While South Africa can be called a "churched nation" demographically, prosperity gospel, or a "parallel, post-biblical Christianity," is spreading throughout the country, warns the rector of a reformed evangelical Anglican church who has ministered in Durban City for 17 years.
A churched nation is not the same thing as a "gospeled" nation, writes Grant Retief, the rector of Christ Church Umhlanga just outside of Durbin, in a blog post. Eighty percent of South Africa is Christian, according to the 2001 census.
When people from well-known bigger churches attend his church for a little while, the rector says, "they tell us they are surprised to regularly hear in the preaching and the liturgy that they are sinners." more >>
In response to recent scientific research seeking to trace back the genetic tree of humans and identify the first people, a top Vatican official said identifying the historical Adam and Eve remains a matter of religious belief.
"Scientific investigations have no means to identify Adam and Eve and to sequence their genomes. Therefore, identification of Adam and Eve remains a matter of religious belief," Werner Arber, a Nobel prize winner and the current president of The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told FoxNews.com on Thursday.
The comments come in response to contrasting scientific studies seeking to find just how old the first humans on Earth were. Some, like a recent study by Eran Elhaik from the University of Sheffield, have argued that modern humans emerged from Africa close to 200,000 years ago. While others, like a 2013 study from the Arizona Research Labs at the University of Arizona, insisted that the human Y chromosome came about much earlier than that. more >>
The organizer of the annual "Evolution Weekend" event has stated that he feels the upcoming Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate "serves absolutely no intellectual purpose."
Michael Zimmerman, founder and executive director of The Clergy Letter Project, which hosts "Evolution Weekend," told The Christian Post about his views on the much publicized debate.
"I do not believe that holding debates on the merits of science is either a good or productive thing," said Zimmerman, who thought the debate will at best "make for good theater." more >>
A number of Christian and immigration reform advocacy groups have expressed hopes that legislation on the issue will move forward following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, commented that Obama's remarks are an "encouraging sign" toward immigration reform this year.
"Immigration holds a unique space in today's Congress as one of the few issues with such unparalleled bipartisan support," Noorani noted. "On the heels of tonight's encouraging remarks from both sides of the aisle, we look forward to a productive 2014 for immigration reform." more >>
Some U.S. lawmakers have said that they are thinking about bringing back old-fashioned methods of capital punishment such as firing squads and the gas chamber, with lethal-injection drugs reportedly in short supply. A Roman Catholic priest, meanwhile, has questioned how many in America really heed the teachings of Jesus Christ on the matter.
"This isn't an attempt to time-warp back into the 1850s or the wild, wild West or anything like that," said Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin, who proposed bringing back firing squads as an option for executions, The Associated Press reported. "It's just that I foresee a problem, and I'm trying to come up with a solution that will be the most humane yet most economical for our state."
AP noted that methods such as the firing squad, gas chambers and electrocutions have not been used for over a generation in America, where the death penalty is legal in 32 states. Brattin has pointed out that the conventionally used lethal-injections method can sometimes delay executions with complications and questions about its effectiveness, and force relatives of murder victims to wait many years for justice. more >>
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