An extensive study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that Christians are declining sharply in America in terms of population share, while the religiously unaffiliated are rising, and now make up a larger share than American Catholics. The rise of religious intermarriages was one trend linked to the growth of the unaffiliated.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, stated: "The drop in the Christian share of the population has been driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics. Each of those large religious traditions has shrunk by approximately 3 percentage points since 2007. The evangelical Protestant share of the U.S. population also has dipped, but at a slower rate, falling by about 1 percentage point since 2007."
Christians remain the largest religious group in America, but their share of the population fell from 78.4 to 70 percent between 2007 to 2014, Pew noted. more >>
Two Evangelical Left speakers chastened their co-religionists to change the church's teachings on human sexuality and marriage at an influential gathering of mostly young Evangelicals in Boston April 23-25.
Author Matthew Vines of the Reformation Project and Ethicist David Gushee of Mercer University offered arguments from mission and hermeneutics against biblical prohibitions on sexual acts between persons of the same sex.
Begun as a project of Evangelical Author Gabe Lyons, Q is frequently compared to TED Talks with a format of short, timed presentations and a focus on cultural engagement. more >>
Imagine a scenario. A 15-year-old boy living in Oregon is confused about his sexuality. He's never been close to his father and doesn't fit in well with the guys at school. They like football; he likes art. He was bullied relentlessly in middle school because he's a late bloomer – his body still hasn't quite developed. He's very sensitive, and is easily hurt by his older brother who teases him about not having kissed a girl yet. Then one day, he's surfing the Internet and receives a chat from a friendly stranger commenting on the artwork in his profile picture.
They begin chatting online over a shared interest in art, and soon agree to meet at an art show, where the friendly stranger can see the boy's artwork.
Two weeks later, the boy is standing next to his painting at the art show when a silver-haired grandfatherly-looking man comes up smiling. "Hey Picasso! Is this yours?" The boy then remembers his conversation two weeks prior. The stranger is older than he thought, but he's giving him the attention he desperately wants. They begin to talk about art, and the two of them click, despite their 50-year age difference. Then, he invites the boy for coffee after the show. He accepts, and they talk for hours. They exchange phone numbers, and the next weekend, the man invites the boy to his house to view his personal art collection. more >>
I started writing this column a little over four years ago and from day one the comments section has pretty much been a three-ring circus.
Belittlement, narrow-mindedness, attacks on character, and blame for all the world problems have been shot back and forth like flaming arrows from the bows of angry, fearful, judgmental and stubborn men and women. And no, my Christians brothers and sisters, it hasn't just been the "militant" gays and unbelievers spewing hateful words. Everyone has been involved in the warfare – Christians included.
The incessant hostility eventually got so bad that I disabled the comment section on my website for about six months. Nothing fruitful or beneficial taking place in that space. Conversations weren't being held. Reasoning wasn't taking place. It was just a bunch of empty yelling and screaming into the air. And sadly, the comments section on my website is a pretty accurate representation of the type of dialogue taking place in our broader culture when it comes to the issues of homosexuality and religion. more >>
Editor's Note: Please see my more recent column on my conversation with Pastor Stanley as a result of this column.
I really appreciate Pastor Andy Stanley's call last month for Christians in America to live like real Christians, and I absolutely agree with him that if we do, in just one year's time the nation would be positively affected.
But he was way off in his call for Christians to take one year off from the culture wars, as if the only way we could live like real Christians was to refrain from engaging the culture. Quite the contrary. more >>
In a classic example of life imitating art, Modern Family's Emmy-nominated actress Sofia Vergara has found herself in the midst of a national conversation surrounding her twin girls. The twin girls are currently in the embryo stage, cryogenically frozen in a Los Angeles lab, as Sofia and her former fiancée, Nick Loeb, battle out their future.
However, this isn't the typical Hollywood custody battle that one has become accustomed to reading in the pages of US Weekly or InTouch. According to Nick's complaint filed with the Los Angeles County court, it's not a matter of Sofia or Nick arguing over who gets the kids during future holidays, it's whether these two children should be even given a chance to live at all.
Nick has stated he wants to raise the twins; Sofia's lawyer claims she "is content to leave the embryos frozen indefinitely as she has no desire to have children with her ex." They previously had signed an agreement stating that consent of both parties was needed to bring the embryos to term. more >>