A survey examining Americans' views on Christian theology revealed that, among even self-identified Christians, there is confusion or disagreement about the Holy Spirit. Is the spirit a force or a personal being? Is the spirit present in only Pentecostal Christians, or in all believers? According to one theologian, the spirit is both a force and a being — and is present in everyone, not just Christians.
The overall findings of the survey, conducted by LifeWay Research and commissioned by Ligonier Ministries, might not be that earth-shattering to some — because, well, Christians and Americans in general believe differently about the Bible on many points. But what "The State of Theology" survey reveals about Evangelical Christians' beliefs about the historical doctrine of the Trinity might be surprising.
While 71 percent of Americans believe in the Trinity, the concept that God exists as three persons (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), 64 percent of them think the Holy Spirit is a force. Among those identified as Evangelical: 59 percent of them say the Holy Spirit is a force; 31 percent say the Holy Spirit is a person; and 10 percent just aren't sure either way (LifeWay). more >>
Pop icon Nick Jonas explained his decision to stop wearing his purity ring, stating that he has developed his own beliefs and the relationship between physical intimacy and faith in God.
"It's important for anyone to grow," Nick told Yahoo. "The thing that was strange for me was the emphasis on my sex life at 14; it's a crazy thing. I've seen a lot of my peers struggle with media attention on things that are very personal, and that was one."
For years, Nick and his brothers Joe and Kevin, all wore the purity rings as symbols of their chastity. Kevin wore his until he married Danielle in 2009; they made the decision to wait until their wedding night to be intimate. However, Joe went public with the news that he was no longer a virgin in a Vulture essay. more >>
Pope Francis reportedly met a Spanish transsexual and his fiancée at the Vatican, after giving him a phone call on Christmas Day. Diego Neria Lejarraga, who was born a woman, wrote to the pontiff in December to tell him that a parish priest had called him "the devil's daughter."
AFP reported that 48-year-;/old Lejarraga met Francis on Saturday at the Vatican, after telling the pope that he had been treated as an outcast in his parish in Plasencia in western Spain. The Spanish citizen, who identifies as a Roman Catholic, has undergone sexual reassignment surgery.
"After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me," Lejarraga reportedly told the Spanish Holy newspaper. more >>
A Roman Catholic archbishop said that the Catholic Church will be keeping its ban on allowing women to serve as priests in the wake of the Church of England's consecration of its first ever female bishop.
Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, who is also the Catholic co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, told the Vatican Radio on Tuesday that while "the conversation about women's ministry continues in parts of the Catholic Church, this development is unlikely to bring about changes in the Catholic teaching on the sacrament of ordination."
The Church of England made history earlier this week when it consecrated its first ever woman bishop, Rev. Libby Lane, who will serve the diocese of Stockport. more >>
An editor with a well-established Jewish news publication argues that American Judaism has lessons to learn from Evangelicals and how they approach worship.
In a column published Sunday in the Jewish Daily Forward, contributing editor Jay Michaelson expresses his desire to see the creation of a "Jewish megachurch."
"… [A]lmost all mainline denominations are in trouble: Modern Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Of course, there are some success stories, scattered around the country, but the predominant story is of a synagogue model in decline," wrote Michaelson. more >>
Marcus Borg, a scholar popular for participating in the Jesus Seminar, died at the age of 72 last Wednesday.
His publisher HarperOne said the cause of death was related to his long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He died at his home in Powell Butte, Oregon.
Borg was known for being a pioneer in what is labeled by some as progressive Christianity, and he participated in the Jesus Seminar around 30 years ago where a group of scholars gathered and challenged many of the statements made by Jesus found in the Bible with the claim that they were dreamed up by his followers or were meant to be metaphors. more >>