Feb

20

2014

Collin Hansen|12:05 AM CT

Battle of Science vs. Religion: Necessary or Evil?

Red vs. Blue. Alabama vs. Auburn. Ford vs. Chevy. Two rivals enter the arena. Only one rival will leave victorious.

church-history-volume-two-from-pre-reformation-to-the-present-day-the-rise-and-growth-of-the-church-in-its-cultural-intellectual-and-political-context_7314_500Heated though these rivalries may be, they don't compare to the winner-take-all struggle for the soul of the West. Science vs. Religion dictates our debates and defines our times. The closely watched debate on the origins of life between Ken Ham and Bill Nye confirmed this adversarial narrative. As did a recent essay in the New Yorker, in which Adam Gopnik observed, "Surprisingly few people who have considered the alternatives—few among the caucus who consciously stand up, voting aye or nay—believe any longer in God." Writing in his widely influential book A Secular Age, the eminent philosopher Charles Taylor argues that Science is winning the argument against Religion not primarily on the facts so much as the intuition: would you rather...

 
 
 
 

Dec

30

2013

Collin Hansen|12:01 AM CT

Editor's Choice: The Best of 2013

When I tell people I work for The Gospel Coalition, they almost always ask me if that's a full-time job. I don't think they intend to insult me. They just don't know what we do.

That's fair, because sometimes I lose track of everything we're planning and preparing. It's a good idea, then, to spend some time at the end of the year to reflect on how we've seen God at work through our daily editorial content, international outreach, national and regional conferences, print publishing, and special projects. We have a great staff and team of teachers who contribute their considerable time and talent to serve Christians by producing and promoting gospel-centered resources.

Songs for the Book of LukeThis year we followed up our Spanish outreach by collaborating with a sharp, ambitious team to launch a French site. Look for many more translations...

 
 
 
 

Dec

19

2013

Collin Hansen|12:15 AM CT

My Top 10 Theology Stories of 2013

The only thing I know about your reaction to this list of top 10 theology stories is that you won't agree. Maybe partially, but not entirely. And that's okay. None of us sees the full picture from God's perspective. In five years we may not be talking about any of these events and trends (see what I mean by reviewing my lists from 2008200920102011, and 2012). Actually, you've probably already forgotten a number of entries on this year's list!

Yet before we turn to 2014, it can be encouraging or at least instructive to take stock of the last 12 months. Perspective is a rare gift in our social media age. If you fasted from Twitter and Facebook this year or traveled overseas then you know what I mean. The controversies that consume so much time and energy in the United States suddenly appear petty or at...

 
 
 
 

Dec

10

2013

Collin Hansen|12:05 AM CT

Keith Getty on What Makes 'In Christ Alone' Accepted and Contested

Last summer the modern hymn "In Christ Alone" made headlines for its lyrical references to the wrath of God and atonement theology. A hymn committee with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) wanted to add the song to their new hymnal, Glory to God, released this fall. But in doing so, the committee requested permission from the song's writers, Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, to print an altered version of the hymn's lyrics, changing "Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied" to "Till on that cross as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified." The songwriters rejected the proposed change, and as a result the hymn committee voted to bar the hymn.

TGC 13 Keith Kristyn Getty Live Album"The song has been removed from our contents list, with deep regret over losing its otherwise poignant and powerful witness," committee...

 
 
 
 

Nov

11

2013

Collin Hansen|12:02 AM CT

Gladwell on Power and the Weapons of the Spirit

As Son of God from before the beginning of time, Jesus wielded unfathomable power. Yet he was born in a lowly manger and learned the carpentry trade in a backwater town. According to the apostle Paul, "by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him" (Col. 1:16). Yet when confronted by his betrayer, he put up no fight. He told the apostle Peter, "For all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52).

Malcolm GladwellPower, then, is not always as it seems. That's the point Malcolm Gladwell and I recently discussed with regard to his new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsI spoke with the bestselling author and staff writer for The New Yorker about why he decided to dig deeper into...

 
 
 
 

Nov

07

2013

Collin Hansen|12:02 AM CT

Piper on Pastors' Pay

I can't say I relate to reports of pastors earning lavish salaries and building elaborate mansions. But conversations about money and ministry can be just as awkward and frustrating on the other end of the pay scale. For pastors scraping by while working two jobs and churches struggling to meet their obligations, money strains relationships and stretches faith. How do pastors know when they need to ask for more money? How do churches know when they should give it? Such common situations won't attract investigative reporters, but they can cause just about as much consternation.

Piper SuitJohn Piper could have lived large on his book royalties and speaker fees. So why did he chose to live much more like an ordinary pastor during more than 30 years at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis? I corresponded with the founder and teacher of Desiring...

 
 
 
 

Nov

04

2013

Collin Hansen|12:01 AM CT

Elected Homecoming Queen: An Exceptional Story



Molly Anne Dutton shouldn't be here today. Not according to the opinion polls. Even many pro-life Christians make an exception that would have snuffed out her life.

Her mother survived every woman's nightmare: sexual assault. But then her agony was compounded with a positive pregnancy test. As if the situation could get worse, her husband told her to get an abortion or sign the divorce papers.

With the help of Lifeline Children's Services in Birmingham, Alabama, Molly Anne's mother chose to carry her to term and give her up for adoption. Due to their service on Lifeline's board, Molly Anne's adoptive parents knew of her situation and decided to adopt her.

Two decades later, Molly Anne was elected homecoming queen this fall at Auburn University. Her "Light Up LIFE" campaign sought to educate women about their options when faced with unplanned pregnancy. The horticulture major told me her story, how she understands her
...

 
 
 
 

Oct

30

2013

Collin Hansen|12:02 AM CT

Flight or Fright? How to Redeem Halloween

 Going Deeper with TGC Banner


Every year Halloween seems to grow in popularity. Bigger decorations, better candy, badder costumes. And every year Christians wonder how to handle this strange event that brings neighbors together over ghoulish scenes of death and unhealthy piles of chocolate. Should we steer death-defying teenagers toward Hell Houses to consider the eternal state of their souls? Should we lock ourselves in our living rooms with the lights turned off? Or should we embrace the fun and enjoy the company of neighbors who only emerge this one holiday each year? In short, do we flee from Halloween or seek to redeem the day?

Pumpkin-Cross-CarvedIn the latest Going Deeper with TGC podcast, Mark Mellinger and I talk with Timothy George, author of the recent article "The Gospel of Ghoul"...

 
 
 
 

Oct

22

2013

Collin Hansen|12:05 AM CT

Asking God for Revival in Italy

The singing. I'll never forget that singing. I've heard the famous hymn "And Can It Be" dozens of times. But sitting in the back of this small church of believers in Caltanissetta, Sicily, and hearing them belt out the Italian translation of Charles Wesley's lyrics nearly moved me to tears.

Thanks to the generous gifts of TGC International Outreach supporters, we provided this church and hundreds of other Italians across the country with copies of John Piper's biography of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen. I didn't understand at first why Sicilian church leaders requested this particular biography. But then I saw the new warehouse underneath the carefully designed church under construction in the heart of residential Caltanissetta. Alpha & Omega has already published Italian translations of Piper's biographies honoring such leaders as Jonathan Edwards, Augustine, Martin Luther, and John Calvin. Your gifts helped them round out the collection.

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Oct

04

2013

Collin Hansen|12:02 AM CT

How to Prepare for Pain and Suffering

You wouldn't want someone to hand you this book, because it probably means you're enduring hardship and suffering. But you need to read this book, preferably before the hardship and suffering inevitably comes.

Walking with God through Pain and SufferingWe in the West somehow think if we're lucky we'll avoid the pain we see around us. So we cross our fingers and hope for the best. Of course no one can avoid death and aging, but we put off such thoughts until absolutely necessary and sometimes not until it's too late.

Tim Keller's new book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, forces us to confront life as it really is and not as our Western fairy tales suggest. The first part of the book considers the problem of evil, the way various cultures handle suffering, why Christianity prevailed in the...