When it comes to reaching the “lost,” one of the most tried-and-true methods is the personal conversion story. Whether done privately or publicly, it’s compelling to hear a person’s testimony about how they came to believe in the truth of the Gospel, the truth of the Bible, and embraced the Christian faith. Such testimonies can personalize and soften the message so it is more easily understood and received.
But when it comes to reaching the “found,” there’s an equally effective method—and this is a method to which the evangelical church has paid very little attention. It’s what we might call the de-conversion story.
These are very encouraging truths.
The contrast between Moses and Aaron is particularly arresting for those in or aspiring to leadership positions in the church. We would all benefit from considering these reflection questions that flow out of Exodus 32.
Bernard N. Howard:
Materialism and transgenderism cannot ultimately coexist within secularism. We’ve grown used to thinking about a culture war being fought between Christians and secularists, but the culture war now underway is within secularism itself. It’s hard to predict who will win, but the West won’t look the same when the war is over.
Here’s the thing about parables. When you listen to a parable, you should be thinking, “Somebody in this parable is me. And somebody in this parable is God.” That’s how parables work. So the disciples are listening in, saying, “Okay, we have to be the needy old widow, right? Right. But that would make God … woah, wait a minute. You’re saying that God is like a grumpy old judge who doesn’t care—about people or about justice—and only gives this woman what she wants because she’s annoying him?”
The New York Times reported this week that 87 girls and 224 boys were freed in the second-largest release by armed groups since the conflict began, and several hundred more are expected to transition in the coming weeks.
World Vision, which has worked in South Sudan since 1989 and currently reaches 1 million people displaced by the conflict, received the children on Wednesday and will oversee their recovery and reunification.
A favorite from the archives:
I never loved history in school. In fact, I downright hated it. It wasn’t because I didn’t care about history itself—it’s that it was pretty clear my teachers didn’t give a rip about it. This might be because, as Canadians, our history textbooks are notoriously dull (although our history itself isn’t).
Over the last few years, though, I’ve found myself drawn more and more to studying history—specifically church history. The history of Christianity is so rich and so fascinating—whether we’re looking at the shining moments of spectacular faith, or the worst gaffes of the Reformers and their persecutors, there is much to be gained by studying it.