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After 500 Years: One Night Centered on God

Five Solas. Five Speakers. Five hours. God Centered Life Ministries hosted “One Night Centered on God” at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, on March 17, 2017. One incredible night centered on hearing God’s truth proclaimed and responding in worship—not a normal Friday night and not a normal conference. But why even have such an event? While focused on the Protestant Reformation during its 500th anniversary year, One Night Centered on God utilized the history of the Reformation as a way to remind and exhort believers to live in the present and future in ways that bring glory to God. But why did we need to be reminded of our purpose? What have we forgotten and how have we forgotten it? “Do you hear the people sing?” Can you finish the song lyrics from one of the most popular songs written for the world famous, beloved musical Les Miserables? Do you hear the people...

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Interview with Janet Parshall

In today's interview, Janet Parshall, host and executive producer of In The Market with Janet Parshall, talks with me about biblical content in contemporary culture, while also sharing with us some highlights of her long-running career in radio and providing encouragement for us to go where God leads. JM: Janet, your show has a well-deserved stellar reputation for delivering biblical content in conversation with contemporary cultural issues. how do you go about keeping the content levels up in this fast moving action world called daily radio shows? JP: Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots, has always challenged his team to play what he calls "situational football." It means having a key sense of what's going on around you on the playing field. I think keeping an ear tuned to what's being discussed in the marketplace is a great way to harvest topics for talk radio.  Paul walked around Athens for a...

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Interview with Thomas R. Schreiner

I recently talked with Thomas R. Schreiner, the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, about biblical content and its importance today in contemporary culture and the church. Below is our interview. JM: Tom, you’ve spent your life committed to studying and teaching the Bible. Isn’t a rather archaic thing to be doing in our contemporary world? TS: It is archaic in one sense, but sometimes the old truths are the best truths because they are the true truths. I could answer this in a number of ways, but here I want to say that I see no evidence that contemporary people, who have abandoned the scripture, live happier or more fulfilled lives. Instead many marriages are dissolving, many children grow up in homes plagued by fighting, and many wander from thing to thing in utter boredom. If they...

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Sola Giveaway

500 years. 5 Solas. One Night Centered on God. As a thank you for signing up to One Night Centered On God, you can be entered in our $100 giveaway to be used toward exhibit books or music (or both!) during the event on March 17th. Here's how it works. 1. Contact your friends, let them know you are going to One Night Centered on God event on March 17th, and ask them if they would like to attend. 2. Let us know you have invited your friends and would like to be entered by emailing us at conferences@godcenteredlife.org and using the subject line "$100 giveaway." 3. That's it. We will notify the $100 giveaway recipient prior to the event with instructions on how to pick up his or her $100 exhibit credit. Tickets and Information The schedule for Sola: One Night Centered on God for Friday, March 17, has now been released. There is a special...

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Changing Your Life

Life is on the wrong track. Many people today feel that way for one reason or another. Whether it be politics, cultural issues, moral matters or more prosaically economic realities, much of the Western world senses that times are not so much a’changing as a’worsening. Trusting God Writing long ago, the prophet Isaiah faced situations where the society around him was moving from a time of relative prosperity to increasing pressure from neighborhood superpowers. Isaiah’s message was, broadly speaking, quite simple. Trust in God. Do not fear. As Alec Motyer put it, “Justification by faith is not a Sunday truth bearing only on our relationship with God but also a Monday truth for the conduct of life in all its challenges.” Unfortunately, King Ahaz did not listen to this counsel. Instead of trusting God, he trusted in an alliance with Assyria—and the Northern Kingdom went into exile, the Southern Kingdom became, in effect, a...

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Colorblind

Sometimes Facebook juxtaposes just the right pair of posts, just the right images to startle me awake, to catch a new glimpse of truth. Today I saw a such a pair. Post #1, a video: colorblind people see color for the first time with innovative new glasses. Now, I’m going to let you roll that around in your mind for a minute before I hit you with Post #2. A stream of people unable to distinguish red from green, trapped in a world where everything is a muted, muddy brown, suddenly seeing all the great glory of a simple garden, overwhelmed. You see them see colors and suddenly you’re seeing color through their eyes, and you realize how much we take for granted, how much beauty overload we live in all the time. You wonder what else we can’t see, what else is hiding in plain sight. Now. Post #2: women at...

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Why I Wrote “7 Days to Change Your Life”

Why another book? Because it isn’t just another book. 7 Days to Change Your Life represents two experiences in my personal life. One is wrestling with God over the challenges that came into our family’s life when one of our children was diagnosed with severe autism. This book is not about autism: it’s about finding that God is there when you thought no one else was. It is written out of the experience of thinking that I was at a crossroads in my life, and realizing that I wasn’t really at a crossroads. I was at a cliff’s edge. And then I found that His Son, who suffered for me, was my redemption in that moment of deepest darkness. The other experience built over many years, being in conversation with someone in my study, scanning along my bookshelves for a book to give that person, and not finding quite the right book....

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A Look at Notable 2016 Publications

“There is no end to the making of many books,” says the author of Ecclesiastes. In the United States alone, there were close to one million titles published during the past year, with revenue approaching $1.8 billion. Hundreds of titles competed for our attention during 2016. I offer the following observations with the recognition that I have no doubt missed several important works that some of you would have included in such a survey. The books noted in this article are those that I think are worth noting, particularly for those who pay attention to the GCL website. Books make a difference for all of us. They shape our thinking, inform our perspective, expand our understanding, illuminate our world and our context, influence the way we encounter ideas, and touch our hearts. A New Start for a New Year As we conclude one year and turn the page to another, we recognize...

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Joy to the World

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." What better summary of the meaning of Christmas could there be than Christ’s own summary of the significance of that first Christmas Gift, and its resulting life, death, and resurrection! When I was on the mission field—my very brief foray into residential mission work and a slightly longer ensuing oversight-coordinating role of some pioneer mission opportunities in the same region of the world—a team member of ours from Denmark said that the Danish Christians called this verse “the little Bible.” Whether or not that is true, and I have no reason to doubt it (perhaps Danish friends will write and tell us otherwise!), it is a great explanation of the significance of this very well-known verse. In its brief statement, it encompasses a Tardis-like...

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The Scandal of Christmas

The infancy narratives in the Gospels proclaim Jesus as the fulfillment of messianic hopes and expectations. God, however, didn’t do things the way most people expected. Our familiarity with the Christmas story may cause us to miss the unexpected wonder, shock, and newness accompanying these events. In our book The First Days of Jesus, Alexander Stewart and I discuss a series of scandals: the virgin birth, the incarnation, Jesus’s lowly birth, and the scandal of the cross. At the root of these scandals is the virgin birth, so let’s take a moment to reflect on this remarkable event and its implications as we prepare to celebrate the “scandal” of Christmas. The Scandal of the Virgin Birth Matthew tells us that when Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, became aware of her pregnancy, he was planning to divorce her, apparently because he assumed some form of infidelity, an assumption that would have been shared by many...

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