Religion & Culture

Lexington, SC—What a Praying Community Looks Like

Prayer is as close to a unifying core value as you can find here in Lexington, SC—and that helps explain why living here is so attractive.   To be sure, different parts of our community have core value statements that try to capture each one’s essential purpose. For Lexington Town Hall it’s “Building Partnerships.” Lexington…

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When God Heals Your Baby

Last week my family prayed for a miracle and we’re still trying to get our heads around how our prayers were answered. Figuring out how and why God does what he does isn’t as simple as some people seem to think.   Our daughter Katie lives on the West Coast and is pregnant with her…

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What Millennials Want in Worship

The collective wisdom of denominational analysts, church leadership gurus and congregational consultants is that Millennials reject traditional worship music in favor of contemporary music and churches that want to reach them must adjust their style of worship accordingly. I’m not so sure.   The millennial generation is the age cohort born from the 1980s through…

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What Homeless Veterans Can Teach Churches

Earlier this week I led the mid-week service at a local shelter for homeless veterans. But what began as a standard-issue Bible study for men who served our nation turned unexpectedly into a worship service that I believe has something to teach the church.   We met in the facility’s cafeteria, and the forty or…

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Why Worship Services Are the Church’s Best Means of Evangelism

Every evangelical church wrestles with evangelism—how to lead lost people to a personal faith in Jesus. We teach our congregations to share their faith with their friends and neighbors. We design special events to carry the gospel into our community. We make evangelistic outreach a cornerstone of our overall ministry.   The effort is critical to our…

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Can Religious Liberty Survive Homosexual Marriage?

Jack Phillips isn’t presently a household name in evangelical churches. But this fall it will be. That’s when the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments seeking reversal of Phillips’s conviction by a Colorado court for refusing to decorate a cake for a homosexual wedding. The high court’s decision will go a long way toward…

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The High Cost of Tearing Down President Trump

It wasn’t surprising that comedian Kathy Griffin earlier this week released a photograph of her holding what appeared to be the severed, blood-soaked head of President Trump. The media feeding frenzy surrounding the president has reached such an insatiable level that Griffin’s publicity stunt was inevitable. The surprising thing is that someone hasn’t done it before now.  …

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The Benedict Option–Churches in Post-Christian America

Rod Dreher is one of today’s best known commentators on religion. A devout believer in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Dreher has been on my radar for at least ten years and I make it a point to read everything by him I can find. He understands the radical shifts happening in the modern world and…

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Russell Moore: When Southern Baptists Kill our Prophets

Russell Moore is in the news once again. The head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Moore’s speaking, writing and commentary for years have challenged Southern Baptists especially but also evangelicals as a whole to be wary of allowing political entanglements to overshadow biblical ministry. That was well and good…

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One Church’s Journey into Unified Worship

Three years ago our church changed the way we did worship. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve been through in church leadership (a list that includes a major church conflict in a church I served two decades ago and the relocation of a church I later served in North Carolina). As we approach…

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