South African Olympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, currently on trial accused of murdering his girlfriend, has turned to a book about prayer by a New York City megachurch pastor as he prepares to take the stand in his defense.
Pistorius, 27, who maintains that he mistakenly shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013, when he mistook her for an intruder, has repeatedly vomited and sobbed during the trial.
However, it recently came to attention that Pistorius has been reading Breakthrough Prayer: The Power of Connecting with the Heart of God by Jim Cymbala, the senior pastor of the 16,000 person Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. more >>
A New Jersey church will put a spin on the Easter story by bringing in a professional detective to examine Christ's death and resurrection.
Homicide investigator J. Warner Wallace will utilize his "cold case investigation skills" to examine the historical circumstances surrounding Christianity's sacred weekend in a four-week series that starts on Sunday at Liquid Church's four locations.
"We know people's faith rests on understanding if the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was real or not. What better way than to bring in a CSI detective and have him examine the biblical evidence available for a homicide investigation?" Tim Lucas, lead pastor of Liquid Church said in a statement. more >>
Director Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" has stirred controversy far and wide ahead of its release date in recent weeks, and Pastor Rick Warren is the latest to sound off on the film via Twitter over the weekend.
The Aronofksy-directed drama has caused waves after bridging both secularist views and a desire to appeal to religious audiences, and critics are speculating over how closely or loosely "Noah" will adhere to the Bible- including Pastor Warren. On Sunday, the Saddleback Church founder touched on the upcoming film, but in doing so, he inaccurately quoted Aronofsky.
"Director of new 'Noah' movie calls it 'The LEAST biblical film ever made' then uses F word referring to those wanting Bible-based (entertainment)," Warren wrote to his over one million Twitter users on March 16. more >>
Megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll recently apologized via an internal letter to his congregation for using a marketing company that promoted his book Real Marriage through what he now sees as a manipulative method to help place the book on top of the New York Times best seller list.
"My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church," Driscoll stated in the letter. "In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the '#1 New York Times bestseller' status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well."
Earlier this month, after a report that the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church he pastors paid a promotional company $210,000 three years ago to make sure that Real Marriage, co-written by Driscoll's wife, Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list, the church released a "Note From Our Board of Advisors and Accountability." In addition to describing a shift in the way decisions made by the church administration are reviewed, the Board addressed the book promotion controversy. more >>
Approaching the 1-year anniversary of the death of her son, Matthew, Kay Warren recently shared her strong feelings about the perhaps well-meaning, but often insensitive comments she's received during the grieving process. Her husband, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, says her post, which has since gone viral, resonates with many who have faced a similar situation.
"It struck a nerve with every grieving person who faces well-meaning but clueless reactions from others," posted Rick Warren on his Facebook page on Friday. "In 24 hours, her post has been read by over 1.5 million people, re-posted nearly 9,000 time, and thousands have left affirming 'I get it' comments."
In just the few days since its original posting, Kay Warren's "Don't Tell Grievers to 'Move On'" piece has been re-posted nearly 17,000 times and readership has climbed well over the initial 1.5 million. Pastor Warren urged the readers of his post to "Like" her Facebook page in support then pass her article on to others. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, of Saddleback Church, will be joined by several experts in the field of mental health, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Orange County to host The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church later this month.
Open to everyone, The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church on March 28 is designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to any who face the challenges of mental illness, say organizers.
"It's so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up," said Kay Warren. "We want this to be a hopeful event that encourages individuals and helps them realize they are not alone in dealing with mental illness." more >>