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Author Gary Furr

Gary Furr is pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

In our fractured world, it’s tempting to withdraw from the fray or even deepen the gulf. Neither choice advances God’s kingdom. Instead, we must live a ministry of grace. […] Read More

All-or-nothing thinking in rigid religion makes building community with others difficult. Like in high school football, we may need “penalties” for those with a spirit of “it’s this and nothing else.” […] Read More

Violence in our society is a perplexing reality. If we look at it in terms of statistics, there is less killing and crime in many categories than in many years. When we see the daily litany of murder stories on the news, though, and compare our nation to other nations, we are appalled at the […] Read More

Philip Yancey is one of those writers who reaches past the normal barriers faced by Christian authors to speak to the pain of a hurting world. He writes in such an engaging, thoughtful and undefensive style that he touches those who wouldn’t necessarily listen to preachers or go to churches – people who like Jesus […] Read More

I have been thinking about what President Obama said near the end of his farewell address. He said that the most important person in the country is still the citizen. As President-elect Trump assumes office, it will be a great challenge for our leaders on all sides to move the country forward. It has been […] Read More

How can you not like the story of the Pilgrims? They came to America to find religious freedom. They were “separatists,” believing that the true church must separate itself from the corruptions of the world, in particular the Anglican Church and its state-supported status as an established church. They were known as “nonconformists,” as in […] Read More

I heard someone discussing the psychology of “moral elevation” recently. By that they meant that just as anger, disgust and depression can be triggered by reactions to negative things said and done by ourselves and others, so we can be affected in the positive direction by morally uplifting actions. The speaker went on to say […] Read More

Haven’t we had enough of rage and death? Hasn’t enough blood been shed to convince us that this is a way that leads down into a pit from which there is no return, no hope and no end? Is there no capacity for mutual respect left among us for our neighbor, friend and even the […] Read More

Nicolas Hénin is a Frenchman who was held in captivity in Syria for 10 months by ISIS. He was tormented, among others, by “Jihadi John,” who was killed last week in an airstrike. I read a piece in The Guardian about his captivity. He is distressed, of course, by the events in Paris over the […] Read More

Several years ago, I was approached about participating in a program where pastors might become friends across differences – race, age and denomination – and learn from each other. Rev. Arthur Price and I decided to make that journey together. He is the pastor of historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where, 50 […] Read More