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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Why history's wisest figures have seen a connection between reading well and living well.When I was a young girl, I gathered up all my books from my bedroom, carried them downstairs into our finished basement, arranged them on a bookcase, and opened my own little library. I’d like to say I did this in order to let my friends check out the books to read, but I think it’s more accurate to say that I made them do it. Now as an English professor, I make my students read books, and it has been both my passion and my job to encourage people to read widely.When I began teaching, I found I had to become a kind of apologist for literary reading. Some of my Christian students (along with their nervous parents) were wary of reading “worldly” literature by authors who, perhaps, were hostile to the Christian worldview. As a young professor at an evangelical university, I developed an approach to teaching my classes that began with a biblical basis for reading literature, including literature that is not necessarily “Christian.” I came to relish every opportunity to teach my students (and sometimes their parents) how such reading ultimately can strengthen one’s Christian faith and worldview. I became an evangelist for reading widely.Then, over the past several years, something began to shift. Now nearly everyone seems to be reading more—and more widely. I seldom encounter students who have been sheltered from diverse points of view, transgressive ideas, or atheistic arguments. Or even Harry Potter. Between blog posts, Twitter feeds, listicles, and long-winded Facebook rants, everyone seems to be reading something most of the time—right from the palm of their hand. Yet we don’t seem to be better readers. In fact, we seem to be worse. (Just spend two minutes following ...Continue reading...
The CCM pioneer used to talk faith with George H. W. Bush and Billy Graham. This year, he performed at both of their memorial services.Michael W. Smith’s hit song “Friends” has been sung thousands of times over the decades, but never quite like today’s performance at the funeral service for President George H. W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington.Not only was Smith backed by a full orchestra and a 150-person choir, but he also sung it as a personal farewell to the leader who, to his surprise, became his longtime friend and fan. Bush died on Friday at age 94.“First and foremost, I hope the song is very honoring of the president because he loved the song,” Smith said in an interview with CT. “The last time I saw him, when we said goodbye, he gave me a hug, pointed his finger in the air, and with a twinkle in his eye, said, ‘Friends are friends forever.’”The contemporary Christian music (CCM) chart-topper first played for President Bush in the White House after a Christmas special in 1989. They struck up a friendship that led to regular visits to the late president’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine; relationships with the rest of the Bush family; and even travel together.“He’s just been an inspiration to me,” the three-time Grammy winner said. “We didn’t talk about politics much. But we did have a lot of conversations about God and faith.”“One thing that tied us together was his relationship with Billy Graham. There were times we would get Billy Graham on the phone and talk,” Smith said, remembering them standing on the deck conversing with the late evangelist, whose memorial service and funeral the singer performed at earlier this year.Bush requested “Friends,” his favorite song of Smith’s, for his funeral. Smith sang ...Continue reading...
What Christians gain from traveling the world.Peter Grier caught the travel bug at an early age. But as he journeyed off to destinations across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, he began pondering the relationship between his Christian faith and his wanderlust: Does God really want us spending time and money on travel for its own sake, apart from any missionary or evangelistic motivation? In Travel: In Tandem with God’s Heart, Grier—who works with students at several Irish universities as a Christian Unions team leader—walks through a Christian approach to travel. Andrew Wilson, an avid hiker and author of Here I Walk: A Thousand Miles on Foot to Rome with Martin Luther, spoke with Grier about his adventures abroad and how they have deepened his faith.What drove you to start exploring the world?I grew up in Belfast during the 1980s and ’90s. It was a troubled spot with much violence, and I lived through it all. Because so few people wanted to come to a country that was so divided, it was very monocultural.It was also monocultural in another way: It was one of the largest evangelical Christian populations in the world, certainly in Europe. I grew up in a Bible-believing household, got taught the Bible from a young age, and experienced the privilege of the community there establishing me in my faith. It was only when I went off to university in Nottingham that I started to meet people of different worldviews and upbringings. That was a great challenge and a great turning point in my life of faith. Since then I’ve worked with various Christian unions to help students of faith maintain their belief and explain it to the world.I was traveling a lot—mostly by car— for my job, and I kept hearing that it was a waste of time ...Continue reading...
Experts weighed in.John Piper needed “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” to match a sermon, so he wrote two new Reformed verses. Many of writer Thomas Chisholm’s fellow Methodists, who “sing their theology,” couldn’t sing along. Answers are arranged on a spectrum from “yes” answers at the top to “no” answers at the bottom.“Many gentlemen have done my brother and me . . . the honor to reprint many of our hymns. Now they are perfectly welcome so to do, provided they print them just as they are. But I desire they would not attempt to mend them; for they really are not able . . . to mend either the sense or the verse.”John Wesley, songwriter and evangelist, in Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists (1780)“Hymns are theological statements. John and Charles Wesley convey Methodist ethos in and through hymns. Methodism embeds its theology in song: lyrical theology. To that end, and particularly for Methodism, hymns are not theologically neutral but carry theological distinctiveness.”Swee Hong Lim, sacred music program director, University of Toronto’s Emmanuel College“Taking a hymn in a new theological direction is far from novel in church history. (Calvinist George Whitefield altered Charles Wesley’s text “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and made it a smidgen less Wesleyan.) Was Piper wrong to transpose Chisholm’s hymn to a Reformed key? No. Is it always permissible? No. Is it always profitable? No. Is it always faithful? One can certainly hope so.”David Taylor, assistant professor of theology and culture, Fuller Seminary“It is more urgent for composers to be less concerned with the particulars of our ...Continue reading...
From Word Music to Baylor University, Christian composer leaves a legacy of hundreds of songs.Composer Kurt Kaiser, whose popular songs “Pass it On” and “Oh How He Loves You and Me” became staples at Christian camp sing-alongs and youth revivals, died Monday.The 83-year-old musician wrote more than 300 copyrighted tunes, released more than a dozen albums of his own, and accompanied the late George Beverley Shea on piano during Billy Graham’s crusades.Kaiser passed away in Waco, Texas, the city where he’d lived for 59 years and helped launch Word Music and Dayspring Baptist Church.“For more than five decades, Kurt Kaiser enriched the world with a Christian message of hope as a pioneer of modern church music,” said Baylor University president Linda A. Livingstone in a tribute this week.At Word Music, Kaiser had an ear for signing hit artists, moving up from director of artists to vice president. During his career, he went on to work with dozens of popular singers, ranging from Mahalia Jackson to Wayne Newton.Kaiser and fellow Word pioneer Ralph Carmichael—known as the father of contemporary Christian music—brought a pop sensibility to worship music for the sake of evangelism.Together, they “convinced evangelicals and fundamentalists that Christian pop music could draw youth to outreach events and revivals,” including through their 1969 musical “Tell It Like It Is,” which sold half a million copies worldwide, wrote researcher Wen Reagan, now a music and worship professor at Samford University. Reagan quoted Kaiser as saying, “Kids have been inundated with the same kinds of [rock music], and nowadays it's everywhere. I just think it's a very sensible way to reach kids. I can't imagine any evangelist who's interested ...Continue reading...
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