In a recent YouTube video promoting his new book What We Talk About When We Talk About God, former Mars Hill Bible Church Pastor Rob Bell compares God to an Oldsmobile, saying that traditional Christian teachings in a modern world are losing relevance.
Bell begins the three-minute video by describing the Oldsmobile he drove when he was 20 years old, which he and his friends nicknamed "the sled." Bell goes on to lament that Oldsmobile factories shut down because the automotive company "couldn't keep up with the times."
"[Oldsmobile] has become more and more something of the past, not the future," Bell says. "For a growing number of people in our modern world, God is a bit like Oldsmobiles." more >>
Controversial televangelist Pat Robertson recently told his audience that one of his viewers will be given a million dollars from God through the power of prayer.
The conservative social commentator and charismatic preacher stated this on a Thursday episode of the Christian Broadcasting Network's long-running program "The 700 Club."
"Just speak the word, touch people's lives. God is going to supply a million dollars. Somebody is praying right now, right this second you're praying for a million dollars," said Robertson, eyes firmly shut in prayer. more >>
Rap Genius, a website that allows the public to critique and interact with "thousands of canonical rap songs," has added the entire King James Bible to its expansive database. At least one biblical scholar who engaged the KJV text welcomes the idea of the interactive "study Bible," although he calls for wisdom in discerning the "gems" from the "junk."
David Lamb, author of God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?, told The Christian Post that making interpretation of the KJV Bible open to the public can lead to meaningful discussions about Scripture, and forces people to actually read the Bible, an activity that many churchgoers are said to avoid.
"It's always good for people to read and discuss the Bible. It's a confusing book and the more we read it and talk about it, the better we'll understand it. Rap Genius is providing another way to do this for people who may not typically attend Sunday school classes on a regular basis," said Lamb, who is also associate professor of Old Testament at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, Pa. more >>
PHILADELPHIA – The gospel is one of love and grace, and God is in the business of loving people back to life, said Christian activist, bestselling author and a leader of the New Monasticism movement Shane Claiborne reminded his audience Saturday at The Justice Conference. If Christians recover the centrality of grace, Claiborne is hopeful that the death penalty will be abolished and gun shops will be shut down.
He used the examples of King David and Saul (Paul before he became a follower of Jesus Christ) from scripture to illustrate the power of grace. David already had seven wives when he used deception to murder Bathsheba's husband. Yet, even David was not beyond redemption, Claiborne noted. "Even if you have seven wives and try to kill someone, the Bible is good news."
"Saul was by every definition a terrorist," he added, pointing to Saul's success at killing Christians. "If we believe terrorists are beyond redemption, we should rip out half the New Testament because it was written by one. This is the gospel of grace." more >>
PHILADELPHIA – Christians should not just seek to change the world, but to let the search for justice change them so that justice does not become just a fad, Ken Wytsma urged during his Friday keynote address at The Justice Conference in Philadelphia, Penn.
"A lot of people are wondering if justice is just a fad," said Wytsma, who founded the conference, now in its third year. "There might be some faddish elements to justice," but he is encouraged that today's generation of Christians want a deeper understanding of justice.
Wytsma is also the founder of Kilns College in Bend, Ore., lead pastor at Antioch Church, and has worked with World Relief and Food for the Hungry. more >>
Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas has responded to criticism that he leads a "hate-spewing" ministry following news that NFL quarterback Tim Tebow will be a guest at the church in April.
"We have been mischaracterized and misquoted as being a hate-spewing church," Jeffress told radio show 106.7 The Fan's Holden and Danny on Wednesday. "For us to simply say that Jesus Christ offers salvation to anyone who believes in him, and that sex should be between a man and woman and marriage, that that should be considered hate speech, I don't understand that. It really shows you not that the Word of God has changed, but society has changed."
Several news sources criticized New York Jets star Tim Tebow for accepting the invitation to speak at First Baptist Church, trying to portray Jeffress' ministry as being anti-gay and intolerant because of their traditional stances on controversial subjects. more >>