The president of one of the leading Christian-based research organizations in the U.S. says it's time for believers to re-consider how the church in America should engage a culture that appears to be shifting away from Biblical values. This year's election results make it obvious that the country is embracing moral views that differ from evangelical Christianity, said LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer.
"We must face the reality that we may be on the losing side of the culture war," wrote Stetzer in his blog posted the day after the election. "For decades, the 'religious right' has focused its energies on winning the day through political means."
He also wrote about the outcomes of key ballot issues in Tuesday's election that included victories in support of abortion and same-sex marriage. more >>
New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas is among the Christians upset over the decision by LifeWay Christian Stores to remove "The Blind Side" from its shelves because it contained profanity and racial slurs. He says objections over the language miss the point of the film and such reactions make it hard for Christians to be taken seriously in cultural discussions.
Metaxas, a rising evangelical voice who is best known for his biographies on William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, expressed his disapproval of LifeWay's move to pull "The Blind Side" in a commentary for BreakPoint radio this week.
"I'm kind of upset. A great movie was pulled from the shelves of a Christian bookstore chain," he said on the July 5 program. "Look, I'm as concerned about cultural messages as anyone. I'm a father. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do this – and the wrong way definitely includes the permanent state of umbrage that many Christians seem to exhibit. They seem to have confused being salt and light with being curmudgeons." more >>
Ed Stetzer thinks Christians can be "knowledge addicts" when it comes to the Bible but have an "application deficit" when it comes to living on mission. In other words, Christians can talk the talk but they don't walk the walk.
That's where Stetzer, the general editor of The Gospel Project, is hoping the new LifeWay Christian Resources curriculum will be different from other Bible study curriculums out there. Stetzer and the project's managing editor, Trevin Wax, were intentional in making a resource that connects deep theological concepts with mission-driven application.
"We're really working hard to make sure that people know the big story. Not that they will be addicted to knowing more but that it will lead to actional application. That's what we're trying to do is to break that cycle," said Stetzer, an expert in missiology and vice president of Research and Ministry Development for LifeWay Christian Resources. more >>
The newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention supported the efforts of a Florida pastor to remove the movie "The Blind Side" from LifeWay Christian bookstores over its language content.
The Rev. Fred Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church of New Orleans and who was elected the first African-American SBC president on Tuesday, corresponded with Florida pastor Rodney Baker of Hopeful Baptist Church regarding Baker's effort to remove the film from LifeWay shelves.
In his email correspondence, which took place in late May, Luter expressed his support for Baker's efforts, stating that the Florida pastor showed determination in doing something Luter agreed with. Baker requested that the actual language of the email not be published, but The Christian Post obtained a copy and verified Luter's support. more >>
LifeWay Christian Bookstores will be pulling the film "The Blind Side" from their shelves in response to a complaint from a Florida pastor.
Pastor Rodney L. Baker of Hopeful Baptist Church of Lake City submitted a resolution to the Southern Baptist Convention, demanding that LifeWay pull the PG-13 film over its language content.
"BE IT RESOLVED that the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in annual session June 17- 20, 2012, in New Orleans, Louisiana expresses dissatisfaction with 'The Blindside' and any product that contains explicit profanity, God's name in vain, and racial slur," reads the resolution in part. more >>
Amid all the changes in the Church, there are seven constants that can remind pastors and laypeople about what really matters, says a leading church trend analyst.
Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, wrote in a recent column that he's "pretty good about projecting current trends toward a future reality" given his 30 years of researching and consulting with churches. And although he has had his "share of misses as well," he said he "can make a definitive statement" about several things in the church that will not change.
One thing that will not change is that the Bible is still the Word of God. "It always has been and always will be. It is sharper than a two-edged sword. It is powerful because it is the Word of God," he states. more >>