I have been a follower of Christ for more than 30 years. During that time I have read innumerable books on Christian living, commentaries, study guides, Christian growth, and fiction. There is probably no category untouched. In addition to reading many books about the Christian life, I have poured over the Bible for both study and reading.
From all the books and commentaries I have used, though, if I were asked of a list of books followers of Jesus should read now to help them understand the Bible better, it would be these two:
A former Pennsylvania youth pastor, classroom assistant and basketball coach has been arrested on charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy that he met at church.
Jonathan David Masteller, 23, who worked at Gap Community Church in Lancaster County until two weeks ago, when he took a job at a school, allegedly assaulted the boy at least six times.
"It's very disturbing to see any child victimized, especially in this situation where the child had gained trust in an adult and his trust was taken advantage of and he was abused," Trooper Philip Strosser of the Pennsylvania State Police told Fox Fox43. more >>
Christian leaders have expressed their sentiments of remembrance and sorrow at the news of the death of South African human rights activist and racial pioneer Nelson Mandela.
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance, said in a statement that "the world has lost a great leader."
"Nelson Mandela was a model of courage, vision and personal sacrifice. Today more than ever we need this kind of leadership," said Tunnicliffe. more >>
YouVersion's newest creation, The Bible App for Kids, has already been downloaded more than a million times since it was made available less than a week after its release on Thanksgiving Day. The app was developed in collaboration with the international ministry OneHope.
"Just like we've seen the Bible App transform how our generation is engaging with Scripture, we believe the Bible App for Kids will change how the next generation discovers the grand narrative of the Bible," said Bobby Gruenewald, innovation pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma, which created YouVersion.
The primary catalyst for the project was the YouVersion community itself, "the world's largest digital Bible-sharing community," the Bible App creators say. Though some kids are already using the original Bible App, it wasn't really made with them in mind. YouVersion moved forward with the project when its survey indicated that more than 95 percent of its community of parents surveyed would be interested in the Bible App for Kids and that it would help their children engage with the Bible more in their everyday lives. more >>
Rob Bell, Christian author and former megachurch pastor, recently appeared on comedian Pete Holmes' late-night show and attempted to offer a theology lesson during an amusing surfing segment and nearly lost it during another bit dubbed "Profound/Profane" while trying to convince the show's studio audience that "everybody believes in something."
Bell, appearing on the Dec. 3 broadcast of Holmes' show, treated the comedian to a surfing (mostly falling) lesson, and shared the message he believes Jesus modeled.
"Jesus talked about how to live a particular kind of life now," said Bell. "Compassion, grace, generosity, standing up to injustice, being a person of integrity." more >>
A Baptist pastor has been criticized by some in the Jewish community for putting up a sign at his church in North Palm Beach, Fla., that reads: "Christmas – easier to spell than Hanukkah." It has since been taken down.
Pastor Mike Butzberger of Lighthouse Baptist Church said, according to WPTV TV/NewsChannel 5, that he has been putting up a different slogan in front of his church every week for 15 years, aiming for something "encouraging, inspiring, informative and occasionally for the purpose of making them smile."
He revealed, however, that some did not take well to what was supposed to be a humorous message, and had asked for the sign to be taken down. more >>