All posts by FT Staff

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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The Challenge of Growth

Click the cover image to read the May/Jun 2014 issue.

Church planting these days usually means breaking up some pretty hard Canadian soil. That’s why we thought it would be fascinating to assign writers in three cities to go behind the scenes in very different church plants to see what makes them tick – or grow.

If you live in eastern Canada, a part of the country where we had a tough time matching an available writer with an existing plant, please write to us and tell us about your church plant experience. We’d love to hear.

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Asking the Right Questions of the Right People on Your Behalf

Click the cover image to read the Mar/Apr 2014 issue.

It was right down to the wire to schedule the interview with Ambassador Andrew Bennett of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom. He was travelling the week before our interview and committed to a busy schedule after that, but he graciously made time for us just before our deadline.

As his newly created government position reached its first anniversary, we thought it important to check in to see how the work is going. Religious freedom is something Evangelicals watch carefully, even in Canada – maybe especially in Canada.

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Être évangélique au Québec

The following article appears in our Mar/Apr 2014 issue in English form. Here is a translation en français. Comments in English or en français are welcome at or at

Dans une province pas comme les autres – alors que, plus que jamais dans l’histoire du Canada, tout est remis en question – les Chrétiens évangéliques se taillent une identité personnelle et communautaire.

Par Jenna Smith

Dimanche soir, centre-ville de Montréal – Je suis à l’événement de formation en implantation d’église du C2C, atelier visant à équiper et à mobiliser l’Église au Québec. Le hall d’entrée de l’église Evangel Pentecostal est rempli à capacité de pasteurs, d’implantateurs, de membres de diverses congrégations et de leaders d’église.

Nous avons tous connu notre juste part de fiascos lors de rassemblements chrétiens dans cette ville, mais ce soir, les gens autour de moi semblent agréablement surpris de la tournure des événements. Les mouvements d’implantation de nouvelles églises comme C2C et Transforme Québec – qui a pour vision d’implanter 25 000 nouvelles églises au Québec au cours des 40 prochaines années – font des vagues dans les milieux évangéliques.

La pensée religieuse traverse une période unique et décisive au Québec. À l’Assemblée nationale, les politiciens se prononcent sur le libellé de la Charte des valeurs. Radio-Canada mentionne qu’une paroisse catholique a fermé ses portes à chaque semaine au cours de 2013. Les défenseurs des droits de la personne et les médias signalent la montée des incidents racistes contre certains groupes religieux, notamment les Musulmans.

Une chose est certaine : la religion est un sujet chaud. Continue reading Être évangélique au Québec

Doing Things the Less Instant Way

Click the cover image to read the Jan/Feb 2014 issue.

Being a Christian can mean embracing weakness rather than strength.

Arranging to interview Dr. J.I. Packer, one of Canada’s most celebrated evangelical scholars, involved phone calls, faxes, more phone calls and another fax or two.

In an age of immediate electronic communication, Packer prefers to do things offline, the less instant way.

Even the writing for which he is so well known (his classic book Knowing God, originally written as a five-year series of articles for The Evangelical Magazine, turned 40 last year) is carefully composed on a manual typewriter.

Although that bit about the typewriter is the least of the many insights Packer shared with Faith Today in this issue’s exclusive interview, it’s still a delightful peek behind the scenes at the work of a wise and unique evangelical influencer.

(By the way, we’re offering a free copy of Packer’s latest book Weakness Is the Way along with every new subscription purchased before the end of February. Pass the word along to anyone you know who may be interested!)

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