Monthly Archives: November 2010

GETTING AT THE HEART OF BULLYING

Most of us have stories of bullying. In my grade school, Deborah was the target of relentless taunting by the boys, who accused her of having cooties, a fictitious invention. I spent most of my eighth-grade year in evasive maneuvers, because a boy repeatedly announced that he wanted to change the shape of my face. Continue reading

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SOMETHING BETTER THAN TOLERANCE

Digging deeper, Gregory notes that “tolerance doesn’t necessarily mean understanding. Adults working with teens say they see an unsettling strain of desensitivity among young people.” According to studies, college students are 40 percent less empathic than they were thirty years ago. Many factors might be contributing to this growing hardness, including violent video games, technological social networking and the ruthless content of television, especially in reality shows. Continue reading

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A THANKSGIVING THOUGHT

Sad that our gratefulness often depends upon comparing our situation with one that is worse. Do we really need to see starving children in Africa to make us appreciate the bounty of food we have? Must we conjure memories of lean financial times to appreciate our present economic comfort? Why can’t we be thankful just for what we have, not what we have in contrast to what others don’t have? Continue reading

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AN AIRBAG FOR SUFFERING

A pernicious theology threatens to disconnect your spiritual airbags. It is a cousin to the name-it-and-claim-it theology that thrives among fundamentalists who are less trained in biblical theology. It circulates among evangelicals almost unnoticed because it partners so well with assumptions that flourish in prosperous and highly advanced societies like the U.S. Continue reading

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TEST THE PREACHERS

You may be squeamish about evaluating preachers, especially popular ones. Yet, you must take care that you do not find your belief system deformed by preaching that deviates from the gospel. The apostle John warned, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) Not everyone who stands in a pulpit, who holds a Bible, who speaks with charisma, who fills his auditoriums, preaches in the Spirit of God. Test the preachers to see if they preach the gospel.
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EXPOSING THE GOLDEN CALF

Politics offers a golden calf to Christians in an alien world. Newbigin explains, “The Enlightenment gave birth to a new conception of politics, namely that happiness can be provided by a political system and that the goal of politics is happiness.” Many Christians have confused this ideology with the mission of Christ. Continue reading

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