Feature Articles

Dec 19, 2014

Advent Works: Life in the Shadow of Death

by Corban Addison
“You want to go outside Mogadishu?” Yusuf gave me a guarded look, his fine-boned Somali face conveying no emotion, but his voice carried a whisper of disbelief. “Yes,” I said, shielding my eyes from the blinding equatorial sun. It was September in the Horn of Africa, but the heat was...Read more +
Dec 22, 2014

Double Your Rate of Failure

Charles Westrill was a young, green, uninformed magazine writer when he invited T. J. Watson to a brown bag lunch—not knowing Watson was the president of IBM. Surprisingly, Watson accepted, but suggested dining at IBM headquarters. Once Charles got over the shock of his lunch date’s prominence, Watson gave him...Read more +
Dec 16, 2014

Advent Church: A Ritual for Today

For many Christians, we experience the same rhythm in our worship services each week we go to church. Kevin DeYoung lists the typical program: (1) Casual welcome and announcements, (2) Stand up for 4-5 songs, (3) During the set, or at the very end, add a short prayer, (4) Sermon,...Read more +
Dec 16, 2014

Advent Hope: Redeeming the Time

The woman at the coffee bar taps her nails in a staccato rhythm. She turns to me and says, half with irritation, half in apology, “I just ordered a cappuccino. You wouldn’t think it would take so long,” then added, “Sorry to hold you up.” She seemed frustrated and embarrassed...Read more +
Dec 15, 2014

Advent Church: Is the Era of Mega-Ministries Ending?

by Skye Jethani
Ordering a coffee used to mean answering two questions: “Regular or decaf?” and “Black or cream and sugar?” Today Starbucks offers over 87,000 different drink combinations. For decades marketing gurus have said people want choices because customization empowers the individual. But when facing a menu with thousands of drink options,...Read more +
Dec 12, 2014

Advent Church: Celebrating St. Nicholas

by Micha Boyett
On December 6 th when my anxious nature woke me early, demanding I scrub the bathroom, order my nieces and nephews their presents from Amazon, and address my Christmas cards, I rebelled. Instead, I let my kids dress themselves in sweats, put some coffee in the pot, and opened the...Read more +
Dec 12, 2014

Advent Church: Rhythms Make Us Wait for God

Every Christmas Eve throughout childhood until I left home, my family clicked through the same ritual. Timing our departure so he could create the maximum challenge and adrenaline, my dad would rush (with me tagging along to watch the insanity) to Cox’s department store where he would commence his gift...Read more +
Dec 12, 2014

Advent Church: God with Us in Jesus

Every church creates its own culture—a blend of leaders, congregations, neighborhood, city, state and nation, along with language(s) spoken and theological orientation … and we can add music sung and translations sanctioned all the way down to the “right way” to end a public prayer. Some church cultures are blazingly...Read more +
Dec 14, 2014

God's Greatest Gift

In C. S. Lewis’ beloved story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , the land of Narnia is under an evil curse. It is always winter, but never Christmas. Only Aslan, the great lion who created Narnia, can break the spell. When Aslan finally comes to Narnia, so does...Read more +
Dec 5, 2014

Advent Hope: Staying Afloat

In the past several months, many of my closest friends have found themselves in the darkest of circumstances, hopeless situations not only missing easy answers but void of answers altogether. I’ve listened to laments of marriage hurts that just won’t heal, unexplained seizures that keep shaking limbs and unsettling lives,...Read more +

Daily Reflection From Laity Lodge

Advent Reflection: The Humanity of Jesus

I expect you may have heard your pastor complain about the line in “Away in a Manger” that states, “The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.” I admit that I have been one of those pastors. Though I did not ban this song from Irvine Presbyterian Church, where I pastored for sixteen years, I did sometimes remind my congregation that the baby Jesus was a real, flesh-and-blood baby, and therefore he surely cried in his first day of life...Read more +