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 >>
Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) professor Howard Hendricks, who was considered a mentor and friend of many of today's prominent Christian leaders, died early Wednesday morning after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 88.
"No man has meant more to me in my adult life than Dr. Howard G. Hendricks, whom all of us know as simply, 'Prof,'" evangelical pastor Chuck Swindoll wrote in a statement published on a DTS tribute page on its website. "What a magnificent man he has been to so many of us, so much so, it was easy for us to assume he would be here forever."
Despite authoring 18 books and preaching around the world in more than 80 countries, Hendricks was perhaps best known for his influence on other Christian leaders, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) stated Wednesday. In addition to Swindoll, other leaders – such as Tony Evans, Joseph Stowell and David Jeremiah – also counted him as their mentor. more >>
A British ex-convict who was once heavily addicted to heroin but was able to turn his life around attributes his success to finding God during a religion course in prison.
Darrell Tunningley, who has described his former life as being "like the Antichrist," now serves as a pastor at Hope Corner Community Church in Runcorn, Cheshire, England.
"One day a bloke with a clipboard asked me if I wanted to join the Alpha Course and I basically went because they offered free coffee and biscuits and I wouldn't have to spend my afternoon in my cell," said Tunningley to the United Kingdom publication The Sun. more >>