Its Need for Mission (Mar-Apr 2008)

By Matt Dabbs

<co_text>A Conversation with Alan Hirsch
” … an attractional church can work in a Christendom context, but in a missionary context it actually undermines our efforts to reach people meaningfully with the Gospel of Jesus. It is literally out-moded! A ‘sent people’ no matter how you configure it implies a going of sorts. And when combined with the other primary theological metaphor in the Bible of how God reaches the nations, namely the Incarnation, it clashes head-on with the primary expectation built into attractional forms of church. ”
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Book Review: The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier
Skeptics still may not agree with emergent sensibilities, but at least Tony Jones’s The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier leaves nothing in the bag to wonder about. Tony Jones lays out a treatise on the emergent movement in the newest of his flurry of books. In it he builds a long list of “dispatches” from the frontier and suggests that it’s decision time for mainline churches: join us, support us, or get out of the way.
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New Frontier?
Skeptics still may not agree with emergent sensibilities, but at least The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier leaves nothing in the bag to wonder about. Tony Jones lays out a treatise on the emergent movement in the newest of his flurry of books. In it he builds a long list of “dispatches” from the frontier and suggests that it’s decision time for mainline churches: join us, support us, or get out of the way.
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A Revolution of Love is Breaking Out on the Streets of Denver, Colorado
“The interesting thing about Ezekiel 37 is that it is a passage about God’s people. I like this passage for this reason. When God says, “Can these bones live?” it’s not just a question to us about homeless youth of Denver, it’s a question to all of us about our own churches. It’s been really incredible to watch God use stinky homeless kids to rattle the dry bones of churches and vise versa. We see it happening . . . dry bones are coming to life and a vast army is rising from the streets and within churches.”
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The 21st Century Restoration – Will We Join It?
We’re called to unity with all Christians everywhere who call Christ Lord. When Jesus prayed his unity prayer, he didn’t parse every doctrine and neither will I here. We live the Christ-life and follow the rule of the Holy Spirit to keep that everlasting covenant God the Father has kept since creation. Christ and Paul and our own more recent forefathers such as Thomas Campbell call us to produce fruit and look for fruit of the Spirit in the lives of fellow disciples. Will Churches of Christ, Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, and Disciples of Christ join this new restoration? [This exclusive excerpt from the new multi-author book, One Church, edited by Glenn Thomas Carson, Douglas A. Foster, & Clinton J. Holloway, coming soon from Leafwood Publishers.]
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R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Recovery: Boot Camp for those going through divorce
My life has not turned out like I thought it would. My name is Suzy Brown, and I’m on a mission. I didn’t want this mission. I didn’t plan on this mission. And when God said, “Suzy, here’s what I want you to do,” I first said, “No thanks, I have other plans.” But, sort of like Jonah, here I am. I never considered in my wildest imagination that I would have a ministry committed to helping women find a new vision after divorce. But that’s where I am, and the need is overwhelming.
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Vineyard Vocations
Vineyard Vocations Farragut Church of Christ, Knoxville: Youth & Family Minister 03/04/2008 – A Youth and Family Minister is being sought w
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Book Review: No Turning Back: My Summer with Daddy King
I underestimated the force of this book when I started reading, but I was profoundly moved by the transformation that took place in Brewster, the descriptions of and conversations with Brewster’s new-found friends, the way he absorbed the faith of women and men through their prayers and songs and sermons and non-violent—even humorous—responses to hatred from whites.
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Which Direction to Go With The Golden Compass?
When this email came through my inbox about a month ago—not once, but about 20 times—I rolled my eyes. Oh brother, another opportunity for Christians to get up in arms about something we know nothing about, I thought. Perhaps it wasn’t the most mature response, but my first reaction to being told not to read these books was to order them from the library.
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Deporting Jésus
This poem recounts a story of a stranger’s compassion and a happy ending that turns bittersweet … a story that took place just a few weeks ago, when a Mexican man journeyed over the Sonoma Desert in Southern Arizona to find work and came upon a nine-year-old boy – alone, cold, and lost.
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New Wineskins Access is Now Free
I’ve been waiting six years to finally say this to you . . . Wineskins Magazine content is now completely FREE. A huge part of my job over the last six years has been to make Wineskins Magazine accessible to a whole new generation. Now, there are no more barriers. Wineskins is worldwide and FREE for all.
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A Conversation with Scot McKnight
“The call of Jesus is to love others as ourselves, and whoever the others are who show up in our lives – and it begins at home and moves to our neighborhood and community – are to be loved. Many today are seeking for the poor and missing those around them who have needs.”
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Book Review: John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace
“Like most people, I knew Newton was a seafaring slave trader in his younger years and that he had a remarkable conversion experience at sea during a terrible storm, but I didn’t realize that his life was the kind of epic adventure you would normally associate with a Cecil B. Demille movie.”
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The Temple of God
The modern church often slips back into temple mentality. God was not content in being bound by a street address in the life of Israel. Remember that time in the prophetic literature when he instructs Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:1ff) to stand in front of the temple as the people are gathering to celebrate an important festival.
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Excerpt from A Gathered People
Where have we gone astray? How can we recapture the wonder of worship that ancient Israel and Jesus had when they worshiped? The purpose of this article, partly an excerpt from our new book, is to revision the ancient ways of assembly in Israel, Christ, and the church that will help shape our assemblies today.
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Catching Up With Brian McLaren Before the Conference
“We’re trying to capture the narrative of the story again — a big part of our vision is for the book to be used orally. I heard recently about a public reading of Stephen’s sermon in Acts in the ‘Dust off their Feet’ book of The Voice, and the person just started crying.” ….
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Book Review: Bad Idea
Griffin Smith knows the road trip is a bad idea. He’d rather say his good-byes at the airport and fly to college. But his dad insists and, with best friend Cole along for the ride, how bad can it be? Add Dad’s hot young fiancée, a reunion, a betrayal and an angry coyote and the answer is… much worse than he ever expected. . . .
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Book Review: Justice in the Burbs
In Justice in the Burbs, Will and Lisa Samson give the reader close to 200 pages of conversation on how to live a quiet life that champions justice, whether it be in the suburb, the city, or at a City Mission Hall in an urban environment. This is an important book that deftly creates a vision for living justly.
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Book Review: Across the China Sky
In Across the China Sky, C. Hope Flinchbaugh exposes some of the new and real challenges facing Chinese Christians. In this second book about Mei Lin and her family and friends, a new danger—Eastern Lightning—threatens to pull believers away from their faith.
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Book Review: Missio Dei: In The Crisis of Christianity
In Missio Dei: In the Crisis of Christianity, Fred Peatross describes both the best and worst of our times. He is frank regarding the challenges, but hopeful about the new opportunities before us. Paradoxically, the hopeful is contained within the troubling. …
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A Conversation with Jim Henderson
“What if it was normal to talk to missing people about Jesus and to have them in our lives? What if evangelism was a spiritual practice that was doable for ordinary Christians? What if the real reason we don’t evangelize is less about us, and more about the models we’ve inherited? Around 1997 we started asking ourselves these kinds of questions and began developing new language and approaches in order to get closer to the people Jesus misses most- the people formerly known as lost.”
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Conversation with Tony Jones
“We’re trying to recover the gospel from Constantinian and consumerist tendencies in modern, American Christianity. Emergent Village is little more than an open-source network based on friendship — we call it a “growing, generative friendship” because we expect this friendship to generate many beautiful things for God’s kingdom. Personally, I’m a little fuzzy on the supposed differences between ’emerging’ and ’emergent.’ Some want to make a big deal of the differences, but they’re used interchangeably by all but the most inside insiders.”
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Book Review: Fieldwork
In a story that reads more like non-fiction than fiction (complete with concocted footnotes), Berlinski reveals the complex relationship between tribal people and the outsiders who wish to know them. Anthropologists want the people to stay forever the same; missionaries want to affect change at the heart level; journalists attempt to remain neutral, but rarely are. In a way, it’s a microcosm of how the Christian, the non-religious, and the media interact in America.
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Searching for Truth in Harry Potter
Do you remember where you were when you first heard the name Harry Potter? I first saw his picture on the cover of September 20, 1999 issue of Time Magazine. At the time, I was living in West Africa, the birthplace of Voodoo. The idea that a story about wizards and sorcery entranced American children so much that they were painting scars on their foreheads, concerned me.
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Book Review: Justice in the Burbs
Book Review: Justice in the Burbs Fred Peatross 07/29/2007 – In Justice in the Burbs , Will and Lisa Samson give the reader close to
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Interview with Mary Albert Darling
“I think the key is knowing Jesus in an intimate way—when you get to know and love someone, you care about what they care about. Getting to know Jesus results in caring about what Jesus cares about, and he cares about the lost, and the poor and oppressed. Perhaps the biggest lie in Christianity is that we can in fact be Christian without developing and intimate friendship with Christ.” …
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Excerpt from The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals
A fresh look at the gospel according to Luke by one of the foremost theologians of the dawning twenty-first century. Brian McLaren has authored the best-selling New Kind of Christian series and is a gifted speaker at conferences discussing the future and mission of Christ’s church.
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How Mission Shapes Us
How Mission Shapes Us Greg Taylor 08/11/2007 – … many American churches started with church as the driving force that shapes our miss
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A Conversation With Edward Fudge
… Our tribe helped to polarize unity and restoration, then galvanized its brand of restoration as the basis and standard for any future unity. Even worse, this external and church-centered restoration often became the supposed basis for salvation within Churches of Christ. This unfortunate situation prompted me 25 years ago to write a gospel-based critique of our movement entitled “The Restoration Movement Fulfilled in Jesus Christ,” now available free online. …
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Book Review: Missio Dei: In the Crisis of Christianity
In Missio Dei: In the Crisis of Christianity, Fred Peatross describes both the best and worst of our times. He is frank regarding the challenges, but hopeful about the new opportunities before us. Paradoxically, the hopeful is contained within the troubling. …
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How Mission Shapes Us
… many American churches started with church as the driving force that shapes our mission. Then mission shapes Christ into the image of the church. Frost and Hirsh call for a reversal of this model to one that starts with Jesus’ mission. Christ’s mission shapes our mission, and in turn this mission shapes the church. So the progression is Christ-Mission-Church rather than Church-Mission-Christ. This is no small shift. This is huge. …
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A Conversation with Dan Kimball
They Like Jesus but not the Church is for church leaders and for Christians interested in understanding some minds and hearts of those outside the church and their perceptions of Christians and the church. This book takes a look at patterns of what those outside the church, especially in their 20’s and 30’s are perceiving church and Christianity to be like , which unfortunately is neutral at best, but usually quite negative. Yet the irony is they are very open to Jesus and respect of what they know of Him. …
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Book Review: Justice in the Burbs
In Justice in the Burbs, Will and Lisa Samson give the reader close to 200 pages of conversation on how to live a quiet life that champions justice, whether it be in the suburb, the city, or at a City Mission Hall in an urban environment. This is an important book that deftly creates a vision for living justly.
MORE

Book Review: Across the China Sky
In Across the China Sky, C. Hope Flinchbaugh exposes some of the new and real challenges facing Chinese Christians. In this second book about Mei Lin and her family and friends, a new danger—Eastern Lightning—threatens to pull believers away from their faith.
MORE

Conversation with Will Samson
“The book asks what it means to be faithful to Christ while staying in a suburban context. Rather than suggesting people should move out of the ‘Burbs to live justly, we try to help suburban Christians understand their need to figure out what it means to live faithfully right where they are.” . . .
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Book Review: Bad Idea
Griffin Smith knows the road trip is a bad idea. He’d rather say his good-byes at the airport and fly to college. But his dad insists and, with best friend Cole along for the ride, how bad can it be? Add Dad’s hot young fiancée, a reunion, a betrayal and an angry coyote and the answer is… much worse than he ever expected. . . .
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Excerpt from the Group Guide for Pilgrim Heart: Singing
This excerpt from the Group Guide for Darryl Tippens’ Pilgrim Heart appears on the ZOE | New Wineskins Web site by special permission of the publisher, Leafwood Publishers. It was written to be a companion piece to the book’s Chapter 12 – Singing: The Way to Heaven’s Door . Key idea: Music is a primary means of conversion and spiritual formation. It inspires awe and transports us to the mystery of God’s nature, binds us in community, awakens our emotions, and serves as a potent source of theology. Music is also a means of instruction and memory which aids spiritual formation. . . .
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Interview with Shane Claiborne
Shane’s message during our chapel program at Rochester College left students, faculty and staff with a variety of reactions. One long-time employee at the college called me to say that he arrived for the program with boxing gloves on, ready to disagree with this young hippy’s stance on nonviolence and his radical call to serve the poor (this employee wanted to point out that rich people need Jesus too). But, by the time the thirty-minute program was over, this employee and many others were touched and responded with a desire to follow the footsteps of Jesus toward the lonely, the oppressed, the sick, the abused, the sinners, and the enemies.
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New and Eternal Covenant
After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus, “I have given you an example so you may copy what I have done to you” (John 13:15). After giving himself as food and drink, he says, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Jesus calls us to continue his mission of revealing the perfect love of God in this world. He calls us to total self-giving. He does not want us to keep anything for ourselves. . . . .
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A Chat with Randy Harris about the Spiritual Deepening Program
The ZOE Growing Deeper Spirituality Program is for those wanting spiritual direction in their life with God and the body of Christ. The ZOE Spiritual Direction Program is for those who want to move more deeply into the life of helping guide others in God’s way. One of the co-directors of the program is Randy Harris, a great man of God and professor at Abilene Christian University, preacher and author.Wineskins Editor Greg Taylor spoke with Randy Harris recently about the programs . . . and a few other things that had nothing to do with the programs. We include our side conversations in the text to show you that we try not to take ourselves too seriously.
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Book Review: Evil and the Justice of God by N.T. Wright
How can one understand, believe and experience God in the face of evil? That question is the central thread woven throughout one of N.T. Wright’s latest writings: Evil and the Justice of God.
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Tulsa Workshop Podcast
To subscribe to the Podcast of the Tulsa International Soul-Winning Workshop, click on this link: [ http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=185699482].
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The Church Has Left the Building
John Grant read our issue called “The Church Has Left the Building” and wrote us about a series he produced by the same name. We asked him if we could show it to you, and he is graciously offering it to you for use in your church.
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Singing: The Way to Heaven’s Door – A Chapter from Pilgrim Heart
For most believers, music is not a frill or an ornament, not some illustration of a theological truth; much more, music is the good news in word and sound, the purest and most potent expression of God’s presence and transcendence, and the best way to engage our hearts and imaginations, our bodies and souls.
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Book Review of Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture
In his New Wineskins interview with Fred Peatross, Mike Frost suggests that American Christians should listen to him as if he were a man from our future. This presumes that Frost can speak from our future because Christianity in the United States is following, a few years later, the same trajectory of Christendom toward secularism in Europe and Australia. I do think that Frost is a prophetic (forthtelling, not foretelling) voice that we need to be paying attention to. . . .
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Interview with Michael Landon, Jr.: The Last Sin Eater
“There are obviously Christian themes involved here, but we’re hoping we’re not just preaching to the choir here. Because we also feel like there are universal themes embodied in the film. For example, forgiveness and redemption, and the innate sense that we’re burdened by things that we do, which can also be known as sins: these are universal elements that we believe speak to everybody’s heart.” . . .
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Conversation with the SuperSkeptic
SuperSkeptic is a former Protestant who lost his faith in 1989 only to get it back (briefly) ten years later. Now he says it is slowly slipping away again. He makes this statement: Everything I do to try to strengthen my faith pushes it farther away. SuperSkeptic has asked that he remains anonymous. His blog is the SuperSkeptic World of Doubt. . . .
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Book Review of Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture
In his New Wineskins interview with Fred Peatross, Mike Frost suggests that American Christians should listen to him as if he were a man from our future. This presumes that Frost can speak from our future because Christianity in the United States is following, a few years later, the same trajectory of Christendom toward secularism in Europe and Australia. I do think that Frost is a prophetic (forthtelling, not foretelling) voice that we need to be paying attention to. . . .
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Talking to a Man from the Future: A Conversation with Michael Frost
Conversations Talking to a Man from the Future: A Conversation with Michael Frost Fred Peatross 01/03/2007 – Michael Frost is the Foundi
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Book Excerpt: Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity
Lauren Winner is one of the best Christian writers of our day, and we have invited her to our ZOE Look to the Hills Leadership Conference , October 5-6. This excerpt from Winner’s newest book continues a conversation with Lauren Winner in New Wineskins , which began two years ago . Enjoy this frank look at sexuality that is scriptural and spiritual – and make plans to come to the ZOE Look to the Hills Leadership Conference where Winner will present in three sessions on CLOSER: Intimacy with God. . . .
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Book Excerpt: An Invitation to Live in God’s Love
“In the recovery of authentic community we will find blessings that many contemporary Christians have lost. These blessings provide indispensable assistance in personal spiritual growth. They are the key to inciting authentic and dynamic growth in churches. True growth does not occur through increasing the numbers attending our services. It occurs through the personal spiritual growth of individual members within the context of genuine, loving community.” . . .
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Book Review: The Real Mary by Scot McKnight
Scot McKnight is messing with Protestant views of Mary. And, as it turns out, Catholics are paying attention, too. And he’s more than just re-arranging the Nativity scene. He wants Protestants to quit running in horror from anything that smacks of honoring Mary, to not begin with polemics against Catholics and instead come to know “the real Mary.” His new book re-visits each important episode in Mary’s life recorded by Luke, Matthew, Mark, and John and details important events in the history of the church’s understanding of Mary’s life.
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Uganda Wreck Claims Missionary Adam Langford, Church Leader Moses Kimezi
Uganda Wreck Claims Missionary Adam Langford, Church Leader Moses Kimezi Erik Tryggestad 01/23/2007 – JINJA, UGANDA – Comforting a griev
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Mary 2.0
Scot McKnight is messing with Protestant views of Mary. And, as it turns out, Catholics are paying attention, too. And he’s more than just re-arranging the Nativity scene. He wants Protestants to quit running in horror from anything that smacks of honoring Mary, to not begin with polemics against Catholics and instead come to know “the real Mary.” His new book re-visits each important episode in Mary’s life recorded by Luke, Matthew, Mark, and John and details important events in the history of the church’s understanding of Mary’s life.
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Movie Review: The Nativity Story
“In the past, also, I might be concerned that writers not harmonize the Gospels but stay with one writer’s perspective and so more fully understand the message. But as I watched The Nativity Story with my wife and children and two families from my church, I slipped off my scholar’s hat and lost myself in the story again.”
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Going Missional: Sharing Space With Our Neighbors
Going Missional: Sharing Space with Our Neighbors – Both Leadership Journal and New Wineskins Magazine feature articles in their cur
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A Conversation with Brian McLaren (2006)
” If our understanding of the gospel is primarily dualistic: focused on ‘saving souls’ for ‘eternity,’ apart from the body, society, the environment, culture, history, etc., then we’ll have ‘missions programs.’ But if our understanding of mission is integral: flows from an understanding of the gospel of the kingdom, then everything we do is mission.”
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Talking to a Man from the Future: A Conversation with Michael Frost
Michael Frost is the Founding Director of The Centre for Evangelism & Global Mission at Morling Theological College in Sydney. He is one of Australia’s most widely recognized evangelists and conference speakers, having spoken at some of Australia’s largest conventions and events as well as at conferences in the United States and parts of Asia and Africa.
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Wrestling With Jesus
One can smell the anticipation hovering like a cloud. Jesus turns to the large crowd I’m in and says, “I know many of you admire me, cheer me on, root for my cause. I am honored that some of you would worship me and believe in me. However, I do not need anymore admirers, fans, worshippers, or believers. I’m going to Jerusalem to take up a cross. I need some people who are willing to follow me.?The crowd gets smaller instantly. I leave waffling in my own doubt, fear, and apathy. Wrestling with Jesus is harder than I thought it would be.
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Conversation with Ron Martoia
“Jesus with regularity walked past immense need to manage well the rhythm of “with” time and “alone” time, or activity and quiet. Most of us in church leadership are pathological in our need to be busy so we can ignore the deeper more important issues of inner space cultivation. . . .
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Conversation with Rex Miller
“The four major communication eras include oral culture which we identify with an ancient worldview; print culture with our modern worldview; broadcast with postmodernism and the emerging interactive/digital culture with a new era I’ll labeled as convergent.”
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All Saints’ Day
Halloween is one of those chances for us to experience a “thin place” where God can be present unexpectedly when we pay attention to the opportunities that our culture gives us. This is the day that people open their doors, literally wait by the door, so hungry for their neighbors to care, to ring the doorbell, and while much good is done to gather Christians at churches and it’s a conscience decision that individuals and church leaderships have to make, much is lost when Christians gather on dark nights, failing to be light when they otherwise could be.
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Evangelism is Too Darn Hard
In 1996 a group of Christians decided to resign from this approach and find another way to do what we felt was our most important work- connecting with the people Jesus misses most – the people formerly known as lost. . . . These evangelism activities were so unremarkable we decided to call them Ordinary Attempts.
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Student Minister
The Garnett Church of Christ is looking for a Student Minister to join our equipping team. Here’s the kind of person we have in mind: Undergraduate degree in a ministry related field. Several years experience in a church of at least 300 people. Good grasp of and a respect for the modern/postmodern attractional/missional paradigms Willing to integrate students into the larger purpose/mission/vision of Garnett Sees himself as an equipper of students and parents Understands and manages the challenges and opportunities of working with an increasingly diverse group of students and their parents Comfortable with and able to practice both a cappella and instrumental forms of worship If the above characteristics describe you and youre interested in helping us make the transition from being an event-driven, personality-centered, and excitement-addicted church to one that is more focused on intentional acts of spiritual formation, missional engagement, and community renewal then send an email to wadehodges@gmail.com and I’ll send you a more detailed postion description.
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Real Sex and Joe Beam
Not Your Father’s Today Show Mike Cope 09/16/2006 – This morning wasn’t your average weekend Today Show . Even Lester and Campbell w
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Book Review: Exiles
Book Review of Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture Wade Hodges 02/07/2007 – In his New Wineskins interview with
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An Excerpt from An Invitation to Live in God’s Love
“In the recovery of authentic community we will find blessings that many contemporary Christians have lost. These blessings provide indispensable assistance in personal spiritual growth. They are the key to inciting authentic and dynamic growth in churches. True growth does not occur through increasing the numbers attending our services. It occurs through the personal spiritual growth of individual members within the context of genuine, loving community.” . . .
MORE

An Excerpt from Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity
Lauren Winner is one of the best Christian writers of our day, and we have invited her to our ZOE Look to the Hills Leadership Conference , October 5-6. This excerpt from Winner’s newest book continues a conversation with Lauren Winner in New Wineskins , which began two years ago . Enjoy this frank look at sexuality that is scriptural and spiritual – and make plans to come to the ZOE Look to the Hills Leadership Conference where Winner will present in three sessions on CLOSER: Intimacy with God. . . .
MORE

Look to the Hills – Nashville, 2006
The time has come to anticipate the next Look to the Hills Leadership and Worship Conferences. This year, more than any before, we are celebrating an amazing journey with our amazing God. 2006 marks the tenth year of ZOË’s Look to the Hills conferences, publications and worship recordings. Over that time, God has faithfully sustained us and the humble work he has called us to do. We have been blessed to get to know hundreds of you personally. You have encouraged us with your accounts of God working in your lives and the lives of your churches.
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Song of the South in the Great Northwest
Because so many in the Northwest are “unchurched” and because they do have an openness to spirituality, we believe that God has led us to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in Portland, Oregon. After working for eight years with an established church we saw God’s leading to move on to another work. God made it possible for us to stay put and continue our ministry in this city.
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An Interview with Stan Granberg
New Wineskins spoke to Stan Granberg of Kairos: Church Planting Support about how a regional vision for church planting is emerging into a nationwide explosion—talking about this huge vision started as a joke in a presentation, but people are starting to take Stan Granberg seriously . . .
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Planting a Missional Church in Spokane, Washington
Planting a Missional Church in Spokane, Washington Larry Chouinard 08/08/2006 – My family moved to the Northwest to assist in planting
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The Source Cafe: A Story of God Using Business as Mission in Uganda
The Source Cafe: A Story of God Using Business as Mission in Uganda Clint Davis 08/12/2006 – “What was the first idea for creating sustai
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Book Review: The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren
In the introduction to his newest book, The Secret Message of Jesus, McLaren asks an important question about this phenomenon: “Why is the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown’s book more interesting, more attractive, and more intriguing than the standard version they hear about from most churches?”
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Book Review: Nourishing the Pilgrim Heart
“Christianity is far more than a set of beliefs or a compelling intellectual vision; it is also a comprehensive way of life.” This premise both motivates and informs author Darryl Tippens, who in his delightful new book Pilgrim Heart presents “an invitation to consider afresh what it means to live like Jesus.” Even the Gospel of John, he notes, which so clearly emphasizes believing, practically begins and ends with Jesus’ personal call: “Follow me.” This call is reflected in the subtitle to Pilgrim Heart – “The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life.”
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The Source Cafe: A Story of God Using Business as Mission in Uganda
“What was the first idea for creating sustainability for a church movement in one of the poorest countries in the world? Believe it or not, it was to manage a run down little business on Main Street in Jinja, Uganda, called Jemimah’s Café which had a history of rampant employee theft and now employed young Christians straight from remote villages with zero business experience. It was a six month trial to see what may come of the possibility of a small business actually financially sustaining a poor urban church and a village church movement associated with it.” …
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Planting a Missional Church in Spokane, Washington
My family moved to the Northwest to assist in planting churches that intend to replicate Jesus’ incarnational model of missional purpose: a model that plants kingdom outposts in territory currently under siege by the Evil One … a model where institutional forms are driven by mission, not ecclesiastical tradition … a model that is culturally engaged without being absorbed … a model patterned after God’s rescue mission in the world ….
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An Invitation Beyond
“Every day in Mary’s house, my goal was to move beyond my selfish wants and needs and give to them unselfishly. At night, I remember weeping with compassion for them but most of all coming to know the realness of Jesus and his love. When I pulled up at Mary’s, the whole clan would come out. Rather than get my wheelchair, they would pick me up from both sides and help me walk up the steps into their home. I did not know if I was serving and helping them or if they were serving me. Maybe it was both. For the first time in my life I was living beyond myself.”
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Book Review: Nourishing the Pilgrim Heart
“Christianity is far more than a set of beliefs or a compelling intellectual vision; it is also a comprehensive way of life.” This premise both motivates and informs author Darryl Tippens, who in his delightful new book Pilgrim Heart presents “an invitation to consider afresh what it means to live like Jesus.” Even the Gospel of John, he notes, which so clearly emphasizes believing, practically begins and ends with Jesus’ personal call: “Follow me.” This call is reflected in the subtitle to Pilgrim Heart – “The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life.”
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Walking on Water
In a congregational meeting, we brainstormed a description of the ideal minister for our church family. This wish list was revised into a job description. While we realized that no single person could meet all our hopes, we decided to set our goals high. A committee spent many hours drafting a plan and estimated timeline for our process in selecting this ideal minister….
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Book Review: The Good Thing About AIDS/The Bad Thing About AIDS
How would you feel if you found out your son is gay? And what if he had to tell you he also has AIDS? Elaine Young McGuire, a mother experienced in these complicated subjects, engages those who must address these concerns in her brilliantly illustrated book, The Good Thing About AIDS, The Bad Thing About AIDS: A Picture Album About Living & Dying. …
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ScreamFree Parenting: An Interview With Hal Runkel
Not until Hal Runkel’s ScreamFree Parenting has there been such a unique perspective concerning how to maintain personal sanity by making parenting “all about you.” “What?” you say? “All about ME? Isn’t parenting all about the kids? Runkel, a relationship expert, says no. In conversation with New Wineskins (NW) writer Anne-Geri’ Fann, he shares his thoughts on numerous topics about the task of parenting. He discusses, among other things, how to remain calm while your kids are losing it, the beauty of giving them choices, and above all “exposing the lie that I am the one responsible for my kids.”
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Movie Review: Good Will Hunting
Charitable people honestly want to help others. But helping others becomes, not finding out what they want or need, but knowing what we want for them. And, in the end, the focus is ourselves. We are the ones who have done the good deed; we are the ones who get the credit; we feel good. But, where have we left the people we are trying to help? …
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A Church That Makes A Difference
A movement grows becalmed when it forgets where it is supposed to be going, when its sense of purpose is dulled, when not only the means of getting there but the destination itself is shrouded in confusion. A movement which mislays its mission should expect to encounter times when paralysis creeps over its members and they stand frozen because they are no longer sure what the point is….
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Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver’s tale is of the Nathan Price family, Freewill Baptist missionaries to the Congo. Narrated in the voices of the five Price women, wife and daughters, the story begins with the family’s arrival in 1959 in the remote village of Kilanga. The missionary family finds their circumstances oppressive, but not as mind numbing as the denigrating character of their father and husband, the Reverend Price….
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AfterGlow: A Beautiful Cross
Is the cross of Jesus Christ the ugliest or the most beautiful object in all history? The answer depends on one’s perspective. Rough, nail-scarred, blood-stained wood, symbolizing every wrong, every injustice, every indignity one could imagine … how could it be described as anything but ugly? …
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Business-As-Mission in Jinja
Jemimah’s Café became a six-month trial to see if a small business could actually financially sustain a poor urban church and a village church mov
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New Issue: Cracking The DiVine Code
Why is Dan Brown’s vision of Jesus in The Da Vinci Code more intriguing to millions of people than the version they hear in most churches today? That’s the question Brian McLaren asks in his newest book, The Secret Message of Jesus.
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Book Review: The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren
In the introduction to his newest book, The Secret Message of Jesus, McLaren asks an important question about this phenomenon: “Why is the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown’s book more interesting, more attractive, and more intriguing than the standard version they hear about from most churches?”
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Tracking Rabbit Trails with Donald Miller
If you enjoyed the Interview , you’ll love running up and down a few rabbit trails with New Wineskins Managing Editor Greg Taylor and Donald Miller …
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Falling on Mt. Zion
In this lecture before the audience of the Detroit Metro Lectures in 2005, John Barton seeks – with the Psalmist – to describe how beautiful; how pleasurable unity before the Lord is to Him … and to us.
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Psalm 133, Rwanda, and Unity
How awful and terrible it is when people live with such disunity found in places such as Rwanda . . . but before we point fingers and assume such tragedy is just “out there” or “over there,” let us acknowledge that we are all a part of the problem, we all contribute in some way to the brokenness of this world . . .
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Excerpt from Together Again, Part 2
“Jesus promised that the world would believe in him if we remained unified. That is why we have such a passion to see our fellowships come together again. This is about so much more than an occasional preacher swap or combined Thanksgiving services. The primary reason we are making efforts to unite our two groups is so that Christ’s mission can be accomplished.”
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Excerpt from Together Again, Part 1
> A Call for Unity: The synergism of that weekend in 2003 really began with the speech Rick gave at the North American Christian Convention on Thursday night. The theme of the convention was, “I Can Only Imagine.” Here is what Rick said that night ….
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The Big Church of Christ
We are a part of the body, but we are not the body. Just as an individual should not despise her gift from God, neither should she act arrogantly as if her gift is the only gift or that her gift exempts her from the need for community and the gifts of others. An eye is a part of the body, but it is not the whole body.
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Attack the Enemy – Not the Sisters and Brothers
Many are excited about the possibilities for new efforts at unity with estranged sisters and brothers in the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. This is good. There is reason for excitement. There seems to be a growing sense of the oneness of Christ’s body and a recognition of the identity we share in Christ. … Yet in the midst of wonderful possibilities to reflect the truth that there is one body (Ephesians 4:4), Satan is hard at work to disrupt the good that might be done….
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Excerpt from The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals
Excerpt from The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals Brian McLaren 09/02/2007 – A fresh look at the gospel according to Luke by one of th
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Excerpt from Together Again, Part 2
“Jesus promised that the world would believe in him if we remained unified. That is why we have such a passion to see our fellowships come together again. This is about so much more than an occasional preacher swap or combined Thanksgiving services. The primary reason we are making efforts to unite our two groups is so that Christ’s mission can be accomplished.”
MORE

Excerpt from Together Again, Part 1
A Call for Unity: The synergism of that weekend in 2003 really began with the speech Rick gave at the North American Christian Convention on Thursday night. The theme of the convention was, “I Can Only Imagine.” Here is what Rick said that night ….
MORE

ScreamFree Parenting: An Interview With Hal Runkel
Not until Hal Runkel’s ScreamFree Parenting has there been such a unique perspective concerning how to maintain personal sanity by making parenting “all about you.” “What?” you say? “All about ME? Isn’t parenting all about the kids? Runkel, a relationship expert, says no. In conversation with New Wineskins (NW) writer Anne-Geri’ Fann, he shares his thoughts on numerous topics about the task of parenting. He discusses, among other things, how to remain calm while your kids are losing it, the beauty of giving them choices, and above all “exposing the lie that I am the one responsible for my kids.”
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Book Review: The Good Thing About AIDS/The Bad Thing About AIDS
How would you feel if you found out your son is gay? And what if he had to tell you he also has AIDS? Elaine Young McGuire, a mother experienced in these complicated subjects, engages those who must address these concerns in her brilliantly illustrated book, The Good Thing About AIDS, The Bad Thing About AIDS: A Picture Album About Living & Dying. …
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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
“Jesus would eat with anybody. He broke bread with the up and coming and the down and out. He ate with friends, family, and foes (including his betrayer). Of course, Jesus wouldn’t be content to move from table to table in the cafeteria. Eventually he’d move over to an empty table in the center of the room and start inviting people from all the different tables to join him.” …
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A Separatist By Any Other Name
“When I was a boy just beginning to “make talks” on Wednesday nights at church, my folks gave me a little sermon outline handbook. It contained one of the golden oldies preached in Churches of Christ across the land in the 1920s and 30s. That sermon asserted that we alone were the true church of Jesus Christ because we alone had the right name, the right founder, the right date of origin, the right baptism, the right worship—and on it went, point by point, affirming how right we were (and, at least by implication, how wrong everybody else was). That kind of sermon is well-received in a separatist church because it exudes the only atmosphere in which separatism can survive.” …
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Incarnational Unity
“Christian unity has been conceived as variously centering on propositions of truth, tangible church organizational structures, common spiritual experience, methodology of biblical interpretation or religious life, shared practices of worship, and other similar aspects of the communal nature of being followers of Christ. In each of these matters, a oneness or similar mindset may or may not be experienced, and striving for either agreement or simple commonality in any of these is helpful. Certainly believers benefit the closer they are in belief or practice regarding teaching, organization, experience, or living out their faith. However, the unity of the Christian faith, that which our faith speaks of, which ought to be distinguished from talking about being unified on the content and nature of our faith, is a divine gift that exists despite imperfect experiences….”
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Movie Review: Beyond the Gates of Splendor
The real-life stories of the five murdered missionaries are chronicled in this absorbing documentary reviewed by Patty Slack … “I knew Mincaye by reputation, but not by name. I had heard of Dawuye, but I’d never seen her face. I knew a story of redemption was being played out in the Ecuadorian jungle, and now I have seen it for myself.”
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Movie Review: End of the Spear
“Warriors of the Waodani kill five missionary men. A wife of one of the men, a sister and son of another later go back to the tribe. The story is one of the greatest Christian missionary stories of reconciliation in the twentieth century. And End of the Spear is a powerful movie of sacrifice and reconciliation …”
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Two Hundred Years . . . and Counting
This address – given by Lynn Anderson at the Closing Convocation of the Caine Ridge Reunion at Central Christian Church in Lexington, KY on June 28, 2004 – encapsulates the hopes and dreams of many Restoration Christians at a historic gathering: “Years ago most of us gave up on the hope that we would come to unity by resolving our differences over instrumental music. Indeed, organic union may not happen, may not even be important. But there is great hope that we can come together in a common mission. In fact, this is already happening …”
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Circle of Fire: Barton Stone and a Spiritual Model of Unity
Recent decades have witnessed a renewed interest in Barton W. Stone among all three branches of our movement, as evidenced by the increased acceptance of the term “Stone-Campbell Movement” to describe us, the popularity of a video presentation on the life of Stone, and the recent biography by Newell Williams, entitled Barton Stone: A Spiritual Biography. What seems to fascinate us most about Stone is his deep spirituality. Like the Campbells, Walter Scott, and other early leaders of the movement, Stone was a child of the Enlightenment and certainly modern in his thinking. However, he combined this modern outlook with a firm belief in the current experience of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
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Unity
Most of us are conditioned to think of unity in both abstract and narrow terms. To illustrate, close your eyes and imagine unity? Getting any mental images? Do you think of unity only in terms of church? Unity is a vast and underdeveloped concept and practice in our world today. Unity is the focus in 2006 for a group of cousins by church heritage who split in 1906: Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ, and Churches of Christ. Our spiritual forbears started a unity movement two hundred years ago, split one hundred years ago, and many in the movement want to unite again today. So this year family reunions are planned, including the North American Christian Convention, the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop, and the Abilene Christian University Lectures, which will also host the Restoration Forum, an ongoing dialogue between the three branches of the Stone-Campbell Movement. This gives New Wineskins a great occasion for both joining in and impacting the discussion on unity. From January to April 2006, New Wineskins will explore unity through dozens of creative and insightful essays and dialogues, excerpts, audio, and your interaction through blogs, forums, and emails. … MORE
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Book Review: God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It
“Jim Wallis grew up an Evangelical who lost his faith as a teenager because he was not allowed to question the world without being squelched. He chose social activism. Later he found his faith and his voice. In doing so he has tapped into a restless audience of church-goers who are fed up with politics as usual, who are ready for a movement that neither co-opts religion, nor ignores it.”
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Book Review: Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God
Fred Peatross reviews Doug Pagit’s work Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God, released last month by Waterbrook Press … “I found it difficult to label this a book when its primary strength is in its instructively whimsical, poetically thoughtful chapters on bodyprayer. This is more a guide for prayer than a book about prayer.”
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Book Review: God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It
“Jim Wallis grew up an Evangelical who lost his faith as a teenager because he was not allowed to question the world without being squelched. He chose social activism. Later he found his faith and his voice. In doing so he has tapped into a restless audience of church-goers who are fed up with politics as usual, who are ready for a movement that neither co-opts religion, nor ignores it.”
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Book Review: Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God
Fred Peatross reviews Doug Pagit’s work Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God, released last month by Waterbrook Press … “I found it difficult to label this a book when its primary strength is in its instructively whimsical, poetically thoughtful chapters on bodyprayer. This is more a guide for prayer than a book about prayer.”
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Book Review: The Fragile Stone
In Michael Card’s newest book, The Fragile Stone: The Emotional Life of Simon Peter , he offers several scenarios where Simon Peter said “no” to Jesus. This intrigued Laura Oldenburg, who brings this New Wineskins review. With each event in the shared life of Jesus and Peter, Card asks penetrating questions of the reader, similar questions to the ones Jesus asked Peter…
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Book Review: Come Away My Beloved
Come Away My Beloved is a compilation of five previous short devotional books published in the 60s and 70s. This devotional classic is unique in voice, for Frances J. Roberts — a woman born in 1918 who wrote mostly at night the words she felt God was giving her — writes as if God is directly addressing the reader.
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Book Review: Leading From Your Strengths
There is scant scientific evidence to prove this, but in my fifteen years of ministry experience, ministry teams break apart more often because of “team shock”–personality conflict and tense team dynamics–than any other cause. John Trent, Rodney Cox and Eric Tooker,in their new book Leading From Your Strengths: building close-knit ministry teams say this kind of team shock can be avoided, and they provide guidance on how to navigate the white water of team conflict.
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Review: a.k.a. Lost
Reviewing Jim Henderson’s a.k.a. Lost, Fred Peatross observes: “The gospels record 132 contacts Jesus had with people. Six were in the temple, four in the synagogues, and 122 were out with the people in the mainstream of life. In this new millennium the call has changed from ‘come-to-church’ to ‘come-to-Christ.'”
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My Once Sacred Path
A medical doctor re-examines his faith in the aftermath of a patient’s death … and a summer of “loss and grief.”
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Genuine Caring: A Nurse’s Challenge
A nurse in a hospital with a Christian mission to serve the sick and suffering views her job as a privilege and a mandate to be as much like Christ as she can be. … “She sat and talked a while, handed me tissues when I cried. It was then I learned that another nurse had rocked my baby girl as she died while I was in surgery to stop my hemorrhage. Her twin had been stillborn. After 23 years I still remember the kindness of these nurses.”
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Can We Talk?
We often subvert the potential of conversation to have an effect for Christ on the lives of those who don’t know Him … every way from not trying to win others to trying to win arguments.
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Missional Church
“Missional church” is a phrase increasingly showing up on websites, in articles, and in conversations concerning congregational ministry. Mark Love examines what people mean when they use this language to describe efforts to reach others with Christ’s love. … “It does seem obvious that the church should be interested in the mission of God. Often, however, the way congregations function reveals a different conception of what the church is all about.”
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A Starting Point for Missional Churches: Growing Deeper and Wider
“It has become a cliché to say that our congregations are in crisis. Many are not growing numerically. Some are shrinking. We seem unsure of our identity and mission. We struggle with what leadership is best for our situation. One the other hand, there are signs of hope among us.” Gary Holloway, a teacher of spiritual formation, shares thoughts on how churches can grow wider by growing deeper ….
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Book Review: a.k.a. Lost
Reviewing Jim Henderson’s a.k.a. Lost, Fred Peatross observes: “The gospels record 132 contacts Jesus had with people. Six were in the temple, four in the synagogues, and 122 were out with the people in the mainstream of life. In this new millennium the call has changed from ‘come-to-church’ to ‘come-to-Christ.'”
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How God Used a Toothache
On a recent Friday morning I was reading the newspaper and noticed that Darrell Scott (father of Rachel Scott, a student who was killed at Columbine High School) was planning to speak Sunday afternoon at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville. … I expected to take two or three kids in my truck. Instead I endd up having to fire up the White House Church of Christ van as eleven of us made the short trek to Two Rivers …
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The Day Innocence Died
The limits of my soul have been tested. My soul is haunted with their pain – parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. All have shed tears. I sit, and I watch tears fall for five hours. No doubt I see only a fraction of the tears shed that day. Somehow God led me to this place of death.
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A Conversation Between Mark and Mel
The Passion of the Christ continues-almost two years after its initial release-to shape (and reflect) an incredibly large number of people’s understandings and mental images of the death of Jesus, as well as understandings and assumptions about the Christian message in general. For that reason alone thoughtful Christians need to continue to assess the films influence and message. Much could be said here, but in this article let me briefly explore a few of the more uncommon strands of the debates by imagining what Mark (the author of the earliest Gospel) might add to the discussions. In fact, I want us to imagine Mark the Evangelist and Mel Gibson sitting in a movie theatre together watching and discussing this film.
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What the Disciples Didn’t Know
Mark starts his book with news that is unknown to the characters who play out his story, ” The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” This is privileged information known only to the supernatural characters, and now to us, the readers. We hover above, omniscient, in the know. We watch as the disciples and the crowds and the religious leaders encounter Jesus. What if we experienced the Gospel of Mark as the disciples did: without being told from the beginning that Jesus is the Christ. In this offering of Wineskins July-August 2005 issue, Charme Robarts introduces us to the idea of reading as one of the disciples, as we discover what they knew and what they didn’t know.
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Reading Mark’s Gospel Aloud
I recently heard someone read several chapters of Mark’s gospel, and it was done in such a way that I felt I was there. I felt that I was in the moment. I saw the action. I experienced the drama. I entered the conversations. And, when it ended, immediately, I was disappointed and wished for more. Good reading should be a priority among us. The word of God should be read with more care and attention than any other book we own. The gift of reading Scripture well should be valued as highly as the gifts of preaching and teaching. In today’s New Wineskins issue offering of “The Gospel According to Mark,” Sara Barton tells us why we should read Mark’s gospel aloud.
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Questions About the Gospel According to Mark
On sunny days in African villages under mango trees sitting on hard wooden benches facing one another, we came together in community and asked questions and pondered who Jesus really is and what it means to follow him. In this offering of the Gospel of Mark issue, Managing Editor Greg Taylor shares questions he and his mission team in Uganda used to converse about who Jesus is and what it means to follow him.
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Relocating Like Jesus Did
Scott Roley was once an up-and-coming singer/songwriter of contemporary Christian music. Then God called him to a much different kind of ministry. He was called to “relocate” his life, ministry, and home. But this doesn’t mean he moved from one church to another. He and his family intentionally moved into a racially different neighborhood and adopted three children of different ethnic origin. Why? Because Jesus relocated. In today’s offering of the “Living Christ” issue, New Wineskins talks with Scott Roley about his life and the concept of “re-neighboring.”
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The Jesus Creed: An Interview with Scot McKnight
Scot McKnight, author of the newly released, The Jesus Creed recently spoke with Wineskins. The Jesus Creed is “Love God. Love Others.” McKnight says truth-telling important to these relationships. Until we tread upon that territory, we will not come through the journey to genuine Christian community. We must tell the truth.
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My Dog Is Lost
Her dog was lost, so she called a psychic … and a Christian neighbor. Patty Slack was that neighbor, and in today’s Spiritual Formation issue offering, she shares their conversation and their journey together.
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Reaching Out
To help us from turning spiritual formation into the latest, self-serving individualistic fad, we would be wise to remember the importance of outreach, says Scott Owings, in today’s New Wineskins March-April 2005 ‘Spiritual Formation’ issue offering.
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Confused About Spirituality?
Who is the model of a truly spiritual life? I’ll presume to speak for you and offer the name Jesus of Nazareth. Did he live in a desert monastery? Build a retreat center in the mountains? Sit silently in the middle of a subdued crowd? Protect himself from ordinary people and routine life? You know better.
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Review: Spiritual Pyramid
Baylor and Michigan State women wrap up college hoops tonight. Last night North Carolina beat Illinois, upsetting Illini hopes for a record thirty-eight wins. Head Coach Roy Williams won his first-ever national championship. Meanwhile, John Wooden, widely considered the most successful college coach of all time has published another book about his Pyramid of Success. During the tournament, six hundred coaches and staff of Final Four teams received copies of the book we are reviewing in today’s NEW Wineskins issue on Spiritual Formation.
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Speaking My Mind (Excerpt)
There has been more hope for the poor during the last twenty-five years than ever before in the history of our country. We too easily forget the incredibly immoral neglect of the needy that was so evident in the early part of the twentieth century. Were the “Good Old Days” really good? Today we offer an excerpt from Tony Campolo’s new book, Speaking My Mind (Word 2004).
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Homeland Security?
The national conversation about security centers on concerns such as fighting terrorism, border control, better intelligence. We don’t like the feelings of fear we’ve felt, particularly since 9/11. Karl Barth said that security is a modern idol. Donald McCullough calls comfort a “Western deity.” Do we idolize security? Do we deify comfort? And, how does this affect how we worship and think about God?
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Ministering to Those with Same-Sex Attractions
Dr. Christopher Austin talks frankly both to those with same-sex attractions and to those who want to minister to them … Roger is married, forty-three, and a father of two. He appears at his church, work, and home to be successful and spiritual, but he has a secret. “I have prayed thousands of times for God to take this away,” says Roger. “I met a guy on the internet, and I have had an affair with him. I love my wife and kids, but I can’t seem to stop what I am doing.”
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An Open Letter to Worship Songwriters
We are grateful to one of the leading movers in emergent church and culture, Brian McLaren, for his thoughtful and challenging contributions to the ‘Desperate’ theme by this New Wineskins article on worship authenticity, “An Open Letter to Worship Songwriters,” and his participation in our ZOE Look to the Hills conference in Nashville this year. A thinker and Good News proclaimer, McLaren assists us all find deeper and more meaningful methods of making Christ relevant to our age.
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Fellow Explorer, Sometimes Guide
Fred Peatross describes himself as a fellow explorer and sometimes guide in the journey toward Christ with those who are near and far from him. Here Peatross describes how to create “safe places” for faith explorers …
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Potter’s House: From Cloister to Coffee Shop
The church as a coffee shop! What a fresh idea that is! It is so new, so creative, so Starbucks Gen Y cool, so postmodern and emergent, so outside-the-box and relevant; it’s so…so 1959…
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Emergent Church: A Beautiful Stirring
More and more often we’re hearing these students talk about working with churches that sound very different. They don’t share the dream many had a decade or two ago of building megachurches with large buildings, large budgets, and large ministry staffs. Their language is more about the kingdom of God, about being missional in all of life, about church planting, about “becoming all things to reach all people.”
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Part of Discipleship is Sharing Your Faith
Tim Riter, author of Twelve Lies You Hear in Church joins the discussion on discipleship with an article on a lie may be telling ourselves about sharing our faith in Jesus Christ.
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A Conversation with John Eldredge
In his new book, Waking the Dead, he issues a broader more radical challenge to Christians, men and women, to rethink what they’ve been taught about their faith, to embark on a journey to restore their embattled hearts. New Wineskins spoke to John Eldredge recently about what it means to be a disciple today…
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The Passion of the Christ: A Movie Review
For those who are paying attention, this is far from an extended study in a man getting beat to a bloody mass. But as Jeff M. Sellers asks in his review of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Does a film that narrows its focus to Jesus’ last night and day do justice to either Christ or his accusers?
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‘Radical’ Discipleship
Following a Jesus who commands love of enemies, or sharing of one’s provisions, or ongoing practices of forgiveness, is looked upon as “far-out,” as an extreme viewpoint with little to offer the “real world,” says Lee Camp in this powerful excerpt from his new book, Mere Discipleship, used by permission from Brazos.
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Discipleship Dialogue
An important conversation happened in February between brothers and sisters in two different church fellowships that have been at odds for two decades. This article about discipleship is by one who has prayed for these discussions and been vocal as a voice of unity and passionate discipleship. Read his article and get more links to the dialogue here
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Our Bodies Are Not Meant for Tombs or Duffel Bags
“Hello. This is Wako. I called to — hello?” The voice came over the phone. “Yes, I’m still listening,” I said, rolling my eyes at the tendency for Ugandans to stop and say hello between sentences if they are not getting verbal feedback over the line. My friend, Wako, had called me to say his seven-month-old daugher, Louisa, was very sick. Our friend, Dr. Clifton Ganus, Jr., who visited Wako’s village, Nabikooli, a few months before, had named Wako’s little baby after his own granddaughter.
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The Ministry of Motherhood
I’ve seen her in every congregation where I have ever preached. She usually sits at the back of the auditorium. She is accompanied by two or three young children, but not other adult. She attempts to sing or listen to the sermon, but most of her time is spent just trying to keep her kids quiet. Coloring books and Cheerios spend much more time in her hands than the Bible …
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Movie Review: The Return of the King
Before I review The Return of the King movie, a confession: I am a lover of J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle-earth. I was first introduced to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) by my Latin teacher when I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve since read it at least a dozen times. I read it to my children when they were young; I read it at times when I needed a lift and in times when I needed to renew old friendships. I know Middle-earth. I know Gandalf and I’ve walked with Frodo.
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Tabernacle: A Theological Metaphor for the Family
Are the days of the “traditional family,” comprised of Mom, Dad and the kids past? Is the so-called “traditional family” really traditional after all? Is this to be the only yardstick by which all families ought to be measured? And how will families survive today’s threat to the structural integrity of a traditional family? Ryan Fraser addresses these questions and helps us develop a new metaphor for family today…from an ancient source…
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Book Review: Yet Will I Trust Him
The newly published book by John Mark Hicks, Yet Will I Trust Him, (College Press, 1999) refines and answers the theological questions about suffering as much as the author’s own suffering has refined his faith. Just as bright sun rays beaming through dark clouds during a pouring rain are both rare, noteworthy, and even refreshing, so this book combines rays of the biblical story from an honest exegete and theologian who has experienced the dark clouds of suffering.
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Faith and the Artist: Is There A Place in the World for a Christian in the Arts?
“Art is not a mirror but a banner – it does not reflect, it shapes.” – Bertolt Brecht A man of sincerity is less interested in defending the truth than in stating it clearly, for he thinks that if the truth be clearly seen it can very well take care of itself. – Thomas Merton
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In the Shadow of the Cross
They laid the swaddling clothes in the manger so He wouldn’t feel the roughness of the wood on His back. On the cross, there would be no such cushion, from the wood or the consequences of my sins. Sins as numerous as the pilgrims who crowded Bethlehem to be counted among the citizens of the realm.
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On Second Look, Maybe There Is a Pattern
By the time I finished the fifth grade, I could show you the pattern in Acts. I saw no real reason to doubt the pattern principle.
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He Touched Me and Made Me Whole
Most Christians would say I had a perfect Christian raising. Outwardly there were all the “correct” things; no abuse, no cursing, no anger, and no “sins.” What was confusing to me was there was nothing you could put your finger on and say “That was awful; no wonder you are the way you are.” It was all very subtle.
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Grace, Loss and Chocolate Sauce
Be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart. – Rainer Maria Rilke May God keep us from single vision. – William Blake
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Governmental Standards
An odd thing happened at church last night. In a venue where the speaker for the evening usually urges the faithful to veer away from worldly practices, our “Peak of the Week” orator made a precipitous about-face.
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Hope Network Newsletter: Why Stay?
After dinner, a circle of friends sipped coffee and listened politely while I unpacked my mission: encouraging leaders among churches of Christ. Then Randall probed pointedly, “Why invest this much energy in the church of Christ? Hasn’t this whole ‘restoration’ idea proven itself a well-intentioned but failed experiment?”
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Missionaries in the Gutter
A look at the testimony and model of a ministry that is getting down and dirty in the gutter – Craig Goss’ outreach to pornography addicts and victims.
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In Line at the Church Customs Office
After seven years planting churches in Uganda, I’m nervously returning to America.
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High Places
After Tenwa burns his tribe’s religious shrine, he realizes that following the missionary may cost him his life. His father and the tribal leaders want him dead. He flees his village, hoping to reach the Nile River and safety. William Bell and his wife, Jessica, could be Tenwa’s only hope for survival. As the Germans and British battle for land in East Africa, William and Jessica struggle to evangelize the “heathen” and survive wars of their own in early twentieth-century Uganda. As the Bells help Tenwa survive, they learn about redemption from the ones they came to redeem. Two cultures collide and embrace in this love story and coming-of-age struggle for life’s “high places.”
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Trusting Women
How stories save us and bring us home
Darryl Tippens weaves his own story into the redeeming stories that point us homeward.
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Conversation with Film Expert Greg Garrett
I think it’s important for Christians to take note of what’s happening in culture. But it’s also true that individual Christians are going to have individual choices about how much they want to participate in culture. So, there are some people who are going to say, ‘The Matrix is an R rated movie and just as a matter of principle I don’t go see R rated movies’ and I would understand that decision completely. On the other hand there are millions of people who are going to see The Matrix who are going to be exposed to faith questions and to opportunities for Christians to talk about faith questions.
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What Makes Christian Spirituality Distinctive?
A few weeks ago I walked the streets of Pompeii, an ancient city that flourished in Jesus’ day, frozen in time by the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius. As I scanned the well-preserved baths, shops, houses, and theaters—and even the human remains permanently fixed in the positions they fell on that fateful day in A.D. 79—I couldn’t help thinking that Pompeii’s world is like my own, for at the center of that hedonistic culture one recognizes a longing for the sacred in its many temples dedicated to the gods, next-door to the markets and the brothel.
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THE WRITE SIDE: One Small Step
Whatever had gone wrong when our bodies were formed, whatever was left out or put in when it shouldn’t have been, taught Mama, who then taught me, to exult in the good days, weeks, months, sometimes even years, when the pain eased, or the energy returned.
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Creation Groans
Where is God in all of the events of mankind that bring us so much grief and pain? For example: was the recent war with Iraq within his will? Any serious discussion of God’s will has to consider his heart toward mankind at creation. God looked down over the centuries and was aware of the entire panorama of man exercising his free will…
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PERSPECTIVES: Hope Farther Than We Can See
The morning after the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy, our church in Nacogdoches gathered to lament…
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Reflections on Easter…in Africa
We began our day by enjoying a sunrise service with other missionaries from various denominations. After the sunrise service we drove the bumpy road to Kitongore to visit old friends…
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Walking on Water
Every church search committee ought to read this insightful article by Ann Evankovich… Some of our members wanted to wait until our storms had passed before pursuing a new pulpit minister. Others thought we had waited too long already. Like sailors in a storm afraid to stop rowing, we kept moving…
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Workplace as a Mission
God also reminds us that any competence we have doesn’t come from ourselves, but from him (2 Corinthians 3:5).
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Co-Workers with God
The message of Scripture is that God wants all of us to become incarnational agents who change the world through continuing and managing his work of creation. Some of us will do that as church staff ministers, or in other places of influence like journalism, politics, or business, and some of us in jobs that seem as routine and menial as netting and throwing fish.
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I Gave at the Office
NEW! Baylor University professor of Management Blaine McCormick says work is one of our greatest blessings and part of the very fabric of creation. By rediscovering the spiritual roots of work, practicing the spiritual discipline of gratitude, and awakening to the immortals in our midst, we can begin recovering the other six days of the week for Kingdom work…
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Our Bodies are not Meant for Tombs or Duffel Bags
Before becoming managing editor for Wineskins, Greg Taylor lived with his family and a mission team in Jinja, Uganda. He wrote dozens of dispatches from there, including stories for Christianity Today. See Christianitytoday.com for more of his stories from Uganda, including investigative reporting on a cult mass murder, child soldiers in Sudan, and Ebola.
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A Eunuch becomes a family man
What could be better than sons and daughters to a eunuch? A name–the name of Jesus! God promised eunuchs a name that would not be cut off. God promised to put an end to the “cutting off” that prevented eunuchs from having a family. Rather, eunuchs will no longer be “dry trees.” They would be a part of God’s family and join all God’s people in the joy of prayer in the house of God (cf. Lk. 19:46)…
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Book Review: Becoming Friends
Read Gary Holloway’s review of the new Brazos Press book by Paul J. Wadell, Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship. In this thought-provoking book, Wadell reminds us that with the blessings of such a relationship also comes the great responsibility to live out the life of God in the world through worship and justice…
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Acting Christian
For some people, being an actress and a Christian at the same times seems impossible …
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Do movies speak your language?
What if we did have actual footage of Jesus Christ—everything the Messiah said and did on DVD? What if the entire Bible were a movie, not a book? Would that be enough for us to believe?
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Living at the corner of Hollywood and Divine
I live somewhere near the intersection of Hollywood and the Divine. It’s a noisy, fractious neighborhood—with lots of mutual suspicion and occasionally some shouting.
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Book Review: Decoding the Church
The authors make a strong statement about the nature of the church as a system: “…if we look at the church as a complex system, perhaps we can avoid reducing it to simply a social service agency, a church growth machine, or a religious entertainment center.” It is from that point that we are treated to what the church was called to be and do…
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Review & Excerpts: Participating in God’s Life
Two Crossroads for Churches of Christ By C. Leonard Allen and Danny Gray Swick (Orange, California: New Leaf Books, 2001. Reviewed by Shaun Casey Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics Wesley Theological Seminary Washington, DCAllen and Swick call the church to recover a stronger doctrine of the Trinity and that means, among other things, rescuing the Holy Spirit from its status as a retired author. This contribution to the growing literature among the various tribes of the Stone-Campbell movement is among the best in the genre and is worthy of serious attention, says Shaun Casey, who reviews the book.
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Book Review of Trusting Women
In this new collection of 19 essays by Leafwood Publishers (formerly New Leaf), Trusting Women, all the women share a common love of their church heritage, a deep appreciation for the role of males in churches and in their own lives, abiding commitments to the authority of Scripture and to their Lord. Their stories reflect great varieties of experience and service—and yes some of them perform those ministries within assembly contexts.
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Missional Worship
Can a cappella churches effectively reach the postmodern generations? Can churches that severely restrict the freedom of women to contribute in public worship be taken seriously in contemporary culture? John Ogren addresses these and many other questions in, “Missional Worship.” Bible Teaching Study Companion (printable PDF document) Join forum to discuss…
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Book Review: More Ready Than You Realize
Reading Brian McLaren’s book, More Ready Than You Realize: Evangelism as Dance in the Postmodern Matrix(Zondervan, 2002), was like that meal. It was gourmet yet simple. I wanted to savor each page and at the same time was compelled by the fine flavor to stuff the next page in as fast as I could.When I finished I was disappointed. I wanted more.
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Church Outside the Walls
South Street Ministries works at being a hospital for sinners rather than a hotel for saints. We are a bridge to connect struggling people with one another and the Great Physician so He can heal us to live and love, laugh and cry in the midst of our often messy lives,” writes Duane in a newsletter: a church without walls.
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The Pornography Trap
NEW! REPRINT BY READER DEMAND: We are experiencing an epidemic today of people who get “trapped” in pornography. One recent survey revealed that as many as two-thirds of Christian men have struggled with it. Another recent survey claims that one-third of all pastors are involved with pornography. In our current culture we deal with pornographic images of all kinds in magazines, on TV, in movies, on videos and CDs, and (the most rapidly growing form) on the Internet. Some believe we are living in the most sexually saturated time in history. It is hard to go anyplace today and not be confronted with pornography. Even a trip to the grocery store checkout lane will bombard us with sexual images and messages. Our youngest of children who are computer literate can accidentally click into the worst of images on pornographic web sites.

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Church Landscapers Wanted
FOCUS ON U.S. CHURCH PLANTING: Many men and women who feel called into ministry are now considering the planting of new churches a worthwhile and fulfilling goal. The church is bolstering this pursuit by renewing its embrace of those who are called and gifted to plant new churches, rather than attempt to fit in the very necessary but narrow role of ministry in established churches.
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God Almighty
What is worship? Is it merely going to church on Sundays and other weekdays? Are bible studies and other church functions inclusive in this? To really know what the worship of God is, one needs to see where God initially made of the concept of worship known to those who will read His Word.
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What happened to missions?
From the new book, The Status of Missions: A Nationwide Survey of Churches of Christ , by Van Rheenen and Waldron. Now available from ACU Press (www.acu.edu/acupress)Forty-six percent of local churches of Christ indicated that their congregations have a “high interest” in missions, and an additional 41 percent believed that there is “some interest.”

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Conversation on Worship with Marva Dawn
John Ogren recently spoke with Marva Dawn about the tension between the church’s calling to be a worshiping community and its calling to be a missional community.
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Mail Room
NEW WINESKINS articles too studious, says reader. Agree or Disagree? Join Reader’s Forum now in progress.
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Worthy of Honor
Growing up in a minister’s family was overwhelmingly positive. My parents are sincere and devoted to the job. But there were times of frustration, not only with the lack of receptiveness from non-believers, but from within the congregation. That may be expected in over 30 years of ministry . However, when my husband started full-time ministry and I talked to other minister’s families in the Church of Christ, I saw some familiar attitudes regarding ministers that troubled me. There was even some resentment on the part of those who had devoted themselves to this work. Allow me to explain.
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Plastic Prison
By Lynn Anderson! As I stood in the church parking lot and watched the tail lights of Terry and Jane’s Lexus shrink into the night, my mind replayed the scene from earlier in the evening. Terry and Jane both projected a picture of success. They dressed in the latest and the finest. Both worked high-powered jobs. But appearances did not tell the real story. Moments earlier in my office Terry had looked down at the carpet while Jane jumped right in, “That terrible earthquake hit El Salvador and everyone in our Sunday school class couldn’t wait to help. But we were too debt strapped. The same with Ground Zero. While our friends wrote out hefty checks, we stared at our shoes like losers.” Then real tears flowed.
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Be Careful; They are Biggering You!
The assault began before I ever got out of the airport. They were attempting to bigger me.
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Little Pockets of Resistance
In my university classes on “The Life and Teachings of Jesus,” I’ve often asked my students, “What is your favorite story in the Gospels about Jesus?” Nearly every possible story has been named. One that has not yet been nominated is the encounter of Jesus with the “rich young ruler.” It’s a story we’d just as soon pass on. This eager young Command-Keeper was stung by these words: “One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21).
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Grieving worship
Recently, I was a part of a “life impacting” spiritual experience in a Jesus-focused church. It was an assembly that touched the heart of every person. Everything revolved around a real-life event: a tragedy of life.
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COMMENTARY: Ethics and `Infectious Greed’
(RNS) I rarely check my stock portfolio. It’s too depressing.
Tech funds that I bought at the peak have tanked. Other securities are soft. With retirement several years away, I don’t feel an immediate pinch. But I recognize that shrinking portfolios are disastrous for many. Like other investors, I wonder what the future holds.
If stock price declines were linked solely to normal business cycles, I would expect eventual resumption of upward trends. The overall economy is sound. Even the Internet sector will rebound, once self-indulgent high-rollers are sent out to get real jobs.
The real story isn’t unfolding on Wall Street, however, but in courts of law, congressional hearings, truth-telling press conferences, regulatory agencies and corporate board rooms. Told broadly, the story is this:
First, corporate ethics stink. Too many over-indulged stars chasing personal gain by any available means, at the expense of colleagues, shareholders and consumers. Too many corners cut, too many insider deals, too many conflicts of interest, and not enough honor.
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Movie Review: Questioning Faith
Questioning Faith National Television Premiere 27 June 2002, HBO’s Cinemax Reel Life, 6:30 PM (EST). Questioning Faith, an autobiographical documentary, is filmed by Mackey, a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York, who struggles with the death of fellow student Alan, a friend and soup-kitchen co-worker. Alan was just beginning to flourish ministerially and was full of potential when he lost a six-month battle with AIDS. Through Mackey, the documentary asks, “How can Alan’s death be reconciled with a good and sovereign God?”
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Feature: Evangelicals meld heroes and ministry
Heather Mercer, one of two Christian aid workers now famous in America for being imprisoned in war-torn Afghanistan, cringes when people tell her she’s reached hero status. Mercer says the power drains out of the testimony when the focus turns to seeing her as a hero. “Definitely, Dayna and I are no heroes,” said Mercer in an interview, describing herself and Dayna Curry. The Americans were part of an international team rescued in November after being released by the Taliban, who were holding them on charges of spreading Christianity. Photo Religion News Service
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Jesus Shows Us How to Respond to Injustice
Atlanta preacher and social activist Andrew Jerry Taylor describes how Jesus Christ shows us the most profound response to injustice.
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Bus Ride to Justice
Greg Taylor takes you on a bus ride to justice.
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Resources on Social Justice
Compiled by Margaret Smith Roark, this list of resources that we printed in the May/June print magazine is in a helpful format with links to web sites.
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Structural Justice
Kasey S. Pipes is the Associate Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the White House. We asked Pipes to write on structural justice: does policy really affect our society and bring authentic social justice?
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Lord, Expand My Neighbors’ Borders
Most Christians would agree that a life of faith involves not only Jesus’ command to love God with heart and mind but that his follow-up command is pretty important too. We are supposed to love our neighbors–the people of the community who are weak, suffering, powerless, and voiceless. Of course, the tricky part is figuring out and agreeing on how to do this. This is not a popular sermon topic. You don’t hear it discussed much in Bible class or at potluck suppers. I attended a small, private Christian university with mandatory Bible classes and none of these was entitled “Loving Your Neighbor: Practical Application.” Why don’t we discuss this subject more openly and frequently in our churches and ask ourselves what it means–in terms of our time, energy, finances, skills–to be good neighbors right now? I am a literal person, I guess. I want to know concretely, specifically, what does this love look like?
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Justice Rolling Like a River
The year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25) was a radical plan, requiring the people of faith to return all property to the original owners every fifty years. In an agrarian society, this was about as basic as economic restructuring could go. Wealth was redistributed to avoid having the unbalanced situation where a few families amass enormous wealth and luxury while others just barely scrape by.
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Mary Moffat, I Presume
Mary Moffat was born to Robert and Mary Moffat at Griqua Town in the Cape Colony of South Africa in 1821. Robert and Mary Moffat were missionaries who founded the Kuruman Mission Station under the auspices of the London Mission Society. Mary began her studies in South Africa but eventually traveled to London where she completed her education. Afterward, she returned to South Africa and joined her parents in the work at Kuruman Mission Station…
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Excerpt: Authentic Faith
In the early 1970s, few places on this earth were marked by more human misery than Calcutta, India. Franklin Graham, now president of Samaritan’s Purse, once told me about his first visit there. Though Franklin has been in some of the world’s most violent places — Lebanon, Somalia, Kosovo — Calcutta may have been the most difficult, the type of place that makes you want to leave as soon as you set foot on its soil.
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The Age of Convergence
Today’s technical buzzword is “convergence.” Trade Magazines announce it. Conferences showcase it. Technical reports prove it. It’s the latest craze in the digital world and it’s pushing the technical envelope at an astounding rate…
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Do you remember Fred Noonan’s flight?
I would imagine most people don’t remember Fred Noonan. He set out in 1937 to circumnavigate the world at its widest point, the equator. No man had yet done so, and the record books were waiting for the first person to finish this 29,000 mile odyssey. It was only ten years earlier, 1927, that Charles Lindbergh had bravely flown solo across the Atlantic – a feat in which 14 other pilots died trying to accomplish in the following year…
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The Baptism of Transformation
It was a strange town in a strange place with many unfamiliar faces of people who spoke a language I did not understand. Every night as I gazed out of my fifth floor hotel window into the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, I could not help but wonder how many of those strangers knew my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did they know that God loves them?
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The Churches of Christ: Student Edition
Readers of Richard T. Hughes’ The Churches of Christ: Student Edition (Praeger Press, 2001) will come away with the same impression that people got from Hughes’ previously published Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America (Eerdmans, 1996): that Churches of Christ today are not what they were a hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago. Serious theological and sociological developments have transformed the fellowship beyond the recognition of its pioneers…
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Two Generations Went Up to Pray
Harry and Mary Sue Smith arrived 30 minutes before early worship service. Harry fought in Korea and hated to be late for church. Mary Sue prayed for Harry while he fought in Korea, rarely missed inviting guests home for Sunday lunch and hated when her roast would burn because the service went long…
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I Just Want to Be an Authentic Disciple!
One evening Carolyn and I flipped on CNN and found Larry King interviewing First Lady Laura Bush. First, King lobbed her an open-ended question about how the first family has coped with the monumental stresses since 9-11. Mrs. Bush calmly replied, “We have a strong faith, you know.” King’s body language shifted and his voice gathered intensity, “But how does all this carnage and hopelessness affect your faith?” How indeed? I really needed to hear her answer…
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Rethinking Restoration
The growing relationship of Restorationists and evangelicals is evident on many sides. Max Lucado, senior minister of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas, is widely, and justifiably, recognized as one of the most winsome public spokespersons today for a classically orthodox, Christ-centered “mere Christianity.” Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, with its roots in the Churches of Christ, has enlisted a wide range of well-known public Christians, many of them card-carrying evangelicals, to help launch an ambitious program for promoting higher learning in conjunction with Christian faith. Richard Hughes, the director of that program, is not only one of the nation’s moving forces in promoting the tasks of Christian colleges and universities, but he is also one of the premier historians of the Restorationist movement. Pastors and scholars from the Restorationist tradition have also been making unusually interesting gestures toward re-appropriating some aspects of classical Protestant teachings about grace and interpretive humility before the Word of God…
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Jesus Christ our benchmark for authentic faith
I suspect some degree of disagreement and breaking up into camps is inevitable in a fallen world populated with imperfect people. We humans are marvelously different in temperament, outlook, and taste. My best friend and I don’t like the same writers. We disagree about some important political issues. On the other hand, one of the people I like least sees some difficult issues the same way I do. If I let myself think about that too much, it’s downright scary.
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The Centrifugal Mission
You have to give Jesus this: he could move a crowd from standing ovation to manslaughter faster than anyone!
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Life in Greece
My family was about to embark on a new life in Athens, Greece, not as missionaries, but as diplomats. We had done the training at the Foreign Service Institute and had been warned of a terrorist group called 17 November…
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Revisiting Congregational Leadership
What is the role of “leadership” within a congregation? This question has been debated and, sadly, argued over countless times over the years.
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Worry Is Paralyzing Our Churches
When children are delighted with anything, they aren’t concerned with what anyone else is thinking. It’s more than that even. Children aren’t even aware of the presence of others in moments of pleasure. They aren’t worried about their shoes getting muddy when they see a beautiful stream. They aren’t worried about their pants matching their shirt. They aren’t worried about blueberry stains on their clothes. They aren’t worried about raising their hands too high in worship…
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A Parable of Two Sons
The older son, Robert (never ever called Bob), was left-brained, right-handed, and politically right-winged. Robert loved math, computers, and puzzles. At Southern Technical College, he had majored in business…
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Can We Find a Church Online that Pierces Ears?
In the wake of our world crisis, church attendance sharply increased while mall shopping waned. I contributed to both statistics: first, I’d take the dentist’s drill to one of my good molars over shopping even in a flimsy Christmas rush, and second, my family just moved and we’re visiting churches…
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Jesus’ Words in the Winter of War
The day began beautifully in Paris. I tagged along with my photo journalist son Chris through the narrow streets to his agency as he delivered some photos for New York Times. He was upbeat and I was eager to meet his colleagues. But, when we walked in they told us something terrible had happened in New York…
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Who’s Afraid of Harry Potter?
Among some Christians and other “Muggles” (those lacking magical powers), Harry Potter generates anxiety. Harry is, after all, a wizard who attends a school of sorcery. Hogwarts is populated by trolls, elves, witches, and various practitioners of the magical arts. Can this be good?
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Will Churches of Christ Survive the 21st Century: Part 3
In a time when it seems that change is driving the life of the church (in some sense it must as the church adapts to the changing culture in order to reach people) are there any certainties we can hold on to? I think there are two. One may be viewed as bad news but the other is the best of all news!
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Would You Enlist in the Battle for Human Souls?
A confusion of patriotism and faith does not serve Christians well as they struggle to distinguish terrorists who are so brutal, from Muslims to whom they have a mission …
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The Church and Technology
Tim is a teaching minister for the Otter Creek family of faith in Nashville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Julie, run Look Press—a publishing concern for religious/educational material, www.lookpress.com, Tim’s latest book, A Distant Presence: The Story Behind Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, is the first volume in a series from NavPress titled The Narrative Commentary Series.
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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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