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95 Theses for the Continuing Reformation

July 10, 2017 | Ty Gibson

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.

SCRIPTURE

The Bible …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

My Prodigal Paradigm Shift by Ethan Bird

My Prodigal Paradigm Shift

May 26, 2017 | Ethan Bird

My parents thought I was going to Ecuador to be a student missionary. I was really going so I could run away from God as I knew Him. I was drawn to the Latin surf scene, the gorgeous women, and the freedom to pursue my new pornography interest away from my sheltered subculture. After years of spiritual disillusionment, I had given up on trying to reach God. Ecuador was the logical next step. As a “student missionary,” I could explore another lifestyle without unnerving or disappointing my family.

Growing Up with God

We were missionaries in Taiwan when I was a kid. My family was constantly planning worship services and hosting Bible studies. I was baptized at age nine, partly because I wanted to be an example to the guy my dad and I were studying the Bible with. I also thought it was time to grow up and take responsibility for my relationship with God. So I squared my shoulders under the weight of my expectation of being a …
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I Wish I Could Tell Her "Happy Mother's Day" by Ty Gibson

I Wish I Could Tell Her “Happy Mother’s Day”

May 12, 2017 | Ty Gibson

My mom was a force of nature. As poet Barbara Kingsolver once said, “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” That was my mom. Fiercely independent, she left home at 15 and got a job as a waitress. The popular, cool guy in town swept her off her feet with his charm. And that’s how the world got me, her first child. She gave Johnny Gibson an ultimatum: “We have a baby now (that would be cute, chubby little me). Stop the partying and let’s be a family, or I’m leaving.” He promised and failed, promised and failed, promised and failed. So she left him to raise me on her own. There we were, then, just the two of us.

She was beautiful and as a result was invited, or rather “scouted,” to attend high society parties at which were politicians, actors and singers. (Believe it or not, there are people whose job it is to go to restaurants and stores and find beautiful young women—and young …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

5 Types of Adventist Extremists and How to Avoid Being One by Nelson Fernandez, Jr.

5 Types of Adventist Extremists and How to Avoid Being One

April 27, 2017 | Nelson Fernandez

I’ve been an Adventist all my life. While others adopted into it, I was born in it and molded by its culture (cue Batman-Bane meme reference). Because of this, I’ve seen all kinds of people literally come and go in our church.

One of the hardest parts about being a lifelong Adventist has certainly been the people. A little jingle said it like this:

“To dwell above with the saints we love will be truly grace and glory; but to live below with the saints we know, well, that’s a different story.”

People are difficult to get along with because we tend to be prone to extremism. Generally speaking, extremism is defined in (sigh) the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary , as “a belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable.” 1

With this broad definition, many of us could be accused of having extremist views at some point or another (actually, Adventism itself could be considered extreme when compared to the general population). In …
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The Power of Vulnerability

April 20, 2017 | Jenny Gruzensky

That Thing We All Struggle With

In her song If We’re Honest, singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli clearly articulates one of the biggest struggles of our culture:

Truth is harder than a lie, The dark seems safer than the light, And everyone has a heart that loves to hide, I’m a mess and so are you, We’ve built walls nobody can get through, Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do,

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine, ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides, And mercy’s waiting on the other side, If we’re honest.

In our culture today, vulnerability and authenticity are regarded as important attributes. I think they are thought of as such because they are rarely found. I recently had a conversation with a friend and she shared her perspective on why these traits are so hard to come by: “Being vulnerable is both freeing and terrifying. Freeing in that you no longer carry the emotions of whatever is going on by …
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Jenny Gruzensky

Alumni
ARISE

Daughters of Eve by Ty Gibson

Daughters of Eve

March 8, 2017 | Ty Gibson

Today is International Women’s Day.

As for me, I’m a “ladies man,” but not in the way you are familiar with the term.

My happiest childhood memories are of one summer with my grandmother, Eleanor, fishing, trapping critters, hiking up the rock piles around Phoenix (called “mountains”), and getting thrown by her into a fenced yard to fight my own personal bully “to the death” as she placed a $5 bet on me as the sure winner, with the bully’s mom, no less.

Stuff like that.

She was wonderful.

Her daughter, Laura Emily, was wonderful too. She raised four kids as a single mom, of which I was the oldest. This woman was a force of beauty and strength to be reckoned with. One time I watched with shock and delight as she jumped with her little body onto the back of a man nearly twice her size—my “new dad”—holding onto his neck with her left arm and punching him in the head with her right fist, screaming, “Don’t you …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

The Lost Art of Evangelism by Anneliese Wahlman

The Lost Art of Evangelism

February 23, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

What I Take from the Compost Bucket

I’m one of those people who can eat whatever is on my plate even if it looks like it was scraped from the bottom of the compost bucket, and I’ll still enjoy it—as long as it tastes good. I figure it’s only going to look worse in my stomach. Though odd, this trait is a perfect example of one of the greatest truisms of life: it’s what’s on the inside that counts. This is a basic principle we all intuitively know to be true. What’s a box of chocolate without any chocolate inside? Who wants a Valentine’s card that has no mushy sweet-nothings written in it? What’s a Christmas package if it doesn’t contain an ugly sweater that makes you look like a weirdo? Computers matter because of what’s on the hard drive. Houses are important because of those who gather in them. You marry a person not just because of the way he or she looks, but because of the heart and …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers