All posts by FT Staff

Lunch With the Pope

– By Brian Stiller

The inevitable question I’m asked when somebody hears I’ve been with the pope is, “What’s he like?” Here are some personal observations from a recent visit.

Impressions in the first moments so frame how we see an individual. This, my second meeting with Pope Francis, an almost three-hour conversation and lunch, allowed me to more carefully form impressions.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Bother With History

By Kevin Flatt

My life is saturated with history. I teach it every fall and winter term at Redeemer University College, in the form of courses on everything from the development of Western Civilization to the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. I carry out historical research and publish the results in books and academic articles. I write the History Lesson column for Faith Today.

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A Church of Many Colours

– By Alex Newman

100_0284I have a “thing” about Ann Voskamp. It’s called envy. Not only of her significant writing ability, but her stillness and openness to the Holy Spirit as well. We are polar opposites – me impatient and easily irritated versus her life on the farm which is in the moment as she meditates over the laundry basket.

Too willing to give in to anxiety – juggling schedules and worrying about things beyond my control – I forget those sparrows and lilies (Matthew 6:25). Not that Voskamp spends her entire day in contemplative prayer – with six children and a farm to oversee with her husband she has more than enough to do – but her writing has that quality which indicates a nature that is calm at its core. This is what’s thoroughly and utterly beyond me.

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Tools for Thinking

Click on cover for the digital edition

When the Canadian Bible Engagement Study was released, we brainstormed how we could help Faith Today readers make sense of the data.

The report is a troubling examination of how much – or how little – Canadians use the Bible. Even most of us who identify as Christians rarely read it!

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What We’ll Be Reading This Summer

Faith Today asked a variety of Canadian Christian leaders about what they hope to read over the more relaxed summer season. Read on for the initial responses! 

Feel free to share your own reading recommendations with us by email or on our Facebook page, and we’ll add them in a future post. You may also want to check out recommendations from last summer.

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We Just Don’t Get Muslims

By Tarun George

The church in Canada just doesn’t get Muslims. We don’t really understand them, and if we’re honest, we’re not sure we want to try. Like many Christians in Canada, I am a relative newcomer to the struggles of Muslims here, especially first-generation immigrants. But in researching a recent article in Faith Today about their relationship to the church, I met a group of Canadian Christians and ‘Muslim-background believers’ (MBBs) who have been labouring for years to show the love of Jesus to Muslim communities. Their stories are not particularly glamorous, so we rarely hear about them. But in a country with over a million Muslims (StatCan National Household Survey 2011, a conservative estimate), the work they do is critical.

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The Localization of Grace: Bringing Home God’s Peace

By Carolyn Weber

Each home has its unbelievers and its believers; and thereby a good war is sent to break a bad peace.” St. Jerome’s words remind us that bringing the peace of God to the family table can be anything but, well, peaceful.

Reconciliation with God, and with one another, can run the most difficult in families, perhaps because families are such loaded relational nests. I am convinced this is why Shakespeare, for instance, literally set his timeless plays within family dramas.

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Why Not Just Go With My Gut?

A reflection on the danger of reduced Bible usage in Canada.

– By Rick Hiemstra

Link to Faith Today article by Alex Newman

Editor’s note: Our article Shocking Statistics on Bible Reading recently introduced the Canadian Bible Engagement Study, which Hiemstra helped to co-ordinate. We asked him to articulate why it’s so important to read the Bible.

Why do I need the Bible – why not just go with what I feel? If I need to connect to God, isn’t prayer enough? Won’t the Holy Spirit guide me?

It seems many Canadians are asking these questions. The new Canadian Bible Engagement Study suggests that only 11% of Canadians read the Bible at least once a week, down from 21% in 1996. Over that time there has been a growing cultural trend to look within for the deepest truths about ourselves, the world and even God.

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Church Planting, So What?

– By Alex Newman

Click picture to see the original article in Faith Today.

You can usually tell you’re on to something when research raises more questions than it answers. While working on the church plant story, one thing kept nagging at me. So what? And who cares?

Sounds shocking, but let’s consider the times we live in. The church is under fire not only for its claims of knowing Truth, but its intention to spread that Truth. Evangelizing the developing world was one thing, but turning its missionary zeal on the developed, enlightened, self-determining and relativistic world is sure to raise hackles. Especially since North Americans have made it clear that Christianity’s demise is not only natural, but desirable. In short, they don’t care to hear about it.

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Great Expectations in Church Planting

By Doug Koop


When it comes to launching new churches in Canada, we are living in the best of times, which may also be the worst of times. The upside is that just about anything goes. The downside is, well … it’s that just about anything goes.

And church is increasingly optional.

When I was asked to write an article about new church plants in Winnipeg, I was drawn to a couple fresh expressions of Christian witness that struck me as community-focused in their ethos and wholistic in their methods. My bias skewed towards groups I believed to be demonstrating a creative concern for the people they seek to serve in God’s name.

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