In the kingdom of God, it is not us against them. The problem of racism stretches back as far humanity's origin in the book of Genesis. Brother pitted against brother, tribe against tribe - people have warred against one another, fueled by contempt for racial differences. Yet the Gospel is a message of reconciliation. The kingdom of God is us reconciled to one another.
While the culture has never been more confused about the definition of what marriage is, those who are married have never been more hopeless about how marriage should be lived. The times have never been more crucial for digging deeper, past the definition of marriage to the structure of marriage, the blessings of marriage, and the opportunity for living out the image of the gospel that's embodied within marriage. So, what now?
The problem isn't sex. God designed sex, and sex is good. Sex is a powerful union that brings men and women together. But when sex is distorted by sin, the misuse of our sexuality can alienate us from one another, causing immense harm and pain. Enter pornography - the most prevalent distortion of sexual sin in America. Pornography is not only a problem in terms of personal morality but a social epidemic that is making the possibility of sexually fulfilled marriages harder to achieve.
It looked for all the world like a terrible, tragic accident. Susanna Morgan had gotten up in the middle of the night, tripped, fallen, and broken her neck. Yet when detective Justin Westwood inspects the victim's apartment, he can't help noticing that the details don't quite add up. The glass on the bedside table is knocked over but there are no cuts on her body. The scrape on her knee looks suspiciously fresh. And then a terrified witness comes forward, confirming his worst fear.
"Just Works - Wonderfully"
New York's Hamptons are the summer playground for Wall Street big shots, Hollywood starlets, and all species of glitterati in between. But when a Middle Eastern man rigged with explosives walks into a chic restaurant and blows himself up, all that glamour is shattered. And so is the security and safety of the entire United States. Drawn into this case is Justin Westwood, a local East End Harbor cop who is still haunted by the violent deaths of his wife and daughter years before.
So often in America, we define who we are by what we do. We introduce ourselves by our job titles. We ask, "What do you do?" to be polite in small talk. We define others by their occupations. But there are good reasons to connect what you do with your time, whether that is 9-to-5 work or managing a household full of children. God created us to work, not as judgment but in cooperation with a mandate given to humanity long before the fall. Your work isn't who you are, but it is central to why you are here.
We live in a society of broken homes. Having parents in the home doesn't mean that parenting is actually happening. Parenting is a God-given task that ensures young children are protected and nurtured into maturity in the fear and admonition of the Lord. But America and the church face a crisis of parenting: detached or absentee fathers, single mothers, and grandparents raising the next generation.
The Bible is unambiguously clear about marriage's definition and purpose. So, Christians are for marriage. The Bible's witness on marriage doesn't allow for same-sex marriage, not because the Bible gives attention to same-sex marriage, but because the biblical narrative on marriage doesn't conceive of same-sex marriage as within the realm of possibility. Yet, many Christians live among neighbors and under law-makers who disagree. So, what now?
Carl "Granny" Granville is a young writer who is given the chance to ghostwrite a political thriller. The inside source will be known only as Gideon, his real identity never revealed. Then the murders begin - first his editor, then the gorgeous neighbor with whom he's been having an affair. The mysterious go-between has disappeared. And his publisher has never heard of Gideon or Granny. Suddenly Carl Granville is a man alone, on the run, and wanted for murder.
As a young boy, Jack Keller witnessed a life-altering tragedy - the murder of his mother. Thirty years later, Jack has a great marriage, a successful chain of restaurants bearing his name, lifelong friends, and good health. But in one second it all becomes worthless. As Jack recovers from his injuries and the resulting psychological trauma, he is nursed back to health by Kid Demeter, a mysterious young man who was once as close to Jack as any son could be.
"Overwhelmingly Stupid Hero... But Riveting"
Religious liberty isn't a principle for Americans alone, though it certainly has played an important role in the history of the United States. Religious liberty is a matter of authority and allegiance for people of every land. To whom one owes ultimate allegiance is a matter of the conscience, and one that should be protected in every nation. But what if religious liberty gives way, and churches are faced with the difficult decision between allegiance to their country and allegiance to their conscience?
Every Christian isn't called to adopt, but everyone is called to care for orphans. The evangelical adoption movement is but one strand in a long cord of Christian care for orphans. While adoption trends have fluctuated over time in different contexts, the Bible has not changed its position. The gospel is decidedly pro-adoption and on the side of the orphan. Yet many obstacles stand in the way of the Christian's mission to provide care to the least of these. So, what now?
The pro-life moment didn't begin in the 1960s, but in the garden. Abortion has been a divisive issue in American culture since the sexual revolution. Yet the Bible is an unapologetic defender of human dignity. Moreover, Christians have always cared for the unborn, the orphan, and the least among us. The time is now for this generation to reaffirm what believers have always believed: everybody is created in the image of god. So, what now?