One-on-One with Rich Nathan on Immigration and Diversity at Columbus Vineyard

“If you can bring people together in safe spaces where they get to know each other as people and not as issues, you can see a lot of change.” Ed: Give me an example of when Christians in your community have done good things that were surprising or that undermined the perceptions unbelievers had about who Christians are and what they do. Rich: One of the places that we've really stepped into is immigration. We set up immigration counseling services. We're one of two immigration... Read More

Seven Benefits to the Coming Opposition

The church of Jesus Christ has always resembled her King best when she was in a place, not of dominance, but of yielded weakness. Will the church in North America face an increasing spirit of hostility to its accustomed status of cultural privilege? Absolutely. The question is not, ‘if,’ but, ‘when?’ And my suspicion is that it’s coming much sooner than most would expect. The coming cultural backlash to our unrestrained ties to political power will become a... Read More

Cuban Christians Unite Against New Constitution

Before the vote passed, evangelicals flexed unprecedented political might in a controversial campaign opposing a new definition of marriage and other national reforms. As Cubans voted to approve a new constitution on Sunday, widespread Christian opposition may signal a shift in political tone and a new sense of unity among the island’s churches. The grassroots campaign—formed largely against more permissive language regarding same-sex marriage—earned Christians a measure of... Read More

You Shall Know Them by Their Clothes

What we learn about Bible figures from the clothing they put on, take off, and tear apart. Storytellers know that the unfolding of dramatic events can be hard to follow. So to help their audiences make sense of what is happening, they often insert symbolic clues. In cartoons, the villains scowl and speak with gravelly voices, and the heroes smile and sound all-American. In movies, a menacing bassline announces the arrival of a dangerous person, while comic figures appear with bouncier... Read More

Surprising Places of Witness

The World Evangelical Alliance champions human rights and religious freedom within the United Nations. As I walked into the United Nations building in New York to meet Secretary General Antonio Guterres, I recalled a preacher who predicted that this world body was the coming world government, as he said had been prophesied in The Revelation. Added to that ominous prediction of its coming role, many view the United Nations as deeply flawed: often biased in its analyses and lacking ability to... Read More

United Methodists’ LGBT Vote Will Reshape the Denomination

Pulled right and left by various factions of the global church, the UMC’s decision-making body meets this weekend to pick a path forward. One of the world’s largest Christian denominations faces potential fracture as United Methodist leaders gather to finally decide how to navigate deep divisions over gay marriage, ordination, and ministry. The United Methodist Church (UMC) meets Saturday through Tuesday to weigh options to address the differing convictions on the issue, including... Read More

Q&A with Dave and Ann Wilson About Vertical Marriage

“Only when we “go vertical” and connect in a relationship with God through Jesus will we find the true joy that we are looking for.” Ed: On your 10-year wedding anniversary, you two felt very differently about your marriage. Dave, you thought your relationship couldn’t get any better, and Ann, you were hanging on for dear life and told Dave you had lost your feelings for him. Can you share a little bit about that night and how it changed your relationship? Dave: Our 10-year... Read More

Did George Whitefield Serve Two Masters?

A new biography helps us come to terms with the unsavory side of the great revivalist’s mission to America. On the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, there sits a statue of one of the school’s co-founders: George Whitefield, the 18th-century British evangelist and hero of the Great Awakening. Underneath it, one finds a quote from Benjamin Franklin, the school’s other co-founder (and Whitefield’s longtime friend): “I knew him intimately upwards of thirty years.... Read More

From Mars Hill to Harvest: Hope for a Wounded Church

How Christians care for one another when their leaders fall. Last weekend was the first time Harvest Bible Chapel gathered for worship without James MacDonald as its senior pastor. Days after firing the church’s founder, the elders of the Chicago-area multisite congregation announced more changes. The executive committee—the top leaders on the elder board—would also be resigning within months. A task force had been formed to review church structure and processes. This week,... Read More

The Biggest Hindrance to Your Kids’ Faith Isn’t Doubt. It’s Silence

According to two researchers, the key to “sticky faith” is conversation. During a three-year longitudinal study launched by the Fuller Youth Institute, a parent with three post–high school kids reflected on the changes she’s witnessed over the years: “I think if I were to go back and re-parent, I actually would allow my kids more freedom in their high school years to explore and express their questions about faith.” Her instincts align with what teenagers need.... Read More