All posts tagged “Franklin Graham

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Repaso: Japan photos; fighting poverty, continued; coffee culture in Guatemala; ecclesial hope; Stott on social action

1. Japan in photos a year later
The Big Picture photo blog has a collection of the iconic photos from the earthquake and tsunami of a year ago, and what those same spots look like today. The water has receded and most of the debris has been cleared, but it’s clear rebuilding will still take time.

2. Best ways to fight poverty
Two or three weeks ago I blogged about Christianity Today’s cover stories on tackling poverty. Not surprisingly, CT’s coverage garnered some debate over what actually works and what doesn’t when it comes to development. Yesterday, CT posted eight follow-up columns, including one by Mark Galli, one of the original writers. Those weighing in include Christian NGO big wigs like Rich Stearns (World Vision US), Peter Greer (HOPE International), Stephan Bauman (World Relief), and Franklin Graham (Samaritan’s Purse). See all the responses here.

3. Coffee culture in Guatemala
A lot of good coffee comes from Guatemala; most people know that. But what is the country’s coffee drinking culture like? James Fredrick writes for Tico Times about how things may be changing — the introduction of Starbucks and other specialty coffee shops mark a significant rise in domestic coffee consumption which could boost standards of living for growers, but the gap between those who can afford a $3.50 cappuccino and those who pick the beans remains vast.

4. Seven reasons to be hopeful about the church
It’s no secret that many these days “love Jesus but not the church.” The church comes with baggage; why not just cultivate a private walk with Jesus and not bother with the seemingly endless messes in the church? Because the church is still the bride of Christ, and Jesus has no plans to part ways with her. Adam Jeske writes for InterVarsity’s blog with seven reasons to be hopeful for the church.

5. Love needs no justification
Skye Jethani points us to John Stott to help us navigate the ongoing evangelism/social justice divide:

Atonement-only advocates demand that advocates of social justice justify their efforts. And justice advocates demand atonement-only advocates justify their emphasis on gospel proclamation. But, using Stott’s logic, if evangelism or social activism is flowing from a heart of love and compassion, than neither must be justified. Love is its own justification. As you engage this issue in your own community, do not get snared by the false dichotomy that declares either evangelism or social justice must be superior. Instead, let’s affirm whatever work God has called us to, whether that be proclaiming reconciliation or demonstrating it, as long as his love is found to be fueling it.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: The Big Picture]

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Repaso: Portland, OR; meaning of Lent; rocking the boat; immigration & biblical justice; creation care & mission; judging faith commitments

Today and tomorrow, Katie and I are at The Justice Conference in Portland. Look for blog updates of some sort, if not over the weekend, then early(ish) next week.

1. The meaning of Lent
I’m grateful that Katie and I are able to observe Lent this year as part of Christchurch Mesa:

The Christian calendar season of Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church. The ancient church that wrote, collected and canonized the New Testament also observed Lent, actually believing it to be a commandment from the apostles. The season has traditionally served as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. Therefore, Lent has always been a season of soul-searching and repentance – for reflection and taking stock.

2. Rocking the boat
Tom Becker, who lives in Lancaster and heads up The Row House (“nothing is not sacred”), writes for Catapult Magazine on the dangers of being, of all things… nice:

[W]hy should debate be considered taboo? Why are we so uncomfortable with those who rock the boat, even if they are motivated by love?  I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe we Pennsylvania Dutch tend be just plain cowards. Cowardice is a sin of omission I find myself confessing regularly. I create so many missed opportunities to speak truth lovingly. Guilty as charged.

3. Immigration and biblical justice
Tyler Johnson, one of the pastors at Redemption Church here in Phoenix, had a great essay on the issue of immigration “through the eyes of biblical justice” in last week’s Capital Commentary:

[As] Christians we must acknowledge that our current approach to immigration does not honor God or advance justice. We must confess that God’s command to love our neighbors includes loving people who don’t look like we do, who don’t speak English, and who weren’t born in the United States. And we must work together as leaders and citizens to develop a plan that brings together and commits to uphold the biblical mandates to love our neighbor.

4. Chris Wright on creation care
Chris Wright, whose talk on faith in the marketplace I summarized here, was interviewed by Jim Ball at the Evangelical Environmental Network about creation care and how it relates to Wright’s work with the Lausanne Movement:

5. Franklin Graham’s comments on politics and faith
This week Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the world’s most famous evangelist, made some unfortunate comments speculating on the authenticity of various political figures’ identities as Christians. Peter Wehner, who was part of the Bush administration and is co-author of the excellent City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (which I blogged about here), writes wisely:

The problem here is Graham is judging President Obama’s faith commitment based on a political, not a theological, basis. What Graham seems to be arguing is that Obama is a liberal, he’s wrong on “moral issues,” and so a question mark has to be put over the faith of the president, who has spoken in moving terms about his own journey to Christianity.This is dangerous territory for Graham to reside in. For one thing, it sounds as if the Reverend Graham is questioning whether one can be a political liberal and a Christian at the same time. Of course one can be and to suggest otherwise is offensive. (I’m tempted to say some of my closest friends are Christians who are politically liberal.)

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit:]