#FaithandCulture Reading: Unhelpful Christmas Ministries, Holidays with a Broken Heart, History’s Forgotten Preacher

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Do your gifts to under-resourced families actually hurt them? Who is one of the greatest preachers history has forgotten? How can you celebrate the holidays when you have a broken heart? Is David Brooks’ latest book on character worth picking up? And how can you watch a movie Christianly?

Get thoughtful answers to these questions and more from Bruce Ashford, Brittany Salmon, Josh Wester, Courtlandt Perkins and Dave Huber in today’s #FaithandCulture Reading.

How Giving Christmas Gifts to Under-Resourced Families Could Be Hurting Them

Many churches and ministries give Christmas gifts to under-resourced families. But do these efforts help or hurt families? Dave Huber reflects on this practice and offers a path forward in this article at Made to Flourish. He writes,

Perhaps the greatest gift you could give this Christmas is not a pre-wrapped present, but the open-handed offer of unmitigated dignity. Read More>>

Black Harry, One of the Greatest Preachers Ever Forgotten 

Courtlandt Perkins tells the story of one of America’s greatest preachers, but few of us remember who he was. In his article at The Gospel Coalition, he writes,

Black Harry preached during the Second Great Awakening to both black and white congregations, bringing many to Christ. He was admired across racial lines for preaching the already-not-yet kingdom, but served within a church that treated him as almost-but-not-human.

Because of this treatment, his story is virtually unknown today. Read More>>

Celebrating the Holidays with a Broken Heart

The holiday season is joyful for many, but it can be difficult for those walking through suffering. How can you celebrate the holidays with a broken heart? Brittany Salmon addresses that question in an article at The Gospel Coalition. She writes,

It’s easy to be thankful when God ordains seasons of joy and plenty, but it was an ugly fight for gratitude when God ordained suffering. But looking back, that holiday season is one of my favorites because I can see how suffering unveiled my eyes and allowed me to celebrate the holidays’ truest meanings. Read More>>

Book Review: The Road to Character

Over at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Josh Wester reviews an important book by New York Times columnist David Brooks. Here’s an excerpt:

Christians should read this book to exit the echo chamber and hear the voice of a seasoned cultural observer from outside of their own tradition. So often our pulpits and tweets decry the downfall of a culture we know discernibly little about. The Road to Character provides scope and insight that is often unavailable in our limited spheres. Read More>>

How to Watch a Movie (1): Hollywood, America’s Most Influential Seminary

This week, Bruce Ashford published a series of articles at his blog that help Christians watch (and digest) movies through Christocentric lensesHere’s an excerpt from his first article in the series:

If we can learn to evaluate a movie’s storyline, we can more easily ensure that the movie experience doesn’t shape our thoughts and desires more than the Bible’s story does. Additionally, we can more easily discuss movies and television with our neighbors, as a way of engaging in meaningful conversations with them about life’s most important questions. Read More>>

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Center for Faith and Culture

The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.

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