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Close Up: Mark Driscoll PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 08:28 AM EDT

MarkDriscollSuitLatest project: A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? (9781414389486, $19.99, Tyndale House Publishers).ACallToResurgence

You write of Christendom, civil religion and Christianity. What are the differences between them? Christendom is a cultural religion that borrows much of the narrative, moral framework and vocabulary of Christianity. … Civil religion is the institutionalized version of Christendom [in which] the government appropriates ethics to enforce quasi-Christian behavior. Everyone assumes everyone else is a Christian without ever learning what Christianity is all about. The result, as Kierkegaard observed, is that “Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it.” … True Christianity is a faith that must be professed, practiced and possessed: To profess faith means to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and proclaim this faith to others in hopes that they, too, will turn from sin and trust in Jesus alone for salvation. To practice faith means to live a new life of worship patterned after Jesus and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to continually repent of sin, obey Scripture, fellowship with other believers, serve in love and partake in the sacraments such as Communion and baptism. To possess faith means that God has implanted the life of Jesus in you.

What leads you to believe that Christendom in America is dead? The nail in the coffin for Christendom in America was President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony, which included representatives from numerous faith traditions to witness the event, with one glaring omission. The evangelical Christian, pastor Louie Giglio, was dumped without apology. When evangelicals can’t even land a token appearance at an event orchestrated to reflect the various facets of American society, it’s clear that Christian clout has reached its expiration date and been pulled off the shelf. I’m not exactly mourning the loss of Christendom ... but Christian faith is not just losing its market share. Christendom and civil religion have confused the substance of Christian faith to the point where it is losing its salvation message. I don’t care about preserving Christendom. My concern is the gospel of Jesus Christ, humanity’s one and only hope.

What are you urging believers to do? Stand firm and stay on mission. When sins become civil rights, there is a temptation for Christians to keep our mouths shut and turn what is supposed to be a public faith into a private faith, but we are commanded to not be ashamed of the gospel. We may feel social pressure to accept the new norms, or at least approach sensitive issues in a way that attempts to make the truth palatable and socially acceptable. But the world has enough politicians; it needs more prophets. We can’t expect that we’ll be more palatable and socially acceptable than Jesus was. He was the only sinless human being who ever lived. He did nothing wrong and everything right. He articulated the gospel perfectly, obeyed God flawlessly, loved people completely and yet still died bloody. Jesus’ opponents compared him to the devil and then killed him. With all of our shortcomings and failures, we can’t expect to fare much better. … For Christians, this is our opportunity! Not our tragedy but our opportunity. Not an end but a beginning. Not the worst thing that could have happened, but the biggest opportunity we’ve been given. For what? To bear witness. We have a message of help, healing and hope: Jesus Christ is alive. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus makes life, death, suffering and persecution meaningful. … Christendom may have died, but in that death there is a real opportunity for a resurgence of biblically faithful, personally humble, evangelistically fruitful, missional Christianity. I am calling Christians to stand firm and stay on mission with Jesus: evangelize, give, serve and enjoy new life filled with the power, hope and love we have through the Holy Spirit.

 
Finance expert offers women ‘different kind of book’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 08:26 AM EDT

TheSmartWomansGuideToPlanningForRetirementSyndicated personal finance columnist and best-selling author Mary Hunt knows how terrified women can get when it comes to taking charge of money matters. With saving for retirement a daunting task for many in today’s economy, Hunt explains in her own accessible style what women need to know in The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement: 

How to Save for Your Future Today (9780800721138, $17.99), releasing Nov. 5 from Revell (Baker Publishing Group).

By their own admission, 92% of women surveyed do not feel educated enough to reach their retirement savings goals. In her new book, Hunt serves as their teacher and guide, assuring readers that it’s only too late if they don’t start saving for retirement now.

“I think women need a different kind of book,” writes Hunt. “One without all the 

jargon, charts and mind-numbing data—one that simply and honestly cuts through the miles of complicated information and gives you just the facts and the motivation you need—in a warm and conversational way, the way we’d chat over coffee about something that is very important to both of us.”

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement is built on six strategies every woman needs to prepare for the future. Hunt shows women specifically what to do during each decade of their lives, and offers financial catch-up moves for women in each age range.

Women have an advocate in Hunt, who openly shares her own financial blunders.

“I’ve done all the hard work of making lots of mistakes,” Hunt said. “I’ve suffered my share of failures as well. Let me save you time and money.” 

Earlier in life, Hunt had to dig her family out of more than $100,000 in credit card debt, so she knows from experience the psychological and emotional struggles that come with debt. It took her 12 years to rack up the debt and 13 years to be debt-free. 

After that harrowing experience, she set out to help others live debt-free, founding DebtProof Living, an organization dedicated to helping men and woman battle the impact of consumer debt. Today, her website has thousands of members who look to her for needed financial tools and resources.

For more information on The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement, visit www.bakerpublishinggroup.com, or to order, call 800-877-2665.

 
Helping families move from ‘crazy cycle’ to legacy of love PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 08:24 AM EDT

Emerson Eggerichs follows his best-selling marriage title with similar principles for parents and children

LoveandRespectintheFamilyPeople have been asking Emerson Eggerichs to write a book about love and respect between parents and children following the success of 2004’s Love & Respect (Thomas Nelson). However, Eggerichs wanted his own children to contribute to such a book, so he waited several years.

Striking a chord with readers, marriage title Love & Respect, sold 1.5 million copies and garnered several awards. As a counselor and pastor, Eggerichs has studied the family dynamic for 30 years. As founders of Love and Respect Ministries, he and his wife, Sarah, conduct relationship conferences across the country.

This month Thomas Nelson releases Love & Respect in the Family: The Respect Parents Desire, the Love Children Need, which includes input from his children, now in their 30s, and his wife. Although the content is new, the approach is similar to that of his marriage book. The book’s three parts are: The Family Crazy Cycle, The Family Energizing Cycle and The Family Rewarded Cycle.

Eggerichs asserts that children need love, and parents need respect. Yet often, he writes, “an unloved child reacts negatively in a way that feels disrespectful to a parent” and “a disrespected parent reacts negatively in a way that feels unloving to the child.” To stop this Family Crazy Cycle, he teaches parents to slow down, decode the situation and diffuse the tension. 

This sets the stage for the Family Energizing Cycle in which “a parent’s love motivates a child’s respect and a child’s respect motivates a parent’s love.” Eggerichs offers an acronym for energizing the family: GUIDES—Give, Understand, Instruct, Discipline, Encourage, Supplicate.

The result can be the Family Rewarded Cycle in which parents give love regardless of the children’s respect and vice-versa. Eggerichs stresses the importance of parents leaning on God, loving children unconditionally and seeking to leave a legacy of love.

Several times in the book Eggerichs says that parenting is for adults only. 

“We must bring our maturity to bear on the daily skirmishes in the family,” he writes. “In the heat of the battle, we must remain cool, calm, and collected.” 

He is transparent about the ups and downs in his own parenting and includes his children’s honest reflections about their upbringing. He emphasizes there is no perfect family, but believes there is hope for those who want to parent God’s way. He gives special encouragement to parents with children who are rebelling, reminding them to focus on the process and trust God for the results.

For more information, contact Thomas Nelson at 800-251-4000, or visit www.thomasnelson.com.

 
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