In his new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat argues that orthodox American Christianity has weakened since the 1950s to be replaced by a number of heresies, both conservative and liberal. This "bad religion" has resulted in adverse consequences for American society, politics and culture.
In a Thursday interview with The Christian Post, Douthat talked more about his thesis, responded to some criticisms, and discussed how his diverse Christian upbringing (charismatic, evangelical and Catholic) helped inform the book.
The following is an edited transcript of that conversation: more >>
Megachurch pastor Billy Hybels' first five years of establishing a church in a Chicago suburb was one of the hardest experiences in his life, he told Christian leaders at the Exponential conference.
"I did a lot of scrambling. In the first five years it was like 25, 100-yard dashes a day," Hybels told those attending the second day of the three-day church planting conference at First Baptist Church Orlando.
Hybels, 60, founded Willow Creek Community Church 37 years ago. He led services at Palatine's Willow Creek Theater before the church moved six years later to its current location in South Barrington, Ill. more >>
Christian leaders with a heart for church planting are being encouraged at the Exponential conference to move past the difficulties they will encounter when they start their houses of worship.
Church planting is not for the faint of heart, say organizers of the three-day conference, which began Tuesday at First Baptist Church Orlando. More than 4,000 new churches start each year, which means upwards of 20,000 planters are "in the trenches in years 1-5, many of whom are discouraged and have considered quitting," according to information on the conference website.
The conference theme is "Sifted," emphasizing the church planter's spiritual, physical, and emotional health as the "very foundation for reproducing." more >>
IRVINE, Calif. – Pastor Craig Groeschel, speaking before 3,500 Christian leaders at Catalyst West, urged younger and older generations within the church to invest their time and efforts toward each other to create the unity needed for change.
The leader of the multi-site LifeChurch.tv that draws 30,000 people every week told those in attendance at the conference hosted at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif., that it was time to address "generational tension."
"Those who are older will say those that are younger are arrogant and those that are younger will say that if they were in charge they would do things differently," said the 44-year-old Groeschel, who began his frank discussion by addressing the older generation. more >>
As North Korea plans a national celebration for the 100th birthday of the late Kim Il-sung on Sunday, Open Doors, an international Christian ministry which serves persecuted believers, is mobilizing Christians around the world to participate in a day of prayer.
While much of the world's media focused on North Korea's potentially dangerous rocket launch this week, Open Doors wants to bring attention to the country that has been ranked No. 1 on the ministry's World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians for the last ten years.
"Even with the media attention that the rocket launch is getting, not many are paying attention to the fate of the people inside North Korea, especially Christians," Open Doors USA Media Director Jerry Dykstra told The Christian Post on Thursday. "They have been virtually ignored. We want to get people praying and advocating for them." more >>
Perhaps the reason many people don't get excited about Easter is that they do not know the full meaning of Jesus' resurrection and are not viewing the holy day in "3D," said Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren during one of the first of his weekend service messages Friday.
Warren related the fact that 3D movies have grown in number and popularity recently because some people believe they offer a "fuller experience," using the analogy as an illustration that shows that there is more to the Easter story than what many may perceive as one-dimensional.
He will be giving his Easter sermon at the megachurch located in Lake Forest, Calif., several times in order to accommodate 35 church services held on the main campus and satellite campuses throughout Orange County and neighboring Riverside County through Sunday. All Saddleback's Easter services are broadcast on the church's website as well. more >>