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21st Century Church Blogging/Essay Contest Entries

Note:  This announcements is cross-posted from the Energion Publications Announcements blog.   You can find the poll to vote on the most popular entry there.

Please notify us if we have missed any entries.

Here are the entries in no particular order:

A. Amos Love

Arthur Sido

Lew Ayotte

David Blanton

Lionel Woods

James Lee

Christopher Larson

I was very pleased with the quality of entries, and even the quantity, given that this is the first time we have conducted such a contest here.  I’m thinking strongly of making such a contest part of each book release, and in fact have planned two more.  Look for an announcement of a short devotional contest on November 15, and of a contest for an expository sermon toward the end of January.  I’ll announce the books those go with later!

Now there’s a bonus.  I’m adding a popular poll.  This will not replace nor will it impact the judging.  In fact, the judges are due to deliver their results before the poll is complete.  But I will add $10, either in the form of a gift card, should the popular winner not be one of the three winners based on the judges’ results, or as a bonus to the gift card for one of those prize winners.

I hope and pray that you will read and think about these essays.  Obviously, this is part of my marketing plan for the new book, Christian Archy.  But my purpose in being in the business of Christian publishing in the first place is to challenge you to think more seriously and to grow.  Hopefully we can generate some discussion as well.

To help build such discussion, here are two more essays that don’t qualify as contest entries, because they are written by people with a business relationship with Energion Publications.  Nonetheless, they provide some more food for thought.

Patrick Badstibner  – Grace Through the Desert

Jody Neufeld (Energion Publications Partner) – Jody Along the Path

How Does Reformation Happen?

From Dave Black Online:

Once again my inbox is overflowing with appeals to support this or that ecclesiastical effort seeking the reformation of American society. “The church reformed is always reforming.” I can’t for the life of me understand how we can come to that conclusion by looking at the Scriptures. Experience has shown that the church never reforms itself. Each time the church has taken a radical step forward it is because it has been grasped again by the Word of God. All of our reforms are futile and will inevitably fail.

I have tried to make this clear in my forthcoming book (Christian Archy), and not necessarily in an agreeable or pious fashion. Church reformation begins and ends with an explosion originating with God. The battle is waged entirely upon our knees. I insist on this, because the Gospel insists on this. The Gospel forces us to admit that our organizations and institutions and ethics, no matter how honest and scrupulous they may be, are incompatible with the kingdom of God. I am not therefore even faintly interested in “taking America back for God” schemes of any kind. I have seen the prayers of an old woman account for more than all the misguided efforts at political agitation that solve nothing. I refuse to be a laudator temporis acti simply because I believe that a cosmic lever is needed to change anything. If we fail to see this, we will become just another Martin Heidegger seduced by Nazism or another U.S. citizen who has succumbed to the myth of American exceptionalism.

Dave Black is the author of the forthcoming book Christian Archy, which is the subject of this web site.  Quotes from his blog are used with his permission.