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A Billy Graham Biographer Tells All!

Evangelist Billy Graham died this week. Christianity Today published more than two dozen articles on our site as part of our special commemorative coverage. But when you lived 99 years it can be hard to capture a life, even with this volume of pieces. This week on Quick to Listen historian and author of America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation Grant Wacker joined associate editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to talk about the regrets, paradoxes, and surprises...


What Made Mental Illness a ‘Sin’? Paganism

Is suffering from mental illness the result of personal sin? Last week, many Christians felt two prominent evangelical ministries affirmed that this was the case. At last week’s evangelical women’s conference the IF Gathering, speaker Rebekah Lyons, in telling about her daughter’s anxiety attacks, suggested that mental illness could be healed through prayer. The incidents at IF occurred several days after John Piper’s Desiring God ministry tweeted “We will find mental health when we stop...


‘Muscular Christianity’ Influenced the Creation of the Modern Olympics

The ancient Olympics lasted more than a millennium before they were stopped by—you guessed it—Christians. It’s true: In AD 390, Emperor Theodosius I criticized the games as pagan and banned them. Ironically or not, faith also played a role in the beginning of the modern Olympics. One of the theologies undergirding the resurrection of the Olympics was “muscular Christianity,” a philosophy of “developing leaders with moral integrity and grit while also being physically strong,” said Nicholas...


Why the US Believes Global Religious Freedom Is Good Foreign Policy

Last week, the US Senate confirmed Sam Brownback as America’s next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. The appointment came six months after President Trump had nominated the former Kansas Republican governor. Brown’s position is part of the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF), a State Department office which monitors persecution and discrimination on a global scale. Created during the Clinton administration in 1998, the IRF exists as part of a larger...


Proximity to Poverty’s ‘Destructive Culture’

Writer Rod Dreher’s recent comments on poverty and immigration have sparked intense criticism by Christians and non-Christians alike. In a recent post, Dreher wrote about his conflicted feelings on Trump’s derogatory remarks about African countries by drawing a comparison to immigrants from these countries and public housing: Let’s think about Section 8 housing. If word got out that the government was planning to build a housing project for the poor in your neighborhood, how would you feel...


Trump Talk Is Relentless. It’s Not Always Newsworthy.

“This is Your Brain on Trump TV,” is the title of a recent piece at The American Conservative published in between the president’s incendiary tweets about North Korea and his leaked disparaging remarks about those from African countries and Haiti. While the former comments caused concern, the latter led to what has now become a routine cycle of debate, criticism, analysis, and pushback. “Trump fascinates all Americans, it seems,” wrote Gracy Olmstead. “We hate him or love him, fear him or...


How Gang Brutality and US Immigration Policies Threaten El Salvador’s Christians

In 2001, a 7.7 earthquake struck El Salvador, killing nearly 1,000 people. In the wake of the humanitarian disaster triggered by the natural disaster, the United States welcomed nearly 200,000 Salvadorans to live and work legally. (Undocumented Salvadorans already in America could also apply for status.) For more than 15 years, this population has existed under temporary protected status. This week, the Trump administration announced that this program will end in fall 2019, at which “We’re...


What Iranian Christians Want

For more than a week, thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest their government. Spurred by anger over a weak economy and increasing fuel and food prices, their grievances accompany frustration that loosening economic sanctions have had little effect on their everyday lives. Nearly all the protesters are Muslims—no surprise in a country where 99 percent of the population adheres to Islam. Despite Muslims’ numeric dominance, some researchers say there’s no country in the...


Why Christians Fall Prey to Fake News

This episode previously aired in January 2017 and showcases some of what we believe Quick to Listen does best. Enjoy and see you next year! --- So, fake news. In recent months, these two words have been used as a weapon by the president to discredit the media (e.g., CNN) or describe the fabrication of a bogus report on Clinton voter fraud. Fake news isn’t new—nearly a decade ago, people started sharing reports of Barack Obama’s alleged Muslim faith as fact. Further, Christians have at...


When Good Charity Looks Like Giving Out Cash

Once a year, many Christian international anti-poverty nonprofits release Christmas catalogs filled with items they hope you’ll purchase—only the gifts aren’t for anyone you know. Instead, most catalogs sent by groups like World Vision, Heifer International, and Compassion International boast items like livestock and other agricultural products that they’re hoping you’ll buy for those in need overseas. But is the strategy the best model to fight poverty? Why not give cash? “We tend to...


Should Christians Care if America’s Embassy Is in Jerusalem?

Last week, President Trump announced that the United States would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While many Middle Eastern Christians have been critical of this decision, some American evangelical leaders have praised the move. “I think a lot of evangelicals support Israel for a sense of justice,” said Gerald McDermott, the author of Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land. “They see Israel as a light of freedom and democracy...


Ravi Zacharias and the Case of Christian Credential Inflation

Earlier this week, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) released a statement addressing its namesake’s credentials, which have recently been under fire. “In earlier years, ‘Dr.’ did appear before Ravi’s name in some of our materials, including on our website, which is an appropriate and acceptable practice with honorary doctorates,” stated RZIM. “However, because this practice can be contentious in certain circles, we no longer use it.” From CT’s report: "According to the...


What the Pope's Myanmar Trip Means for Local Christians

Pope Francis’ trip to Myanmar this week has highlighted its small but inspiring Christian community. Less than 10 percent of the population, Christians are most likely to be represented in the country’s minority ethnic groups, communities that have long clashed with the Buddhist-influenced federal government. Despite this decades’ long violence that’s persisted even as the country has transitioned to a constitutional democracy, the Christian community has remained passionate about their...


Q2L’s Listener Appreciation Episode

We asked you to write us reviews and ask us questions. Many of you did! This week on Quick to Listen, hosts Morgan Lee and Mark Galli offer you their thoughts on changing people’s minds, where evangelicalism is headed, and their favorite music of the year. Also, Morgan shares another secret talent! Thanks everyone for listening and happy Thanksgiving!


When Christians Sexually Harass and Assault

Allegations of sexual impropriety against the longtime Religious Right celebrity and current Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore have forced the church to wrestle once again with sexual harassment and assault. While we don’t know whether the claims that seven women have leveled against Moore are true, in general, when people claim to have been victims of sexual assault or abuse, Christians ought to believe them, says Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior. “People are...


The Christian History of America's Guns

It’s just days after the worst mass shooting in American history on a church property. As CT reported earlier this week: "At least 26 worshipers, ranging in ages from 5 to 72, have died from First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, according to Texas authorities. Another 20 worshipers were injured." Read Bart Barber’s response to the Sutherland Springs shootings: A Small Rural Church Is Hard to Kill Increasingly, the aftermath of these shootings has devolved into a furious national...


Countries That Criminalize Conversion and Evangelism

In October, Nepal criminalized Christian conversion and evangelism. The law criminalizes sharing one’s faith and threatens would-be lawbreakers with fines of more than $700 and up to five years in prison. Support for anti-conversion laws isn’t limited to Nepal’s secular government. CT’s coverage of Nepal’s decision was shared by Hindu nationalist activists hoping to convince the Indian government to make the same decision. Anti-conversion laws already exist in nearby Sri Lanka, and the...


The Museum of the Bible May Change Your Relationship with God’s Word

Next month, the half-a-billion-dollar, genre-busting, and technologically groundbreaking Museum of the Bible will open its doors in Washington, DC. Here’s what visitors can expect, courtesy of our November cover story: Looking up, a visitor might see a sprawling digital canopy of trees, one of five possible scenes playing on a ceiling-mounted 140-foot-long LED display. The light emitted by the false sky intensifies in surrounding glass walls and polished floors; bystanders are awash in...


Supporting the Opposite Gender in the Christian Workplace

Editor’s note: This podcast makes reference to sexual assault. One of Hollywood’s biggest open secrets is now out in the world: heralded producer Harvey Weinstein’s notoriously long track record of sexual harassment against women. These revelations have sparked a national conversation about the relationship between men and women in the workplace, and the prevalence of sexual assault, harassment, and unwanted attention. Regardless of a workplace’s affiliation to faith, speaking out about...


The Significance of Lecrae Leaving White Evangelicalism

Several weeks after Lecrae dropped his latest album, the biggest name in Christian hip-hop joined the podcast Truth’s Table. The topic of conversation: the rapper’s musical and personal transformation since his last album, a three-year period during which Lecrae become increasingly vocal in speaking up about racial injustice. Listen here In response to a question about whether he “divorced white evangelicalism,” he said: I spoke out very frequently throughout 2016 in many different ways...


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