The Continuing Reformation by Ty Gibson

The Continuing Reformation

by Ty Gibson  |  September 1, 2017

“The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe.”

That’s how the History Channel website defines the Protestant Reformation—as an historical event that “was,” something that happened a long time ago. What I’d like to suggest is that the Reformation is still under way, right now, and that you and I can be part of helping to move it forward to completion.

First, according to Scripture, God is in the process of bringing about the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). So think of history in general as a restoration project that God is guiding forward until everything is back the way it’s supposed to be, back to the place where evil is banished from existence and all relationships are defined by faithful love.

Secondly, the Protestant Reformation is only one part of this restoration process, beginning in the fourteenth century with the bold move of John Wycliffe to openly suggest that (1) each individual has direct access to God and should obey conscience before any human intuition, and (2) that salvation is …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
An Effort of Nature by Risë Rafferty

An Effort of Nature

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  August 30, 2017

Throughout much of the 20th century, atherosclerosis was thought of as a disease of the inside space of arteries, the lumen. Most of us considered this hardening and thickening of the arteries to be the result of excess lipids in the bloodstream. Fat build up resulted in clogged arteries and clogged arteries don’t make for free-flowing blood to the brain and heart. As a result, fat-free was the way to be. Low-fat became the health slogan emboldened on plastic packaging in an attempt to ease fat-conscious consumers seeking to avoid the #1 killer: cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, consuming all of those low-fat, processed foods didn’t make much of a dent in our ever-escalating disease and death rate.

Yes, elevated blood lipids (fat-like compounds) contribute to heart disease in a big way.  LDL cholesterol especially is strongly associated with atherosclerosis, and reducing saturated fat in the diet does lower LDL. In fact, current knowledge is that the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. This is no inconsequential matter when you …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers
The Great Big Power of Teeny Tiny Things by Anneliese Wahlman

The Great Big Power of Teeny Tiny Things

by Anneliese Wahlman  |  August 28, 2017

In 2005, a fresh-out-of-prison graffiti artist was asked to paint some murals in the office of a small startup in Palo Alto, California. As payment, the artist was offered thousands of dollars in cash or company stock. Eight and half minutes of searching Google will tell you that even though the artist thought the startup was stupid, he made a gamble and chose company stock. In 2012, when Facebook went public with their stocks, the artist’s shares were worth around $200 million.

It’s nice when things work out like that.

But that’s not usually the way it works. Whether you’re picking up produce at the store, beginning a new relationship, or buying stocks, there’s no guarantee that an investment will live up to your expectations. Sometimes you score big. Other times you cut open your farmer’s market avocados and find they’re the color of your toddler’s diarrhea.

Not cool.

The risk of failure makes it difficult to know how we should invest. As we grow older, we become a little less daring. We have a little less faith in goodness …
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Anneliese Wahlman Editorial Intern
Light Bearers
A Brutal Wakeup Call—The Charlottesville Incident by Ty Gibson

A Brutal Wakeup Call

by Ty Gibson  |  August 17, 2017

It’s 2017.

Not 1526.1

Not 1863.2

Not 1968.3

It’s 2017, people, and we have just witnessed a grotesque manifestation of racism coming out of the shadows to flex its emaciated muscles in the mirror of its deluded sense of superiority.

The Charlottesville incident is revelatory. It shows us that there is a fomenting racism, boiling just beneath the surface with violent impulses, trying to climb out of its slimy hole to repeat past horrors that many of us imagine are impossible in our “enlightened” modern times.

As a member of the body of Christ, and of the larger human community, I cannot help but express myself on the matter. Quite frankly, I am outraged and saddened and sick to my stomach by the escalating pattern of open racial hatred we are seeing across American. Hardly a week passes that we are not confronted by some heart-rending display of racism, and now Charlottesville has confronted us with what we’ve tried not to believe—that this monster, so far from being composed of a few misguided individuals, is a grassroots movement that has …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
Convocation Report by Anneliese Wahlman

Convocation Report

by Anneliese Wahlman  |  August 3, 2017

There are certain times in life when it’s important to be committed, to not stop halfway. Like when you’re getting married or shaving your beard. Then there are other times when it’s important to have the freedom to change your mind, like when you’re about to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet.

Or choose a new convocation theme.

This year, for our 2017 Light Bearers Convocation, we were planning to study through the Minor Prophets. However, partway through our preparation, we realized that 2017 marks the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which just so happens to be one of the most significant upheavals in history. Due to the magnitude of this event, it occurred to us that it might be a good idea to change our minds.

So we did.

The Spirit led us to set aside the works of the prophets in exchange for protesters, and in the process, we discovered a gold mine of living truth for today.

…grace and faith for salvation come from Christ alone.

Over five days, we traveled back in time …
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Anneliese Wahlman Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Why We Do What We Do

by James Rafferty  |  July 31, 2017

When it comes to spiritual things, do you know why we do what we do?

The reason is this:

“The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17).

We do what we do because the flesh lusts or wars against the Spirit. We know it’s true. Deep down in our hearts, we know how sinful and selfish we are. When we look in the mirror we recognize our greatest enemy, sitting on our own shoulders. We are naturally destitute of the virtues of heaven.


But the verse also indicates that the Spirit lusts against the flesh.

Alleluia Holy Spirit!

“I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV).

Get out!

Did you just read what I read?

I think we need to read that again:

“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, …
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James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers

95 Theses for the Continuing Reformation

by Ty Gibson  |  July 10, 2017

Martin Luther and John Calvin changed the world by the power of their good theology in spite of their bad theology. The Dark Ages from which they were emerging were very dark, indeed, and some of that darkness clung to the great Protestant Reformers even as they ran toward the light. The revolution they sparked lay chiefly in two seismic shifts of understanding they released into public discourse:

The Bible alone, speaking to individual conscience, is to be our rule of faith and practice, not the authority of any man or any church.

Salvation is the gift of God’s grace to be received by faith alone and therefore cannot be earned by any deeds we might do.

With these two powerful ideas, the Protestant Reformers initiated a trajectory of change they could not see through to its logical end. Other Reformers arose after them and discovered additional lost truths, and the work of Reform continues even now.

Here are 95 Theses to ponder for the continuing Reformation.


The Bible is the inspired word of God through human agents (2 …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers