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 >>
A Baptist Church in Georgia that produced evangelical-themed films like "Fireproof" and "Courageous" received thousands for its annual Independence Day celebration.
Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Ga., held its eighth annual "Freedom Fest" on Sunday, July 1 at its Sports Park and had an estimated 5,000 attendees.
"This Southwest Georgia community event takes place during the week of July 4th and is an American celebration of patriotism, freedom, and our national heritage," reads an info sheet on the event. more >>
Visitors at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's exhibition, "Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures" in Forth Worth, Texas, will be able to view the largest privately owned Dead Scroll fragment to ever be placed on public display starting July 12.
"The chance to view portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls usually requires an overseas trip to a Near East nation, such as Israel or Jordan," said Bruce McCoy, the exhibition director.
The elaborate display will include the Genesis 37-38 fragment, which is owned by the Kando family of Bethlehem and is considered to be the largest Dead Sea Scroll segment held by a private collector. Five other major fragments will also be on display, including Genesis 33, 1 Kings 13:22-22, Isaiah 28:23-29, Amos 7:17- 8:1 and Joel 3:9-10. more >>
It was a three-minute video clip that was shared across the evangelical community. In it, Pastor David Platt famously called the "sinner's prayer" "superstitious." A few months later, he still finds himself explaining the heart behind that message.
"I believe we simply need to be as biblical as possible (2 Timothy 2:15). Do I believe it is 'wrong' for someone to pray a 'prayer of salvation'? Certainly not," Platt maintained in a blog post this week.
The 33-year-old pastor, who leads The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., sparked debate earlier this year when he told attendees at the Verge Conference that there is "no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament," referring to the popular "sinner's prayer." more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention made history last week. The Convention – a denomination formed in 1845, in part, to support slavery, and later, with notable brave exceptions, largely supported Jim Crow segregation into the 1960s – elected its first African-American president, Dr. Fred Luter, Jr.
Dr. Luter's election symbolizes the Southern Baptist Convention having been transformed by the convicting power of God's Holy Spirit from a virtually all-white denomination as late as the mid-sixties to the most multi-ethnic major denomination in the United States today. Approximately 20 percent of Southern Baptists are non-Anglo (African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and Native-American, etc), and ten percent of Southern Baptist Convention churches are predominately African-American. more >>