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Today's News 
CHRISTIAN NEWS 

How unexpected fame and quirky family has helped Jessica Robertson share her faith.

Jessica Robertson belongs to a big, unusual family—evangelical Christians made famous by their popular duck-call company Duck Commander and the hit A&E series Duck Dynasty.

Since its premiere three years ago, the show has set cable reality TV records, attracting millions of viewers and hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing. Despite its recognizable, bushy-bearded stars (Phil Robertson and his goofy brother Uncle Si, plus sons Alan, Willie, Jase, and Jep), their supportive wives (matriarch “Miss Kay,” and Lisa, Korie, Missy, and Jessica) bring humor and heart to each episode.

Through the show, now in its seventh season, “we spend more time together, and those relationships have grown and deepened,” said Jessica, 34, who married the youngest Robertson son, Jep. Their family of six recently moved onto the same street as his three older brothers, in their northeast Louisiana hometown, West Monroe.

While many rant about meddling in-laws, Jessica raves about hers. She praises her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law for helping strengthen her marriage. And despite our skepticism over the fame and overexposure of reality TV, Jessica says the platform gave her the confidence to share her faith on a large scale.

Jessica and the fellow women of Duck Dynasty will speak at next month’s Heart to Home Conference, a women’s ministry and mentorship program they’ve been involved in through their church (a local Church of Christ congregation). She also recently completed a book with her husband about seeking God through struggles in marriage, The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God (Thomas Nelson, June 2015).

Jessica talked to Her.meneutics editor Kate Shellnutt about what ...

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Millennial anxiety sabotages attempts to engage the next generation. Dietrich explains why.

We are certainly concerned about millennials.

It began about the time this age cohort reached adulthood, with the 1999 publication of Saving the Millennial Generation: New Ways to Reach the Kids You Care About in These Uncertain Times. It accelerated when some polls in the mid-2000s began to suggest millennials’ waning interest in church. Enter “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving church.” The latter article quickly garnered some 100,000 page views not long ago.

This past October, the 2014 Alignment Conference featured Barna’s David Kinnaman and pastor and church planter Dave Ferguson talking about millennials, who present a “game changing moment” for the church. Gen2 Leadership Conference is meeting this month with the theme, “Fighting for the Heart of the Millennial Generation.”

We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West). Like some reverse Paul Revere, many ride through the fiber optics of the Internet and into church basements shouting, “The millennials are leaving! Watch out for the rise of the nones!” Simply put, millennial anxiety—a concern shared by both mainline and evangelical churches—is the fear that those between ages 18 and 25 have little interest in the church, and that the church has failed to convince them to stay.

As a professor of youth ministry and theology, I suppose ...

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First Things says yes. Survey finds 1 in 4 pastors agree.

In response to same-sex marriage, hundreds signed a pledge endorsed by First Things to separate civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay Research found that 1 in 4 pastors (and 1 in 3 Americans) support such a move.

Here’s how theologians and other experts answered the question. Answers are arranged on a spectrum from “yes” answers at the top to “no” answers at the bottom.

"For a long time, Christianity has sewn its teachings into the fabric of Western culture. That was a good thing. But the season of sewing is ending. Now is a time for rending, not for the sake of disengaging from culture or retreating from the public square, but so that our salt does not lose its savor."
~R. R. Reno, editor, First Things

"The pledge is a small gesture, but gestures provoke and can galvanize. It’s a bit of political theater, but theater can shatter complacency. Political theatrics must be preceded and followed by principled and strategic discussion, but effective political theater raises the stakes and intensifies debate."
~Peter Leithart, senior fellow, New St. Andrews College

"Not yet. We cannot so easily divorce Christian and civil marriage, because everyone has a compelling interest in legal, natural matrimony. It is a common grace. Every important measure of social thriving is driven by the prevalence of natural marriage in a community."
~Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies, Focus on the Family

"Not yet. For now, by registering gospel-qualified unions as civil marriages and not officiating at unions that are not gospel-qualified, we call the government to its responsibility even as we call attention to its limits." ~Russell Moore, ...

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