Just A Word - Christianity Today

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Christianity Today is considered a leading voice of the evangelical movement with its coverage of the global church. Every monthly print issue and daily website updates include interviews, feature articles, essays, and commentary from leading Christian thinkers, and theological analysis on current issues, trends, people and news events that impact people of faith. Christianity Today delivers commentary from a biblical perspective, covering the spectrum of choices and challenges facing Christians today.

Take time out to follow the thoughts of the authors of Christianity Today, be encouraged and provoked to engage in current affairs of the world from an essential Christian perspective. 

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Jan

Who's In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?

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The age of the Internet has birthed a crisis of authority, especially for women.


Today’s post by Tish Harrison Warren launches a series on the state of women’s discipleship in evangelical America. As evidenced by a recent Twitter discussion, the conversation continues to spread and split into what scientists call a dendritic—a series of branching pathways that resemble a tree or a nervous system. In this case, we have a series of interconnected (and very complicated) questions related to women’s ministry, social media, platform, race and ethnicity, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, and ecclesial authority and accountability.

Rather than contain the conversation in one piece, we’re offering a multiplicity of voices on various topics that all intersect at the nexus point of women’s discipleship and the church. Each piece will seek to illuminate the topic from a unique perspective and also interact with ideas posited by previous pieces (even in the form of hearty disagreement). We hope in sum that the series challenges, encourages, and inspires women to, in Warren’s words, “build and shape institutions larger than ourselves” in light of the gospel. We’re calling the series #AmplifyWomen: A New Conversation About Leadership and Discipleship. We invite you to weigh in with your suggestions and feedback using that hashtag. Find us on Twitter @CT_women or on our Facebook page.—The editorsThe rise of the blogosphere in the early 2000s yielded the genre of the “spiritual blogger.” From the comfort of their living rooms, lay people suddenly became household names, wielding influence over tens of thousands of followers. A new kind of Christian celebrity—and authority—was born: the speaker and author who comes to us (often virtually) ...

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1

Jan

Is Orality Really Effective in Sharing the Gospel?

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o·ral·i·ty: the quality of being spoken or verbally communicated

Increasing numbers of church and mission leaders are beginning to pay more attention to the orality movement that has emerged over the past 40 years. Some would say that the movement is one of the most significant breakthroughs that has taken place in the church/mission world over the last 500 years. Others have said that it’s changing the face of missions around the world.

These are bold statements and may seem to be overstatements or exaggerations. However, those who have been involved with or observed the movement over any length of time usually agree that God is in fact doing remarkable things in this time of history through the movement.

An interesting phenomenon we often observe is the creativity and innovation that the Holy Spirit gives to those who are properly trained in orality-based methods and strategies. There is an increased recognition of the multiple applications of the concepts, principles, and practices of orality. The mission/purpose statement of the International Orality Network is “Influencing the Body of Christ to make disciples of all oral learners.”

In other words, the ultimate objective in the Great Commission is communicating the gospel to everyone, everywhere, and making disciples among all people groups. That is introducing people to a vital relationship with the Living God and nurturing them to become reproducing followers of Jesus. An important consideration is doing so in ways that are biblical, international, cross-cultural, and reproducible.

On our learning journey in the orality movement, we are discovering many aspects and applications of orality methods and strategies. A very significant feature is simplicity and reproducibility. Actually, orality-based methods are the most ...

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1

Jan

Adam and Eve Can't Save Your Marriage

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What Bruce Feiler's reading of 'the first love story' leaves out.

I’ve often wished for a book to hand to wives and husbands preparing to walk out on their families. I could have used half a dozen copies this year. I picked up Bruce Feiler’s The First Love Story: Adam, Eve and Us with hope. Maybe this was it!

Feiler is the best-selling author of nine books, including Walking the Bible, an account of a 10,000-mile journey retracing the steps of the Hebrew patriarchs. He’s widely recognized as an expert on religion and family, and has hosted two PBS series, Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler. His most recent book was The Secrets of Happy Families. The topic of marriage, then, was a logical next step.

I began the book with enthusiasm. What a fabulous idea! To harness the power of perhaps the most famous story in the Bible and employ it as an apologetic for the enduring kind of love that God desires in all marriages. Indeed, this is Feiler’s aim: to offer an antidote to our culture’s love affair with pleasure and narcissistic romance.

The need for the book is obvious. Feiler doesn’t waste much space reminding us of our pitiful state, including the staggering number of marriages that end in divorce. Recent challenges of online pornography, polyamory, technology, and a pervasive individualism all threaten our already fragile unions. Under this onslaught, Feiler asks, “Are there any values, lessons, or stories worth preserving?” Which lands us in Genesis, in the Garden, ready to take notes from the first couple.

A Radical Re-reading

Feiler anticipates yawns of irrelevance. He spends a lot of time disproving such charges, tracing our ongoing conflicts—from equal pay to household chores to same-sex marriage—all the way ...

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