Local Churches and a Bad Rap

If you spend a fair amount of time reading books and articles on the state of the local, evangelical church, you might come away with some pretty negative perceptions. Pastors who read a lot of this kind of stuff can also come away with the sense that if they are not trying to accomplish a... Continue Reading →

Defining Capitalism

In the first essay in Counting the Cost, Michael Novak updates a few of his thoughts from The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism and provides a fertile place to begin when thinking about Christianity theology and capitalism. The free market is much maligned these days. Is there anything to say about it that accords with sound Christian... Continue Reading →

The Word of God is Living and Active

Hebrews 4:12-13 contains some of the best-known language regarding the beauty and power of the Word of God. It is also some of the most evocative: it is a sword sharp enough to dissect the human soul, discerning the thoughts and intents of our hearts. These are things we rarely even know about ourselves! It... Continue Reading →

The Gospel is Good News

The gospel is not good advice, it is good news.[i]   This simple sentence helps us understand the core of the good news of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews, we find this promise,   “for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10).   It is... Continue Reading →

The Necessary Local Church

Karl Vaters has written a wonderful, almost poetic, reflection on the resilient power of small churches.   I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about the importance of what are called “mediating institutions” in our culture, and what he says rings true.   A mediating institution is a social organization that stands between... Continue Reading →

A Bold Witness

Recently we learned about a crackdown in China in which more than 100 members and leaders of a church in Chengdu were detained. The pastor, Wang Yi, and his wife were charged with incitement to subvert the state and face real prison time.   As it happens, Pastor Wang Yi prepared for this, and he... Continue Reading →

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