"Preachers of L.A.," the faith-based Oxygen network reality show that Christians seem to love to hate but apparently like to watch in record numbers, has led to online discussions about various hot-button issues. One topic in particular featured in the docu-series that elicited strong responses is "shacking up," or the state of an unmarried couple living together as if they are husband and wife. The situation suggests that a shacking couple is a couple having sex, or facing the temptation to have sex. But is "shacking" even mentioned in the Bible?
In the Oct. 16 airing of episode 2 of "Preachers of L.A." ("Acceptance"), gospel recording artist and former pastor Deitrick Haddon and his fiancée, Dominique dine with Bishop Ron Gibson and his wife, LaVette, for the purposes, according to Haddon, of getting wisdom from the long-time married couple. Despite beginning amicably, the meeting quickly turns south as Bishop Gibson states that "a shaky suspect engagement is indicative of a shaky and suspect marriage." Cutting to the chase, Gibson asks Haddon, "Are you guys shacking?" Haddon, offended by Gibson's question, declares that shacking up isn't in the Bible. Watch a brief clip of the exchange below.
Sammy Lopez, lead pastor of Mighty Fortress Christian Fellowship in San Antonio, Texas, weighed in on Twitter during the noted "Preachers of L.A." episode, dismissing Haddon's suggestion that "shacking" is not in the Bible. more >>
In 2007, Barry Corey became the eighth president of Biola University, officially launching the celebration of the university's centennial year. During his time at Biola he's led the development of Biola's Center for Christian Thought; the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts; the annual Imagination Summit; and Open Biola - an online database for free educational content created and curated by the university.
Under his leadership, Biola has seen the highest enrollment in the university's 105-year history, with the construction of new facilities to serve the needs of the campus. But while his career is about education, his passion is how the Christian community engages today's culture. He's committed to raising up a generation of students who can make a difference in today's secular world.
I sat down with Dr. Corey and asked him about how Christians should re-think how we share our witness with the world. more >>
Inside the introduction written by theologian John Piper to Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent, a book of devotionals designed especially for Advent 2013 by Desiring God, a ministry he founded, the pastor answers the question, "What does Jesus want for Christmas?"
With readings beginning Sunday, Dec. 1, and going through Christmas Day, this book of Advent devotionals "aims to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season," states Desiring God. The short meditations are excerpted from the ministry of Piper and correspond to the daily readings in Desiring God's free devotional app, Solid Joys (available in iTunes and Google Play), as well as online.
Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minn., before retiring from that position earlier this year. He is the author of more than 50 books including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. John and his wife, Noël, have five children and twelve grandchildren. more >>
Rejecting Pope Francis' recent writings against the world's "tyrannical" economic system, a Tea Party advocate contended that Jesus Christ was a capitalist.
"One truth shines out from the Bible: Jesus spoke to the individual, never to government or government policy. Jesus was a capitalist, preaching personal responsibility, not a socialist," wrote Jonathan Moseley, a Virginia businessman, criminal defense attorney and member of the Northern Virginia Tea Party, in an article for WND.com.
The Tea Party advocate rejected claims that Pope Francis' recently published 50,000-word Apostolic Exhortation was mistranslated and said he believes the pope did indeed condemn capitalism. more >>
Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, announced Monday that it will host both certificate and degree programs in Bible and Theology studies at the undergraduate and graduate level at the church's Bellevue location. Classes are scheduled to begin in the Fall of next year.
Corban University has agreed to terms to host a one-year certificate in Biblical Studies, and Western Seminary to host a Master of Arts and Master of Divinity program.
"I am enthusiastic and optimistic about Corban University's partnership with Mars Hill Church," said Sheldon C. Nord, president of Corban University. "It is consistent with our strong desire to be 'Christian thought leaders' – a leading voice on cultural, philosophical and academic issues, with a commitment to raise up future leaders who will champion the cause of Christ in their respective disciplines." more >>
The Church of England said it would "repent" for its previous homophobia in a major new report on human sexuality, but rejected the idea that traditional teachings on marriage should be seen as homophobic.
The Anglican Communion also rejected notions that the report, which recommends that clergy be allowed to "accommodate" same-sex relationships, contradicts traditional teachings, as some news headlines have suggested that clergy can start "blessing" gay marriage.
"The recommendations do not propose any change in the church's teaching on sexual conduct. They do propose that clergy, with the agreement of their Church Council, should be able to offer appropriate services to mark a faithful same sex relationship," a statement on the Church of England's website explains. more >>