5 Reasons to Come to Church Sunday

June 25, 2015:

Christian Focus has just released Josh Moody's new book How Church Can Change Your Life: Answers to the Ten Most Common Questions About Church. With this in mind, here are 5 reasons to come to church Sunday: It is biblical. “Not neglecting to meet together” (Hebrews 10:25); “day by day” (Acts 2:46); gathered “on the first day of every week” (1 Corinthians 16:2). A Christian not in church is like a fish out of water. Church is not Starbucks and my two friends. It is the gathering of God’s people around God’s gospel. That is more than a campus group, or parachurch organization, healthy and helpful as they can be. It is the local church of which – if you are a Christian – you are a member (1 Corinthians 12:27). It encourages other Christians. Seeing people coming together around the worship of God says “we believe this together, we’re in this…

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Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on the Church

June 20, 2015:

Today Christian Focus releases the new book How Church Can Change Your Life by Josh Moody. It’s written to answer an overall question that many people today seem to be asking: “Why should I go to church?” To do that, it’s broken down then into “the 10 most common questions about church." As the new book launches, God Centered Life Ministries welcomes Barnabas Piper to the blog today to share some of his thoughts about "why you shouldn't give up on the church."  I grew up in the church. No really, I grew up in the church. I am a PK and spent countless hours in church and doing church activities. I am a church native and familiar with all its quirks and cultural oddities, with all its strengths, and with all its failings. As the son of prominent evangelical pastor, John Piper, I not only saw the inner workings of…

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God and Science

April 14, 2015:

In 2002 I prepared a paper on "God and Science" which I've recently brought up-to-date. This paper is simply a summary and argument based on the work of various scientists, thinkers, and apologists. The argument outline is: 1. It is a myth to think that science and Christian faith have a long history of conflict. This ‘Conflict Myth’ is popular and widely repeated on TV as an accepted fact but in reality is not the case. Actually, Christian theism was the culture which gave birth to modern science. 2. Columbus and Galileo are the not the classic examples of the clash between science and faith that they are often supposed to be. 3. The ‘Conflict Myth’ originated in two movements, one in the 18th and the other in the 19th century. The 18th century movement was based in France and was an anti-clerical attempt by philosophers (such as Voltaire) to…

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Christ at the Core

March 27, 2015:

The following article was written for Evangelicals Now and published in their news publication for April 2015. God Centered Life Ministries began last December (2014), with the vision of ‘a generation living for God.’ Evangelicals Now caught up with David Melilli (executive director) and Josh Moody (senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton and founder and president of God Centered Life Ministries) regarding the launch of God Centered Life Ministries. This is the conversation: DM: Tell me a little about the passion, vision and motivation behind God Centered Life Ministries. JM: When I was going through a particularly difficult spot in ministry a number of years ago, I wrote a letter to a couple of different senior Christian leaders requesting counsel. One wrote back with a rather different kind of note. It was lengthy, appealing to various Bible texts, and gave me good counsel about some practical matters. Inside the letter he had also…

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Out of Africa

March 26, 2015:

The following article was written for Evangelicals Now and published in their news publication for April 2015. This week a man nicknamed 'Africa' was shot by police in Skid Row in Los Angeles. Unusually after such incidents it emerged that there was a video of the event that had been posted online. No doubt, there will be discussion as to what exactly took place and why the man was shot. The police say that he was grabbing one of the policemen’s guns. The purpose of this reference is not to attempt to adjudicate an impossibly difficult situation, but to highlight the great need for a reassertion of a clear Christian neighbour love. The story told of this man’s life is a sad one, and it illustrates the vital power of the counterintuitive practice of Good Samaritan behaviour – to rescue those around us, and to love those we may otherwise…

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Family Legacy Opens Doors for the Gospel in China

March 23, 2015:

God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Will Graham, Vice President and Associate Evangelist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, to the blog today.  In 1916, a young American doctor named L. Nelson Bell and his wife arrived in what is now known as Huai’an, China. He would spend the next 25 years as a Presbyterian medical missionary, raising his family in the medical compound and offering healing of both the body and soul. He’d tend to people’s wounds, while never neglecting to also share the hope of Jesus. Over the course of their quarter-century in China, the Bells would bear four children: Rosa, Virginia, Clayton, and my grandmother, Ruth. My great-grandfather spent years sowing the seeds of the Gospel in China, but – frankly – did not get the opportunity to see much of a harvest. Despite his years in missionary service there, precious few found their eternal hope…

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Preaching: 3 Questions for Managing the Heart

March 06, 2015:

God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Jeff Brewer, lead pastor of Hope Fellowship, to the blog today. One of the greatest challenges for a pastor when he preaches is not his speaking ability (though it is important to speak well) or how accurate his exegesis of the passage was (though it is important to be diligent in the study). The greatest challenge for the preacher is the right managing of his own heart in the midst of the whole preaching process start to finish. Here are three questions you can ask yourself as you seek to manage your heart:    1. Who is the primary audience you are preparing for? When I first began to preach regularly I was much more concerned about what people thought of me than anything else. Sadly, when I was preparing I was thinking about myself and how I would come across when…

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The Obedience Imperative

February 19, 2015:

God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA to the blog today. Of all the characteristics of a disciple, none is more basic than obedience. Jesus is emphatic on this point: “Follow me”1; “my sheep know me and listen to my voice”2; “only he who does the will of my father will enter the kingdom of heaven”3; and “when you have done everything you were told to do, you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”4 Throughout church history, mature disciples have submitted to our Lord in humble obedience. Three Exemplars In the early 1940s, Andre Trocme served as pastor of a backwater Huguenot (Protestant) village in southern France. His life, and those of his parishioners, changed radically when the Nazi-controlled Vichy government took control. Over four long years, Trocme and 3,000 villagers risked their lives by hiding 5,000…

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Why Studying the Bible Won’t (Necessarily) Change Your Life

February 12, 2015:

God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome Trevin Wax to the blog today.  “Bible study won’t change your life.” OK, I admit to indulging in a bit of overstatement to shock you into recognizing what should be obvious: just because you know the Bible doesn’t mean the Word will bear fruit in your life. It is possible to know the Scriptures, read the Scriptures, revere the Scriptures, and study the Scriptures and miss the point entirely. Take the liberal scholar who knows the Greek New Testament better than most orthodox pastors. He can quote whole sections of the Bible in its original languages. Definitions of biblical words tumble out of his mouth as he effortlessly places everything in historical context. And yet he does not believe in the Jesus he reads about in the pages of the Bible. Sure, he is endlessly fascinated by the communities that gave us such an interesting…

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Gospel Grit

February 05, 2015:

God Centered Life Ministries is pleased to welcome to the blog Harold Smith, president and CEO of Christianity Today. Read his complete bio here.  I was in Portland, Oregon recently to attend an annual leadership conference sponsored by the Murdock Charitable Trust—a very generous supporter of ministries in the Northwest. (Yes, I was one of the lone Midwesterners!) The conference title was “The Word Made Flesh,” and the 200 women and men in attendance represented Christian leaders from a number of traditions who are creatively putting their feet to the Gospel. Or as one Jesuit brother shared with me over dinner: “Servant-leaders who are making themselves available.” “Availability,” I learned during this same mealtime, is part of the Jesuit tradition, and speaks of Christ’s agents taking risks by circumventing all barriers of class, color, gender—whatever—and engaging God’s image bearers directly, whomever they may be and whatever their need, with Christ’s love, grace,…

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