Reader’s Choice Awards: Your 5 Favorite Intersect Articles of 2018

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Last week, we asked you what your favorite Intersect articles were. And boy did you respond. You flooded our inboxes with your favorite picks. Most of you stuck with more recent articles. Others went back and found one that resonated with you from earlier in the year. All in all, you nominated 59 different articles.

Without further ado, here are your top 5 Intersect articles of 2018. …Read More.

Tips and Tools to Help Your Kids Focus on Christ at Christmas

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What do a T-Rex, uneatable cereal and Teddy Ruxpin have in common? They are all on the Top 10 Hottest Toys list for 2018 according to Good Housekeeping. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these toys. But this top 10 list represents what is competing with Jesus for our children’s hearts. With all these fantastic toy options, how do we help guide the souls of our kids to choose Christ first during Christmas?

Deuteronomy 6:7 provides a framework for parents throughout the year and especially during the Christmas season. For parents, it reminds us of how we are to lead our children. …Read More.

#IAmGoing Weekend Reading

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What Binge-Watching ‘Stranger Things’ Taught Me About Storytelling: D. Scott Hildreth

Sunday night at about 11:45 p.m., I turned off the TV. My wife was stacking dishes, cups and a popcorn bowl into the dishwasher. “I think this is what the kids call binge watching.”

We had spent the better part of two weekends watching the Netflix show Stranger Things. It was a fantastic experience.

We aren’t in our 20s any longer, so we struggled to stay up past midnight. We have jobs, so we couldn’t push through two seasons nonstop. However, we did manage sneak in a couple of episodes throughout the week. Then, on Saturday, after we finished yard work, we parked on the couch and plowed through the rest of the seasons. We have talked about the characters and scenes. We have used funny quotes in conversation and have recommended the show to others.

As I thought about this experience, it hit me: This is the passion we want from those who read our stories. We want them to push past bedtime, snatch a chapter here or there, and fight sleep to finish. In today’s reading environment it is more important than ever to keep readers hooked on our stories. …Read More.

4 Attitudes Killing Church Attendance: Thom Rainer

There has been much written on declining attendance in churches. Specifically, many of us have addressed the issue of attendance frequency where even “active” church members attend less frequently.

Many pundits have rightly observed the impact of culture on the church, where church is, at best, just another activity. We have also addressed the issue of increasing choices. Many church members and attendees have so many opportunities to do other activities, and they can often afford them like never before.

Still others note the increasing numbers of people working on Sunday, precluding them from attending worship services that day. Even more lament the reality that many children’s sports have been moved to Sundays.

These reasons are sound. But behind many of these reasons are attitudinal issues. These attitudinal issues are really the sources of the problem. And there are four attitudes in particular that have a devastating effect on church attendance. …Read More.

Our Moment-by-Moment Choice: The Agony of Disobedience vs. the Joy of Obedience: Chuck Lawless

It’s really this simple, for every one of us.

Temptation hits. The enemy wants to entice us across the sin line. The “fun” of sin powerfully pulls us. We have to make a choice – and too often, we choose based on the temporary lure, but without regard for the consequences. I hardly always make the right choice, but here’s how I think about the options. …Read More.

Jesus Is Not Just Important. He Must Be First: J.D. Greear

When I was 19 years old, I got to take a class with Charles Ryrie, a theologian who had the most famous study Bible of the 1980s and 90s. I remember that when he got to the section in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus is starting to go toward the cross, all of a sudden, his throat locked up and tears began to fill his eyes. He looked at us and said, “God died for us! How could we possibly understand this?” He paused for a moment, collected himself, and then just went on to the next passage—because even one of the most incredible theological minds of our generation knew no one can truly understand this. …Read More.

Hark! Thoughts on a Christmas Classic

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We often recite Christmas lyrics from memory without meditating on the words. Recently, though, I was listening to the classic Christmas hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Charles Wesley. I was in my car mindlessly singing, “Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.”

But then I began to reflect on the words for once, and they didn’t make a ton of sense. Jesus isn’t an angelic being, I thought. He doesn’t even have wingsBut if He did, would these wings have magical healing powers? My inner dialogue continued: Is this hymn heretical? Should I add this to the list of songs that I cannot sing because they are theologically inaccurate?

I went home and looked up the lyrics. The song mentions Sun, not Son, of Righteousness. In fact, the phrase “Son of Righteousness” is never found in the Bible, but “Sun of Righteousness” is. Jesus is called the Son of David (Matthew 21:9), Son of Man (81 times in the Gospels) and the Righteous One (Isaiah 24:16), but never the Son of Righteousness.

These questions sent me on a nerdy Christmas carol investigation. I wanted to know what this verse of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was all about.

To answer that question, we must start in Malachi. …Read More.