Editorial: What’s Most Important?

By Rob Renfroe – Summers in Houston can be brutal. It is hard to imagine what life was like before air conditioning in this part of Texas. That is one of the reasons I spent such a wonderful week last month in Michigan. The temperature was in the low 50s in the mornings and the […]

Grace In Hollywood: A ‘Grace Unplugged’ Interview

By Jessi Emmert – AJ Michalka is best known for her role in the music duo “78Violet,” with her older sister Aly. The platinum-selling sisters have also starred on Disney, and AJ also starred in the films “The Lovely Bones,” “Secretariat,” and “Super 8.” Now she’s starring in “Grace Unplugged,” a new Christian film about […]

Dancing With God

By Leonard Sweet – The Bible is filled with stories of dancing. These dances are not planned, scripted ballets but improvised songs of freedom and hope. They aren’t performed by trained and seasoned professionals but are initiated in the joyful celebrations of the common people of God. The dances of God are edgy and innovative. […]

Informed or Formed?

By Frank Decker – A missionary to South America returned home, discouraged, after a few years of attempting to facilitate spiritual growth among a community where the church is nominally present. He ruefully reported that his efforts to enable discipleship groups were thwarted by a perspective in the church that defined faithfulness in terms of […]

Your Work Matters

By Timothy Keller – Robert Bellah’s landmark book, Habits of the Heart, helped many people name the thing that was (and still is) eating away at the cohesiveness of our culture — “expressive individualism.” Elsewhere, Bellah argued that Americans had created a culture that elevated individual choice and expression to such a level that there […]

Letters to the Editor – September/October 2013

Two-way message Thank you for upholding the church’s needs for God’s teachings, however, it is important to remind ourselves that the Christian faith is more than a one-way message. This was recently brought home to me while following a pick-up truck with a tailgate sign that read in big bold letters: “God Loves You.” After […]

The Hokey Pokey Church

By B.J. Funk – “You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you put your right foot in, and you shake it all about; you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around; That’s what it’s all about!”  The song  moves on, until each appendage has gone in and then […]

What Happened When We Added Fasting to Our Prayers?

By Robert Webster – What if I told you that every major figure in the Bible actively practiced the discipline of prayer and fasting as a part of their life of faith? Furthermore, what if I could show you that Jesus “expected” his disciples to add fasting to their prayers, consistently and constantly? And how […]

The Art of Dying Well

By Chris Johnson – Death is a topic that few of us care to think about, but the ars moriendi tradition held a prominent place in the life of believers for centuries. The ars moriendi (or “art of dying”) was a body of literature that helped Christians prepare for death. Although practice of the ars […]

John Wesley’s Secret for Building Community

By Gary Neal Hansen – By 1748, John Wesley had created a remarkably effective model of small group community, and they were growing fast. What was the secret? Remarkably, Wesley said that the whole thing took them by surprise. “They had no previous design or plan at all; but everything arose just as the occasion […]