The grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham commented Tuesday that he believes Evangelicals' involvement in the conservative political movement "has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else."
Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, explained to co-hosts of the MSNBC program "Morning Joe" that American evangelicalism has been harmed by its association with conservative politics.
"Over the course of the last 20 or 30 years, evangelicalism, specifically their association with the religious right and conservative politics, has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else," Tchividjian asserted. more >>
Ridley Scott's latest film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" starring Christian Bale has been banned in Egypt after censors deemed the film historically inaccurate.
The blockbuster was set to premiere in both Egypt and Morocco on Friday, according to several reports. The Egyptian censorship board said that "Exodus," which is based on the biblical book of Exodus, was historically inaccurate since it depicts Jews building the Pyramids, according to the BBC. Moreover, the Hollywood film portrays an earthquake, not a miracle, causing the Red Sea to part.
"It contains historical fallacies," Egyptian censorship board head Abdul Sattar Fathy said in a statement, according to Egypt's news portal, Mobtada. Fathy also cited the film's depiction of Moses that was similar to a general in an army as opposed to the biblical prophet who is highly revered in the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. more >>
In the midst of all our preparations for our Christmas celebrations, something serious appeared on the horizon. A former Evangelical, Valerie Tarico, wrote an article on Salon called "Why rape is so intrinsic to religion." With a title like that, the week before Christmas: one can only surmise that she intended to provoke.
I feel called to respond to this article, as a Roman Catholic woman intellectual. I know that I have many non-Catholic readers among my Ruth Institute friends, but I have to speak as a Catholic for two reasons. First of all, that is what I am. Secondly, non-Catholic Christianity is not a well-defined thing. One can readily point to non-Catholic Christians who believe all sorts of things. There is no non-Catholic Christian "definitive" or "traditional" interpretation of anything. Say what you like. Believe what you like. But Catholicism has at least this virtue: one can figure out what it actually says and does not say.
Dr. Tarico cites numerous examples of rape stories in a variety of religious traditions: Zeus, Jupiter, Zoroaster and so on. Tucked away within those stories is the story of the virginal conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. I'm reminded of the old Sesame Street song: "One of these is not like the others." more >>
Should Christian journalists expose sin and error within the Body of Christ? Or, do such reports simply discredit Christian leaders and damage the Church's witness?
I have been asked this question numerous times over my career. Many times, I suspect, believers would prefer that Christian journalists engage in public relations, not serious journalism. After all, isn't our community getting pummeled enough in the secular media? Yet, investigative journalism, which once was almost non-existent in the evangelical community, has become more prevalent in recent years. In fact, about a month ago, The New York Times printed an article highlighting the "muckraking" activities of the evangelical newsmagazine World.
As the Times noted, World's exposés have led to substantial change. For example, World's revelation that filmmaker and scholar Dinesh D'Souza attended an overnight conference with a "woman not his wife" led D'Souza to resign as president of The King's College. More recently, World reported that Mars Hill Church funds were used to promote a book by Pastor Mark Driscoll, which likely contributed to Driscoll's resignation. more >>
Church of England leader the Most Rev Justin Welby has opened up in an interview about the death of his first born child, 7-month-old daughter Johanna, who died in a tragic car accident. Welby said that he never attempts to answer why God allows suffering in the world, other than to point out that Jesus Christ was also young and unfairly killed.
The Archbishop of Canterbury told BBC Radio 4 that Johanna's death in 1983 is a "constant reminder of the uncertainty of life," and recalled the day of the tragedy, when his wife Caroline was being driven through Paris in the passenger seat, while their daughter was in a carrycot in the back.
"I was finishing off some work in Paris and Caroline set off with a friend, someone else was driving and they had a car crash," he said. more >>
(There is always an attempt to de-emphasize the true, spiritual significance of Christian holidays and place emphasis on Santa, toys, bunnies, baskets, and candy. That is a sincere cause for concern. This article assumes that is understood. I respect those who may disagree and who may have a valid pause for concern.)
Every Christmas season, I receive emails such as: "I'm sorry, but every time I tried to watch the sermon the decorated Christmas trees in the background were disturbing to my spirit. I turned it off. I am discouraged and disappointed because of the trees."
Her statement begs the question, "Can we redeem holidays?" Redeem means to recover the ownership of something. Can we, in good faith, redeem Halloween, Christmas, and Easter with their roots saturated in paganism, superstitions, and the occult? more >>