"A.D. – The Bible Continues" premieres on Sunday, April 5, to coincide with the Easter holiday. It's a time of celebration for Christians, and the new series from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey captures the turmoil and emotions of those witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
The series opens with the final moments of Jesus' life played out: charges of blasphemy brought by the High Priest, Pontius Pilate washing his hands of accountability in Jesus' death, and the crucifixion. Viewers are introduced to a man desperately trying to spare his own life in the midst of accusations and absolute turmoil.
One problem, though, is that unless a viewer is familiar with the biblical account of the resurrection, the characters may seem confusing, given that their names are not used until much later in the episode. How can one distinguish between Herod and Pilate, John and Peter, all key figures in the post-resurrection story? Hopefully this will be resolved and made more clear as the series moves along. more >>
WASHINGTON — Evangelical churches need to focus more on preaching biblical truth in order to prepare children to defend historic Christian teachings on social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion from the "distorted" theology being propagated by the Christian left, evangelical author Chelsen Vicari said Wednesday.
At a Family Research Council discussion on her new book, Distorted: How The New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging Faith, Vicari explained that as more mainline Protestant denominations are starting to affirm same-sex relationships and other issues that Christ has labeled as sinful, young Evangelicals are susceptible to caving in and embracing the liberal agenda that they encounter on college campuses and in youth groups, because they don't know enough about the Scripture to defend its guiding principles.
Vicari, who's the evangelical program director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, shared her own story about how when she was going through her undergraduate studies, her strong conservative Christian convictions were tested and ostracized by left-leaning Christian groups on campus. She eventually folded her convictions to believe that it's acceptable for Christians to be accommodating toward sinful behavior, such as homosexuality. more >>
Afshin Ziafat, a former Muslim who's now a Christian pastor, said at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Leadership Summit on racial reconciliation that Christians must reach out to others with love, even when society is expected to hate them.
"Racial reconciliation is not just a good idea because racial equality is a politically correct idea, but it's because the message of the Gospel is at stake. The name of Jesus is at stake. And so the Gospel tells us that it's by grace alone that we can be restored to God," Ziafat, the pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, said on Friday.
The pastor shared his personal story of how he came to faith in Christ during the summit, which took place on March 26-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. He said that his story reflects the call for Christians to get out of their comfort zones and reach out to others. more >>
In his final remarks during a Thursday panel discussing racial reconciliation in America and the importance of urban ministry, African-American pastor, author and syndicated radio broadcaster Tony Evans boldly stated that many of the issues surrounding race in America stem from the social irresponsibility of those within the African-American community.
Speaking at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Leadership Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, Evans asserted that although the responsibility to alleviate the racial divide also lies with the church and other racial classes who must hold government accountable to change an unjust justice system, black Americans cannot use the existence of racial tensions to justify careless or irresponsible actions.
"There is another side here that needs to be brought to bear and that is black accountability. Because while we want to have the sensibility that we are talking about, and we must have it, we cannot use the reality of race to condone irresponsibility," Evans explained. "Much that goes under the name of race has to do with black irresponsibility." more >>
Barna Group has released its 2015 study on the state of atheism in America, and has revealed that one in four unchurched adults in the country now identify as atheists or agnostics. The study also found that rejection of the Bible and lack of trust in the church are two main reasons why people are turning away from faith.
The study was focused on those who have not attended church within the past six months, and found that the majority of such people identify as non-practicing Christians. One in four, or 25 percent, however, were classed as skeptics, which Barna defines as people who "either do not believe God exists (atheists) or are not sure God exists, but are open to the possibility (agnostics)."
Of that number, nearly one-third said that they have never attended a Christian church service in their lives. more >>
"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson gave an impassioned speech at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast on Friday equating non-salvation and disbelief with violence.
"Two guys break into an atheist's home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters," Robertson said. "Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot 'em and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they look at him and say, 'Isn't it great that I don't have to worry about being judged? Isn't it great that there's nothing wrong with this? There's no right or wrong, now is it dude!"
Robertson wanted to drive home the point that disbelief can lead to unspeakable violence because there's no fear of judgment in the afterlife. more >>