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What Is Repentance and What Does It Look Like? *Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from New Birth: Conversion and Baptism.  In the first-century Jewish world, large numbers of people were drawn to the simple message of repentance. Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Mark 1:4 tells us that John... Photo of Anessa WestbrookPhoto of Michael Strickland
Which Is a Better Way to Grow Disciples: Vine-Ripened or Mass-Produced? When I was a boy, my dad and I grew a vegetable garden together every summer. Our tomatoes were amazing. Grown in nutrient-rich soil, staked, and ripened to deep-red, sunshine-infused perfection, it was love at first bite! Our tomatoes were never perfectly round or uniform in shape. Sometimes they were so ripe they would spontaneously... Photo of Jim TuneJim Tune
Learning to Pray: Pause (Part 1 of P.R.A.Y.) Prayer is more challenging than we’d like to admit. At its most basic elements, prayer is having a conversation with God. Sounds easy enough. But what if you don’t know what to say? What if you never hear anything from God? What if you get distracted? It’s easy to see where things fall apart. We... Photo of Joshua BranhamJoshua Branham
Theological Differences, Respectful Debate: A Concluding Conversation with John Mark Hicks on Gender and the Bible *Editor’s Note: In our 12-article series on Gender and the Bible (summarized here), we interacted with biblical scholars with whom we found both agreement and disagreement. One of our primary interactions was with John Mark Hicks’s book Women Serving God: My Journey in Understanding Their Story in the Bible. Although there are significant disagreements we... Photo of Renew.orgRenew.org
Permission to Say No to a Fight I’ve been a Phoenix Suns fan ever since the early 90s. And, yes, I’ve always been bitter that Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls beat them in the ’93 NBA Finals. This year, for the first time since ’93, the Suns returned to the Finals, this time to face the Milwaukee Bucks. In the middle of the... Photo of Daniel McCoyDaniel McCoy
When You Face Criticism in Ministry We live in an era where basically everyone feels free and justified in sharing their opinions even when they are negative. For example, if they don’t like a product they purchased, they can leave a negative Amazon review. If they think a particular politician or company needs to be exposed for wrongdoing, they can share... Photo of Michael PattersonMichael Patterson
Does Hebrews Teach We Can Lose Our Salvation? (Part 3) *Editor’s Note: Can Christians lose their salvation–or were they never true Christians to begin with? This is Part 3 of a series dealing with these questions and exploring our eternal security as Christians. For Part 1 (“Are We Eternally Secure or Must We Have Faithful Faith?”), click here. For Part 2 (“Can a Christian Lose... Photo of Bobby HarringtonBobby Harrington
Is Baptism a “Bullseye Belief”? *Editor’s Note: Chad Ragsdale wrote the following blog after the release of his Renew.org’s book, Christian Convictions: Discerning the Essential, Important, and Personal Elements. For a full discussion on baptism—and the Renew.org perspective—see the book Baptism: What the Bible Teaches by Tony Twist, David Young, and Bobby Harrington. See also the forthcoming New Birth: Conversion and Baptism... Photo of Chad RagsdaleChad Ragsdale
The Best Thing about Essential Beliefs Let’s think through a couple phrases: essential oils and essential beliefs. As for essential oils, I bet each one of us has at least one essential oils enthusiast in our lives who has told us, “You have to try them out! They’re amazing!” As for essential beliefs (as in, the essential beliefs of Christianity), the... Photo of Daniel McCoyDaniel McCoy
Sermon on the Mount: Fulfilling the Law In the second century, some of the early church fathers thought the Old Testament was weird, kinda pointless, and should be cut out of the Bible entirely. (To be fair, some of them were, like many Romans, horribly anti-Semitic.) Nowadays, we realize that’s going way too far. Instead, some of us accomplish the same thing... Photo of Jeremy BaconJeremy Bacon
Is Faith Mainly about Feelings? *Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Christian Convictions: Discerning the Essential, Important, and Personal Elements.  Starting in the spring of 2020, much of society temporarily shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These shutdowns, of course, dramatically affected local churches because they were forced, in many cases, to stop meeting in person for... Photo of Chad RagsdaleChad Ragsdale
A Simple Definition of Grace? Yeah, About That… We know grace is amazing, but what exactly is it? For starters, the Greek word translated “grace” is charis (it helps that the two words sound alike, doesn’t it?). Before Christians picked up charis and connected it to the gospel, the word was useful for describing the patron-client relationship (we’ll get to that in a... Photo of Daniel McCoyDaniel McCoy
In the Shadow of Apocalypse: Reflections on Marvel’s “Loki” “Apocalypses are points of revelation.” I pulled the above quote from an Instagram post by Rich Villodas, pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. This quote was not inspired, as you might expect, by the books of Daniel or Revelation. This preaching point originated from the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic... Photo of Nathan StormsNathan Storms
The Life and Legacy of One Kingdom Worker “But how will I get in?” That was the question my friend Vince once asked our church secretary a few days before attending our church worship service for the very first time. Vince was a student at the University at Buffalo and had come to faith in Jesus by examining the veracity of Scripture. The... Photo of Sean CroninSean Cronin
Make Your Choice: Learning from the Chinese Church Over the last couple decades the underground church in China has served as an inspirational story to many in the West. Despite pervasive persecution, the Chinese church has grown exponentially, in numbers and proportions that are difficult to quantify. So what are some of the catalysts for the rampant underground church? First, not to nitpick,... Photo of Jake SutherlinJake Sutherlin
3 Stages in Our Fight against Sin (and How the Holy Spirit Wins It for Us) There are three stages in a Christian’s fight against sin. They’ll be easy to remember since they all rhyme: Lust Disgust Trust Let’s go through them so you can ask where you are in your fight. #1 – Lust This first stage in the fight against sin is when you don’t put up any fight... Photo of Daniel McCoyDaniel McCoy
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We are disciples of Jesus from various ethnicities, generations, nations, and communities and we champion all of Jesus’ teachings for disciple-making and disciple making movements.