Evangelical Christians are exiles living in an ungodly pagan culture described as a modern-day Babylon (Kinnaman, 2016, p.253). They resound with Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, who once described the challenge of the human condition as the dilemma of fish in water. Their only experience is life in water therefore they do not even understand that they are wet. This condition is also an apt description of many American Christians. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, speaking of this cultural milieu affirms that we are indeed Aristotle’s fish and says that, “We are swimming in one of the most complex and challenging cultural contexts ever experienced by the Christian church” (Mohler, 2011, p.xv). Distilling our faith down to love for God and love for people, he explains that “We must first understand our culture and its challenges because we are to be faithful followers of Christ and faithful witnesses to the gospel” (Mohler, xvii). This faithfulness ought to be demonstrated in thinking deeply about the critical issues of our day and responding faithfully out of our love for the One who loved us first and gave Himself for us (Eph 5:2; I John 4:19). Out of the overflow of the love of God in our hearts, we are also called to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mat 22:37-39; Rom 13:9-10). This love for the people composing our communities is demonstrated when “we care about marriage, sexuality, children, the dignity of human life, and a host of related issues” (Mohler, xviii). Good faith Christians must therefore faithfully seek the peace of the city by upholding a firm evangelical center yet soft practical edge, standing with the church as the pillar and ground of doctrinal truth, trusting Almighty God to bring His promises to pass in His time, and cultivating old-fashioned Christian graces while living in exile as ambassadors of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Firm Center, Soft Edges
Authors, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, present a sound case for this paradigm as they rightly affirm that “good faith Christians are grounded in Scripture and practice the art of seeing people” (Kinnaman, 2016, p.219). Living good faith means that believers understand the importance of Biblical authority, doctrinal integrity, theological consistency along with a heart for practical application that is translated into a perspective of faith that sees people as precious souls for whom the royal blood of Christ was shed (Acts 26:18; Col 1:13-14).
Decline of Legacy Christians
Cutting-edge research from Barna is showing that those who self-identify themselves as Christian is rapidly decreasing with each successive generation (Kinnaman, p.223-224). These are defined as “people who select ‘Christian’ from a list of religious affiliations” (Kinnaman, p.278). This is certainly cause for alarm because God’s heart has always been for His people to faithfully transmit His truth from one generation to another (Deut 6:4-9; Ps 78:1-8). Yet at the same time, “the nominal Christian middle where people play church” is evaporating, writes Jonathan Morrow of the Impact 360 Institute (McDowell, 2016, p.184). This “is “actually a really good thing” because it forces believers of good faith to personal ownership of the truth and engage culture accordingly (McDowell, p.184).
Memorial Stones Forgotten. It is fascinating to note that after the Lord miraculously stopped the Jordan River so that Joshua could lead the children of Israel across and into the promised land of Canaan that He instructed the men to set up a group of twelve memorial stones in order to commemorate this historic event for the sake of their posterity (Josh 4:19-24). The horrifying reality settles in when this narrative is contrasted with the account in Judges where it is recorded that just a generation later that “another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel” (Jud 2:7-13). What the Lord had intended to be a multi-generational legacy of faithfulness was unfortunately short-circuited when the torch of faith was not successfully passed on to the next.
Departure of Young People. David Kinnaman speaks to this issue in his timely work, “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith”, where he documents how “millions of young adults leave active involvement in church as they exit their teen years” with some of them never to return while others do (Kinnaman, 2011, p.19). The decline of legacy Christians can also be seen as a good thing because genuine Christian faith is not simply the result of selecting “Christian” from a religious a la carte menu. It is not surprising that such a superficial façade is not sustainable any longer in the current cultural context of a modern-day Babylon.
Biblical Authority Questioned
Evangelical fundamentalism is rooted in a firm allegiance to the Bible as the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God (Smith, 2014, p.39, 53). Kinnaman notes that “widespread skepticism” is a significant trend evidenced in “an increasing percentage of Americans who say the Bible is just another book written by men, not the inspired Word of God” (Kinnaman, 2016, p.225-226). Morrow affirms this by poignantly saying that we no longer live in a “the Bible says so” world because “the Bible may be special and have sentimental value, but it is no longer considered unique, authoritative, and true” (McDowell, 2016, p.183). This disbelief in the Bible is really an affirmation of human autonomy as the philosophical product of 18th century enlightenment rationalism which fed right into 19th century modernism. David Smith notes that while enlightenment scholars acknowledged God as Creator to some degree, “they rejected the idea that he would intervene in the natural order with a special revelation. Nor was such a revelation really needed, for their view was that the human mind had not been badly contaminated by sin and that human reason was sufficient to determine ultimate truth” (Smith, 2014, p.6). If the Bible is not the Word of God, then it is not the first and final authority for doctrinal matters of orthodoxy and practical issues of orthopraxy. This trend is absolutely devastating to Christian faith “because reduced trust in the Bible has the same impact as removing the foundation from under a building. Everything starts to crumble” (Kinnaman, p.226). God’s Word affirms this reality, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 112:2 NKJV).
Bible vs. Science. Jettisoning belief in the Bible as the Word of God has been the diabolical agenda of an assault launched against its foundation namely the book of beginnings which records the origin of all things by the Creator Himself, namely Genesis. “It is true that the literal events of Genesis are foundational to all doctrine” because “ultimately, every single biblical doctrine of theology, directly or indirectly, is founded in the historical account given in Genesis 1-11” (Ham, 2009, p.102). Biblical authority has been undermined by generations of autonomous human reason being indoctrinated into the hearts and minds of the young people through evolutionary philosophy. Speaking of the foundational nature of Genesis, Ham notes that “if one undermines this history, or reinterprets it, or tries to claim it is myth or symbolic, then one undermines the foundation of the rest of the Bible, including the gospel” (Ham, p.102). In “You Lost Me”, David Kinnaman cites the perceived dichotomy between Christian faith and science as a contributing factor to the departure of young people from the church, “Millions of young Christians perceive Christianity to be in opposition to modern science” (Kinnaman, 2011, p.131). The Bible is certainly not antithetical to science as many of the founders of our modern scientific disciplines like Sir Isaac Newton were devout believers in Christ and the Word of God (Kinnaman, p.146-147). Unfortunately, science is oftentimes equated as being synonymous with Darwinian naturalism. In light of this, several years ago, Answers in Genesis, the world’s largest apologetics ministry, hired America’s Research Group to conduct a major survey in order to collect data on the mass exodus of young people from the church. This work was extensively documented in Ken Ham’s, “Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do to Stop It.” This research indicates that evolutionary philosophy whose deep time scale is antithetical to Scripture is a primary factor contributing to the departure of 2/3 of young people (who grew up in conservative churches) from the faith and a jettisoning of the Bible as the Word of God (Gen 1:31; Ex 20:11; Mat 19:4-5) (Ham, 2009, p.167-180).
Skeptical Questions Answered. Every generation is responsible to intentionally transmit the torch of faith to the next by cultivating a comprehensive Biblical worldview. This is an understanding that the Bible is our starting point for making sense of everything in life and the lens through which we view the world as it is as well as what it ought to be. The late Chuck Colson explains this paradigm in his magnum opus, “How Now Shall We Live?”, by unfolding the reality of what genuine Christianity is in being “more than a relationship with Jesus, as expressed in personal piety, church attendance, Bible study, and works of charity. It is more than discipleship, more than believing a system of doctrines about God. Genuine Christianity is a way of seeing and comprehending all reality. It is a worldview” (Colson, 1999, p.15). This worldview includes interpreting science through the lens of Scripture and not vice versa. Every generation must be raised to know what they believe, why they believe it, and also know how to give intelligent answers to the skeptical questions of the day in an exiled context of a culture that is increasingly hostile to Biblical Christianity. Philosophies, falsehoods, traditions, and “base-line cultural narratives” that are not in captivity to the obedience of Christ and the absolute authority of the Word of God are strongholds that must be demolished and eradicated from the worldview of the next generation (II Cor 10:3-5; Col 2:6-10) (Keller, 2015, p.129).
Seeing People as Precious
“When we have soft edges and firm centers, we can see people Jesus dearly loves” (Kinnaman, 2016, p.232). The author recounts an opportunity he had along with some 150 others to preview Oprah Winfrey’s television miniseries called Belief on the diverse spiritual lives of people worldwide (Kinnaman, p.229). Afterwards while enjoying an exquisite experience of culinary excellence at her home in Santa Barbara, he tells of her making the rounds at the many tables of the spectacular outdoor veranda and describes how “an image of he saw her as a ten-year-old popped into my head—a little girl longing to do good in the world” and he at that time saw her as “a woman created in God’s image, dearly loved by her Creator, and hungry to know him” (Kinnaman, p.231). God’s Word affirms the sanctity of human life when it teaches that men, women, boys, and girls among all nations worldwide are uniquely created in the image of God and therefore have inherent value, dignity, and inestimable worth as precious souls (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 8:6-8; 139:13-16). Just as our Savior “practiced the sacred art of seeing people” as precious souls, good faith Christians “lead the way when we have confidence in what we believe and practice seeing those who believe differently” (Kinnaman, p.232-233).
Church in a Brave New World
This brave new world of a modern-day Babylon where evangelical Christians have been exiled as Christ’s ambassadors is a secular yet spiritually pagan culture that is increasingly hostile to the exclusive truth claims of Biblical Christianity. A case in point example of this is the vitriolic rhetoric of Spencer Fildes, chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, in response to an article published in a Dundee newspaper titled, “Faith in Scotland Offers Hope to Christian Group”, which detailed some of Barna’s recent research (Kinnaman, p.236). Despite the antagonism of our culture, good faith Christians must understand that the Body of Christ as the pillar and ground of doctrinal truth is by definition a counterculture led by Spirit-filled leaders who have been commissioned to herald the message of our Head, Master, and King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Growing Inward & Facing Outward
Local churches are called by God to embrace both dynamics as Scripture teaches a “both-and” paradigm rather than an “either-or.” Churches composed of good faith Christians “are called to hold these two in tandem, to live in the necessary, perpetual tension between knitting together a community of disciples and going out to bless the world” (Kinnaman, p.238). Growing inward spiritually is foundational to facing outward to engage our communities for Christ as “we must cultivate the health of our church and our souls” (Kinnaman, p.243). The Biblical precedent is that we cannot build high apart from being rooted and growing deep into the fertile soil of the Word of God (Col 2:7). From this doctrinal foundation, we understand who God is and who He has made us “in Christ” which empowers us by His Spirit to boldly proclaim this reality in the public arena to the praise of His glory (Col 1:27-29). Facing outward should be holistic as “it is also disarmingly powerful when churches serve their communities in unexpected ways” (Kinnaman, p.239).
The Way of the Third Fool. Oxford scholar, Dr. Os Guiness speaks to the importance of facing outward in “Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion” when he notes that as evangelicals “we can see things as they are; we also know the way things ought to be, and sometimes the difference makes us laugh and sometimes it makes us cry” (Guinness, 2015, p.75). It is through the lens of a comprehensive Christian worldview rooted in Scripture that we see people in the categories of what Guinness describes as the “Three Fools.” First of all, those who reject all forms of reverential fear of who God is and live as practical atheists are to be regarded as “the fool proper” (Ps 14:1) (Guinness, p.66). The second type of Biblical fool “is the fool bearer, the person who is not actually a fool at all, but who is prepared to be seen and treated as a fool—the ‘fool for Christ’s sake’” (Guinness, p.67). Finally, the third type of fool in the Bible is “the fool maker” who in this case is God Himself who made Christ the supreme fool bearer as the ultimate object of man’s mockery and scorn as He became sin and bore the Father’s undiluted wrath (II Cor 5:21) (Guinness, p.72). As a result of growing inward, may we be faithful to reach outward and gladly bear the label of “fools for Christ’s sake” as “the filth of the world, the offsouring of all things” along with our Savior who was “despised and rejected” as “a Man of sorrows” Himself (I Cor 4:10,13; Is 53:3).
Comfort the Afflicted & Afflict the Comfortable
This old adage “is a decent summary of the prophetic authority inherent in a pastoral calling” (Kinnaman, p.248). Apostle Paul’s last will and testament bequeathed to his protégé in the faith, Timothy, is found in his second epistle to this young pastor. Therein, he charges the youth to consider his accountability before God to be faithful in discharging his duty as an under-shepherd in the Savior’s service. His exhortation is to “preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (II Tim 4:2). He goes on to explain that there will come a time when people “will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Tim 4:3-4). Regardless of the circumstances, God’s mandate upon the lives of pastoral leadership stands as they have been entrusted with a stewardship responsibility before the Almighty to preach “Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” and the Word of God according to the dispensational hermeneutic of “rightly dividing the word of truth” (Rom 16:25; I Cor 9:16-17; II Tim 1:13-14; 2:15 cf. Is 61:1-2; Lk 4:16-21).
Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. Dr. Tim Keller of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church describes three levels of Word ministry communication which are complimentary to one another as we endeavor to be good faith Christians in a modern-day Babylonian exile. He says that all believers in Christ ought “to understand the message of the Bible well enough to explain and apply it to other Christians and to his neighbors in informal and personal settings (level 1)” (Keller, 2015, p.4). Level 2 communication is also a very organic form which “may include writing, blogging, teaching classes and small groups, mentoring, moderating open discussion forums on issues of faith, and so on” (Keller, p.4). Level 3 is, of course, “the public preaching of Christ in the Christian assembly” which sets up opportunity for the first two levels while “the skilled and faithful communication at levels 1 and 2 prepares people to be receptive to preaching” (Keller, p.7). David Kinnaman emphasizes that Christian leaders are teachers to the world and says that “pastors are ambassadors and guides to the good faith way of life” (Kinnaman, 2016, p.246). Intelligently articulating the Christian faith in a fashion that is winsome is the responsibility of every believer and not just pastors, “that’s why we must relearn the sacred art of meaningful, spiritual conversations that point people to Jesus” (Kinnaman, p.241).
Communicating Shalom in an Age of Hostility. Communications expert, Dr. Quentin J. Schultze, describes this kind of communication as that which “enables us all to cocreate the kind of culture that celebrates shalom” (Schultze, 2000, p.30). This intangible dynamic is said to be “an ancient Hebrew word that suggests the presence of God in our everyday relationships” (Schultze, p.26). This paradigm was exemplified in Paul’s ministry among the saints at Thessalonica as described in this touching passage, “So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us” (I Thes 2:8).
Church & Family as a Counterculture
Pillar & Ground of Truth. God has divinely ordained His Church as “the pillar and ground of the truth” vested in the gospel of His grace in Christ Jesus (I Tim 3:15). With this high calling, local churches are not only to be countercultural catalysts toward positive change in the public arena but as theologian Rober Lewis Wilken writes, “The Church is a culture in its own right. Christ does not simply infiltrate a culture; Christ creates culture by forming another city, another sovereignty with its own social and political life” (Kinnaman, p.249-250). This distinct culture is demonstrated through 1. Our commitment to Christ and the Word of God, 2. Our commitment to one another in the Body of Christ, 3. Our lifestyle of countercultural rhythms of work, play, and worship, 4. Our management of digital technology in valuing relationships and real people, and 5. Our stewardship of life as a calling from God (Kinnaman, p.250). Genuine Christianity really is an entire world and life view through which we understand all reality (Colson, 1999, p.15). New York Times bestselling author and president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, Dr. David Platt, emphasizes countercultural living for the sake of the gospel which he describes as “the lifeblood of Christianity, and it provides the foundation for countering culture” (Platt, 2015, p.1). In rejecting the priorities, pursuits, and passions of the world, he says that it is the gospel that “not only compels Christians to confront social issues in the culture around us. The gospel actually creates confrontation with the culture around—and within—us” (Platt, p.1). Local churches everywhere ought to indeed be countercultures and “shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Phil 2:15-16).
Distinct Christian Family Culture. Good faith Christians living as exiles in a modern-day Babylon ought to be very deliberate in “forming communities and institutions (churches, schools, networks) that remain at a distance from mainstream culture” (Kinnaman, 2016, p.251). These distinct environments beginning in the home are “to be spaces where holy and righteous living are modeled, practiced, and taught in order to prepare our children to follow Jesus and engage the wider world” (Kinnaman, p.251). Parents must prioritize the discipleship of their children beginning with the inculcation of Godly character and demonstrating themselves what this looks like through Christ-like conduct by honoring the Lord in our actions and attitudes. The Word of God provides a beautiful picture of this intentional transmission of truth in Deuteronomy where the Lord instructed Hebrew fathers (and mothers) to hear and heed within the context of a distinct family culture (Deut 6:4-9 cf. Ps 78:1-8; Eph 6:4). In challenging Christian parents to not abdicate their responsibility, Ken Ham pleads them to understand that “regardless of what’s happening in the Sunday school, youth groups, pulpit, and Bible studies of your church, the responsibility for ministry to our kids has never been removed from parents” (Ham, 2009, p.50). One of the most practical vehicles to facilitate this kind of life-on-life discipleship is home-based parent-led education otherwise known as homeschooling. May good faith Christians indeed be the Church in a brave new world for the glory of another vested in our Sovereign King and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 11:36; I Tim 1:17).
Faithful in Exile
The modern-day Babylonian exile experienced by faithful Christians who are doctrinally sound, theologically consistent, and culturally savvy in their application of a comprehensive Biblical worldview is a tremendous opportunity for good faith. These believers understand their identity as ambassadors for Christ in a foreign land that was formerly their home and are faithful in this exiled state through confidence in God’s power and purposes to bring His promises to pass in His perfect timing according to the eternal counsel of His will.
Cause for Hope-Filled Rejoicing
With this kind of backdrop, it would be very easy to be filled with an utter sense of despair and despondence thinking that there is absolutely no hope for seeing positive change. The authors certainly have not given up hope but are rather “more hopeful about the future of the Christian community, even in this most complicated and accelerated of contexts” (Kinnaman, 2016, p.255). Irrelevant and extreme is how the world labels Christians who bring their faith out into the public arena and this is also how they can oftentimes feel (Kinnaman, p.262). Despite this sentiment, good faith Christians have cause for hope-filled rejoicing because “embracing the exile metaphor means that we retain at least two theological views: that God is sovereign and that God has plans for his people” (Kinnaman, p.256).
Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones. This 6th century B.C. Levitical priest and Hebrew prophet of Yahweh received bizarre visions and revelations from the Lord while exiled himself in Babylon along with the rest of the nation of the Jews. In chapter 37 of his prophecy, the Holy Spirit inspired account records the Lord’s instructions to him regarding the valley of dry bones representing the whole house of Israel. Any hope for the bones to live was completely absent but the agency of hope for them to do so was in Ezekiel’s call to preach the word of the Lord in submission to Holy Spirit power. When the impossible and miraculous transpired at the hands of an unlimited God, the resurrected army served as a living demonstration of God’s power to restore His covenant promises to Israel vested in the prophesied millennial kingdom of heaven to be established on earth by Yahweh’s anointed one, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Ez 37:1-14). The author’s so winsomely said that, “When we maintain the belief that God knows where all this is headed—toward his ends and purposes—we don’t have to worry about the direction of culture. We just need to be faithful to God and to his calling” (Kinnaman, p.256).
Good Faith in Exile
Another exiled prophet of God, Daniel, demonstrated what good faith looks like in practical reality. The authors calculate the formula of engaging culture with good faith as an equation: “love + believe + live” (Kinnaman, p.232). Love is described as a combination of the power of actions, language, and respect which Daniel understood as he “was confident and assertive but delivered the bad news with utmost respect” (Kinnaman, p.258). Believe is a dependence on the power of God and His truth to make a relevant difference in a hostile culture which Daniel exemplified (Kinnaman, p.259). Live is a stewardship vision for the power of vocation as a calling from God which Daniel embodied as the “secretary of state for one of the most pagan civilizations in human history” (Kinnaman, p.260). Regardless of the circumstances, “the Christian community is called to be a counterculture for the common good” in every arena of life (Kinnaman, p.261). This is living good faith in a world that is desperately in need of the spiritual health, healing, and wholeness which the gospel produces in life beginning right at home in our marriage, family, and friendships.
Marriage, Family, & Friendships
Good faith Christians understand the power of home and intentionally engage the needs of their communities with hearts full of ministry-driven compassion through such things like cultivating the old-fashioned Christian grace of hospitality.
Cycles of Poverty & Drug Addiction
Our society has experienced a dramatic increase in drug addictions in tandem with a generational cycle of poverty. The economically underprivileged and trapped often feel as if they have nowhere else to go in coping with the challenges of life than substance abuse. Such highly addictive drugs like heroin are not only remarkably accessible them but incredibly inexpensive. All this forms a diabolically insidious web of deception that enslaves their bodies and ensnares their souls in a hopeless pit. Sadly, overdose deaths are rampant and the criminal justice system is perplexed as to how best to help people on the road to recovery.
Adams County Drug Treatment Court. Last summer, our county’s judge approached me at the County Fair to inquire about my interest in serving as the clergy representative on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC). After prayer consideration, my wife and I agreed that this would be a positive opportunity to make a difference in our community by being involved with other leaders and professionals with a vested interest in people’s well-being. This entity was originally formed to facilitate the coordination of the various criminal justice services involved in the Adams County Drug Treatment Court. The CJCC is composed of such individuals like the county judge, district attorney, public defender, county sheriff, clerk of courts, director of health and human service, and superintendent of the school district. Interestingly enough, their struggles directly parallel the statistics of our county being one of the least churched counties in the state of Wisconsin. For example, the struggle facing many on the road to recovery is that they do not have a safe and healthy place to live apart from being surrounded by addictive substances. These same people also do not have any healthy influences in their lives in the form of morally responsible adults who are holding down a job. The fact that our local government is asking for help with housing these individuals and also providing them with mentors in healthy living is a ripe opportunity for good faith (Mat 24:34-46; Tit 2:11-14). Just as Darren Patrick of the Journey Church in St. Louis and the Acts 29 Church Planting Network affirms, it is my prayer that we can “be a blessing to the city” by seeking its spiritual, economic, and social welfare (Patrick, 2010, p.232-233).
Cultivating the Grace of Hospitality
Gabe Lyons recounts a beautiful experience his family enjoyed in being blessed to partake of the old-fashioned grace of hospitality at the home of the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty fame (Kinnaman, p.137). He speaks of the dynamic power of the ambiance of home consisting of great Cajun food and robust conversation (Kinnaman, p.137). Describing the latter, he says that “one way to practice hospitality is to express interest in others” because “it is easy to talk about yourself” but “asking more questions than you are asked in your conversations” expresses a genuine interest in the well-being of others by investing in their lives in this way (Kinnaman, p.136). The parallels to needs of the Adams Country Drug Treatment Court are manifold. Scripture speaks of the intangible dynamic of the power of Christian family culture as “through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Pr 24:3-4). Good faith understands the value of home and deliberately shares it with those in need of practical help for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
As exiles living in a modern-day Babylon, Christians must by all means faithfully seek the peace of the city by doing these things as empowered by the Spirit of God for renewal one heart and life at a time. Good faith upholds a firm evangelical center yet soft practical edge in seeing people as precious souls. It also stands with the church as the pillar and ground of doctrinal truth and trusts in a sovereign God to bring His promises to pass in His time. Finally, good faith cultivates the old-fashioned graces of hospitality wielding the power of home, family, and friendships as exiled ambassadors of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.
References and Bibliography
Colson, C. and Pearcey, N. (1999) How Now Shall We Live? Wheaton, IL: Tyndale
Guinness, Os (2015) Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
Ham, Ken (2009) Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop It. Green Forest, AR: Master Books
Keller, T (2015) Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. New York, NY: Viking
Kinnaman, D. and Lyons, G. (2016) Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
Kinnaman, D. (2011) You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
McDowell, S (Ed.) (2016) A New Kind of Apologist. Eugene, OR: Harvest House
Mohler, Jr., R.Albert (2011) Culture Shift. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books
Patrick, D. (2010) Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission. Wheaton, IL Crossway
Platt, D. (2015) Counter Culture. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale
Schultze, Q (2000) Communicating for Life: Christian Stewardship in Community and Media. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic
Smith, D.L. (2014) Theologies of the 21st Century: Trends in Contemporary Theology. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock
*Written 1/16/2018 for THE 540, “Contemporary Theological Perspectives” with Dr. Matthew J. Loverin in Grace Bible College’s MA-MIN Graduate Studies Program.