashamed, he was desperate to
climb out of the shame and sludge that Satan had lured him into.
He told me that he finally decided to tape a picture of Jesus in
the corner of his computer screen. With a sense of relief, he told
me that seeing Jesus made his choices clear, and that he couldn’t
go where he had gone before as long as Jesus was in clear view in
the corner of the screen.... Read this in full at
WRITER RANDALL WALLACE BRINGS HIS FAITH INTO HIS WORK AS A
FILMMAKER, AND NOW AGAIN AS DIRECTOR OF 'SECRETARIAT'
Randall Wallace first met Mel Gibson, he was pitching a script for
a movie about a 14th century Scottish hero most of us had never
heard of: William Wallace. (And no, Randall isn't related to him.)
listened as Wallace became more and more animated, till he was
pounding on the table and saying things like, "If you are
faithful to your heart, even if they cut it out of you, you
prevail" and "If you don't want to make that story, you
should go somewhere else." Gibson wanted to make that story,
and the rest is Braveheart history.
was a long way from Durham, North Carolina, and Duke Divinity
School, where, more than 20 years before, Wallace was studying
theology and considering becoming a pastor -- till his own
minister urged him to consider his true calling. That ultimately
turned out to be Hollywood and making movies -- first as a writer
and later as a director.
was nominated for an Oscar (and won the Writers Guild of America
award) for his Braveheart screenplay in 1995. He went on to write
scripts for The Man in the Iron Mask, Pearl Harbor, and We Were
Soldiers, the last of which he also directed -- and which starred
Mel Gibson in the lead role.... Read this in full at
for Oct. 27
PBS SPOTLIGHTS 'GOD IN AMERICA'
don't know how many conservatives in the US regularly watch PBS
historical documentaries, but I am one of them. So when I learned
the network would be airing a six-hour documentary Oct. 11-13
titled "God in America," I was hooked.
joint venture between the PBS programs "American Experience"
and "Frontline," the three-night series follows the
history of religion in America, from the 1600s to the present day.
course, watching a PBS documentary on such a subject can be a
chore, because half your brain is trying to enjoy the program
while the other half is taking mental notes and constantly
wondering: Is that true? That's partially because God in America,
like most television documentaries on religion, is lacking in
orthodox, evangelical representation. (If I hear something that
doesn't sound right, I'll just research it.)
after previewing all six hours I came to a surprising conclusion.
"God in America" -- while it has its flaws, a few of
them major -- is worth watching. It's far from being a church
production, but it has plenty of strengths and just might spark
some Christians into learning more about the history of their
faith.... Read this in full at
also: “Miniseries traces religion's USA impact across 400
GOD AND COUNTRY: ARE RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS GOOD NEIGHBORS AND
Wilfred M. McClay
a seemingly endless procession of tendentious and hotly argued
books espousing "the new atheism" and blaming religion
for all that is wrong with the world, "American Grace"
comes as a welcome balm, offering a reasoned discussion of
religion and public life. Rather than wrangle over matters of
theology and science, Robert Putnam and David Campbell focus on
extensive survey data to explore the kinds of conduct and
attitudes that religious beliefs produce in individuals and
groups. The authors ask to be regarded as neutral observers, not
partisans. And their criteria for the success or failure of
religion are almost entirely sociological and behavioral: By their
fruits ye shall know them.
approach will of course not appeal to everyone. But the result is
a book that takes a mostly positive view of American religion,
capturing its energy and variety. Chapters of historical or
sociological interpretation alternate with "vignettes,"
artfully done portraits of particular church communities; the
vignettes attempt to flesh out the other chapters' more abstract
points. In the process, some important elements in the
conventional wisdom receive a rude jolt.... Read this in full at
BACKGROUND-CHECK SERVICE FINDS HUNDREDS OF FELONIES
criminal-background checks offered by LifeWay Christian Resources
found more than 600 felony offenses in checks for the 900-plus
churches and organizations that have purchased the service in its
first two years.... Read this in full at
Roger E. Olson
some years now I’ve been wrestling with the concept of
purgatory and wondering whether evangelical Christians should
adopt some version of it. C. S. Lewis held to a version of
purgatory while rejecting the classical Roman Catholic view.
Once again, as I write, I am aware that some critics out there may
rip what I say out of context (because they have in the past) and
publicly accuse me of adopting a Roman Catholic doctrine. I can
see the (admittedly small) headline in some state Baptist
newspaper now: “Baptist seminary professor Roger Olson
headed toward Rome!” Some of you far removed from the
“Baptist wars” of the last 25 years (mainly in the
South) may think this is paranoia, but you think wrongly. One
influential critic invented a quote (about open theism) and
attributed it to me and disseminated it to Baptist state
newspapers across the South. So, if you are one of “those”
please be fair (if you’re capable of it) and explain that my
hypothesis of purgatory is just that -- a hypothesis for
discussion (technically called a theologoumenon) and very
different from the Roman Catholic doctrine.
stimulated this thought process was my intensive study of
Christian leaders and theologians of the past in preparation to
write The Story of Christian Theology. During that research I
discovered things I had never heard or read about great
evangelical “heroes” of the past such as Augustine,
Luther, Zwingli and Calvin.
a wonderful little book entitled My Conversation with Martin
Luther the late Lutheran theologian Timothy Lull described his
imaginary dialogues with Luther in which he discovered that
the German reformer had to take classes in paradise about Judaism
to correct his anti-semitism.... Read this in full at
SEMINARY PROFESSOR ROGER OLSON HEADED TOWARD ROME
C Michael Patton
Olson is my favorite Evangelical Arminians. He has a unique
ability to be an anchor of doctrinal stability and a provocative
juggernaut of theological inquiry that causes us to scratch our
heads and, many times, reshape our paradigms. I have used his The
Mosaic of Christian Belief in The Theology Program for over six
years and I don’t plan on changing it any time soon. He has
been on Converse with Scholars (twice I think). He is a great and
well respected Evangelical author and professor. All of this to
say, I have much admiration and appreciation for Roger Olson…he
keeps us on our toes.
said this, his recent blog post about Protestant Purgatory makes
me wonder what is going on.
take the title of this post seriously. It comes from Roger
himself when he says, “Once again, as I write, I am aware
that some critics out there may rip what I say out of context
(because they have in the past) and publicly accuse me of adopting
a Roman Catholic doctrine. I can see the (admittedly small)
headline in some state Baptist newspaper now: “Baptist
seminary professor Roger Olson headed toward Rome!” Well,
this is not a Baptist newspaper, but it’ll do.
I am a fan of Roger Olson, I am a contemplative critic of his
thesis here. I don’t really know where it has come from. The
very idea of Purgatory goes against everything that the
Reformation was about. Let me back up. In essence, this is what I
am hearing Olson say: “There are some Christians who have
done some really, really bad things and had some really, really
bad attitudes. Therefore, I am considering that these Christians
have to enter into an educational corrective half-way house before
entering Heaven. Let’s call this a ‘Protestant
Purgatory’.” .... Read this in full at
IN GOD'S PROVISON
Great Depression hit Mr. J.C. Penney particularly hard,
endangering his very health. Anxious and desperate because of huge
financial losses, he felt he had nothing to live for. Even his
family and friends shunned him. In the hospital one night, he grew
so demoralized he expected to die before morning; but he heard
singing coming from the little hospital chapel. The words of the
song said, "Be not dismayed whate'er betide; God will take
care of you."
the chapel, Penney listened to the song and to the Scripture
reading and prayer. He later wrote, "Suddenly - something
happened. I can't explain it. I can only call it a miracle. I felt
as if I had been instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon
into warm, brilliant sunlight." From that day, J.C. Penney
was never plagued with worry, and he later called those moments in
the chapel "the most dramatic and glorious twenty minutes of
my life." When he died at age 95, he left behind 1,660
department stores in his name.
Turning Point Daily Devotional, 10/1/03
A 'FADED MEMORY' FOR MOST YOUNG PEOPLE
young people consider Christianity irrelevant to their lives but
they are not as hostile towards religion as their parents’
generation, researchers in the Church of England have found.
researchers surveyed 300 young people from Generation Y -–
those born after 1982 -– who had attended a Christian youth
or community project. The 5-year study looked at their faith in
relation to Christianity and the impact of Christian youth and
community work on their faith development.
found that young people were more likely to put their faith in
friends, their family, or themselves than in God.
Collins-Mayo, a sociologist of religion and one of the researchers
behind the study, said: “For the majority, religion and
spirituality was irrelevant for day-to-day living; our young
people were not looking for answers to ultimate questions and
showed little sign of ‘pick and mix’ spirituality.”
said that young people only sought a religious perspective on
“rare occasions” and that when they did, they often
"made do" with a “very faded, inherited cultural
memory of Christianity in the absence of anything else.”
tended to be in times of difficulty, for example, after suffering
a bereavement or illness in the family.... Read this in full at
AND FAMILY VALUES THE SOLUTION TO MANY OF AMERICA'S YOUTH'S WOES
a research presentation for the Family Research Council, Dr.
William Jeynes, a Professor at California State University in Long
Beach and a Non-resident Scholar at Baylor University, shared the
long awaited results of his meta-analyses that summarizes the
relationship between faith & family values and academic and
behavioral outcomes for youth. Jeynes' speech was based on the
findings of his research, which examines a research synthesis of
all the available studies on the influence of personal religious
faith and family factors on children. This research synthesis,
commonly called a meta-analysis, involves statistically
synthesizing all the research that has been done on a given topic.
were several of Jeynes' findings that were most salient. First,
personal religious faith among youth had a dramatic relationship
with children's academic outcomes and what are commonly referred
to as at-risk behaviors, including consuming various types of
illegal drugs and unhealthy amounts of alcohol and becoming
involved in a single parent teenage pregnancy. Jeynes noted that,
"Faith has a particularly ameliorative impact on academic and
behavioral outcomes for children of color and those from single
parent family structures. That is, faith plays an important role
in helping youth overcome other disadvantages. American society
should therefore encourage and not discourage these children from
drawing strength from their religious faith." Second, youth
that come from family structures outside of the two biological
parent intact family, on average, face academic, psychological,
and behavioral disadvantages across virtually every measure.
American society should therefore take more definitive actions to
support the two biological parent intact family. Third, religious
schools particularly benefit children of color and those of low
socioeconomic status. Jeynes asserts that, "Faith and family
are two of the foremost pillars sustaining the most healthy parts
of society. Yet we live in a society that frequently disparages
Christians, in particular, and the value and unique nature of the
two-parent family. The question we need to ask is whether we are
undermining the institutions that are largely responsible for the
strength, health, and compassion that made this country great."
.... Read this in full at
FINDS FAITH AND FANATICISM IN SOUTH’S FOOTBALL GOD
Gibbs has been on a pigskin pilgrimage throughout the South,
searching for spiritual truth in Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge,
Gainesville, and Fayetteville.
grew up a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and switched allegiance
to his alma mater -- and the University of Alabama's archrival --
Auburn University. For a while, Gibbs became so fanatical that he
wondered if football had replaced God as his god.
wondered about how much I could care about football before it
starts to hinder my faith," said Gibbs, a 2002 Auburn
graduate who lives less than a mile from the school's famed
set out to find how other Christian football fans handled their
dual obsessions. For 12 weeks he attended football games involving
every Southeastern Conference (SEC) football team.
quest resulted in Gibbs' new book, "God and Football: Faith
and Fanaticism in the SEC," which tracks college football's
near-religious following in the heart of the Bible Belt, where
fans worship their SEC teams on Saturdays and God on Sundays....
Read this in full at
OUR HIGHEST MOTIVATION?
Jesus' purpose in coming to earth was to minister as the Messiah
and ultimately lay down his life so that mankind might be saved,
why did he waste so much time in what religion would see as the
mind-set of the servant-task oriented, frivolous, worldly pursuit
of working in the carpenter shop in his hometown of Nazareth? How
many souls died without hearing his life-saving words during those
wasted years where he didn't preach one sermon, didn't perform one
miracle, didn't make one disciple, didn't save a single soul?
the questions puzzled me, and I wondered, Could there be any
higher motivation in Jesus' life than to seek and to save the
lost? The answer came clearly in my study of John 5, beginning
with verse 19. When Jesus was criticized for healing on the
Sabbath, he told his critics that he did only what he saw the
Father doing. As a son, his greatest delight was to do his
Father's will... During what seemed like wasted years of
inactivity, Jesus was totally in the Father's will. For him to
have attempted ministry before the Father's time would have been
the real waste.
frantic activity to prepare the meal for Jesus was a waste. Jesus
said that only one thing was needed and Mary had chosen what was
essential. The older brother's life of diligent work and
scrupulous obedience was a waste. There were well cared for
servants who could have done the work while the son enjoyed being
with his father, only doing what his father asked him to do
instead of spending his life doing what he thought his father
wanted. How much time and money are wasted in so many churches
doing so many good things with so few ever stopping to discover
what the Father really wants from them?”
with Ken Gire, in the book The Birthright
PUT THE COOKIES ON THE LOWER SHELF
Leadership Wired newsletter (Vol. 6, Issue 17), John Maxwell
explains, "The ability to make the complex seem simple is a
mark of a good communicator. Some people do this naturally -- they
have an innate capacity to explain complex concepts in ways that
evoke understanding instead of vacant looks. Communicators know
how to put the cookies on the lower shelf so everybody can have
other people, speaking with such clarity is more of a challenge.
When you're a leader, however, it doesn't matter whether
explaining tough ideas is easy or difficult for you. You have to
be able to be able to put the cookies on the lower shelf--and do
it consistently--if you want to be successful.
are four questions that will help you communicate complicated
issues more effectively.
Do I understand it?
How can I help others understand it?
Do they understand it?
Did they understand it well enough to help someone else understand
you want your words to elicit fewer blank stares and more nods of
understanding, make it a point to ask yourself these four
questions whenever you are trying to explain a complicated
concept. It's the only way I know of to ensure that you are
putting the cookies on the lower shelf so everybody can have
NON-BELIEVERS KNOW MORE ABOUT FAITH THAN BELIEVERS?
atheists and agnostics know more about Christianity than
Christians? That's what you would think if you scanned the
headlines generated by a recent Pew Forum test on religious
Los Angeles Times headlined its story this way: "If you want
to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist."
NPR: "Atheists and agnostics know more about Bible than
religious." USA Today: "Unbelievers aced out the
faithful when it comes to religious knowledge." CNN: "It's
not evangelicals or Catholics who did best -- it's atheists and
it really true that non-believers know more about faith than
and agnostics answered an average of 20.9 out of 32 questions
correctly; evangelical Protestants scored 17.6; Catholics scored
16.0; mainline Protestants scored 15.8. So it would seem that
people with no faith know more about faith than those who have it.
the reports I've read on the survey are misleading. When I went to
the Pew Forum's website to read the study, I discovered that only
12 of their 32 questions on religion dealt with Christianity.
Eleven related to world religions; others focused on religion in
to public impression, evangelical Christians did better than
atheists/agnostics on questions dealing with Christianity. But
atheists and agnostics did much better than evangelicals on
questions focusing on world religions, which makes sense as 70
percent of those who are affiliated with a religion say they
seldom or never read about other religions. And atheists and
agnostics did better with questions about the role of religion in
public life. This is not surprising, since they would likely say
that they deal with this issue more than believers.... Read this
in full at
KINGS, BUT BAD THINKERS: UNDERSTANDING OVER FACTS
John Mark Reynolds
a boutique belief system in the United States, atheism has a good
many advantages. There are so few atheists and agnostics that they
do not run all the risks of a populist movement. Not for them is
the burden of dealing with the masses of a global population,
their idiosyncrasies, worries and all.
Christians make up three-quarters or more of the American general
population, we have the burden of accounting for almost
everybody's problems. Sadly, we are much less well represented in
elite education, media, and government. This is not because
religion is incompatible with elite education, but because
"skepticism" about religion has become a sociological
way for the elite to mark themselves off from the rest of us. In
this sense, anti-religion (and in particularly anti-Catholicism)
serves the same function that joining the "right" church
used to serve in another era.
secular elite have provided most of us with wretched religious
education by all but banning it as a topic for serious enquiry or
discussion. Meanwhile, they know just enough about religion to get
some "facts" right on a pop-religion quiz, but have no
grasp on why, despite all temptations, some thoughtful folk remain
religious. They know some of the lyrics of religion, but cannot
hear the music.... Read this in full at
WARREN: INEFFECTIVE CHRISTIANS USUALLY FAIL BATTLE OF THE MIND
Christians are ineffective because they do not know how to fight
the battle of the mind, said popular megachurch pastor Rick Warren
at the 2010 Desiring God conference.
gets your mind gets you,” stated Warren in a pre-recorded
video played at the conference in Minneapolis, Minn., on Oct. 1.
“The battle of sin always starts with the mind.”
Southern California pastor, known for his innovative thinking,
lamented over how few pastors train their followers on how to
fight the battle of the mind even though it is so critical to the
fight against sin.
mind is always rebelling but Christians need to take every thought
captive and make it obedient to Christ, said Warren in his talk,
titled “Thinking Purposefully for the Glory of Christ:
Developing the Mind of Christ.” .... Read this in full at
JOHN PIPER ON 'THINK'
Piper stirred up a little controversy last spring when he invited
Rick Warren to the Desiring God conference. Due to family health
incidents, Warren could not appear live Oct. 1 and addressed the
conference via video, but Piper is still determined to ask him
questions about The Purpose Driven Life. Piper emerged from an
8-month leave so he could attend the Desiring God conference and
for the inauguration of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He spoke
with Christianity Today about his new book, Think, his invitation
to Warren, and what he has been doing during his leave of absence.
What provoked your new book, Think.
It seemed helpful to describe what I've been doing for 30–40
years. Early on, you talk about God because you consider him to be
most important. But later you realize there are means by which God
is known and portrayed. Also, we have our inaugural convocation
for Bethlehem College and Seminary, and I was thinking, what would
I see happen there? What kind of a mind do I want these young men
and women to develop?
You dedicated the book to Mark Noll and Nathan Hatch, and you
reference Noll's Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, adding that you
want Christians to think through a biblical lens. So why did you
look at "thinking" through that lens?
When I asked Mark to do the foreword I told him, "You're
going to recognize what this is -- this is tribal scholarship,
this is tribal theology. It's all I know to do." When I say
I'm not a scholar, you know who I'm measuring myself against: Mark
Noll. Mark Noll, to me, is the epitome of what a scholar is. He's
so intimidating in his capacities, his scope, his breadth, his
comprehensiveness, his nuanced seeing of everything. I really am
limited. People think I'm not; I am.
what I can do is take a paragraph in this book (paging through his
Bible) and really milk it. I took that approach because that's all
I know to do. I'm a preacher. If I am honest, I would say it's
important to do it that way. I looked through a bunch of other
books that are out there on the life of the mind; nobody does it
this way. It's just a little contribution to all those other books
to say, you know, if you take the Bible really seriously, even the
texts that look anti-intellectual, it really presses us to think.
For the simple, for the biblistic people like me, for somebody to
convince me about that would be really good. Because they're going
to say, "Oh, to be faithful here I have to develop."
You invited Rick Warren; would you say he exemplifies "thinking"?
No, I don't think he exactly exemplifies what I'm after. But he is
biblical. He quoted 50 Scriptures from memory. Unbelievable, his
mind is Vesuvius. So I asked him what impact reading Jonathan
Edwards had on him. What these authors like Karl Barth and Edwards
do for him is give him a surge of theological energy that then
comes through his wiring. What I wanted to do with Rick is force
him to talk about thinking so pragmatists out there can say, "A
lot of thinking goes into what he does." .... Read this in
CHRISTIANS LARGELY ABSENT FROM U.S. MISSIONARY FORCE
Coleman has a passion for missions. But he's concerned that many
of his African-American brethren aren't on the same page with him.
Black churches overall have not been reinforcing the missionary
force out of the United States. And Coleman is hoping they'll
confront their longstanding lack of involvement and make their way
overseas to the millions who have never heard of Jesus.
to the 2007 African American Missions Mobilization Manifesto by
Columbia International University, blacks make up less than one
percent of the total number (118,600) of U.S. missionaries. But
Coleman, who serves as the director of candidacy and mobilization
for The Mission Society, didn't have to look to statistics to
realize that blacks were largely absent from the mission
fields.... Read this in full at
is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed
it and established it -- the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me
and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things
you do not know.’"
course God knows what will happen if we use our freedom the wrong
way. Apparently He thinks it's worth the risk.”
Harold Myra and Marshall Shelley (from The Leadership Secrets of
is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
a middle manager was receiving a promotion, his vice president
cryptically said, "You know what being promoted means, don't
you? It means your bad decisions do more damage."
having positions of influence means more opportunity to do good.
But it also means that the costs are higher for failure. No one
likes to fail, especially leaders, whose failures produce
magnified consequences. Our errors of judgment, and our failures
of nerve or vision, affect not just ourselves but also our
followers and our cause. Clearly, failure is nothing to take
as ski instructors frequently tell their novice students, "If
you don't fall now and then, you're probably not pushing yourself
is the inevitable companion of a large vision. No one can take on
a significant and difficult challenge without stumbling a few
times. The important thing is how we respond. The goal is not a
fail-safe record but a pattern of increasing effectiveness.
Aikman, analyzing great individuals who shaped the twentieth
century, said it well: "Virtue, after all, often consists not
so much in the absence of fault altogether as in the speed and
grace with which fault is recognized and corrected." ....
Read this in full at
TOWN IS A-COMIN’ SOON
time three weeks and it will be all over,” I found myself
thinking this evening as I contemplated the fast-approaching Third
Lausanne Congress in Cape Town. Of course I was quite wrong and
immediately rebuked myself. The Congress will be over, but the
work and the impact will only be beginning, by God’s grace.
For we have no idea exactly what the Sovereign God has in mind for
this event -– except to say that it will probably surprise
us all (as the First Lausanne Congress did in 1974).
breadth of the Lausanne Movement reflects something of the breadth
of the world church, since the majority of the 5,000 or so
participants will be from the ‘majority world’ -–
i.e. the lands of the global south and east, where the majority of
the world’s Christians are now to be found. And the breadth
of the Lausanne agenda in Cape Town reflects something of the
breadth of world mission, in all its forms and activities. Since
1974, “Lausanne” has stood for a holistic
understanding of mission, including all that the Bible shows of
the heart of God for his alienated world and all that the Bible
mandates us to be, say, and do, in the world in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ. A glance at the Lausanne website
(www.lausanne.org ), and especially at the section given to all
the documents and forums and special interests that have camped
under its broad tent, shows the amazing range of the missional
involvement of people for whom “The Lausanne Covenant”
provides an expression of their faith and commitment.... Read this
in full at
PHILIP YANCEY ON US CHRISTIANITY, FAITH THAT MATTERS
Yancey grew up in a strict, fundamentalist church in the Deep
South. He spent most of his early life in a bubble, attending a
Bible college that in hindsight seems like "an island
fortress against the outside world, one with its own private
culture." Even the Sixties' sexual revolution did not
penetrate the college's sealed environment, he says.
school's list of forbidden activities included dancing, playing
cards, skating at public rinks and movies, among others. Students
could only play music "consistent with a Christian
testimony;" women's skirts were measured; and men could not
grow a beard or moustache.
went through a period of reacting against everything he was taught
and later realized that "God had been misrepresented" to
then Yancey has explored some of the most basic questions of the
Christian faith with a worldwide audience. His popular books
include Disappointment with God and Where is God When it
Hurts. His newest book explores the question "What good is
bestselling author is interviewed on his new book and about the
less than vibrant Christianity found in the United States
today.... Read this in full at
BAPTIST LEADER ON YOGA: NOT CHRISTIANITY
Southern Baptist leader who is calling for Christians to avoid
yoga and its spiritual attachments is getting plenty of pushback
from enthusiasts who defend the ancient practice. Southern Baptist
Seminary President Albert Mohler says the stretching and
meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a
Christian pathway to God. Mohler said he objects to "the idea
that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the
divine." "That's just not Christianity," Mohler
told The Associated Press.
said feedback has come through e-mail and comments on blogs and
other websites since he wrote an essay to address questions about
yoga he has heard for years. "I'm really surprised by the
depth of the commitment to yoga found on the part of many who
identify as Christians," Mohler said.... Read this in full at
REJECTS SUIT AGAINST RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE AT CAPITOL VISITOR CENTER
federal judge has dismissed a suit arguing that engravings of "In
God We Trust" and the Pledge of Allegiance at the US Capitol
Visitor Center here are unconstitutional. US District Court Judge
William Conley of Madison, Wis., dismissed the suit by the Freedom
From Religion Foundation on Sept. 29 due to lack of standing. He
said the Wisconsin-based organization did not make a sufficient
link between their taxpayer status and the money spent on the
engravings that included the national motto and the words "under
God" in the pledge. "Any funds used by the government
will necessarily result in the use of taxpayer money," Conley
wrote.... Read this in full at
COURT JUSTICES KICK OFF SESSION WITH TRADITIONAL RED MASS
the eve of a Supreme Court session that will feature six Catholic
justices for only the second year in its history, five members of
the court joined Vice President Biden at a traditional kickoff
Mass Sunday at a downtown cathedral.
so-called Red Mass, a service dedicated to jurists and lawyers,
dates to the 13th century in Europe and has been a
first-Sunday-in-October custom in Washington for 57 years. Led by
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the justices lined two front
pews in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle as judges,
lawyers and law school students filled the church. The dean of the
Georgetown University Law Center led a prayer, and a federal judge
served as an usher.
presence here is witness to the importance our nation places on
the rule of law," Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl said
from the pulpit. The service began with a flag procession by
purple-plumed members of the Knights of Columbus and ended with
the singing of "America the Beautiful."
a homily by an American cleric serving in the Vatican, justices
heard that the tradition began at time of civic strife similar to
the current judicial mood.... Read this in full at
COURT WON'T HEAR CASE AGAINST RELIGIOUS SONGS BAN
US Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of a man who sued his
children’s school district over its ban on celebratory
case against the ban implemented by the South Orange-Maplewood
school district in New Jersey was one of hundreds the high court
turned down as it opened its new term on the traditional first
Monday in October.
ban had been upheld by the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in
Philadelphia last November though the judges acknowledged that
religious songs during the holiday season once received no
then, the governing principles have been examined and defined with
more particularity,” the judges wrote in their ruling. And
now, school authorities should be the ones who decide “how
to best create an inclusive environment in public schools,”
representing Michael Stratechuk and his two children, however,
insist that the policy is unconstitutional.... Read this in full
ISRAELITES BIG BEER FANS, SCHOLAR SAYS
Israelites drank beer as well as wine, and the brew was even
acceptable as an offering to God, a biblical scholar argues.
Associate Professor of Theology at the Roman Catholic Xavier
University in Louisiana, Michael Homan, believes that the Hebrew
word shekhar has been mistranslated in English Bibles to mean
liquor or strong drink, when it should be translated as beer.
said that the mistranslation was clue in part to academic
snobbishness, which led scholars to scorn beer drinkers but
celebrate the wine-drinking culture.
an article in the current issue of the Biblical Archaeology
Review, Professor Homan writes: “This has led many Bible
scholars actively to distance biblical heroes from a beer drinking
world, much like some Christians prefer to believe that Jesus
drank unfermented grape juice despite overwhelming evidence to the
difficulty of finding archaeological evidence of beer drinking --
owing to the fact that most of the tools used were also used in
bread-making, and that beer was drunk fresh and not stored -- had
meant that the amount of beer drinking in Israeli society had been
underestimated.... Read this in full at
RECOGNIZED AS OFFICIAL RELIGION IN UK
officially recognized Druidry, an ancient nature-based belief
system, as a religion for the first time and gave it charitable
status on Saturday. "There is a sufficient belief in a
supreme being or entity to constitute a religion for the purposes
of charity law," the Charity Commission for England and Wales
said in response to the Druid Network's application. The decision
will give the neo-pagan religion, known for its cloaked
worshippers at Stonehenge and other sites, tax advantages and is
expected to lead to broader acceptance. "This has been a long
hard struggle taking over five years to complete," said the
Druid Network on its website.... Read this in full at
“Druidry to be classed as religion by Charity Commission”
LOOKS BACK ON 30 YEARS OF CHINA'S ONE-CHILD POLICY
Mosher was in China in 1980 when that government handed down the
original one-child policy. Thirty years later, as the Chinese
government praises the policy, Mosher says the experiment is an
"unmitigated social disaster" by a "police state."
Mosher, now the president of the Population Research Institute,
highlighted the policy's human rights violations, including forced
sterilizations and abortions. "Economic controls have been
loosened over the past 30 years, so control over other aspects of
life must be tightened," he said. "The brutal one-child
policy is one consequence of such a system's relentless drive for
control over people's lives." .... Read this in full at
IN AMERICA JUMPS UP 13%
number of unmarried couples living together rose 13% from the
previous year, according to the US Census Bureau. About 7.5
million opposite-couples lived together without getting married in
2010, up from 6.7 million in 2009. Increased financial stress and
a poor job market likely pushed some couples to move in together,
as only 49% of recently cohabitating couples say both of them have
jobs. That's down from 59% two years ago. To combat the trend,
some churches have offered free mass weddings to cohabiting
couples. Trinity Fellowship Church, a megachurch in Amarillo,
Texas, organized a nearly $3,000 event called "The Big Summer
Wedding" last year designed to get couples who are living
together to the altar. In total, 32 couples were married by the
senior elder at the church.... Read this in full at
CHURCH ADMINISTRATION DAY HELPS CONGREGATIONS DEAL WITH DANGERS OF
the days of the Old Testament, it was the role of the prophet to
warn the people of God about impending dangers. In the Christian
church of today, that role often falls to the church
administrator, whose job it is to foresee threats that would put a
congregation at risk—risk of liability, injury, abuse or
without proper training, administrative leaders can "wade
into deep water unknowingly," said Cheryl Valdebenito of
Tampa, Fla., finance manager of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay.
finance to insurance to physical facility, if churches aren't on
top of their game, they can suffer significant loss and wonder, in
hindsight, what happened that they weren't prepared," said
Oct. 21, administrative leaders nationwide will be helping each
other do a better job of protecting their congregations from those
threats. National Church Administration Day has taken as its theme
"Risk Management: The Cost of Ministry."
by the National Association of Church Business Administration,
NCAD is a peer-learning event in which seasoned church leaders
share their expertise with anyone—whether clergy or
laity—performing administrative duties in any congregation,
with the goal that all churches become more effective and
responsible.... Read this in full at
TO MEASURE A MAN
Roar Global Men’s Summit / Dallas, Texas / November 1, 2, 3
James O. Davis, Billion Soul Network
you are gone, are you going to be missed, other than by your
family? Will it make a difference? We are all going. The question
is, what difference will it make? Will our lives have any kind of
man once woke up in the recovery room after surgery and saw that
curtains covered all of the windows. He called out to the nurse,
“I want to see outside. Who closed the curtains?” She
said, “I closed them because there is a big fire across the
street. I didn’t want you to wake up and think the operation
was not a success.”
people are going to wake up and find out that their entire lives
were not a success. They’ll go into eternity with a wasted
world measures a man by brains, by brawn, or by bucks (money). How
do you measure a man? In the Guinness Book of World Records,
Michael Letito was famous for eating glass and metal. He a
supermarket cart in four and a half days. He ate ten bicycles, six
chandeliers and a Cessna Light Aircraft, among other things. Now
can you imagine how he reported to Jesus when he died? “Lord,
I ate an airplane.” What really matters? How do you measure
a life? .... Read this in full at
couple had an argument, and now they were driving down a country
road, not saying a word. As they passed a barnyard of mules, the
wife sarcastically asked, "Relatives of yours?" "Yep,"
the husband replied. "In-laws."
is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love
enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in
action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in
school; and temperance is love in training.”
Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the
outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
WEEK'S HYMN: ABIDE, O DEAREST JESUS
Joshua Stegmann, 1628
Melchior Vulpius, 1609
O dearest Jesus,
us with Thy grace,
Satan may not harm us,
we to sin give place.
O dear Redeemer,
us with Thy Word,
thus now and hereafter
peace and joy afford.
with heav’nly brightness
us, precious Light;
truth direct, and keep us
error’s gloomy night.
with richest blessings
us, bounteous Lord;
us in grace and wisdom
daily through Thy Word.
with Thy protection
us, Lord, our Strength,
world and Satan fell us
overcome at length.
O faithful Savior,
us with Thy love;
steadfastness, and help us
reach our home above.
me, God, to pray / in works as much as in words / to make my
actions thoughtful messages / to make my actions more beautiful
Wayne Lee Jones
FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother
or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.
agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s
Raises or bonuses
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Bills decrease while blessings increase
all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou
shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut.
[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know
if you'd like us to add you to our prayer
chain to pray for your safety and spiritual effectiveness.
I'll add your name to the list for the time you'll be
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YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
Amazing Planet from Top to Bottom (hover over to stop scrolling)
Tiny Apartment Transforms Into 24 Rooms
photo of the Stockholm Library
bird’s silly walk
links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply
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(BTW: whenever the URLs in
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into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the
middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web
browser and hit enter.)
have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of
announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other
information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for
welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to
interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ
together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events
encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that
result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, email@example.com
if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/
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