In a U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey conducted in 2010 by the Pew Forum, Christians managed to correctly answer only half of the questions pertaining to the Bible and their faith. In addition, poll after poll continues to reveal that Christians are growing more divided over what they believe the Bible actually teaches about the tenets of their faith. Canadian minister John Murray hopes his recently published book, Real Faith: What's at the Heart of the Gospel, can bring some clarity where there appears to be much confusion about what and why Christians believe.
Real Faith, published Sept. 2012 by Ambassador International, was inspired by Murray's own faith journey, with the author telling The Christian Post that it isn't uncommon for recent converts and young Christians to be left to their own devices in figuring out their new-found faith. Divided into 11 chapters with suggested ideas for group study, Real Faith asks questions such as "Why do we believe?", "Who is God the Father?" and "What is Christian conversion?"
Aiming to expose the heart of evangelical Christianity, Murray presents a catechism of sorts on subjects such as the Trinity, the inspiration of Scripture and God's character. The author rounds out Real Faith by examining what is expected of those who believe in Jesus Christ and desire to be mature and credible witnesses. more >>
A Canadian mayor from the province of Quebec is challenging a city ban of council prayers by arguing before a court that Canada's own constitution acknowledges the role of God in government.
Jean Tremblay, Saguenay's mayor, argued before a judge on Monday that city council meetings should be allowed to begin with a prayer if that is the choice of the participants.
"For sure, when you go to court, you expect to win," Tremblay said in an interview Sunday. "But it is not only the trial of Jean Tremblay. It is more than that: it is about the whole culture of Quebec." more >>
A school district in Chilliwack, British Columbia has said that it will continue offering free Bibles to students despite protests from an atheist parent who describes the handouts as "religious marketing."
"The Board approves the distribution of Gideon Youth Testaments to Grade 5 pupils with parental consent," the Chilliwack school board said last week in response to the concerns of the parent, Richard Ajabu. He said his daughter showed him a permission form to receive a free Bible at school from Gideons International, an evangelical Protestant association that has handed out free Bibles to Canadian grade five public school students since 1946.
Ajabu has called the free Bibles "indoctrination," and said the program discriminates against parents belonging other religious groups who do not want to raise their children with the Bible, the Chilliwack Times reported. more >>
The Canadian government has said it will cancel the contracts of all part-time chaplains – one-fifth of whom are non-Christians – at federal prisons, and therefore full-time chaplains – all but one of whom are Christian – must provide services to inmates of all faiths.
The office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada's penitentiaries, has told CBC News about its decision in an email message.
Toews says he is not convinced that taxpayer money should be used for part-time chaplains from other religions and he will therefore review the policy. Canada spends about $6.4 million a year on its prison chaplain program. more >>
The Toronto District School Board in Canada has come under fire after it released posters in its schools encouraging acceptance and tolerance of different sexual orientations, including in one poster what some say is a reference to polygamy.
The poster under question features a collection of all sorts of different couples represented by stick figures – men and men, women and women, men and women, – but also has an image of three stick figures grouped together, which includes a man and two women.
"This will certainly be controversial among some parents, particularly religious parents of different faiths, and maybe even those who aren't religious who think this isn't appropriate for young children, who may not understand," said Doretta Wilson from the Canadian group Society for Quality Education. She suggested that the Toronto school district was going overboard in its quest to be politically correct. more >>
The World Evangelical Alliance has announced the names of a team of experts who will gather in Canada later this year to discuss and produce a report on new biblical translations implemented by Wycliffe Global alliance and SIL - formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
The panel was selected to review changes that were made by Wycliffe Global Alliance solely in relation to familial terms found within scripture. In August 2011 SIL published "Best Practices for Bible Translation of Divine Familial Terms" to settle uneasiness surrounding the scriptural interpretation of familial names contained within scripture, however, this has created more confusion and less certainty.
To stay on course the panel has stated that it will "review SIL's translation practices, set boundaries for theologically acceptable translation methodology, particularly in Muslim contexts, and suggest how to practically implement these recommendations." more >>