Why the Bible Sometimes Turns People Nasty

– By Mark Buchanan

2080656MidResI teach a class at Ambrose University on spiritual formation. It’s my favourite class, except for my other classes.

I opened my first session last week by reading some of the story of Stephen from Acts. Here are the sections:

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue… who began to argue with Stephen….

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Treating Blisters on the Soul

– By Arthur Boers

ArthurPaulBoers24 copyBlisters worthy of emergency room attention were not the only result of walking an 800 kilometre pilgrimage. Otherwise I may not have gone more than once on Spain’s Camino de Santiago. I have thrice been a pilgrim on that route and each time I remember three key truths about the spiritual life.

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Faith Today’s New Look

Redesign of Faith Today
Cover redesign

Faith Today is one of Canada’s top Christian magazines, but maintaining excellence – on behalf of you, the reader, and of the God we all serve – requires a regular influx of new life.

The beautiful magazine you now hold owes a lot to top-notch designer Janice Van Eck, who reworked and then polished every inch.

The redesign process also included a lot of editorial brainstorming about what elements should stay in Faith Today and what could go. We discussed, we met, we emailed, we called, we clipped and we cut. And we listened. Janice in particular listened carefully to our friendly debates about how Faith Today could be made better.

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Will They Be Back?

– By Doug Koop

50-somethings Disengaging From the Church

Church DoorI’m writing in broad strokes about a subset of my peer group—people long active in congregational and ministry circles who in later middle age are making the institutional church more of a back-burner item, less of a lifestyle.

For some this represents a full-blown crisis of faith: they can no longer even salute the doctrines that previously bounded their fellowship with other believers. Their erstwhile religion makes little sense to them anymore, and they wonder how they could ever have invested so much heart and soul into anything so fatuous. Many of these are simply disillusioned. A few are bitter.

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When Life is a Monument

– By Patricia Paddey

Reg Petersen, Bridgeway Foundation
Click on the picture to read the original article in Faith Today.

When I was still a young woman in my early 20s, I heard a pastor say in a sermon that, “every person is a monument to the decisions and choices they have made.” That little piece of wisdom must have struck me as particularly profound because I scribbled it down on one of the blank pages at the front of my Bible. I’ll bet I read those words thousands of times over all the years I had that Bible; it would not be an exaggeration to say they helped shape my life.

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Ten New Features Coming in the Re-designed September Issue

Cover redesign
Cover redesign

Including sneak-peaks at five redesigned pages!

  1. Beautiful new layout. Top-notch designer Janice Van Eck (www.janicevaneck.com) led us to re-envision every page. Our articles read better than ever, thanks to more soothing white space, new fonts and column structures, fresh use of pictures and many other changes.
  2. A new social issues summary page, called At Issue, giving you what you need to know about a topic such as poverty in Canada, prostitution or freedom of religion.
    Kingdom Matters redesign
    Kingdom Matters redesign
  3. New arts coverage. Canadian Creatives showcases the work of visual artists who are Christian, and Reading the Bestsellers applies an evangelical perspective to our country’s most popular books.
  4. A new Infographic page that illustrates complex ideas or useful statistics in an attractive, visual way, drawing on the unparalleled research expertise of our publisher, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
  5. A practical new column of Inspiring Ideas for ministry – derived straight from Canadian churches.
    Q&A interview redesign
    Q&A interview redesign
  6. New surprises in the margins. Tucked away between the columns on various pages you’ll find helpful factoids and stand-alone statistics. They’re fun when you want to browse rather than read, but they’ll still make you think.
  7. New opinion columns. Okay, we already started Sheila Wray Gregoire’s column Messy Faith and Kevin Flatt’s column History Lesson a couple issues ago, but now they’re really hitting their stride! And have you noticed our new-ish Business Matters series lately?
    Feature article redesign
    Feature article redesign
  8. New tagline. We’re now calling ourselves Faith Today – Canada’s Christian magazine. That’s because there’s no other publication like it in Canada: national in scope, trans-denominational in breadth, tucked firmly into the mission of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada but also telling the stories that all Canadian Christians love to read.
  9. Digital extras. A regular segment summarizing what’s new on the Faith Today blog, including glimpses behind the scenes of recent stories and extended reflections by Faith Today writers.
  10. Award winning features and interviews. Alright, we admit that Faith Today articles have been winning awards for three decades now. But when new articles win new accolades, then those will be new, right?
Essay redesign
Essay redesign

Faith Today will continue to offer a greater variety of trans-denominational, inspiring and challenging stories than in any other publication in Canada.

And our printed and digital editions can be delivered directly to your physical and virtual mailboxes, so you can read on the go, wherever you are.

Please let us know what you think at editor@faithtoday.ca.

P.S. to not-yet-subscribers: check out our no-risk trial offer at faithtoday.ca/subscriptions.

Why is Christian Art Sometimes So Schmaltzy?

Change of Season by Patty Kingsley
Change of Season by Patty Kingsley

My kids have a lovely relative who buys them Christian novels to read. Lately, I’ve noticed a growing skepticism on the part of my children. They are suspicious of the book if they think it is “Christian.”

At 18, 15 and 14, they have – without any help from me I will add – concluded that sometimes those books just aren’t as good as the ones you read at school or even more likely, pick up at Indigo.

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Canadian Churches and Armageddon

– By Gordon Heath

It was a war that was not supposed to happen. Growing tensions in Europe were obvious, but recent developments in international arbitration had fuelled hopes that differences between imperial powers could be resolved peacefully.

A hundred years ago, Canadians entered the summer with little inkling of the utter disaster looming just over the horizon, and were unprepared when they found themselves at war on August 4, 1914. Armageddon had arrived.

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Why I am Pro-Life

Photo by Christine Reid

I am firmly pro-life. My opposition to abortion is not based on a careful study of the issue, although it may have begun that way. My position on abortion has been cemented by my family experience.

My wife became pregnant just a couple of months after we were married. We were very excited about the baby and we began to purchase clothes almost immediately. Not long after, we noticed the bleeding. A trip to the hospital brought the dreaded words from the doctor, “It looks like you are having a miscarriage.” As we were leaving the hospital, one of the nurses said to us, “There you go, good as new.” No we were not as good as new. We were grieving deeply. It was not just a disappointment of being delayed in growing our family. We were grieving because our child had died. We had even named our child, even though we did not know the gender. It is hard for me to understand how some parents could choose to experience something that was so devastating to us.

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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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