A new Pew Research Center survey of opinion about the importance of religion in American life shows an interesting picture.
Over the last 12 years, the percentage of Americans that think religion is losing influence in American life has increased dramatically. In 2002, 52 percent of those surveyed said religion is losing influence. In 2014, 72 percent of Americans said religion is losing influence.
However, while increasing numbers of Americans feel religion is losing influence, most feel this is a bad thing. more >>
"Believe Me," a new movie created by the same Christian filmmakers behind documentaries such as "Beware of Christians" and "One Nation Under God," challenges the norm in the Christian film market.
The film tells the story of a college student named Sam who cannot afford his tuition. In order to raise money to stay in school, he, and three of his friends, pose as the touring Christian ministry The God Squad, and con people into giving them money to provide clean water for people in Africa. But, instead, they intend to keep the donated money for themselves.
In order to portray the characters (who are atheist or agnostic) authentically, the creators had to take some risks by including elements not normally found in Christian films, such as drinking, tobacco use and graphic language. more >>
It is downright difficult to shock or awe anyone anymore. The convergence of instant-media platforms and invisible data networks, which connect these platforms to millions of eyeballs, means that anything which happens in the world is eligible for prime time. Like most situations involving groups of anonymous strangers interacting with each other, the trash floats to the top. Our palates have grown jaded and calloused, taught to seek the thrill which lies just beyond the boundary of social approbation. The slope becomes more slippery the further we slide down the hill, increasing the pace and inertia of our demise. Once-forbidden debauchery now sells clothing lines, attracts prime-time viewers, garners political support, spawns lucrative charities, and dominates headline, byline, and through-line of our news cycle.
Shocking is mundane and the outrageous is normal.
There is however one way guaranteed to get the panties of the masses in a collective bundle: mention Christ, the Bible, God, or His people; elaborate on His plan of salvation for a sinful and fallen mankind; affirm the exclusivity of the Christian message in the words of Christ Himself, ("Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way which leads to destruction," Matt 7:13). Should you communicate this simple message to the right audience you will soon find yourself, like Abraham Van Helsing, holding aloft a torch in a dank and dusty crypt, surrounded a horde of snarling individuals, intent on your demise. more >>
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has a transforming effect when it is lived out personally, but when the Church tries to do God's work in the world's ways, it is weak, Os Guinness explained in his new book, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times.
In a Sept. 12 interview with The Christian Post, Guinness argued that Christians in America are too worldly, and if they learn to follow the Gospel and be in the world but not of the world, that will have the power to transform the culture.
Guinness is a popular Evangelical author and speaker, and has written over 30 books. He also founded The Trinity Forum and was on the steering committee for the 2008 "Evangelical Manifesto." CP previously interviewed Guinness about his 2012 book, A Free People's Suicide, and his 2013 book, The Global Public Square. more >>
Earlier this year I attended the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta, an annual gathering of authors, speakers, and publishers from around the world. When I heard that my pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, was doing a book signing in the conference exhibit hall, I sheepishly showed up. "I promise I'm not stalking you," I told him with a giggle. "I just came by to cheer you on."
If ever I start to get overly skeptical about humanity, I just need to show up to a Dr. Stanley book signing and watch as long lines of people tell him their stories of how his messages have impacted their lives and helped transform their relationships with the Lord. As I stood back and observed loyal listeners and readers light up when it was their turn to shake his hand, I teared up and thanked God that I had been given the immense privilege of sitting under his preaching and teaching for my entire life. "Thanks for letting me be part of the fan club," I whispered to Phillip Bowen, the CEO of In Touch Ministries, Stanley's broadcast organization. "You're part of the family," Bowen responded.
In that moment I was reminded of how First Baptist Atlanta has been more than just my church for the past 30 years. It is indeed my family. And Dr. Stanley has been more than just the pastor. He has been my pastor. Today, as he turns 82 years old, Dr. Stanley remains like a grandfather in the faith to me and countless others who have been personally shaped by his ministry over the years. more >>
H.B. Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., hosted a conference on expository preaching this week with such speakers as Al Mohler, Bryan Carter, Bryan Loritts and several others. Those in attendance and tweeting during the event revealed that much was being said, albeit in 140 characters, about the nature of sound preaching.
Charles, whose remarks were quoted in the tweets, hosted the Cutting It Straight Expository Preaching Conference at his Jacksonville church, with a live stream made available for those unable to attend in person.
The Florida megachurch pastor cites 2 Timothy 2:15 in the Bible's demand for accurate preaching: more >>