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    The first editorial for this magazine—reprinted here—still reflects our ‘deepfelt desire.’

    Evangelist Billy Graham awoke from a dream at 2 a.m. one night in late 1953 and wrote out a plan for a new Christian magazine, from its budget to its editorial departments to its name: Christianity Today. He soon found a champion in his father-in-law, Presbyterian lay leader L. Nelson Bell, and a reluctant but prolific editor in Fuller Seminary’s star theologian, Carl F. H. Henry.

    While those men were giants in their day, this magazine was never intended as a celebrity vehicle or tribute to the past. (Graham complained that his photo appeared too many times in the first issue.) Nevertheless, we often find CT’s founding documents remarkably prescient. The anxieties and goals that occupied those leaders in 1956 remain ours in 2016, not because we’re overcome by nostalgia but because CT’s early vision was both forward-looking and based in timeless gospel passions. We are as ardent as ever in our “desire to express historical Christianity to the present generation.” Here, then, is the original founding editorial from our first issue, with some midrash.

    — Ted Olsen, Director of Editorial Development


    Christianity Today has its origin in a deepfelt desire to express historical Christianity to the present generation. Neglected, slighted, misrepresentedA popular narrative has it that evangelicals wish to recapture the dominance they had in the 1950s. The founders of CT didn’t see things that way. “As evangelicals, I am convinced that we are in the majority among both clergy and church members,” Graham said in a 1955 speech raising support for CT. “However … we are divided, confused, and in one sense defeated.” There was no evangelical ...

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    Women's Ministry Council Co-Founder is a long-time Libertarian.

    In the history of the United States, when Americans have begun to question or feel as if they are no longer represented by the political parties in place... a third party forms. It is the sign of disenfranchised people who cannot align themselves to one party or another. It is the call of those who see problems in our political system, feel the strain in our social systems, and step forward as agents of change.

    When any one of us steps out of the party lines we have grown up with, this is not without criticism and mockery. My family roots itself in generations of party loyalty. When I turned eighteen years old, my uncle asked me if I had registered to vote. When I responded that I had already mailed in my card, his next query was what party affiliation I had chosen. As the words Libertarian slipped past my lips, the look of shock on his face was something I expected. I've voted Libertarian in almost every election since. To understand why an Evangelical would support Gary Johnson, we have to begin with a basic understanding of the draw to the Libertarian Party.

    Libertarians Support the Constitution

    Not only do Libertarians support the Constitution and the rights in which it affords us as citizens of the United States, they do not seek to change the Constitution or bend it to their whim. As a Christian, I have rights. The First Amendment protects those rights. I want to side with a party that will protect my First Amendment right to freely express my religious beliefs and practices.

    Libertarians Are Fiscally Conservative

    As a die-hard Dave Ramsey fan, I believe in being fiscally responsible and a good steward with what God has entrusted me. When I review government spending, I find waste. I witness parents working hard to ...

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    An excerpt from The Broken Way

    If you only knew what fire every person is facing, there isn’t one fire you wouldn’t help fight with the heat of a greater love. The day the homeless man moved into our loft, a heat wave broke over us.

    Gordon literally had nothing the day he showed up, nothing to his name but the sun-faded T-shirt sticking to his back, emblazoned with the words, “Normal people scare me.” A mingling of alcohol and tobacco seeps from his burning pores. My brother and a buddy, they’d found him wandering down an empty back road after a court date, the tongues of his boots panting open, longing for relief. Now he stands in the shade at our back door, asking for water.

    “You got anything to drink?” he asks me.

    My brother wonders if we have some work for Gordon. Wondered if we may have a place for him, and maybe—just to start—a glass of water?

    Gordon uses the tattered edge of his T-shirt to mop this mask of sweat puddling in the etched lines of his face. A silver cross hangs around his neck on this heavy chain. Before I even think, I touch my wrist to find the small black cross I penned first thing this morning. We both have our crosses. We all have our crosses. “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss,” writes Elisabeth Elliot in These Strange Ashes.

    The sun’s losing light as it edges across the floor. I can feel the world tilting a bit, its truth slipping right out and onto the floor between Gordon and me: Why do we rush to defend God to a broken world, and not race to defend the image of God in the world’s broken? Gordon’s eyes search mine. The light’s caught in his hair. ...

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    After 20-year struggle, will new Bible society even be allowed to print Bibles?

    A restrictive majority-Muslim country is getting good news—or rather, the Good News.

    The recent registration of a Bible Society in Azerbaijan, after a 20-year fight, has brought fresh optimism to the country’s minority Christians. But there remains some confusion about the types of books it will be allowed to print, with even Bibles potentially falling foul of the country’s strict regulations.

    Terje Hartberg from United Bible Societies called it “a great development, which will start a new chapter in Bible ministry for all Christians in Azerbaijan.”

    However, all literature either printed or imported by the Bible Society will remain subject to approval by the government. Every publication is labeled with an official sticker, and distribution is only allowed at state-approved venues.

    Those who distribute any religious literature outside these strict limitations face administrative or criminal punishment, reports Forum 18, a news agency focused on religious freedom in Central Asia.

    The Old Testament and Hebrew Bible, meanwhile, remain on the list of banned books. Texts from these parts of the Bible have been confiscated in police raids, according to Forum 18.

    Asked whether the prohibition of the Old Testament in effect bans the Bible too, Forum 18’s Felix Corley told World Watch Monitor by email: “Well, you can't publish, print, import, or distribute any religious publication without prior permission from the State Committee, which will also set numbers allowed. So nothing is approved until it is approved.

    “Then it can only be distributed in a state-approved venue with a sticker from the State Committee. It appears these stickers have not been available since April. As for the Old ...

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    Both official and house churches now face bigger threat than cross removal campaign.

    This week is the last chance Chinese Christians have to tell their government what they think of its latest religion law.

    They have an awful lot to comment on.

    China released a draft of new religious restrictions in September, including the prohibition of online religious services, running religious events in schools, and organizing people to leave the country to attend religious training or conferences.

    The State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) then opened up a one-month window for responses to the 26 new rules in its Regulations on Religious Affairs. The final day for public response is Friday, October 7.

    The draft law opens with the assurance that all Chinese citizens are free to believe whatever they want and to engage in religious activity—as long as it’s within the tighter limits. One Chinese religious policy expert, who asked to remain anonymous, summed up some of what the regulations include:

    • No religious activities that are not approved by SARA.
    • No one may provide a venue for religious services that are not approved by SARA.
    • No one may use their home for religious practices that are not approved by SARA (including home or family Bible studies).
    • No publishing religious materials without approval from SARA.
    • No foreign or domestic donations may be made to any religious organization that hasn’t been approved by SARA.
    • No one may call themselves a pastor without the approval of SARA.
    • No international religious exchanges may happen without the approval of SARA.
    • No one may study theology at school without the approval of SARA.

    “As you can imagine, these amendments to the administration of religion in China by SARA would in effect leave no space for the house or unregistered church in China, and will ...

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    Archaeologists discover that Christianity existed along Silk Road long before the Russians arrived.

    A team of archaeologists uncovered seven Christian gravestones late this summer in the ancient Silk Road city of Ilyn Balik near the Kazakhstan-China border.

    The historic find is rare archaeological evidence that eastern Christianity was established along East-West trading routes hundreds of years ago, not brought in by the Russian Orthodox Church as many had believed.

    “This discovery supports the understanding of ancient Kazakhstan as a multicultural center between the East and West with Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians living among the local herdsmen and nomadic tribes,” stated Thomas Davis, a member of the field team and archaeology professor at the Tandy Institute for Archeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas.

    “[It] reinforces so much of what we already knew about the church of the East in central and eastern Asia,” said Philip Jenkins, author of The Lost History of Christianity.

    “It is strange to think that at the time those places flourished, they might have been on the same scale as the famous Christian cities of Europe,” the Baylor University history professor told CT. “There is nothing new in the world except the history we have forgotten.”

    Kazakh evangelicals hailed the discovery. “Nobody can tell me that I don’t have Christian roots,” one believer told the Tandy Institute.

    “It proves that Christianity was present here in Kazakhstan before Islam,” said a prominent Kazakh pastor who requested anonymity.

    “It is a door opening for evangelism and talking about Jesus,” he told CT. “History tells me what my fathers believed, as we as a nation consider what we should believe. God is going ...

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    Our culture loves youth and fears age. Here’s what faith has to say.

    As I approached my 30th birthday, my cousin assured me, “You’ll be fine.”

    My dad said, “You’re not even in the game yet!”

    My friend said, “It’s actually kind of nice.”

    I didn’t believe any of them. Hitting my third decade was definitely going to make me feel old.

    I’m hardly alone in feeling stigmatized. Like many of my peers, I grew up watching the TV show Friends and vividly recall “The One Where They All Turn 30” in which each character, on their birthday, crumbles in disgrace over their lost youth. Friends epitomized the rising cultural belief that life is best lived by the young and beautiful. Shows like New Girl, Gossip Girl, and How I Met Your Mother have since followed suit. They adhere to the Friends standard by depicting groups of independent young people who seem neither to age nor require mentors of any kind.

    In this cultural milieu, some of us predictably panic at the prospect of exchanging the “good years” for the “inevitable” deterioration and obsoleteness of aging. Some of us attempt to slow down time, like those 57 percent of millennials who use anti-aging products daily, or those Americans who last year spent $400 billion on beauty products and an unprecedented $13.5 billion on aesthetic plastic surgery.

    Meanwhile, the professional sphere isn’t helping. “This is the time to be young and ambitious,” Forbes wrote in an introduction to their “30 Under 30 list.” “Never before has youth been such an advantage.” Statements like these convey a twisted message to young adults: If you’re not on the list, you’ve already failed. As blogger Maude Standish wrote, “A ...

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    Editor-in-Chief of Christ and Pop Culture wants to lay a foundation for a future conservative party

    I support Evan McMullin’s campaign for President. For the first time in my life, I even donated to a political campaign, and I did so knowing that McMullin would almost certainly not win, or even come close to it.

    I have been informed by many concerned citizens that I am throwing my vote away, or voting for Trump by not voting for Clinton, or voting for Clinton by not voting for Trump. Others have accused me of being too elitist to vote for Trump, as if voting for McMullin were merely a way to ease my conscience or feel morally superior.

    The truth is I support McMullin for President because I believe that doing so is the best chance we have for cultivating an influential, vibrant conservative party that promotes human flourishing and defends life into the future.

    I’ve come to this position begrudgingly, but driven by a few principles.

    One is that it is possible for a candidate to be so unacceptable that they do not deserve our vote regardless of how bad the other major candidate is. The minimum standard is opposed to the more popular, pragmatic idea that the acceptability of a candidate is relative to who they’re running against.

    It is not that I believe in only voting for perfect candidates, or even only for good ones. My objection is to the idea that I must vote for one of two candidates when I believe either will be profoundly harmful to my neighbor. When an election has come to this point, the answer is not to “hold my nose and vote,” as I have been admonished to do. It requires a drastic action that calls attention to the political and societal rot that brought us here and advocates for a new way forward. And I believe the best action in this situation is to vote and advocate for Evan McMullin. ...

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    That's the power of 'The Station Agent.'

    You try walking across Seattle alone. At night. Barefoot.

    My college roommate did all the time. I didn't understand it, just as I didn’t understand his quiet demeanor, his watchfulness from the edges, or his aversion to typical college-life distractions. His after-dark disappearances intrigued me. So I took to walking with him. I wore hiking boots, and still I struggled to match his incredible stride. As I did, my own pace—in walking and in living—permanently changed. I came to value the rewards of adventures off the beaten path, of being quiet in good company. And I found a compassionate friend.

    I think of Michael when I watch Tom McCarthy’s large-hearted 2003 comedy The Station Agent.

    And I watch it frequently. I see myself in Joe: the talkative food-truck barista (Bobby Cannavale) who sets up shop next to an obsolete train depot in Middle-of-Nowhere, New Jersey. I think of Michael when I watch Fin (Peter Dinklage): a soft-spoken loner who moves into that depot for the solitude, and who eventually surrenders, accepting Joe’s gregarious, uninvited companionship.

    It’s remarkable: Watch how Joe and Fin, like an oversized puppy playing with Grumpy Cat, become complementary. Watch how they transform one other through the simple, shared experience of long walks and short silences.

    How might the world be changed if we went strolling, in quiet attentiveness, with those we would rather avoid?

    My comparison of my roommate and Fin only goes so far. I don’t know where Michael’s quiet nature came from, but it’s obvious what made Fin so disinclined to talk with anybody: He’s been mocked, abused, and avoided for his dwarfism. He has every reason to withdraw from society, to forget ...

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    Peer-reviewed research intensifies parenting debates… and can leave us even more confused.

    In the shifting battle lines of the mommy wars, scientific studies have become an increasingly common weapon. Research gets employed by both sides and on nearly every issue. Whether breast-feeders versus formula-feeders, anti-vaxxers verses vaccine advocates, or a range of other issues, parents rely on a wave of child development scholarship to defend their positions—and often add fuel to the fire.

    We have the Internet to thank, mostly. Young moms have all done it. We Googled our parenting questions or relied on information posted by our friends on Facebook. According to a Pew Research report, 66 percent of mothers and 48 percent of fathers say they have found useful parenting information on social media. About a third said they asked a parenting question of their social network sometime in the last month.

    Reflecting on her first six years of parenting, Jennifer Richler writes on The New York Times blog Motherlode: “Google was my parenting manual and my What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

    With all that searching, scientific studies and claims ranging from shoddy to sound inevitably appear in the results. A simple query generates everything from data gathered at the Center for Disease Control to industry-funded organizations to grassroots websites and mommy blogs, all citing peer-reviewed studies and quoting doctors. For each study claiming to be evidence supporting one thing, there’s another study on the other side.

    Discerning pseudo-science from bona fide science takes some work and forces us to realize that research isn’t as straightforward as we might hope. Along with the rest of a generation of Googling parents, Christian mommas seeking wisdom for the right strategies for raising healthy ...

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    Professor of New Testament Studies articulates the dilemma many Christians face in this election cycle

    Many Christians have it right.

    There is a real dilemma for their vote in this election. The choice we have before us is no real option. It is like choosing between facing a tornado rolling through your home or a hurricane. Both will do real damage in different ways. The only possible check on this regrettable situation involves the considered selection of legislators put around the poor choice the nation faces. Our votes for other offices now count for more.

    The dilemma we face is one we have given ourselves. Our votes created our choices. We have opted for decades to step back from reflection on character, teaching our children the skills and economics of life but not judgment, discernment, and wisdom. A soulless child rearing produces what we face today.

    T.S. Eliot spoke of hollow men, people without chests, without souls. So we get what we pay for at the ballot box. We will not get a mulligan on our choice now, but we can prepare to do better next time.

    Some will argue that one choice now is a must because of future Supreme Court justices, choices that will last decades in their significance. This is the best argument one side has. It is worth serious consideration, giving me more than one night's pause, especially when the argument comes from friends whose judgment I respect. But further reflection makes me wonder if that argument is good enough.

    Consider what comes with the red pill in this current configuration. Most acknowledge he is a candidate who lacks character. He never admits to a wrong, breeds hate, speaks against women, Hispanics, people who are different from him, and advocates violence as a solution to many problems.

    Every time I read the Scripture, those are not the values I see my Lord advocating. Christ ...

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    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday hired a veteran attorney who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment process as the White House shifted to a more aggressive approach to a special counsel investigation that has reached a critical stage....
    LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Las Vegas officers busted into a hotel room where a gunman unleashed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history and found assault-style weapons scattered around the room, according to police body-camera video released Wednesday....
    PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (AP) -- A crew of nine Puerto Ricans were flying an Air National Guard C-130 into retirement in Arizona when it crashed onto a highway in Georgia on Wednesday, and authorities said there are no survivors....
    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:...
    SEATTLE (AP) -- Amazon has halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its headquarters while it awaits the outcome of a Seattle city proposal to tax worker hours....
    TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) -- Tension between the Mexican government and Central American asylum seekers simmered Wednesday as men, women and children camped in a large plaza for a fourth straight day waiting for U.S. inspectors to process their claims....
    PHOENIX (AP) -- Striking Arizona teachers who won a big pay increase but came up substantially short of achieving their demands for more school funding flooded the Arizona Capitol for a fifth day Wednesday hoping it will be the last they are out of their classrooms....
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Two black men arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the world's biggest coffee-shop chain Wednesday for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education....
    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican legislators sent Iowa's governor a bill early Wednesday that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy, propelling the state overnight to the front of a push among conservative statehouses jockeying to enact the nation's most restrictive regulations on the procedure....
    NEW YORK (AP) -- For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America's flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change....
    Prayers Against Disasters
    Prayer for help in the midst of any natural or man-made storm or disaster
    The following is an excerpt from "Prayers that Avail Much", by Germaine Copeland, Harrison House, titled #119, Page 433 Protection and Deliverance of a city.

    Father, in the name of Jesus, we have received your power - ability, efficiency, and might - because the Holy Spirit has come upon us; and we are Your witnesses in _____ and to the ends _____ the very bounds of the earth.

    We fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in good time for every need - appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we in the city of _____ need it.

    Father thank You for sending forth Your commandments to the earth; Your Word continues to grow and spread.

    Father, we seek - inquire for, require and request - the peace and welfare of _____ in which You have caused us to live. We pray to You for the welfare of this city and do our part by getting involved in it. We will not let [false] prophets and diviners who are in our midst deceive us; we pay no attention and attach no significance to our dreams which we dream, or to theirs. Destroy their schemes], O Lord; confuse their tongues; for we have seen violence and strife in the city.

    Holy Spirit, we ask You to visit our city and open the eyes of the people, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Jesus.

    Father, we pray for deliverance and salvation for those who are following the course and fashion of this world - who are under the sway of the tendency of this present age - following the prince of the power of the air.

    Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

    Father, You see the regional and cultural strongholds that would hinder the Gospel. You have told us to declare Your works. So we say boldly that the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world who blinds the unbelievers' minds (that they should not discern the truth) is a defeated foe. We declare on the authority of Your Word that You have disarmed the powers and authorities; You made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross. Thank You, Father, for the spreading of the Gospel.

    Thank You, Father, for the guardian angels assigned to this place who war for us in the heavenlies.

    In the name of Jesus, we stand victorious over the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places over _____.

    We ask the Holy Spirit to sweep through the gates of our city and convince the people and bring demonstration to them about sin and about righteousness - uprightness of heart and right standing with God - and about judgment.

    Father, You said, For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you... thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome (Jer 29:11 AMP). By the blessing of the influence of the upright and God's favor [because of them] the city of _____ is exalted. Amen.

    Scripture References (All in Amplified Version):
    Acts 1:8, & 26:18; Luke 23:34a; Heb 4:16; II Cor 4:4; Psalm 147:15, & 101:8, & 55:9; Eph 6:12, & 2:2; Acts 12:24; Jer 29:7-8, & 29:11; John 16:8; Prov 11:11.