Politics is on everyone’s mind these days. It’s almost impossible to avoid, and why would we? As Christians we know we are citizens of another Kingdom, one we will welcome someday in its fullness. But in the meantime we are called to be good citizens here, engaged in caring for our neighbours, our communities and creation.
Our cover article in the Mar/Apr issue of Faith Today provides challenging insights from a handful of different theologians on how our faith should not — and cannot — be separated from our politics. Canadians too easily assume politics is public and faith is private, but this article is a timely reminder to avoid that mistake.
Our interview with Loren Wilkinson presents another facet of citizenship — our call to care for creation. The B.C. poet and theologian, together with his wife Mary-Ruth Wilkinson, has devoted years to opening their home on Galiano Island to students who come to visit, feast together and get their hands dirty in creation’s soil around the island.
If the coming of spring isn’t already getting you thinking about gardening around your church, you probably will be after hearing from Wilkinson — and you’ll be reminded of its spiritual importance.
Blog readers, we salute you. Thank you for paying attention and interacting with the Faith Today blog. Our intention with the blog is to provide you with even more excellent Christian journalism and thinking, to build on and expand on what you find in the pages of the print magazine. As we begin a new year of blogging, here’s a look back on the Top 10 Faith Today blog posts of 2016.
Pornography most common sexual sin of men. We invited Kirk Giles, head of Promise Keepers Canada, to write for us after he appeared in the magazine as our featured Question and Answer subject. His topic was provocative and timely.
Goodbye beautiful writer, our lovely friend. We said goodbye to Debra Fieguth, a beloved and highly experienced Canadian Christian journalist this year. The Christian writing and reading community celebrated her achievements while mourning her loss.
Memories of the Christian Brethren. Faith Today readers enjoy John Stackhouse’s great writing and challenging insights. He offered us some warm memories in this more personal piece than we usually see from him.
We know it will be messy: Trinity Western. Readers responded well to this behind the scenes look at the motivation behind Trinity Western University’s long, long struggle to have their law school students recognized across Canada.
Writing the difficult story of Gospel for Asia. In this blog we explained more about our reasons for writing an investigative piece into one of the world’s largest Christian charities. Some of our readers had wondered if we were in the muck a bit with this one — we think not, and here we explained why.
During chapel service this week at the seminary where I teach, the preacher invited students and faculty to enter into the story of Jesus calling some fisherman to leave their nets behind. “Take your shoes off,” he said. “Feel the sand and the seaweed around your ankles. Now imagine Jesus looking at you and saying, ‘Follow me!’ How do you respond?”
Being well-trained in methods of Scripture exegesis, many of the students find such an imaginative approach to be…well, unsettling. Too intimate. Too personal. Too confrontational, perhaps. Place ourselves in the narrative? they ask, eyebrows raised quizzically. Are we allowed to do that?
My characters in Sensible Shoes ask similar questions as they participate in a retreat to explore ways of deepening their relationship with God. Some of them have only ever read the Bible like a textbook: skim for main ideas and apply what you learn. But this way of reading, the retreat leader explains, does not give adequate time and space for the Word to descend from our minds to our hearts where it can penetrate and transform us. “Many people study the Bible without ever being shaped by the text. When we come to the Word with our own agenda, we put ourselves in the position of control. We may look for what we get out of it rather than ever allowing the Word to get into us. We so easily forget that reading the Word of God is meant to be a supernatural act of cooperating with the Holy Spirit. We’re meant to be listening to the Word with the ears of the heart.” (p. 102) Continue reading Sand, Seaweed and Spiritual Growth: Insights From Sensible Shoes Author→
When Faith Today asked me to submit something for this space related to “How to Read the Bible Well,” I said yes. And then I considered backing out.
The more I thought about what to write, the more I reckoned maybe I’d already said all I had to say on the subject. Part of that feeling is no doubt rooted in insecurity.
I’m no expert on reading the Bible well. I’ve read it almost my entire life, but somehow, I tell myself, if I’d been reading it well all those years, my life would be in better shape by now. I’d be some sort of super Christian today. My faith would be stronger, more resilient. My service would be more energetic and fruitful. My sins and failures would be fewer and farther between.
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.