Love it or Leave it: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack Since 9/11, a terrorist attack by a group of men all of whom were from countries in the Middle East, renewed debate about immigration has arisen. Should immigration be restricted, and if so, how? How open and free should our borders be? And how should we respond to those who are already here but who don’t seem to “fit in” the way many think they should?
Can We Make Our Faith Attractive?: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack In the opening scenes of the movie Chocolat, Vianne, played by Juliette Binoche, moves into a new town and rents a dingy, dirty storefront. As the villagers watch from behind half-drawn shades, she cleans it up, paints it, places intriguing objects on shelves and in the window, and puts a new sign out front announcing it as a chocolaterie. The colors of the new store stand in stark contrast to the dark, unimaginative drabness of the rest of the town, and the Mayan objects that decorate the store contrast with the traditionally familiar lives of the townspeople.
A Great Spirit Blessing: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack Living in a pluralistic culture, as we do, does not mean that we live among unbelievers; it means we live among people who believe in things other than Christianity. And since secularism has been found wanting, many are adopting a variety of spiritualities and religions. This means, in turn, that we must expect to find ourselves intersecting with our neighbor’s religious convictions and practices—not just in the realm of ideas but in practice.
On Being Offensive: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack All things considered, there’s plenty a Christian can do, say, or believe which some other Christian will find offensive—perhaps even deeply offensive.
Your God Does Intolerable Things: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack Often the questions we face in a pluralistic culture require Christians to develop an apologetic for their faith. A reasonable, winsome defense of what we believe to be true. And sometimes the questions that are raised go to very heart of things.
Questioning American Foreign Policy: Discernment Exercise BY: Kevin Hilman Christians believe that though citizenship is part of the calling of every believer, our commitment to the truth and kingdom of God must take precedence over our patriotism. “My country, right or wrong” is not a slogan the believer can adopt.
Why I Kissed Christian Concerts Good-bye: Discernment Exercise BY: Matt Redmond For years I have gone to concerts done by Christians. I have seen most of the popular bands and soloists in the Contemporary Christian Music market over the past fifteen years. Some were entertaining, some were not and few were what I consider high-caliber talent. But regardless of how talented they were there was one thing that almost all of them did during their time on stage: talk.
Beatitudes on the Dark Side: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack One of the great classics of 20th century Christian writing is The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. It’s one of those rare books that appeals so effortlessly to our hearts and imaginations and minds that learning becomes an intense pleasure.
Engaging New Atheists (2): Three Consolations on Reading Dawkins BY: Fiona Grooms In the space of 32 pages, Richard Dawkins summarily refutes, to his own satisfaction, two thousand years worth of arguments for the existence of God. For Christians who have read and been dismayed by Dawkins’ The God Delusion, I can offer three sorts of consolation.
Christian horror films?: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack "...as a Christian, I defend horror films. No other genre offers audiences a more spiritual view of the world, and no other genre communicates a more clearly defined moral perspective.”
I love my neighbor as myself but only because I don’t much care for myself.
- Garrison Keillor
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