Summer 2016

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The theme of this edition of Outcomes is freedom – particularly religious liberty. As Christian leaders, our good deeds are rooted much deeper than mere philanthropic impulse. They reflect the clear teaching of Scripture, and echo the ages-long lineage of Christ-centered ministry to which we belong. That’s why it is vital to protect religious liberty. This is our moment to lead with strength and courage! God has called us for this very time, as bold and winsome witnesses of both his truth and his grace. Let us heed the encouragement of the wise leaders and frontline organizations featured in this edition, and with Joshua move forward boldly, knowing that our God is with us wherever we go.

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A Servant of the Gospel

When author Jerry Bridges passed away March 6 at the age of 87, his wife, Jane, had a large folder filled with legal documents and handwritten notes. The papers detailed who he would like to speak at his funeral, what songs to sing, what publishers to inform of his deathu2026. It's no surprise Jerry was that organized. He was an administrator, a businessman.

But even though his service was meticulously planned, the content of every message, prayer and hymn focused on his passion - t...

A Worldwide Perspective

Religious freedom insights from Open Doors

There is only one road from Nairobi to Garissa, Kenya, along the Somali border. It's a long road, requiring nearly 10 hours of consistent driving. There are several military checkpoints along the way. Recently, I took that long and dangerous drive in order to visit a handful of Christian leaders still living and surviving in this dangerous Somali border town. It was in this place, just one year ago, that 142 disciples of J...

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act

A complicated legacy for Justice Antonin Scalia

As irreplaceable as he was irrepressible, Justice Antonin Scalia's intellect and wit dominated oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court. His brilliance was exceptional, even on a bench composed of nine highly accomplished individuals. Since his death, it has been both satisfying and surprising to witness commentators' consensus in honor of his steadfast dedication to the Constitution's text.

But ...

Religious Liberty?

The growing battle over your right to obey God

Recent battles over the issue of religious liberty reveal that the government is attempting to redefine the meaning of religious liberty and its role in protecting this vital freedom. Today's Christian leader must understand this phenomenon and prepare to act accordingly.

President James Madison observed that religion is an inalienable right "because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Crea...

Being a "Daniel" After Obergefell

Living faithfully and fruitfully in exile

God's people had just suffered a crushing defeat. Disoriented and disillusioned, they found themselves surrounded by a culture that felt deeply alien. They were coming under increasing pressure from society and state alike to compromise their unique identity and life as followers of the one true God and to embrace the relativistic and morally diverse surrounding culture.

Of course, this describes Judah following it...

Founders & Freedom

Religious liberty in the American experience

The pursuit of religious freedom is a defining theme in the American political experiment. In the traditional telling of the story, early colonists crossed the Atlantic Ocean's treacherous waters to escape religious persecution in the Old World and to search for religious liberty in the New World. The opportunity to worship God and exercise one's faith according to the dictates of one's conscience, without fear of restrai...

Be Prepared

Five recommendations for Christian nonprofits

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Christian nonprofit ministries and organizations provide billions of dollars of care, services, education, support, food and charitable kindnesses to all manner of people, and especially to those who have no place else to turn. As with most Christian nonprofits, it is not just the physical and material needs that are met, but the spiritual and emotional needs as well. How could anyone...

Shaping a Nation

Reading, living and sharing the Bible

Much has been said about the Bible's influence on the nation's founders, but let's pick up the story a generation later. In 1816, the year of American Bible Society's founding, what formative role did Scripture play as the United States of America grew?

Two hundred years ago, the young nation was still recovering from its second war with England. Many on both sides of the Atlantic thought the War of 1812 would undo the...

Free to Serve

The power of principled pluralism

hat lies ahead for Christian service ministries in a rapidly changing American society that is becoming more and more diverse in morality and beliefs, and less and less inclined to pay even lip service to biblical values? Will your organization remain free to serve as God has called you to serve? Or will it face a hard choice: adopt the latest sexual and spiritual views of the majority culture or else stop serving, charged with bigo...

Free Exercise of Religion

Why is it controversial in America today?

Politics is still relatively new to me, but politics is not new for ministers. Obviously, church politics is its own special variety of politics, but for more than two centuries, ministers have also served in Congress, including the very first Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1789. Before I sensed a call to a new ministry in our nation's capital, I spent 22 years in church ministry, including the last 15 years as d...