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Urban Legends of Church History

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In their new book (launching today!), Urban Legends of Church History: 40 Common Misconceptions, my colleagues Drs. John Adair and Michael Svigel dispel dozens of oft-repeated myths related to the history of the church. These friends take on important issues like the canonization of the Bible, the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, and salvation by grace through faith—important fallacies, exaggerations, or misunderstandings from the early church, the medieval period, the Protestant era, and the modern age. Each chapter both corrects the urban legend and includes an application section highlighting implications for us today.

Besides the forty major myths, Adair and Svigel also include brief “Mini Myths,” features addressing common legends floating around in popular culture. One of these counters the legend that the Roman Catholic Church once had a female Pope; another corrects the popular Christmastime claim that St. Nicholas punched Arius in the face at the Council …

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Thinking about Singles

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According to the North Carolina Family Council, among 30- to 64-year-old Christians, close to 40 percent are single—with that number rising as people age beyond 65. Yet single people often feel invisible within their church communities, which tend to emphasize family life. So how can we be more inclusive?

Mention positive single people as role models. If you’re a speaker or small group leader, include examples of single people. They might be from Bible stories such as Jesus, Daniel and Paul or Mary and Martha. Or they might be from history, such as Fanny Crosby or George Frideric Handel. And while you’re at it, broaden references to men and women’s vocations beyond breadwinning and parenting.

Include single people. Mention them in prayer. Invite them to join you for small-group gatherings such as movie nights, dinner parties and your kids’ soccer games, even when all other adults present are married. Single …

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Book Launch Day

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Today it’s official! The compilation Dr. Gary Barnes and I curated, Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World, launches today.

One of my students asked some questions about it, and I thought they—along with the answers—might be of interest to my readers.

Our hope for this book is that it will meet the needs people have for information about how the Scriptures speak to areas of sexual ethics. We also hope it will serve as a guide for how to apply the Bible’s teachings in ways that promote human flourishing. Many of us have heard that the Scriptures are relevant for addressing complex sexual issues such as identity, gender, same-sex attraction, sexual abuse, and how to talk to our youth about sexual ethics; but what does the Bible actually say on these issue—and more? Much of the information on social media is wrong; but even if it’s correct, …

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