Brian McLaren is right. The "emergent church" movement is growing. Not as a collective group, but as a savvy, scattered chain ever-present in the fiber of the Church.
The backstory of the emergent church started in the late 1990s and early 2000s when a group of postmodern Christians found popularity emphasizing leftist political agendas over traditional Christian teaching and absolute truths.
In Agents of the Apocalypse, Dr. David Jeremiah, noted author and Bible teacher, takes a new approach to unpacking what is possibly one of the Bible's most popular yet confusing books — and he recently shared his thoughts on why America seems absent from the Book of Revelation and other prophetic writings regarding the eschaton.
Revelation, the final book of the Christian Bible, has long served as a source of inspiration and speculation for pulpits, printing presses, and movie studios. The colorful apocalyptic work is credited in the text to Jesus Christ's "servant John," also described as a prophet. John, not to be mistaken with Jesus' apostle, some scholars argue, tells of experiencing several visions, some of them related to future happenings, such as Jesus Christ's Second Coming and God's final judgment of the world.
Apocalyptic work by its nature reveals hidden or secret things, but, perhaps unlike John's original audience in the first century, modern Christians have long wrestled over possible meanings of Revelation's pervasive and perplexing symbolic imagery. more >>
Institute on Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley argued that Christian leaders should be affirming the rule of law in the immigration debate, as President Barack Obama gets ready to enact executive action on Thursday that will bypass congress.
"Shouldn't Christian, especially church voices, argue for lawful change and, where possible, some level of sustainable national consensus rather than political brinkmanship?" Tooley asked in a statement on Wednesday.
"Church elites and activists focused on immigration might be more helpful if they focused on creating consensus and trust, starting with their own constituencies. Such a consensus requires prioritizing security and rule of law, without which any eventual lawful legalization process becomes politically impossible." more >>
The head of the Roman Catholic Church declared during a conference on Monday that marriage is by definition a union of man and woman, defying past claims by some that the Church was considering a change in its views on same-sex unions and sexuality.
Pope Francis remarks came during an address before a Church group known as a Colloquium in which he spoke about the need for strong families and to recognize "man and woman" as the "root of marriage and family."
"It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman," stated the pontiff. "This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others' gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together." more >>
Instead of complicating Bible study by expecting a revelation with each read, author and women's Bible studies teacher Jen Wilkin says that what we learned in our high school English class could help us receive the reward of a better understanding from God's word.
"Bible study feels really overwhelming to the average person," Wilkin explains in a video of her discussing the topic posted on the Desiring God blog. "They feel like there's some secret sauce that they are not aware of and they feel like 'maybe I was supposed to go to seminary' or 'maybe I don't hear the Holy Spirit like other people do because I feel like I should be able to just open this up and it should speak to me.'
"What I try to reassure people of is that if you have been in high school English you have some really usable tools that you could be employing." more >>
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat might have converted to Christianity before his death in 2004, suggested Christian writer and speaker RT Kendall, a close friend of his. Kendall revealed that Arafat wept while watching Mel Gibson's epic "The Passion of the Christ" a decade ago, and said that he would not be surprised to see his friend in heaven.
"It wouldn't surprise me to see him in heaven,' Kendall said in an interview with Premier. Christianity magazine. 'I'll tell you why. I prayed with him five times, anointed him with oil, I gave him a [salvation] prayer … I'm not saying I know that he's saved; I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised."
Kendall talked about how he initially met Arafat in 2002 during a visit to Israel and Palestinian territories. During the meeting, which went on for longer than planned, the two discussed the nature of Jesus — whether He died, was resurrected and ascended to heaven, as Christianity teaches, or whether He did not die, as the Quran suggests. more >>