S. Michael Craven
It's easy to talk about "unity within the church" as long as we're talking in the abstract. However, what do you do when a Christian brother or sister offends you or sins against you? Do you "write them off" and go your separate ways? I submit this is often the easier choice, but Jesus and the standards of his kingdom rule do not permit us to do so.5 comments
In Scripture there are many different names used to describe God. While all the names of God are important for a variety of reasons, the name "Abba Father" is one of the most significant names in terms of understanding how he relates to his people.22 comments
No longer is there such a thing as "mere Christianity" to borrow C. S. Lewis's phrase, but Catholic-Christianity, Protestant-Christianity, Orthodox-Christianity—not to mention the countless Protestant denominations and nondenominational representations of Christianity. Universal fellowship centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ is exchanged for tribal commitments to traditions and various nonessential views.10 comments
This, I think, is why "making disciples" is often exchanged for proselytism—because conversions are more easily measured than spiritual growth. The result can be evangelistic efforts and campaigns that are aimed at obtaining professions of faith, which as we now know are often nothing more than assent to a set of ideological propositions.24 comments
Prior to Constantine, the church, although organized, was less institutional and more communal or organic. In other words, the outside world didn't think of "the church" as that building on the corner. Instead they thought of a community of people who were distinct in both their conduct and character, the overarching characteristics being their love for others, compassion toward the needy, and joy-filled lives.29 comments
The Christmas season is once again upon us and with it overwhelming encouragement from Madison Avenue to spend what we have not earned to buy what we cannot afford. The thrust of the consumerist message is that the holiday is best enjoyed or most fully realized through the acquisition of "things."
This is clearly the implication of the media reports following the latest Pew Research, "Nones on the Rise." Trying to spin this in such a way that the Christian faith appears culturally vital in the U.S. is a little like putting lipstick on a pig; but concluding that Christianity is losing and secularism is winning isn't quite accurate either.410 comments
This has nothing to do with the Catholic Church's doctrinal stand on contraception. Instead, it has everything to do with the state trying to impose its will upon the church when the state's social and ideological agenda conflicts with the church's moral and religious beliefs.
This Christmas let us not be swept away by the illusory claims of consumerism; instead, let us revel in God’s gracious gifts
As we, once again, greet this national day of “thanksgiving” I thought it necessary to reflect upon our nation’s long history of acknowledging and giving thanks to the Almighty God.2 comments
The Genesis account of creation tells us that from the beginning, humanity was created to work. At the center of all economic activity is human productivityTags Economic Crisis
A proper biblical theology that every follower of Christ should pursue is one that seeks to know the character, nature, and will of God as revealed in Scripture
What hinders this community is not a weakness of the institutional church and its leadership but rather the radical individualism of its members.
We have a myriad of personal preferences that we impose on the church about worship styles, music, and the like. We grade the pastor on whether or not he has met our needs through his sermon. We argue and divide over inconsequential issues. We simply do not fulfill this essential part of God’s mission because we fail to demonstrate the reign of God within this authenticating community.Tags Church Bodies
What exactly is the church’s mission? In order to answer this question, we must first accurately define the gospel or “good news.” I say accurately because I think many Christians, particularly in our highly individualized culture, have come to view the gospel as simply the personal plan of salvation.