Posts tagged Challenge to the Church
What is an Artist and How Do We Shepherd These Strange Creatures?

What is the anatomy of an artist? What is their peculiar nature? What do artists need to be healthy, mature persons? What do artists need but don’t immediately realize they need? How can we provide spiritual formation as well as community and opportunities for expression for the artists in our care?

Our desire here is to help pastors understand the way God has created artists. Artists don’t need to be idolized or marginalized—often the two primary ways our culture treats them—they need to be loved with understanding, appreciated for the often non-useful, non-marketable but glory-bearing work they create, and invited into the gracious lordship of Christ and the protective, generous care of His Body, the Church.

Our desire, more fully then, is to help pastors understand artists so they can shepherd them well, with skill and wisdom, with love and joy, whether the artists are serving the liturgy or the community or the culture at large or perhaps just needing to sit in the pew and be loved for who they are, not for what they can do.

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How is the Pastor an Artist and the Artist a Pastor?

How can a pastor see himself as an artist? How can he learn to think artistically, or live artfully, or grow in the art of the shepherding of words and people which is also the art of love? On the other hand, how can the artist see him or herself as a shepherd? How can artists see themselves as uniquely anointed shepherds of the imagination, of emotions, of ideas, of physical matter, of beauty?

Pastors and artists are both in the business of shepherding. Both are called to live their lives artfully. The work of pastoring is both a science and an art. The work of art-making is both a provocation and a care-taking. Our desire here is to help the pastor and the artist grow in their understanding and appreciation of their kindred work: of shepherding, of art-making.

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Not Like Me

Eric Bryant talks about what it takes for us to make an impact in this world. What's most important? What has to happen in our own hearts? What matters and what doesn't? Can we keep doing what we've always done? This talk was presented at a retreat at Camp Allen - Conversations on Faith: Uncovering God's Masterpiece in Ourselves and Others, sponsored by Hill Country Institute and Camp Allen, on Nov. 21-23, 2014.

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What is at Stake? A Call For Gracious Discourse

Creation is a central doctrine in Christianity, connecting to several key theological issues. However, for the past several decades, most of the attention given to this doctrine has been focused on the correct reading of Genesis 1-11, specifically with respect to contested claims about the age of the earth. For evangelicals committed to inerrancy, it is important that we clarify hermeneutical boundaries and options in which this matter can be discussed. Examples and insights from earlier Christian thought can guide us here. Most importantly, as grace and truth cohere in Christ, they must be correlative in our dialogue and debate.

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The THAT and HOW of Creation: Foundations and Forward Motion for Pilgrims in Unity

An exhortation towards the pursuit of the preservation of the unity of the body of Christ as its members seek to engage in the honest pursuit of truth and dialogue on especially controversial matters of faith and science. An appeal based on an exposition of Ephesians 4:1-6 of the ground of Christian unity. The basis of Christian unity is in the essentials of Christian orthodoxy reflected in the historic creeds and confessions of the church, not on complete agreement on matters that belong to the secondary category of theological pursuit. Above all, it is grounded in our koinonia in that of the triune God which is both our calling in the 'now' and our destiny in the 'not yet'.

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The Nurture and Spiritual Formation of Technically-Oriented Christ Followers

The judgment of God upon humanity at Babel was division, and the work of Christ was to effect reconciliation. The mark of the church therefore is unity and it is that which must be reflected amongst believers in the midst of diversity of opinion and thought on many issues. The way in which we reflect that unity marks us out as authentic disciples of Christ.

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A Vision for the Church: Science, Faith and Society in 2030 and How We Start on That Road Today

This presentation looks at some of the challenges posed by the sciences for faith and how we might respond to them. Particular attention is paid to the way the New Atheism uses science as a weapon against religious belief. Finally, it is argued that we need to regain confidence in our ability to engage the sciences and use them as a gateway for faith.

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A History of the Alleged War Between Science and Christianity

The history of the alleged conflict is based on claims by science that is outside their domain and often claims by Christians which are a reflection of their interpretation of scripture. The possibility of abuse is present on both sides of the debate. A review of the history from the 1870s to the present will present examples of what should be avoided. Concerns with distortions in science for funding and political correctness will be reviewed and a positive approach for the interaction of faith and science will be offered.

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