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Blog Archives: July 2015

Philoxenia

July 29, 2015
Chris Castaldo
“Hospitality.” If you were living in the Apostle Paul’s day you would have expressed the concept with the word philoxenia (e.g., Heb 13:2). This Greek word is derived from two other words: philos (love) and xenos (stranger or alien). It is a fascinating combination when you think about it—love for a stranger. Why would we love something that is strange? All the things I love are eminently familiar to me: my family, my church, my pillow. Conversely, things that are strange rarely come to my mind, much less receive my affection. Nevertheless, ...

What can evangelicals learn from their conversations with Catholic friends and families?

July 22, 2015
Chris Castaldo
In a recent venue at which I addressed the subject of understanding and relating to Catholics, the above question was asked: “What can evangelicals learn from their conversations with Catholic friends and families?” I wish this question was asked more often since it promotes the virtues of honesty and humility, not to mention the way it prepares us to learn lessons that serve our ministries. My answer went something like the following. Let us begin by recognizing the assumption of the question: that Protestants can and should learn from ...

Inspiration to Live Coram Deo

July 14, 2015
Chris Castaldo
The term coram Deo (before the sight of God) has been used for millennia as a way to remind God’s people to live worthy of our calling. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the glory of the invisible God, our eyes tend to fall upon a thousand examples of sin and brokenness, our own and that of the world. We therefore wonder: How can we recognize more of God’s empowering presence? I think the following illustration may help. Years ago, when I studied acting at the HB Studio in Manhattan, I learned Uta Hagen’s concept of the “fourth wall.” Simply ...

Talking with Catholics about the Gospel: TGC Interview

July 08, 2015
Chris Castaldo
More than seventy-eight million Catholics live in the United States, representing one of the country’s largest demographics. How then can evangelical Christians be better equipped to speak about the gospel with those Catholics? We recognize a gap between our understanding and current Catholic practice. In the following interview with The Gospel Coalition, Pastor Chris leads us toward a better understanding of how to interact with Catholics about the gospel.

Our Church & the Supreme Court Marriage Decision

July 01, 2015
Chris Castaldo
The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it mandated same-sex marriage across the nation, continues to receive enormous attention. Such discussion has been further stimulated by the image of the White House bathed in a rainbow of lights and the LGBT’s proclamation that the redefinition of marriage is only the beginning. In the coming months, New Covenant Church will provide resources to help us think through the implications of this decision, seeking to help us embody the truth and grace of Jesus Christ ...