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Should Christians Trust Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince’s Promises of Reform?

Last week, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He was never seen again. Now, Turkish officials believe Khashoggi, a longtime critic of the country, was murdered by Saudi officials. That same week, US officials visited the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh and reported that the country seemed to be loosening some of its harsh religious laws, including reforming its religious police—once tasked with enforcing shari’ah law on the streets...


What Tim Keller Wants American Christians to Know About Politics

Last week, millions of Americans were caught up in the Senate’s Supreme Court hearings. There, psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked her while the two were in high school. Several hours later, Kavanaugh emphatically refuted Blasey Ford’s allegations. The hearings came months after Justice Anthony Kennedy, long seen as a swing vote on the court, announced his retirement. This news prompted alarm from the pro-choice community...


Maria Devastated Puerto Rico. It Didn’t Destroy the Church.

Earlier this month, you couldn’t turn a television on without seeing footage of Hurricane Florence. As of recording, the storm has been blamed for the deaths of 42 people in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and costing billions of dollars of damage. Yet, in many ways, national attention has already moved on. That’s something that Puerto Rico knows too well. It’s been a year since the storm claimed 64 immediate deaths and catalyzed the exodus of thousands of Puerto Ricans from...


Just 23 Iranian and Iraqis Refugees Have Come to America This Year

Several years ago, the Obama administration set a target of resettling more than 110,000 refugees for resettlement in fiscal year 2017, the highest goal since 1995. This week, the Trump administration set the ceiling on the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States next year at 30,000. Even as the number of refugees allowed in America has dropped since Trump took office, the State Department has named international religious freedom as one of its primary goals. To some...


John MacArthur's ‘Statement on Social Justice’ Is Aggravating Evangelicals

Last week, John MacArthur and a dozen other Christian leaders launched a website presenting The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel. In the statement, the signatories claim that the social justice movement endangers Christians with “an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.” Over the course of 14 sections, the Statement addresses cultural narratives “currently undermining...


A Bill Banning Reparative Therapy Spurred an Unlikely Relationship

This spring, California assemblyman Evan Low introduced legislation that would have designated paid “conversion therapy” services as a fraudulent business practice. Until last week, Low’s measure seemed set to pass. It moved through both of California’s legislative chambers and governor Jerry Brown had shown no sign of opposition. But last Friday, Low quashed his own legislation after meeting with Christian leaders who had expressed concerns about how the bill might affect their ability to...


What Evangelicals Need to Know about the Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

The Catholic world is reeling after a devastating month of sexual abuse revelations. At the beginning of August, a Pennsylvania grand jury reported that hundreds of priests abused at least 1,000 children since the 1940s and that dozens of church officials covered it up. Then, this past week, a prominent archbishop claimed that Pope Francis knew about—and covered up—the actions of Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal who has been accused of sexually harassing adult seminarians and abusing a...


The Church Doesn't Get Men. Can It Learn from Non-Christians Who Do?

Check out this headlines from the past decade: “Why Don’t Most Men Go to Church?” Christian Century, October 2011 “Why Men Still Hate Going to Church” CT Pastors, Summer 2012 “7 Actions to Engage Men in Your Church” Pastors.com, March 2014 “Why Do Men Hate Church and What Can Be Done About It?” The Tennessean, Jan 2015 Mending Men’s Ministry, Christianity Today, June 2018 And then there’s a newsletter, The Masculinist, which reflects on a monthly basis on the factors driving men men from...


Pastoring in Charlottesville After the Protests

This week was the first year anniversary of the alt-right’s violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Over the course of that weekend, attendees and counter-demonstrators engaged in violent confrontations and one alt-right member drove a car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring dozens more. The city has subsequently elected a new mayor and lost its city attorney, police chief, and city manager. Meanwhile, many in the city are divided over whether last year’s brazen racist attitudes...


The Other Family Separation at the Border: Canadian and US Evangelicals

It’s been an interesting year for Canadian evangelicals. This winter, the Canadian government announced that organizations applying for summer youth employment grants had to first affirm their support for abortion. Several weeks ago, in a 7-2 vote, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled against what might have been the country’s first and only Christian law school. Trinity Western University had been in court for years after several provincial law societies declined to accredit the school because of...


Surprise! A Conference for Gay Christians Has Sparked Controversy

Here’s how the Revoice Conference describes itself: “Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” (Read Quick to Listen host Mark Galli’s interview with its founder.) Since the website first went up, many in the evangelical Twitter world and blogosphere have debated the merits of the conference and of the “spiritual friendship” movement in...


Do Church Plants Drive Neighborhood Change?

In 2011, The New York Times profiled several church plants in New York City trying to make it in Manhattan: "In recent decades the number of English-speaking evangelical churches south of Harlem has grown tenfold, to more than 100, said Tony Carnes, a researcher ... who has studied New York churches since the 1970s. Without fanfare, the newcomers have created networks to pay for new churches and to form church-planting incubators, treating the city as a mission field." That was seven years...


What a Conservative Court Means for Christian Unity

Christian conservatives praised President Trump’s decision to nominate Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore declared that Kavanaugh would be a “strong defender of the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially our First Freedom of religious liberty.” “I pray that Judge Kavanaugh will serve for...


Brazilian Soccer's Evangelical Embrace Mirrors Its Nation’s

Brazil has won the World Cup five times, and as of press time, appears well on its way to its sixth. The team dramatically imploded at the World Cup it hosted in 2014, but rebounded to win the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. On the podium, its star Neymar continued the long Brazilian tradition of sporting religious attire on the field, with one key difference: his headband boasted the phrase “100% Jesus,” a nod to the country’s increasingly ascendant evangelical population. At least 25...


How Charles Taylor Helps Us Understand Our Secular Age

Ever heard a Christian author or speaker refer to our current moment in history as "a secular age"? Or perhaps you've heard someone explain culture in terms of "subtraction stories"? Or "social imaginaries"? "the age of authenticity"? "the immanent frame"? Some of these terms are strange and unfamiliar, but for many thinkers today, they provide a helpful way to understand the seismic cultural shifts we've seen happen in the last couple of generations. From Tim Keller to Russell Moore to Rod...


Between Border Control and Immigrant Families

Last month, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to enforce a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to immigration. Here’s one way he described how this would look: "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law," he said. "If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border." Months before he made this promise, Sessions had already started making good on it. Three weeks prior, the The New York Times...


What South Korean Christians Want for North Korea

Will North Korea’s recent diplomatic efforts be an answer to South Korean Christians’ prayers? Hopefully, says Sang-Bok David Kim, the chancellor of a South Korean evangelical graduate school, Torch Trinity Graduate University. “North Korea has been threatening South Korea two or three times a year. [They say], ‘We want to make Seoul a city of fire.’ They make weapons. They shoot our navy boat down. They shoot cannonballs into South Korean islands,” said Kim. “We are very sorry they have...


If Religious Liberty and LGBT Activists Want to Move Forward, the Courts Won’t Help

he US Supreme Court has ruled on the biggest religious liberty case of the year. In a 7–2 vote, the Court sided with a Christian baker who declined to decorate a cake for a same-sex wedding. The baker, Jack Phillips, who had provided cakes for gay customers in other circumstances, argued that making a cake for a same-sex wedding would be an endorsement of the marriage and a violation of his beliefs. In its narrow ruling of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the...


What Are Christians to Make of Jordan Peterson?

He’s a Canadian psychology professor. A YouTube star. A bestselling author. He’s Jordan Peterson. Here’s how New York Times columnist David Brooks describes him: In his videos, he analyzes classic and biblical texts, he eviscerates identity politics and political correctness and, most important, he delivers stern fatherly lectures to young men on how to be honorable, upright and self-disciplined — how to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives. Despite his success, Peterson is an...


Are Southern Baptists Experiencing a #MeToo Moment?

It’s been quite a week for Southern Baptists. Since this podcast was recorded, Baptist Press reported that a senior professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary had resigned over “personal and spiritual issues.” It’s been quite a week for Southern Baptists. Since this podcast was recorded, Baptist Press reported that a senior professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary had resigned over “personal and...