Within the past two months, two preeminent figures of the 20th century passed away: Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking. The two may have represented very different camps, but within their respective worlds they occupied remarkably similar positions. As such, perhaps they leave us with a similar legacy which calls us to something greater than perpetuating the Christian/Atheist divide.
In 21st century America, we as Christians want to customize what our walk with Jesus looks like. With user-friendly technology at the tip of our fingers we change the filters on our photos, change our layouts to what’s trending, and even attempt to create a relationship with Jesus that fits our aesthetic. How do we follow the call of bowing to the lordship of Christ if we are primed to do, and be, whatever feels right to us?
Grief is something no one truly wants to experience but that we all must go through at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, we often ignore our grief and fail to process the reality of the situation in a constructive way. Instead of ignoring it, however, what if we were to engage our grief in ways that reflected how Jesus processed it himself. For Lily, this meant allowing God to provide healing through her art.
Cross-cultural engagement is never an easy task, especially when it comes to evangelizing. The unfamiliarity of the societal norms of different cultures often causes us to want to force our own worldviews onto those we are engaging with. Such a mindset may have shaped Western Society as it now stands, but perhaps there is another, more effective way to view cross-cultural dynamics, even those that exist within our own society.
Christians have long stigmatized cursing. Often times we are so quick to dismiss what a person has to say because they employ language indicative of the ‘world’. But what if the problem isn’t as black and white as it is often made out to be. Perhaps there is more to language than just the words we do or do not speak. Perhaps there is something else that determines whether or not what we say honors God.
Since antiquity, human beings have been entertained by and seemingly infatuated with violence. For the Ancient Greeks and Romans this hunger would have been satiated by gladiator fights and tragic plays. Today, these forms of entertainment have been replaced by professional sports and violent films. While the modern equivalents are not perfect translations of these ancient activities, the parallels between them cannot be denied. How then should Christians respond to different representations of violence in all forms of entertainment? What duty do we have as Christ-followers in response to violent entertainment?
Guidance, knowledge, and wisdom as ongoing processes are critical elements within the dynamics of mentoring and discipling. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus models a deeply personal style of leadership by investing into the lives of his disciples through empowerment and wise counsel. Similarly, how is the Church today to follow and continue this practice of mentoring and discipleship?
Let’s face it. Social media is the language of our generation. Within the last decade, technological advancements have exploded to provide us all with the capacity to present the highlights of our lives, and access to the highlights of other people’s lives. The selective information we take in deeply affects the way we perceive not only ourselves and other people, but especially our perceptions of ministry. How can we maintain a healthy understanding of ministry in light of its glorified presentation in social media today?