There is a growing refrain among non-theists: reading the Bible made me an atheist. Commonly, they point to difficult to understand Old Testament passages, including ones where God allows the death and destruction of humanity as He did with the flood in Genesis and bloody wars against the Canaanites detailed in Deuteronomy.
"Contemporary Christians have had a difficult time trying to come to grips with what they find in the Old Testament, especially those narratives that recount the destruction of whole groups of people by the acts of God," said Thomas Howe, a professor of Bible and Biblical Languages at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, North Carolina. "Non-Christians capitalize on this and attempt to undermine our faith by calling into question either the goodness of God or even His existence."
A challenge that some non-theists use to undermine the Christian faith is if God is so loving, why does He kill people or why does He encourage His people to commit genocide. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Together LA, a three-day conference about what it means to love Los Angeles, was originally thought of as an event primarily for church planters. But as plans developed, it looks to be more about discussing action steps that the Christian community within the city should take toward resolving social issues.
Church planter and Together LA lead organizer Pastor Brannin Pitre told The Christian Post that as plans for the conference matured, the storyline could be headlined: "Why a bunch of church planters think there's more to loving your city than planting churches."
WATCH TOGETHER LA TRAILER BELOW more >>
LOS ANGELES – Church planter and Together LA lead organizer, Pastor Brannin Pitre, is hoping an upcoming three-day conference bringing together Christian leaders in late February to discuss what it means to love Los Angeles will expand thought and action on what he sees as a newer hot spot for church planting.
"There's a little bit of a buzz and an excitement that's brewing for people and I think Together LA is part of this catalytic movement that gets this buzz farther down the road that says, 'If you really want to be involved in some really dynamic ministry that's going on right now in this country, you've got to think about Los Angeles,'" Pitre told The Christian Post recently.
"About 15-20 years ago, it was New York, even 10 years ago it was New York," he explains. "There's been other hot spots around the country. I do think that there is something significant happening in Los Angeles that we are just at the cusp of and it would really be fun to see what the Lord does." more >>
Trend prediction is both an art and a science. It is a science in the sense that I utilize the good objective research of credible research organizations like LifeWay Research and others. It is an art in that I depend on observations, anecdotal information, and ongoing interaction with church leaders and members.
At the beginning of every year, I attempt to present to you the major trends for congregations for the coming twelve months. I review my predictions from previous years to see how accurate I am. I have come to two conclusions. First, I am far from perfect in my predictions. Second, I do have a decent track record.
Some of my trends are called "tipping points." Formally defined, a tipping point is the critical moment in an evolving situation that leads to a new and somewhat permanent reality. In simple terms, a tipping point here means that something has changed in our churches to the point that it appears to be permanent. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Organizers of a three-day conference plan to host leading pastors, ministry and community leaders, including Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York, as they discuss what it means to embrace Los Angeles and help meet its needs.
Keller, seen in a video on the "Together LA" website, says, "We're bringing Christian leaders together from all over Los Angeles to ask and answer one question: What does it mean to love your city?"
The event, scheduled for February 26-28, will include ministry practitioners presenting interactive sessions that "engage the realities of loving our city," organizers announced on Friday. Workshops and panel discussions will cover topics such as mercy ministry, systemic injustice, ethnic and class conflict, faith and work, social and culture changes and challenges, church health and church collaborations. more >>
In a review of its 2014 efforts, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reveals that it has shared the Gospel with close to 9.5 million people around the world through its outreaches. More than 1.6 million of those people have made a decision for Christ, reports the BGEA.
Those outreaches include BGEA collaborations with local churches in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia to hold large scale festivals and celebrations. BGEA President and CEO Franklin Graham and his son, Will Graham, also preached the Gospel at functions hosted in parts of the United States, Canada, Japan, Sri Lanka and Papau New Guinea.
Franklin Graham praised God for the BGEA's efforts in a recent letter. He wrote "Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God for all He has done and is doing, and we are eager to keep pressing forward as He continues to open doors." more >>