Author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel along with colleagues at Houston Baptist University announced this week that in response to an increasing tide of skepticism in the U.S. they are launching the Center for American Evangelism program and initiative.
"We are facing a crisis in America. Skepticism is rising. Too many young people are leaving the faith. Few Christians are able to effectively share Jesus with others," Strobel said in a statement released exclusively to The Christian Post. "At many churches, reaching spiritually lost people falls to the bottom of their priorities.
"This is a crisis we need to confront — urgently!" more >>
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series on churches that chose not to leave their respective mainline Protestant denominations despite disagreement with the denominations' changes in theological positions.
Longstanding American churches known as mainline Protestant denominations have garnered many headlines for their increasing liberal theological stances. In response to this theological drift, large numbers of people and congregations have opted to leave these mainline churches for more biblically orthodox pastures.
However, oftentimes less reported is the news about those members who decide to stay within the mainline denominations to continue as a witness to the traditional understanding of the Gospel. more >>
The grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham commented Tuesday that he believes Evangelicals' involvement in the conservative political movement "has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else."
Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, explained to co-hosts of the MSNBC program "Morning Joe" that American evangelicalism has been harmed by its association with conservative politics.
"Over the course of the last 20 or 30 years, evangelicalism, specifically their association with the religious right and conservative politics, has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else," Tchividjian asserted. more >>
The Bible Challenge has become a movement of sorts since its inception four years ago, as hundreds of thousands of people commit to reading the entire Bible during the course of a year.
The pledge originatinated from the call made by an Episcopal clergyman from Pennsylvania to his congregation in 2011 includes a book of the same name.
The Rev. Marek P. Zabriskie, rector at St. Thomas' Church Whitemarsh of Fort Washington, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday that "The Bible Challenge took off beyond my wildest expectations." more >>
Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.
"As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches," officials stated Tuesday on the church's website. "While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."
As Mars Hill staff were busy closing the final chapter on the church that once rocked the Seattle area and beyond with its edgy, strict orthodox preacher who had his share of leadership problems that led to his resignation in October, there were no official reaction statements coming from the church other than an announcement on its website. Both Driscoll and Warren declined to comment, according to their respective media representatives at press time. more >>
There is a significant shift in the church today to avoid controversial truths, such as sin and repentance. God's Word says to confront, confess, and turn from sin, whereas many encourage us to ignore, overlook, and continue in it. Silence about sin minimizes the cross and makes it less offensive. Silence about sin is also a sign of a false teacher.
If a pastor avoids difficult truths they are not a pastor; they are a motivational speaker, or a false prophet offering false hope (cf. Jeremiah 23). The cross only makes sense in light of the consequences of sin. "To convince the world of the truth of Christianity, it must first be convinced of sin. It is only sin that renders Christ intelligible" (Andrew Murray; 1794-1866).
Many mistakenly believe that Jesus didn't mention sin—after all, He was "a friend of sinners." However, Scripture reveals quite the opposite. For example, in John 5:14 Jesus exhorted a man to sin no more or a worse thing would happen to him. He also told the woman caught in the act of adultery to "go and sin no more." In Luke 10:13-14, Jesus reprimanded cities that did not repent and turn from sin, and in the fifth chapter of Matthew He said to remove anything that causes us to sin. It's clear that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). Why, then, is there a move within the church to avoid mentioning sin? John 12:43 may reveal the answer, "They loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God." more >>