#IAmGoing Weekend Reading

iamgoing.jpeg

5 Reasons Christians Cannot Abandon the Church: Aaron Earls

Every so often, a Christian writes a piece about how they’ve come to the realization they would be better off away from a local church. They still love Jesus, they maintain. In fact, they are leaving the church because they love Jesus so much. The church has become crowded with man-made traditions, instead of God-centered worship. Local churches fail to do so much of what Jesus called them to do.

All that may very well be the case, but none of that deals with the very obvious point that Jesus said He was personally establishing the church. In the book of Revelation, John said the church was the bride of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul said the local church is the body of Christ. Unless you want to undergo divorce or decapitation, removing yourself from the church is not the best idea for a Christian.

Theologically, Christians are called to be part of a local church. Biblically, there is no such thing as a Christian living apart from the church. But even beyond those reasons, there are very practical reasons each Christian should be actively involved in church. …Read More.

The Day I Discovered an African American Theologian: Walter Strickland

History is recounted by the wealthy and powerful. Throughout America’s history of racism, slavery and segregation prohibited blacks from being protagonists in the Christian narrative. For example, there is often mention of Jonathan Edwards and John Frame in the American Christian story, but rarely an acknowledgement of John Chavis or John Jasper. In general, the American Christian story told in most evangelical college and seminary classrooms includes African Americans as marginal characters and only in relation to the dominant culture.

This results in false perceptions of God’s work—namely, that God primarily works through the wealthy and powerful. People assume that the white protagonists have everything to teach and little to learn from those who have been excluded. Learning about historical figures like African-American pastor Charles Octavius Boothe (1845–1924) not only shows God at work outside the dominant culture, but it also exalts Christ as the redeemer of every ethné.

5 Church Budget Concerns That Are Keeping Church Leaders Up at Night: Art Rainer

Recently, Envelope3 members filled out a quick, one-question survey. The survey simply asked “What is the biggest budgetary concern for your church right now?” Most church leaders feel some financial strain in their church budgets. So the goal of the survey was to pinpoint the most pressing issues.

The responses were easily grouped into five primary categories. Here were the top five most expressed concerns. …Read More.

    5 Christian Women Who Have Shaped Culture

    xian-women-culture.jpeg

    Culture is a word we hear a lot in Christian circles these days. We hear of a “cultural malaise,” ponder “culture wars,” talk about how America has ceased to be a “Christian culture” and are encouraged to be “culture makers.” All of these uses of the term are helpful for thinking about how Christians can cultivate and contribute to the world we are called to serve.

    Because we as men and women are created in the image of a creative God, we will be forming culture in our own world, however big or small its impact may seem at the time. And sometimes that’s the problem. We feel discouraged because our world does seem so small. What contributions could we possibly make? Do we really think the small culture we create could make a difference now, influence the larger culture, or (even more of a long shot) affect culture in the future?

    Thankfully, we don’t need to look far for inspiration. Key women throughout history, some who held positions of influence during their own lifetime and many who did not, have impacted culture in ways they did not think likely or even possible at the time. What could a barbarian woman, runaway nun, a slave, a handicapped woman and the women in your life have in common? They have shaped culture, in big and small ways, to the glory of God. …Read More.

    Meet the Wisdom Forum Speakers: Benjamin Quinn

    What does it look like for believers to wisely engage the intersection of faith and culture in daily life?

    Join us on March 16, 2018 on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, or via livestream, for The Wisdom Forum — an evening of compelling conversation addressing the faithful interaction with cultural issues the church faces today.

    Today, get to know one of our speakers, Dr. Benjamin Quinn, who will speak about wisdom and the good life. …Read More.

     

    Why Christians Should Care About Women’s History Month

    womens-month.JPG

    During the month of March, you’re probably engrossed in March Madness or relishing the first days of spring. These are good things. But have you paused to ponder about Women’s History Month?

    Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on women’s contributions to society. As Christians looking through the lens of the Gospel, it is vital to see the impact of those who have gone before.

    Why do we need Women’s History Month? The truth is that we don’t often think about the impact women have made on the church, on our lives or on the culture as a whole. But all of us, whether consciously or subconsciously, have been directly influenced by mothers, grandmothers and other women in our lives.

    We experience freedoms because of women we will never know. Our faith has been influenced by women in the Bible and throughout church history.

    Women’s history, then, is shared history. We must learn about our past to see how it affects the present and how it will continue to affect our future.

    Why, then, should Christians care about Women’s History Month? Here are three key reasons.  …Read More.

    Meet the Wisdom Forum Speakers: Matthew Mullins

    wf-mulllins.JPG

    What does it look like for believers to wisely engage the intersection of faith and culture in daily life?

    Join us on March 16, 2018 on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, or via livestream, for The Wisdom Forum — an evening of compelling conversation addressing the faithful interaction with cultural issues the church faces today.

    Today, get to know one of our speakers, Dr. Matthew Mullins, who will speak about reading and the good life. …Read More.