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Reading the Bible

by Josh Moody In my prized possession is a letter from John Stott. He was replying to say that he supported me, as the new President of the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, in my desire to revitalize the daily Bible reading and prayer life of the Union. Hardly radical stuff. Or is it? Then, and again now, I sense that there is a renewed need for us to emphasize the basic daily habit of “Reading the Bible.” My observation is that it is becoming more common for us to be so distracted by other “spiritual content” that we focus less on the actual Bible and more on “devotionals.” The reason for this is not just because we are living a more fast-paced lifestyle than in yesteryear (a complaint that you can read about each year, going back hundreds of years), but more because we are experiencing a reality predicted by the late great...

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How Much Has Changed?

The following article was written for Evangelicals Now and published in their news publication for November 2015. Yet another survey of American religious beliefs has come out recently. This was a telephone survey of 1,000 adults that purports to show that most Americans (no surprise here), including those who do not affiliate with a denomination of one kind or another, believe in a “Creator” (Christianheadlines.com October 8, 2015). This brings up a host of questions, as well as possible encouragements or otherwise. For instance, how much should we take as ‘gospel truth’ a survey of 1,000 people over the phone? If we want to get serious about what is going on in terms of trends we would do well to read the very brief but authoritative book by Mark Chaves entitled American Religion: Contemporary Trends (Princeton 2011). The trouble with books about trends is that they are quite rapidly out of date, but the advantage...

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Behind the Headlines: Tackling the Planned Parenthood Controversy

On August 16 and 23, 2015, College Church hosted a forum with Paige Cunningham, Executive Director of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, to help us think about abortion in light of the recent news surrounding Planned Parenthood. She explored a Christian's response to the ethical, legal, moral and theological issues involved. To see the videos of Paige's talks, as well as find other resources, click here....

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Why Go to Church?

by Josh Moody This summer Christian Focus released my new book How Church Can Change Your Life. 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." In thinking about that question of "Why go to church?" here are some reasons you should consider if you are a Christian: The New Testament nowhere even considers the possibility of a Christian who is not also a part of a local church. If you call yourself a Christian and you are not part of a local church, you fall into a category that is at least questionable, and to be avoided if at all possible. All other things being equal, given that there are churches nearby that you could belong to, not going to one may also put you in...

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Knowing God Without Knowing All of God

God Centered Life Ministries today welcomes Barnabas Piper. Barnabas Piper blogs at The Blazing Center, is the author of The Pastors Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity and Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not The Enemy Of Faith, and co-hosts The Happy Rant podcast. Piper writes for WorldMag.com, contributes to numerous other websites, and speaks frequently at churches and conferences. Barnabas serves as the Brand Manager for the Leadership Development team at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville where he lives with his wife and two daughters. In the post-enlightenment western world we live by rules of science. Theories are posed, evidence is gathered, facts disputed, and in the end truth is discovered. At least truth about some things is discovered. But the model of scientific discovery simply does not apply to much of life. One of the not-so-subtle tenets of enlightenment thinking is the disregard for the supernatural and the subsequent...

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How to Reach an Increasingly Secular Culture

God Centered Life Ministries today features an article written by Josh Moody for Evangelicals Now and included in their July 2015 edition. Since its publication, the Supreme Court has ruled on same-sex marriage.  It is becoming more apparent day-by-day that Western culture is facing a post-Christendom reality. Bruce Jenner, the Supreme Court debating homosexuality and on and on. What then evangelicals? Here is a three step plan to reach an increasingly secular culture. Purity First, Purity. 2 Timothy 3.1-9 tells us that we will live in days when people are increasingly likely to live as 'lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.' That Paul here means people who are at least apparently followers of God is made plain by his statement that they have 'a form of godliness but deny its power.' These are those who, he goes on to explain, will infiltrate the Christian community and try to lead people astray from Christ, but their...

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5 Reasons to Come to Church Sunday

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 together, we support...

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Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on the Church

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 my...

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Christ at the Core

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 written out, and put...

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Out of Africa

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 deem beneath us. The...

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