Thursday, April 24, 2014

All Around the Web - April 24, 2014

Owen Strachan - The Moral Majority Is No More: Millennials and a New Social Witness
They are born after 1980. They don’t know much about Thatcher, but they do know about Bieber. They take “selfies.” Much discussed, oft-misunderstood, they are the Millennials.

A December 2013 poll of this much-fretted-over demographic offered fresh light on their political views. Harvard University’s Institute of Politics conducted the poll and found that 35 percent of Millennials approve of Democratic congressmen and just 19 percent of Republican congressmen.

This data leads to rumination both sociological and theological. How, exactly, will Millennial Christians—in a jaded generation but not of it—engage with politics, with the public square? The way Millennials answer this question will play a vital role in the public prospects of Christianity in America and the West.

ERLC - VIDEO: Teaching children about sexuality




Tim ChalliesThe Bestsellers: 90 Minutes in Heaven
It is not often that a book races to the top of the bestseller charts and opens up the way for a whole new genre of Christian literature. But such is the case with Don Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven, a book that spurred an entire genre of what I refer to as “Heaven Tourism” books.

Don Piper was involved in radio and television ministry when he determined that he had been called to be a pastor. In 1985 he was ordained as a Baptist minister and was soon serving in Houston as a minister of education and single adults. It was shortly thereafter, in 1989, that he had an experience that would forever change his life and ministry. Fifteen years later, in 2004, he would team with Cecil Murphey and Baker Publishers to release 90 Minutes in Heaven, the book in which he described his experience.

On January 18, 1989, Piper was driving through rural Texas, returning from a Christian conference that had ended a little bit earlier than expected. As he was crossing a long bridge with water on either side, an 18-wheeler owned by the Texas Department of Corrections swerved over the center line and hit his Ford Escort head-on. Piper was killed instantly. The steering wheel impaled his chest and the roof collapsed on his head. Emergency medical technicians responded and pronounced him dead, laying him on the road and covering his body with a tarp.

Randy Alcorn - Walking through Depression: God Is With You
I have known depression first-hand at different times in my life. Several years ago, for no apparent reason, a cloud of depression descended on me. Day after day, it was my constant companion. God used it in my life, teaching me to trust Him, and giving me some intimate times with Him. I studied the life of Charles Spurgeon who battled depression, and found comfort in the fact that godly men and women had walked the same path I was walking.

I saw this experience as part of living under the Curse, and it made me appreciate more deeply the promise of God, “No longer will there be any more curse” (Revelation 22:3). Though I had written a number of books about the world to come, including Heaven, I came to long for it more deeply than ever, clinging to God’s promise for the resurrection and the New Earth.

I blogged about my depression, and in particular about Spurgeon’s experience, and many people wrote me and told their own stories. One morning, after four months of daily depression, I woke up, no longer depressed. I don’t know why it came or went, but I am certain God was involved in both its coming and going.

TelegraphChina on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years
It is said to be China's biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.
The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a "miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church".
The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China's breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.
"It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence," beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi's altar in the lead up to Holy Week.
"If everyone in China believed in Jesus then we would have no more need for police stations. There would be no more bad people and therefore no more crime," she added.

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