Friday, May 30, 2008

IVY Jungle Note: Studying Christianity & Culture

Do you get the Campus Update from IVY Jungle? It is a monthly summary of college related news; student issues, etc.

Here is a sample from the latest edition:
Studying Christianity and Culture: Christian Smith, author of Soul Searching has launched a new minor at the University of North Carolina focused on Christianity and Culture. He pushed for the program in part because he believes that students cannot understand western culture without an adequate understanding of Christianity in general and evangelicalism in particular. He also noticed that many incoming freshmen who claimed to be Christians often understood little of their faith. He coined the phrase "moralistic therapeutic deism" to describe the faith he saw in many teenagers in which God exists primarily to make them feel good, but has little impact on their lives. He faults the church which has bought into a culture of excitement and relevance at the expense of the gospel. (Kairos Journal May 8, 2008)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Summer Missions -- Article from World Magazine

World Mag published an article on Short-term Missions. About half-way through it features our WSN projects:

Here is a report from Tony A. on our summer projects:

As of May 15, we have at least 3496 students and staff participating in summer projects.

US Projects: 2175 (1745 students; 430 staff and volunteers)

International Projects: 1321 (1113 students; 208 staff and volunteers)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CoJourner in Action

One of the privileges of campus ministry is the students one gets to work with. For me, one of those I have been privileged to know is Matt Penland. Here is a glimpse into his life and ministry:

His life and ministry has been a model of CoJourners.

CoJourner On-line

The Campus Crusade for Christ website has begun a series on "Rethinking Evangelism" based on CoJourners. (Thanks, Evangeline.)

Here is the intro:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Morning News

But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:13 (ESV)

I awoke this morning. It was the same world as yesterday. Oh, some things had changed (apparently) from a quick glance at the newspaper; at least enough we could have some “news”. But even with the change, it was the same. Front page: politicians failed to approve legislation that many (some?) felt important for the region. Some were for it; some against it – nothing new about that. Scandal cost another notable his job. Young people mess up their lives and future by doing dumb (and illegal) things. I wonder if they had a clue of what this would cost them. Adults play games and get paid millions for it (calling it sports, of course.) There is plenty to write about. But the news isn’t really new. It’s really “olds”, for nothing has really changed.

But then my mind wanders forward, ahead by years, maybe decades, maybe centuries, maybe millennia, I’m not quite sure. But somewhere in the future, everything will change, really change. There will be new heavens and a new earth and the morning news (or “olds”) will be quite different, for there righteousness will dwell. Everything will be aligned rightly – no evil or scandals, no wars or crimes, no winners and losers, no misplaced priorities, no broken promises or vows, no abuse or neglect, no peace accords negotiated because peace will reign, no negative campaign advertising, no… The list continues as my mind wanders.

Will this be boring? After all, what captures our attention and generally fills our news today is the very stuff that won’t be in that future. Will it be boring? Only if experiencing and enjoying what your heart has always longed for could be boring. Are moments of true, pure love boring? Then would an eternity of complete, unadulterated love be so? Can joy ever grow old; or life without stress; or relationships without offenses?

As I remember it, as I reflect on it, I know it is worth waiting for. In the meantime, I will read the news. But as I do, perhaps it will remind me of a better world, a better time, a better place. I won’t look for it in the morning news. No, it is too big for that and too abrupt. But I’ll be looking for it, nonetheless. I have Someone’s word on it.