J.D. Greear, who was a strong contender for president at the recent Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, says it's unfair to blame declining baptism numbers in the SBC on a resurgence of 5-point Calvinism in Southern Baptist life. Greear graciously stepped aside in a razor close race with Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis and a more moderate Calvinist — a contest that many say rested on how 5-point Calvinism affects church growth.
In an interview with The Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn't matter how many "points" of Calvinism one holds because "Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we're not carrying it out, that's just plain unfaithful."
CP also reached out to several other prominent strict Calvinists within the SBC, such as Albert Mohler Jr., Russell Moore, Mark Dever, and David Platt for their comments for this article but all were either traveling or otherwise unable to respond by press time. more >>
David and Jason Benham, the twin brothers who were fired from an HGTV reality show because of their opposition to gay marriage, said conservative Christians are being targeted in America for their beliefs and need to stand up and thrive in the midst of adversary.
"We see Christians in America and conservatives kind of running because there is a narrative that's now been developed in this country that really targets people of faith. And people of faith often times want to be silent. And now is not the time to be silent. When darkness rises, it's time to turn the light on," the brothers said in an interview with Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday.
The brothers promoted their newly released book, Living Among Lions: How to Thrive like Daniel in Today's Babylon, which looks to the biblical example of Daniel for inspiration on how Christians should thrive in the modern world. more >>
Christians must ask for forgiveness from people they have mistreated in the past, including gay people, the poor, and exploited women, Pope Francis said Sunday on a flight from Armenia to Rome.
"I think the Church not only must say it is sorry to the gay person it has offended, but also to the poor, to exploited women" and anyone whom the Church did not defend when it could, Francis told reporters on Sunday, according to the Catholic News Service.
When asked about the terror attack at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where Islamic State supporter Omar Mateen killed 49 people on June 12, the pontiff said, "The Church must say it is sorry for not having behaved as it should many times, many times — when I say the 'Church,' I mean we Christians because the Church is holy; we are the sinners. We Christians must say we are sorry." more >>
A Pennsylvania megachurch's congregation voted overwhelmingly Sunday to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) over theological differences on homosexuality and gay marriage.
About three-quarters of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem approved the measure yesterday that involved leaving PC(USA) for the more theologically conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
In a Facebook post to their official page, FPC Bethlehem noted that the measure to seek dismissal passed with 76.5 percent of the 1,048 voting members present approving it. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of formerly imprisoned American Pastor Saeed, says she and her family came to America as Muslim immigrants before converting to Christianity after witnessing the love of Jesus Christ exhibited by those who helped her.
"I was a Muslim immigrant. I left a devastating war between Iran and Iraq. America gave me the freedom to choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. When we came to America more than 30 years ago I was treated with love and acceptance by the Christians. I could see the tender heart of Jesus toward foreigners and the lost through the Christians that surrounded us," Abedini wrote in a Facebook post.
"I have parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and my 95 year old grandmother who all came to America as Muslim immigrants and found Jesus here." more >>
A Harvard journal is refusing to retract a 2014 article it published about an infamous scrap of papyrus suggesting Jesus had a wife even though the professor who authored it now admits the fragment is a forgery.
Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King told the Boston Globe last week that "it appears now that all the material [Ernest Fritz, owner of the fragment,] gave to me concerning the provenance of the papyrus ... were fabrications."
Less than 24 hours after an investigative report about Fritz's papyrus forgery was published in the August issue of The Atlantic, additional documents emerged showing a fake Greek manuscript Fritz had posted on his website and a blog in which his wife "talks of restoring a second century Christian gospel, a project that apparently left part of the manuscript in fragments," according to Live Science. more >>