In the wake of three high-profile departures from the Reformed community, The Gospel Coalition, its founders have asked for prayer for their organization and have chosen to focus on doctrinal differences as an explanation rather than a controversy surrounding some of its council members.
"Pray for us that moves and changes like these will be marked on all sides by the startling, visible graciousness that should be present in all saved by grace," wrote New York City's Redeemer Presbyterian Pastor Tim Keller and Canadian Reformed theologian D. A. Carson in a statement released on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, the names of two members of the TGC council with backgrounds in Sovereign Grace Ministries, C. J. Mahaney and Joshua Harris, were removed from the site's list of leaders. more >>
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore has called upon U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to use his influence to halt the execution of pregnant Sudanese woman Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, calling the act "abhorrent" and one that "should be condemned outrightly by the leadership of the United States government."
"I encourage you to personally denounce the sentencing of Mariam Ibrahim as cruel and inhumane, to demand her release, and to use the diplomatic influence of the State Department to advocate for this most fundamental human right, the freedom of religion and belief," Moore wrote in a statement released this week.
Ibrahim, 28, was sentenced to 100 lashes on May 15 by the court that ruled she had converted from Islam to Christianity and that her marriage was void as she had married a Christian man. The mother of a 20-month-old toddler has been told that she will be allowed to give birth before she is executed. more >>
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, has defended its decision to permit a Palestinian Muslim doctoral student in 2012.
Steve. A Smith, a spokesperson for SWBTS explained that, Ghassan Nagagreh had enrolled in the school's Ph.D. program in archeology two years ago.
"The student was a part of a dig site ... and had a great relationship with our folks and wanted to study archeology. The best place to do that, of course, are the top archeology schools, which are in Israel, but he doesn't speak Hebrew," Smith told The Christian Post. more >>
A report released by the Southern Baptist Commission this week suggests that the country's largest denomination outside of the Roman Catholic Church is struggling to bring in new members from the Millennials and younger age group demographic.
According to the Pastors' Task Force on SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms, 25 percent of Southern Baptist churches baptized no new members in 2012, while 60 percent reported no baptisms for youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Also indicative of the denomination's struggle to attract Millennials were the 80 percent of churches which reported baptizing one or zero adults between 18 and 29.
Ed Stetzer, the President of the Southern Baptist-linked Lifeway Research, who worked on the team headed by Al Gilbert, the Vice President of Evangelism at the North American Mission Board which created the report, suggested the denomination had not focused enough on intentionally reaching non-Christians. more >>
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, clarified that his recent criticism of a Christian talk radio program as missing a redemptive message was not aimed at all Christian talk radio programs.
During a speech at the ERLC's Leadership Summit in Nashville on April 22, Moore said, "I listened on the way back up here from my hometown to some Christian talk radio this week, against my doctor's orders. And, honestly, if all that I knew of Christianity was what I heard on Christian talk radio, I'd hate it, too. There are some people who believe that fidelity to the Gospel simply means speaking, 'You kids get off my lawn.' That is not the message that has been given to us."
In a broadcast two days later, Christian talk radio host Janet Mefferd said she was offended at what Moore said and called on him to apologize. Also, Bott Radio Network President Richard Bott reportedly sent Moore a letter asking him for a public apology. more >>
Speaking at the third annual "Washington: A Man of Prayer" event Wednesday, Pastor Robert Jeffress said that while members of Congress can debate immigration, healthcare and taxation policies, there are some issues that are beyond debate.
"Issues such as the value of life inside and outside the womb, the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the right to religious freedom for every human being and the compassionate treatment of the poor. … For the Judge of the universe has already rendered His opinion," Jeffress said in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol in Washington.
Jeffress, senior pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, was joined by Fox News host and former Republican governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at the event, which was held to commemorate "the events of April 30, 1789, when … President [George] Washington, accompanied by Congress, proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel where, as one of his first official acts, the president offered a prayer of dedication to God on America's behalf," according to the event website. more >>