World Vision – Reactions to their Recent Announcement

For more than one Christmas, we’ve made purchases from World Vision or contributions in some other way. I imagine many Christians like me are now pondering their recent decision to hire practicing homosexuals. In fact, here are a few reactions worth reading. “When World Vision says “We cannot jump into the fight on one side or another on this issue,” here is the side they do in fact jump onto: We forbid fornication and adultery as acceptable lifestyles among our employees (which they do), but we will not forbid the regular practice of homosexual intercourse. To presume that this position […]

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The Dangers of Materialism

Ten Fatal Dangers of Materialism Materialism hinders or destroys our spiritual lives. Materialism is a broken cistern that can’t hold water. Materialism blinds us to the curses of wealth. Materialism brings us unhappiness and anxiety. Materialism ends in futility. Materialism obscures many of life’s greatest blessings. Materialism spawns independence and self-sufficiency. Materialism leads to pride and elitism. Materialism promotes injustice and exploitation. Materialism fosters immorality and the deterioration of the family. From Randy Alcorn’s “Managing God’s Money”

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Becoming Like Jesus is Like Farming

I have fond memories of my small-town upbringing in what was predominantly an agricultural community. If you’ve never walked half-paved country roads with a .22 rifle and shot birds and turtles indiscriminately … or leaped fearlessly (and rather foolishly) into mountains of recently picked cotton … or been thrown violently from a spinning go-cart on a gravel parking lot … you’re really missing out on a rural, even distinctly southern, upbringing. Those were the days. There is much to learn from those who live close to the earth … who work it … work around it … make it bleed […]

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Not Many of You Should Become Movie Directors, My Brothers

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1 I was in Dallas, TX at a Catalyst Conference when I saw what was purported to be the very first public viewing of a trailer for the movie Noah. As the release date nears, there are stories in the press about how evangelical Christians invited to private screenings were frustrated or disappointed in the movie’s portrayal of Noah. Now, some three weeks from opening night, reflections like those of Jerry Johnson (positive and negative) are emerging. […]

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Christians or Cattle?

The boys and I are particularly into an author right now named Ralph Moody. He’s probably best known for “Come On, Seabiscuit,” but his “Little Britches” series is outstanding. Near the end of book two, “Man of the Family,” (there are 8 in the series), Little Britches has the summer of his life trading and moving cattle with other cowpokes. By the end of the summer, he not only has named most of the female dairy cattle after women in his hometown, but he also has an acute understanding of their personalities. While reading the section below, I couldn’t help but […]

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Freedom Does Not Lead to Truth. Truth Leads to Freedom.

In John 8:32 (“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”), we seem to have a direct reversal of one of the axioms of modernity, namely, that freedom of inquiry, freedom to think and speak and publish, is the way — the only way — to the truth. Jesus appears to reverse this. Truth is not a fruit of freedom; it is the precondition for freedom. It is not surprising that it was these words of Jesus which (according to John) precipitated an attempt to kill him. His hearers rightly perceived that he was telling them […]

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Confronting Poverty

For most of us, poverty seems very far away and a highly unlikely possibility. The county I live in is roughly the 15th wealthiest … in the nation. But the problem is very real, even in your own community, and certainly in the state of TN where I currently reside. 17.3% of Tennesseeans live below the poverty level (14/9% nationwide). TN is the 11th poorest state in the union. The child poverty rate in TN is 26%. The senior poverty rate: 14%. Women in poverty: 19%. The percentage of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: 43%. The number […]

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One Nation, Under God

Bucks Parsons: As I have traveled abroad, I have had to endure all sorts of snide remarks about the United States. I have seen graffiti depicting the American flag with bombs in place of stripes and skulls in place of stars. I have seen disfigured pictures of our president. I have seen the remains of a torched American flag. However, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw as I stood with my luggage in hand outside the Laleh International Hotel in Tehran, Iran. Lying on the ground at the main entrance of the hotel is a giant American […]

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Faith in this Jew Releases us from Judaism

As a student of the Bible, one of the things that I’m consistently grateful for is the ability of scholars to shed light on the meaning and application of a passage through the use of cultural and/or historical context. For example, when Jesus proclaimed in John 7:37-38, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone whobelieves in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart,’” the meaning and application of the passage is more clearly understood when I learn that this likely took place during the water ritual at the Feast […]

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