Refusing to Know the Other

Bryan Crawford Loritts is the Lead Pastor of Fellowship Memphis, a multicultural church ministering to the evolving community of urban Memphis. This Guest Voices post originally appeared on Bryan's blog as a response to Douglas Wilson's controversial book on race, Black and Tan. The blog ignited a firestorm of response from both sides of this important and ongoing debate on the history of slavery and the ongoing conversations about race in America. Bryan is the author of A Cross Shaped Gospel (Moody Press).

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My message for Lance Armstrong: It's more about trust than forgiveness

The recent furor over Lance Armstrong's "confession" to Oprah Winfrey has been analyzed every which way. People are wondering if it's appropriate and even necessary to forgive such a public figure. Media guru Phil Cooke offers his perspective on why, for Lance Armstrong anyway, it's not about forgiveness; it's about trust. As a working film producer and media consultant to some of the largest and most effective nonprofit and faith-based organizations in the world, Phil is an expert in how messaging comes across to a discerning and often critical public. 

Phil's most recent book is Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media. This article originally was published on FoxNews.com

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Chasing After the Heart of God

Jennie Allen is a Bible teacher who is passionate about inspiring a new generation of women to encounter the invisible God. Raised in a Christian home, Jennie heard about God her entire life but not until high school did she see her need for Him. Since that time she has been teaching groups of girls and young women about her God.

Jennie’s DVD-based Bible studies are uniquely relational, interactive and dig deep quickly. Her first study, Stuck: The Places We Get Stuck and the God Who Sets Us Free was released at the end of 2011  Her latest Bible study is entitled Chase: Chasing After the Heart of God (Thomas Nelson), and it focuses on the life and psalms of David.

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The Fantasy Fallacy

Shannon Ethridge the author of 19 books, including the million-copy bestselling series, Every Woman's Battle. Shannon is also a speaker, lay counselor, and advocate for healthy sexuality with a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University. Since 1989 she has spoken on the topics of sexuality and Christian spirituality.

Her passions include: Challenging adults and teens to embrace a life of sexual integrity, encouraging married couples in their pursuit of sexual and emotional fulfillment, counseling women who have looked for love in all the wrong places and equipping parents to instill sexual values in children at an early age.

Her newest book is The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts (Thomas Nelson)Shannon had contemplated writing this book for three years, but the current Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon drove her to tackle the topic now.

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Why the Dead Sea Scrolls Matter

The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the most significant artifacts of the Ancient Near East. In this special article that first appeared online at the Baptist Press, Benjamin Hawkins shows how the Dead Sea Scrolls speak to the reliability of the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls are currently being exhibited at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Hawkins is a PhD. student. The Scrolls are also on display in New York City in a magnificent display presented by The Franklin Institute.

When a Bedouin shepherd discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in Israel in the 1940s, few people immediately understood their importance. After taking the scrolls back to his camp, this shepherd left one of them on the ground to be torn apart by children, while one person reportedly used another scroll fragment to wipe a baby's bottom.

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Are Bible Chapters and Verses Inspired?

David Capes, one of the scholars and writers for The Voice, a new Bible translation that reads like a story with all of the truth and wisdom of God's Word, answered a question about Bible verses and chapters. Are they inspired?

We recently had a fan of The Voice Bible email us to say that we had left out a verse.  He told us to look at Acts 19 and see that there was no verse 7.  My first thought was, “that’s impossible.” You see we had about a dozen people checking and rechecking those kinds of things.  At one point I counted 14 levels of review from start to finish.  My second thought was, “I better check this out!”

Well, I have slept several times since we finished Acts and couldn’t remember exactly what we had done.  Frank Couch and I looked at the text—we were together at the Justice Conference in Portland at the time.  As I turned to Acts 19, it became clear to me what we had done.  We combined Acts 19:1 and 19:7 because there is a single detail in what is traditionally known as verse 7 which makes better narrative sense early in the story. Note too that we put a footnote at the bottom of the page to indicate why we made that editorial decision.

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Why God...He in Scripture?

David Capes is the Thomas Nelson Research Professor at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of numerous publications and is one of the top scholars and writers for The Voice, a new Bible translation that reads like a story with all of the truth and wisdom of God's Word. Recently Dr. Capes was asked why the translators of The Voice used masculine pronouns to refer to God?

When it comes to pronouns, English provides three options: masculine, feminine, and neuter.  Think of it this way.  It is either God…He or God…She or God…It.

Well, you can rule out the 3rd option because “it” is used with impersonal antecedents. We don’t use “it” to refer to persons; we use “it” to refer to things. Remember too our theme is built around the idea of “the voice” that has been and continues to speak. Things might make a sound but they don’t have a voice. Only a person has a voice and the Christian Scriptures are clear that God is not an impersonal force or thing; God is a person.

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Miraculous Movements

Jerry Trousdale is Director of International Ministries for CityTeam International, an organization he joined in 2005. Jerry co-founded Final Command Ministries, an organization dedicated to establishing church planting movements among Muslim people groups. 

In his new book, Miraculous Movements, Jerry recounts an amazing change taking place within Muslim communities where the truth of Jesus Christ is turning around the lives of many thousands of Muslims. This close look at what the Lord is doing to spread the gospel highlights the key scriptural principles that help Christian reach out in love to share the gospel in their own community and around the world. 

Jerry answered Five Questions about CityTeam, its ministry to Muslims and Miraculous Movements.

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5 Questions for Tullian Tchividjian

William Graham Tullian Tchividjian is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Florida native, he is a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and a grandson of Billy Graham. Tullian was the founding pastor of the former New City Church, which merged with Coral Ridge in April of 2009. Jesus + Nothing = Everything (Crossway 2011) is his first book since his devastating year of losing his father and being called for a congregational vote of confidence at Coral Ridge.

Sometimes you have to go through hard times to discover what, or who, you are anchored to. Sounds like this is what this book came out of.

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5 Questions for Chuck Bomar

After serving as pastor of Student Ministries at Cornerstone in Simi Valley, CA, Chuck Bomar planted Colossae Church in Portland, Oregon. He is the founder of CollegeLeader and has created numerous resources for college ministry leaders. Chuck speaks frequently and has a tremendous heart for youth workers, especially those in college-age ministry. Chuck is married to Barbara, and together they have two daughters; Karis and Hope. Oh, and lest we forget, Chuck is a regular ConversantLife.com blogger. His latest book is Worlds Apart (Zondervan 2011).  

We've heard rumors that you drink more coffee than anyone else in Portland, and that's saying something. Talk about your strategy of frequenting cafes as the pastor of a growing church in Portland.

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Amazing voices from the faith community. These are pastors, social justice leaders, musicians, cultural influencers, filmmakers and more who blog from time to time on ConversantLife.


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