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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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God and Science

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 use scientists (such...

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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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Family Legacy Opens Doors for the Gospel in China

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 in Jesus through...

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Preaching: 3 Questions for Managing the Heart

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 I was in...

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The Obedience Imperative

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 Jews, mostly children, and leading...

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