Sunday, 31 December 2017

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”


ATP Channels

Just a short reminder that ATP exists in: Facebook form – Twitter form – And you can sign up to the newsletter over there>>>>>>>>>> I also have some old YouTube videos (I am going to try to release some more this year) – Thanks for all of your support!


Saturday, 30 December 2017

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”


Building Bridges of Witness in Turkey

To be Turkish is to be Muslim.

In the turbulent world of international politics, Turkey sits right in the middle. Here in the historic city of Istanbul, the stakes for one-upmanship are growing. On the day I arrived, the President of Turkey refused entrance to Americans.

There are times when my Canadian passport comes in handy.

As part of the old Syrian conglomerate of nations, Turkey is at a curious moment of decision: Does it want to be part of European success stories, or assert its role in creating an Islamic dominated caliphate? Or perhaps build its own bridge of Europe and Asia through Syria, Iraq, and around the Mediterranean to North Africa?

Into the mix come those who exercise the political craft of faith, learning to live with fidelity, integrity, and human ingenuity. And that’s why I’m here—to again visit those whose lives are close to the center of Christian witness.

Make no mistake about it. Turkey is one tough place to live out the life of Christ. One wonders whether the attributed words of Tertullian—“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”—really work.

Up to this point, not in Turkey.

At the turn of the 20th century, Turkey was about 20 percent Christian, mainly Armenian Christians. Today, the Christian population doesn’t even register on the census. Silas, a Turkish organization that counts carefully the numbers of Christians, says there are 5,000 evangelicals in the country with 150 churches that have an average Sunday attendance each of 50.

Turkey is a critical society in the witness of the gospel in the Middle East as it bridges Europe and Asia. The country is home to 79 million and has one of the largest Islamic populations in the world. It enjoyed enormous power as the Ottoman ...

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Friday, 29 December 2017

John 16:33

““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””


Egypt Says Muslims Who Die Defending Churches Are Martyrs. One Just Did.

Attack on southern Cairo church kills eight Christians and one Muslim, after Islamic authority declares a national duty to protect Copts from terrorism.

In the latest terrorism to strike Egypt, nine people died in Friday morning attacks around St. Mina Church in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan.

Two Coptic Christians were shot and killed in their nearby storefront. Six others died as they exited morning worship.

The remaining victim was a Muslim police officer guarding the church.

Local reports suggest there were two gunmen. One was apprehended by security forces, foiling his efforts to enter the church. State television showed a second attacker killed, wearing a suicide belt. ISIS claimed responsibility.

The church guard, meanwhile, was hailed as a martyr.

One week earlier, Egypt’s Minister of Islamic Endowments declared the guarding of churches to be “a legitimate and national duty.” Those who die defending Christian houses of worship are to be considered martyrs.

“In our war against terrorism,” said Mokhtar Gomaa, “there’s no difference between Muslims and Christians.” Last month, 300 people were killed in a terrorist attack on a mosque in the Sinai.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the police effort against the “vicious” attack, and urged heightened security. Two weeks ago, Egypt assigned more than 230,000 police to guard churches in advance of the Christmas holidays.

Even so, last week hundreds of local villagers ransacked an unlicensed church in Atfih, 60 miles south of Cairo. They were offended at rumors the nondescript building would install a bell.

Meanwhile, the Coptic Orthodox Church will hold its primary Christmas celebration in the largest church in Egypt, on land donated by the state in its still-under-construction new administrative capital city. (Orthodox Christians commemorate Christmas on January ...

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CT's 2017 Cover Stories, Ranked

Here are the Top 10 features that readers read most.

Yes, we only publish 10 cover stories per year. But we’re proud of all of them!

Here are CT’s 2017 print features, ranked in order of which ones our online readers read most.

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The Stories We Hope You Didn't Miss

The female pastors bringing hope to Middle East churches, talking about race with your kids, and how immigrants are reshaping American missions,

Thirty pieces from 2017 that Christianity Today’s editors hope you didn’t miss.

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CT's 2017 Cover Stories

Yes, we only publish 10 cover stories per year. But we’re proud of all of them!

Here are CT’s 2017 print features, listed in chronological order.

Continue reading...


The Christian Leader’s Guide to Economics

The so-called “dismal science” is a powerful tool for wealth creation, but also for healing broken communities.

I open my car door, sit down, and turn the key. Carefully balancing my coffee, I put my foot on the brake, shift into reverse, and gently press the gas pedal as I pull out of my driveway on my way to work. As I head down South Broadway, I remember a quip my undergraduate economics professor once made: “The economy is like a car engine. Most of us don’t understand what’s happening under the hood. We just hit the gas and hope it works.”

We seldom pause to appreciate the vast ecosystem of buying, selling, labor, and wealth creation that makes up the modern economy. Most of us take its benefits for granted. I simply expect restaurants to have food, water to flow from my faucet, and my car engine to start when I turn the key.

Yet the reason we have everything from SUVs to grande peppermint mochas is a well-functioning economy, which is fundamentally dependent on love, says Tom Nelson, senior pastor of Christ Community Church near Kansas City and author of The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity.

The words “love” and “economics” are used in the same sentence about as much as “toothpaste” and “opera.” But Nelson is convinced that if we genuinely want to fulfill Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself,” the church needs a renewed focus on our economic life.

A Tool for Leaders

Just mentioning the word “economics” tends to elicit one of three responses: anxiety-inducing memories of college exams peppered with spreadsheets and charts, heated political debates about the role of the government, or glazed-over confusion at bewildering technical terms like “quantitative easing.” ...

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Pushing into Places of Conflict for the Good of the Kingdom

Leadership requires a commitment to solving conflict.

There is a big difference between talking with someone and talking about someone. Yet Christian organizations, churches, and families are full of people talking behind each other’s backs. When conflicts arise—and they will—as leaders we frequently skirt around the necessity of dealing directly with each other.

We may develop unhealthy patterns of response when we want to avoid conflict: we retreat into prayer to the neglect of communications, we work out ways to avoid the person, or we get as many people in the office as possible on our side. If we are observers of the conflict, we often ignore the situation as much as possible.

But it doesn’t help to close our mouths. And for those in leadership positions in the church, this is simply not an option.

Jesus called the peacemakers blessed. And he said that they would be called “sons of God.”

Courage to Step into the Uncomfortable Places

Yes. Communication is hard. And those who solve conflict deserve some praise. But since the process of conflict solving is painful, we often don’t receive much credit—at least in the middle of the process.

So, if you want to help people, you need to lean into the pain and help people to communicate with each other.

Recently, I was on a conference call with some guys who are wanting to launch an alliance. During the call, we kept talking on and on. Finally, I said, “Guys, I think you two need to sit down because you’re both hemming and hawing around this central question.” I defined the central issue and asked, “Are you on the same page of this? Do you agree to this basic fundamental issue?”

The answer was no. So I told them that before another conversation took place, they ...

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