Just A Word - Christianity Today

Articles from the Non-Profit Communications Ministry

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

When the Gift of Intelligence Becomes the Burden of Alzheimer’s

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The strength of human intellect also makes it fragile.

This essay was the second place winner of the 2017 CT Science Writing Contest.

The two most hair-raising moments I have ever had with my dad happened within 10 minutes of each other. A few years ago we were snorkeling with my two brothers off Santa Fe Island, one of the 13 major islands that make up the Galapagos Islands. We had hardly rolled into the water when a Galapagos shark about three meters in length gracefully floated by only a few body lengths away. Thankfully, it did not take much interest in us.

As the shark disappeared into the dark blue backdrop of water, we continued to move along the shoreline looking for sea turtles, brightly colored fish, and less dangerous whitetip reef sharks. After a couple minutes, I noticed my dad slowly drifting toward a large adult male sea lion who was floating a few meters offshore. Having been warned that male sea lions were somewhat territorial, I moved as quickly as I could to steer my dad the other direction. By the time I reached him, the sea lion was no more than a few arm lengths away. Again, thankfully, it did not take much interest in us.

We had similar though less harrowing experiences everywhere in the Galapagos. It was common to come within arm’s reach of some of the most fascinating animals in the world. Marine and land iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions, sea turtles, stingrays, albatrosses, and blue-footed boobies paid little attention to us fawning tourists. Their tameness was disarming and beautiful, but it also made them look a little stupid.

Charles Darwin seemed to have the same observation on his famous voyage 150 years earlier. He described the marine iguana, an animal whose uniqueness to the Galapagos is only surpassed by its number, as a “hideous-looking ...

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1

Jan

Creating Margins for Conversation [Gospel Life Podcast]

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Start each week with this encouragement to show and share the love of Jesus.

Creating Margins for Conversation

John C. Richards, Jr., managing director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, talks to us about the importance of making space in our lives to have important conversations. We must allow ourselves to be interrupted if we are to let the Holy Spirit work in our lives and in the lives of others. Evangelism means showing & sharing the love of Jesus with others—even when we don’t feel we have time.

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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Jan

Died: George Lindbeck, Father of Postliberal Theology

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Nature of Doctrine author was a “missionary to postmodernity.”

Ecumenical theologian George Lindbeck, who helped define the postliberalism movement that transformed 21st-century Protestantism, died earlier this month at age 94.

A Lutheran scholar who spent more than half his life on faculty at Yale Divinity School, Lindbeck passed away on January 8 in a Florida hospice. He spent his final years in assisted living after suffering a brain aneurism in 2009.

Lindbeck’s influential 1984 book, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age, established a theology that rejected modern liberal Protestant thinking that defined religious truth by common personal experiences, and instead proposed a “cultural-linguistic” approach that saw the creeds and practices of faith communities as the basis for religious understanding.

“Whatever else postliberalism is, it was meant to be an apologetic help to be a credal or mere Christian in our age,” wrote George Sumner, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. “That is what George was and what he wanted to promote. Furthermore, it was a deeply missionary-influenced theory.”

Raised in China and Korea as the son of Lutheran missionaries, Lindbeck grew up to become what Sumner called a “missionary to postmodernity.”

Lindbeck’s theology, focused on belief and worldview formation over rational argumentation or emotional experience, grew popular among evangelicals, as did work by his colleague and fellow postliberal theologian Hans Frei.

“If the sort of research program represented by postliberalism has a real future as a communal enterprise of the church, it’s more likely to be carried on by evangelicals than anyone else,” Lindbeck told a crowd of evangelical theologians ...

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