Expository Preaching and the Recovery of Christian Worship (Part One)

Expository preaching is central, irreducible, and nonnegotiable to the Bible’s mission of authentic worship that pleases God. John Stott’s simple declaration states the issue boldly: “Preaching is indispensable to Christianity.” More specifically, preaching is indispensable to Christian worship–and not only indispensable, but central.

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The Unchurched Next Door: A New Look at the Challenge

Thom Rainer thinks that most Christians have no clue about how unchurched people really think. Given Christianity’s mandate for evangelism, this represents a big problem. In The Unchurched Next Door, Rainer and his research team consider the real issues involved in reaching unchurched Americans. His findings will surprise many Christians–including many pastors–and offer vital insights as the church looks forward into the twenty-first century.

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Hiroshima and the Burden of History

“Stimson, what was gunpowder? Trivial. What was electricity? Meaningless. This atomic bomb is the second coming in wrath!” Those words were spoken by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson. Less than a month later, on August 6, 1945, Colonel Paul Tibbets and his crew flew the Enola Gay, their specially modified B-29 bomber, and dropped “Little Boy” over the city of Hiroshima, Japan.

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“Being 13″–TIME Takes a Look at the New Adolescents

“What does it mean to be 13, back stage adults, watching on tiptoe, waiting to go onstage?” That question sent TIME Magazine and a team of its reporters into an extended investigation of the lives of America’s youngest teenagers–contemporary 13-year-olds. The magazine’s report will at times shock, inform, and interest America’s parents and all others concerned with the nation’s young.

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Can We Live Without Tradition? Part Two

In his article, “The Future of Tradition,” author Lee Harris suggests that America’s current culture war is the result of society’s existing customs and traditions being called to the bar of reason and ruthlessly interrogated and cross-examined by an intellectual elite. What happens when such traditions are dishonored and abandoned?

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Can We Live Without Tradition? Part One

Every civilizational form assumes some role for tradition. No cultural moment emerges from a vacuum, for every generation responds in some way to the tradition it has inherited. Without an appreciation for the role of tradition and the inheritance of moral wisdom, the achievement of civilization becomes dubious if not dead.

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Defining and Defending Conservatism–Senator Rick Santorum’s “It Takes a Family”

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) admits that political conservatives have often failed to present a comprehensive vision of the underlying commitments and convictions that frame the conservative vision. Beyond this, he laments the fact that some conservatives fail to link those basic convictions with political decisions and matters of public policy. He’s out to reverse that failure, and his new book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good is one of the most important books written by a political figure in recent American history.

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Reaping What We Sow–The Harvest of Moral Relativism

A culture, like an individual, reaps what it sows. The seed of honor produces a harvest of honorable acts. The seed of anger eventually yields violence. The law of the harvest is part of the divine design for human society, and it allows no exceptions. A society which sows reverence for life will reap a culture of kindness and a legacy of respect. A people shorn of this seed will eventually produce a harvest of unspeakable horror, anguish, and inhumanity.

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America’s Vanishing Protestant Majority–What Does it Mean?

Writing in 1927, French observer Andre Siegfried described Protestantism as America’s “only national religion.” To miss this, Siegfried advised, is “to view the country from a false angle.” Now, less than a century later, a major research report provides proof that Protestantism no longer represents a clear majority of Americans.

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It Takes One to Know One–Liberalism as Atheism

“It takes one to know one,” quipped historian Eugene Genovese, then an atheist and Marxist. He was referring to liberal Protestant theologians, whom he believed to be closet atheists. As Genovese observed, “When I read much Protestant theology and religious history today, I have the warm feeling that I am in the company of fellow nonbelievers.”

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In Defense of the Natural Family

The last two centuries have witnessed a massive transformation in the way human beings live, think, work, and arrange their lives. At the same time, the institution of the family has been under sustained attack, in turns dismembered and disabled by cultural trends, direct attacks, and subtle cultural shifts. Now, barely into the 21st century, we face the reality that the institution of the family is facing an even more fundamental challenge–the challenge to maintain a coherent definition of realities as basic as marriage, kinship, and the natural family.

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From Father to Son–J.R.R. Tolkien on Sex

The astounding popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien and his writings–magnified many times over by the success of the “Lord of the Rings” films–has ensured that Tolkien’s fantasy world of moral meaning stands as one of the great literary achievements of our times. Even as Tolkien is celebrated as an author and literary figure, some of his most important messages were communicated by means of letters, and some of the most important letters were written to his sons.

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Gambling With Abortion: America’s Seared Conscience (Part 2)

As “partial-birth abortion” emerged into America’s consciousness, an Oregon woman named Jenny Westberg made a series of simple pen-and-ink drawings of the procedure. Those pictures–striking in their simplicity and devastating in their clarity–would change the trajectory of America’s abortion debate. Evil flourishes in the darkness, and Westberg’s drawings brought the murderous abortion procedure to light.

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Gambling With Abortion: America’s Seared Conscience (Part 1)

Americans who care deeply about the protection of human life must face one monumental question: How can the American conscience be so apparently untroubled by the reality of abortion? That is the central question raised in an important article published in the November 2004 edition of Harper’s Magazine. In “Gambling With Abortion,” author Cynthia Gorney looks closely at the controversy over the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and its aftermath, and her article is a wrenching and insightful look at the current status of the abortion issue.

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The Post-Truth Era–Welcome to the Age of Dishonesty

Have we now reached a stage of social evolution that is “beyond honesty?” That fascinating question is raised by author Ralph Keyes in his book, The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life. “I think it’s fair to say that honesty is on the ropes,” Keyes observes. “Deception has become commonplace at all levels of contemporary life.”

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Two Competing Religions–The Legacy of the 1960s

Today’s culture wars can be directly traced to the cultural transformations of the 1960’s. As a matter of fact, that critical decade represented nothing less than a cultural revolution of sorts–a revolution Stanley Kurtz describes as “both a fulfillment and a repudiation of the vision of America’s founders.”

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Another Look at Lust: A Christian View

Joshua Harris takes lust very seriously–so seriously in fact that he has written a book that takes the issue head-on. In Not Even A Hint: Guarding Your Heart Against Lust, Harris provides a candid appraisal of lust as a challenge for the Christian believer. According to Harris, lust is wrongly directed desire. “To lust is to want what you don’t have and weren’t meant to have,” he explains. “Lust goes beyond attraction, and appreciation of beauty, or even a healthy desire for sex–it makes these desires more important than God. Lust wants to go outside God’s guidelines to find satisfaction.”

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A New Look at Lust: The Secular View

Philosopher Simon Blackburn argues that lust “gets a bad press.” His project, based on a lecture sponsored by the New York Public Library and Oxford University Press, is to rescue lust from misunderstandings and historical abuse. In his book, Lust, Blackburn presents an updated vision of lust as sexual desire for its own sake. If lust now has a bad press, Blackburn wants to be its public relations agent.

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Engaging the City of Man: Christian Faith and Politics

Over the last 20 years, evangelical Christians have been politically mobilized in an outpouring of moral concern and political engagement unprecedented since the crusade against slavery in the 19th century. Is this a good development? With at least one Supreme Court nomination now on the horizon, the issue of political involvement emerges anew with urgency. To what extent should Christians be involved in the political process?

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