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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. The allegations were more heinous than much of what has been divulged in earlier sex abuse claims. The details are too horrific to describe here, but suffice it to say that the criminal behavior included everything from...


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 Bill Hybels News Isn't Just Another Pastor Sex Scandal

Last year, Willow Creek Community Church founder and lead pastor Bill Hybels announced he was passing the baton to two heirs and would be retiring in October 2018. A lot has changed in 10 months. Since that announcement, 10 women have accused Hybels of misconduct. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that one of leader’s former assistants accused the Willow Creek founder of repeatedly groping her. And on Sunday, Steve Carter, whom Hybels who indicated would succeed him as...


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...


Brazil’s Soccer Team’s Evangelical Embrace Mirrors Their 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...


Why Families Keep Coming to the US Border

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

The US Supreme Court has ruled on the biggest 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 a narrow ruling, the Court stated that penalties a Colorado commission had levied against Jack...


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...


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.” The same article also reported that an Alabama pastor had resigned as the leader of the Baptist organization Connect316 over a Facebook post that seemed to make light of gang rape at the expense of a number of prominent Southern Baptist...


Nigerian Christians Are Exhausted From the Terror. Will They Fight Back?

Nigerian Christians have had enough. Thousands took to the streets this week after an attack during a church service left nearly two dozen dead last month. Among the victims were two priests, spurring Catholic leaders to protest the government for failing to do enough to protect the Christian community. Divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south, the country is home to some of the world’s most vicious scenes of religious conflict. Boko Haram has...


Rwanda Is 95 Percent Christian. So Why Is It Shutting Down Thousands of Churches?

Over the past two months, authorities have closed more than 7,000 churches across Rwanda for failing to comply with health, safety, and noise regulations. As CT has previously reported: President Paul Kagame welcomed the shutdowns but was stunned at the scale: “700 churches in Kigali?” he said during a government dialogue in March. “Are these boreholes that give people water? I don’t think we have as many boreholes. Do we even have as many factories? This has been a mess!” The government...


Why Turkey Is Accusing an American Pastor of Terrorism

Andrew Brunson had been ministering in Izmir, Turkey, for nearly a quarter of a century before it all changed. In 2016, the American pastor was arrested and thrown in jail, without knowing his charges and without bail. When Brunson’s trial finally started last month, he learned that he had been charged “of fueling unrest in the country through alleged involvement with exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an insurgent group.” Both movements are seen as...