Local Churches and the ‘Halo Effect’

RealClearReligion has become a starting point for my day, and I’m honored to have this week’s commentary linked in today’s morning edition, “Local Churches Hard Hit as Recession Spreads.” The link posted just below mine from CNN’s Belief Blog highlights problems facing a local congregation, “Atlanta church faces eviction.” One of the points of dispute facing the congregation is the status of daycare and afterschool programs that use the facility. Continue Reading...

Local Churches Hard Hit as Recession Spreads

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Local Churches Hard Hit as Recession Spreads,” I examine some of the lingering and widening effects of the Great Recession. I focus particularly on an upward trend in foreclosures of church properties across the country. Continue Reading...

Liberty and Freedom in Egypt

Oftentimes the terms liberty and freedom are used interchangeably, the former derived from the Latin root the latter the German. But John Mark Reynolds of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University uses the terms to distinguish between them and the possible futures for Egypt: “Freedom gives the right to choose, but the liberated choose wisely.” Normally I would select some choice excerpts, but the entire thing is excellent so be sure to read it at the Scriptorium, “Liberty Not Just Freedom For Egypt.” Continue Reading...

Mission to Moscow

Reagan at Danilov Monastery I point you to Paul Kengor’s insightful 2008 piece on Ronald Reagan’s 1988 summit to Moscow in Christianity Today because it is directly related to this Thursday’s Acton on Tap. Continue Reading...

Hunter Baker Wins 2011 Novak Award

I’m pleased to report that Hunter Baker is the recipient of the 2011 Novak Award from the Acton Institute. Hunter is associate dean of arts and sciences and associate professor of political science at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and author of The End of Secularism (Crossway Academic, 2009). Continue Reading...

Theology at Work & David W. Miller

Jordan Ballor already highlighted Rob Moll’s piece in today’s Wall Street Journal in his earlier post on business and Christian ministry. The piece quotes David W. Miller who was interviewed in the Winter 2008 issue of Religion & Liberty on the topic of theology at work. Continue Reading...

Business as a Form of Christian Ministry

In a recent Acton Commentary, Stephen Grabill and Brett Elder reflect on the tension that often exists between conceptions of ministry in the church and in the world. They point especially to the Cape Town Commitment, which on the one hand identifies a “secular-sacred divide as a major obstacle to the mobilization of all God’s people in the mission of God.” But on the other hand, write Grabill and Elder, “The gulf between economics and theology in evangelical social engagement and missionally informed action is a momentous barrier that must still be overcome before we can truly embrace all legitimate vocations as sacred and worthy callings.” There are some positive signs on this front, however, and the workplace section of the Cape Town Commitment is one of them. Continue Reading...

Some Thoughts on Social Media and Publishing

After hearing about an established Christian publisher recently launching an official blog for their products, I did some thinking about the relationship between the traditional publication outlets and social media. I’m sure that traditional publishers have a relatively large budget for print advertising, but it seems that they are very slow to hire professionals to do serious social media work, blogging, and online advertising. Continue Reading...