Revenge fantasies were darkening my heart before I trusted in Jesus.
We had heard the distant gunshots for a few weeks. But that morning they were close and seemed to ring out with purpose. I looked to my older brother and the other adults for reassurance. Their eyes were full of anguish and frustration. All we could do was wait.
The “freedom fighters” arrived. By mid-morning we were all lying face down in the house, listening as bullets whizzed through the air. Between bursts of gun
- How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
An Anglican man rang me out of the blue the other day to ask if the New Testament teaches “equality.” “Not really,” I replied. “The New Testament mentions equality once or twice, but when it comes to social relationships, it is far more interested in concepts like oneness, commonness, partnership, union, and joint-inheritance. If you make all those passages about equality, yo
- An excerpt from 'Paul Behaving Badly.'
There’s no way around it. Paul thought he was special. In his defense, Christ did knock him off a horse with a blinding light and an audible word from heaven. Peter saw Christ transfigured, but Paul also saw the glorified Christ. This put Paul in an elite category.
The remarkable thing, really, is how maturely Paul handled his status. Yes, he boasted of his apostleship, but he did so defending his gospel, not his pride. It was essential that the Genti
- How to share the gospel without making other people—or ourselves—so uncomfortable.
Mark Teasdale began life in a “maverick” United Methodist church that emphasized evangelism more than most mainline brethren. When he grew up and moved away, he was shocked to find that many fellow Methodists thought of verbally sharing their faith as a foreign experience. Now, as a professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (a Methodist school on the campus of Northwestern Unive
- Or to recover its riches? Two Protestant luminaries look at the legacy of the Reformation, 500 years later.
Now and then, Protestants are stirred to ask whether the Reformation might be bad for the church and the world. Five centuries downstream from 1517, old objections come with the burden of knowing where things occasionally went wrong.
As Reformation heirs prepare to celebrate our 500th anniversary, we do so with a remarkable capacity for self-criticism. At its worst, Protestant self-critiqu
- Why it’s the best and worst of times for India’s burgeoning churches.
The world’s most unexpected megachurch pastor might be an illiterate, barefoot father of five.
Bhagwana Lal grows maize and raises goats on a hilltop in Rajasthan, India’s largest state, famous for its supply of marble that graces the Taj Mahal. He belongs to the tribals: the cultural group below the Dalits, whose members are literally outcasts from India’s caste system (and often called “th
- Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our November issue).
Our Favorite Heresies
LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries have once again examined the theological awareness, or lack thereof, of American evangelicals. This time, instead of defining “evangelical” by whether participants identify as such, they used a four-part definition endorsed by the National Association of Evangelicals. Below are the 12 areas where believers have most gone astray in
- After 160 years of suppression, Egypt makes room for new churches.
“Long live the crescent and the cross!” shouted Egypt’s parliament in joy. All 39 Christian members joined the two-thirds majority to vote to end a 160-year practice instituted by the Ottomans requiring Christians to get permission from the country’s leader before building churches. The long-awaited reform was promised by the 2014 constitution after the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mor
- And why Americans might want one too.
If you ever get invited to a wedding on a Friday night in Morocco, the invitation will say the ceremony starts “the evening of Saturday.” North Africans consider each day to begin the evening before nightfall—just the way Genesis describes each day of the world’s first week: “And there was evening, and there was morning. . . .”
This small connection between Scripture and one of Africa’s myriad cultures appears at the
- The persecuted church shows the way.
Living under anti-Christian hostility is a paradox of tensions. Global Christians suffer not only as friends of God but also as enemies of the people.
A Christian brother in a difficult region recently shared with me that while Christians in his culture may endure police brutality and unjust arrest, anti-Christian hostility hasn’t necessarily been marked by the violence we see in the Middle East. Anti-Christian hostility is more social than physical. Co
- Looking at the stars is always humbling. Wrong understandings of their movement are even more so.
As a teenager, I frequently climbed on top of my dad’s shop to look at the stars. When I looked upon a clear, unobstructed night sky, it was as if the starry hosts engulfed me. The lights making their slow dance across the heavens gave a perspective of existence that is hard to find elsewhere. It compelled me to reflect on how big God is and how truly small I am.
Due to centuries of observatio
- I'm learning that true healing requires facing the past
The concert ran late and I knew I was breaking curfew, which spoiled any of the fun I had in the previous hours that night. I carefully tiptoed up to my room hoping that, for a change, my mother had already gone to sleep so my punishment would come in the morning. This wasn’t the best move to make right before leaving for college. But I wasn’t running too late; maybe there was a chance that she would forget about it. Maybe not.
- Co-founder and director of the Voices Project and college pastor at Kilns College
It seems that when certain people are threatened, that the standard protocol is to declare a state of emergency.
My belief, along with many others, is that we have a state of emergency and it is for the dignity of Black lives. The uprising in Charlotte last month is a reminder that we are in a critical and urgent time. Many people want to push the attention towards the few who use violence as their voice. I pray Go
Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Refusing to Play the Game, Profaning the Idol of Presidential PoliticsAuthor and professor will vote down-ballot, but will not vote for a candidate for president.
I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump this November, but it’s not that both candidates are equally unworthy. According to my analysis, Clinton is worthy of at least consideration. Trump is a non-starter. (You can read more about the differing opinions of each in this series on The Exchange.)
But I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Additionally, I won’t
- How Christianity has played a role in both the flourishing of women - and their oppression.
- How Christianity has played a role in both the flourishing, and the oppression, of women.
- Declining faith can feel like a threat to cultural identity for African Americans.
When ABC’s Black-ish opened its third season at Disney World—filled with sunny optimism and corporate product placement—I thought the show might be losing its edge.
Then came the second episode, entitled “God.”
Dre Johnson (played by Anthony Anderson) responds to his teenage daughter Zoey’s (Yara Shahidi) growing spiritual doubts. It’s a dramatic shift for a show that usua
- Yes, his new album delves deeply into the shadows. But then, so does the gospel. Today, 50 years after releasing his self-titled debut LP, Bob Dylan unveils Tempest, his 35th studio album. And with it, Dylan, 71, continues what may be the longest uninterrupted era of critical acclaim—including our 4-star review—of his incredible career. Not that Dylan has ever seemed to care too much for critics' opinions, but since the praise, sales, and awards of 1997's Time Out of Mind, he has mai
Race in America: How Two Pastors (and dozens of churches) Partnered for Racial Reconciliation in DallasSenior Pastor of Concord Church in Dallas, TX
Two years ago, a white pastor friend, Jeff Warren, and I asked ourselves this question not long after the events in Ferguson: “What will happen when Ferguson comes to Dallas?”
This question prompted us to begin to explore the possibilities for our city. Dallas is a tale of two cities: the northern sector is predominantly white and known for its affluence and prosperity, the southern sector is predominantly minority with heavy pockets of p
- Purity teachings, abortion, Hillary Clinton, and what really matters to American Christians in 2016.By now, you’ve probably seen the 2005 video of Donald Trump bragging to then–Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about his aggressive groping and kissing of women.
If you’re running for election as a Republican, it may have encouraged you to change your strategy. (Arizona Senator John McCain dropped his endorsement. GOP House Leader Paul Ryan has said he’ll stop campaigning
- Why the beloved pastor and best-selling author isn't despairing for the church's future.
Walk into any Christian bookstore in the country, and you’re likely to find whole shelves bearing the works of writer, pastor, and preacher Max Lucado. As a man who likes to “write books for people who don’t like to read books,” Lucado has left a mark on countless readers’ theological imaginations with his wisdom, accessible style, and warm, hospitable heart—qualities that
- Measuring Americans by beliefs, not self-identity, makes a big difference in 2016 election polls.
Americans with evangelical beliefs have a great deal in common. They trust in Jesus alone, evangelize their neighbors, and believe the Bible is the final authority in their lives.
But when it comes to voting, race and political affiliation still divide evangelicals, according to a survey from LifeWay Research taken before the second presidential debate.
Overall, the split between those with evangeli
- Things we’re reading and discussing this week.
According to Susan Dominus in the New York Times, Donald Trump has been the catalyst this week for a “culture-wide shift in how we think of and talk about sexual assault.” Evangelical men are speaking up. In response to the leaked tape of Trump boasting about his sexual exploits, theologian Wayne Grudem rescinded his support of Trump. Our own Andy Crouch wrote a strongly worded opinion piece that was quoted in the New York Times. A
- Teaching Pastor for Willow Creek Community Church
Ed: The book does not have evangelism in the title, but it’s categorized under that. So, why an evangelism book? Everyone’s talking about mission, justice, etc., but not a lot about evangelism. So, why write on that?
Steve: Friends told me that writing your first book on evangelism isn't the smartest business decision, but for some reason I felt like I needed to do it. Over the past ten years, I've seen a decrease in urgency when it c
- In his new book, Wright explains that Jesus' death does more than just get us into heaven.
A foundational Christian belief is that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins. For many, the most important result of this is that believers go to heaven when they die. Bestselling author, scholar and bishop, N. T. Wright, thinks we’re missing a critical aspect of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross if we limit our understanding just to this explanation. His latest book, The Day the Revolution
- The new Netflix documentary makes the case that to save the future, we need to stop defending the past.
“Defend the past. Save the future.”
Those words are lighting up TV screens this week, promoting the new NBC time-travel adventure series Timeless. But really, it’s ridiculous. No matter how many people want to go back and “kill Hitler,” the past cannot be changed. Right? Right?
I don’t know. Last night, director Ava DuVernay took me back to familiar figures
- Christian mother of five is the first woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.
After seven years in prison, Asia Bibi will have to wait even longer to know her fate.
Her appearance Thursday before Pakistan’s Supreme Court was put off when one of the three judges in the case recused himself. The Christian mother of five is facing a death sentence for blasphemy.
"I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that," Judge Iqbal H
- What God taught this second-generation, child of immigrants about the nuance of status.
When I moved to Kenya earlier this year, I became white, powerful, and unfathomably wealthy.
My little family of three lives in a five-bedroom home, and we employ a fulltime house helper and driver—all for less than we paid in rent in Silicon Valley. We have every comfort we could possibly want in a country in which 77 percent of the population doesn’t have access to electricity and 37 percent don
- National Evangelist for InterVarsity USA
Things have never been better and things have never been worse. The long string of Black men killed in the streets by police has sparked a new era of disgust, confusion, and fear.
Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tony Robinson, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and now Terence Crutcher—all Black men killed in altercations with police, all names that help fuel our national debate of ‘Black Lives Matter,’ ‘All Lives Matter,’ a
- Protestant group seeking removal of Judensau carving before Reformation 500 encounters firm opposition.
The highly anticipated 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is coming up in 2017 and the epicenter of the Reformation, Wittenberg, Germany, has been preparing for years. Visitors from around the world are already trickling in to visit historical sites such as the Castle Church where Martin Luther is purported to have posted his 95 Theses condemning the Catholic Church’s sale o
- Throughout US history, the church has had a complicated relationship with the "homeless, tempest-tost" looking for a better life.
I wince at the image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, washed ashore on a Turkish beach one year ago. Or of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, bloodied and dusty after surviving a bombing in Aleppo. I think of my own one-year-old son—he wears little Velcro shoes like Alan’s and has mop-like hair like Omran’s—and my heart breaks.
Then I begin to contempl
- How 'The BFG' rekindles our dream of the divine.
On Paul Simon’s new album Stranger to Stranger, he sings:
I trade my tears
To ask the Lord
For proof of love
If only for the explanation
That tells me what my dreams are made of…
This reminds me of what C. S. Lewis said: “If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Both of these speak to my suspicion that dreams and
Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Follow Up w/ Deborah Fikes on Why She Supports Clinton Despite Clinton's Views on Abortion, Marriage, & Rel LibertyClinton supporter answers common Evangelical objections
Hillary Clinton has been an aggressive pro-choice advocate and her views on abortion are far from what evangelicals believe. Why should pro-life evangelicals vote for someone with whom they disagree so deeply?
For me, the reality of what happens to an unborn child in an abortion procedure is disturbing beyond words. Not only is it horrendous from a physiological standpoint but also from a spiritual standpoint I believe that this is taking a
- Managing Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism
Last week, I binge watched (apparently, that’s a thing) Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix. Based in Harlem, the show is unapologetically black and unapologetically political. One article in Time calls it the “most political superhero show yet.” It pulls no social punches, addressing everything from urban policing to Harlem’s gentrification. Black men aren't typically seen as superheroes these days. For 13 episo
- We can’t excuse inconsistent principles in our politicians or in each other.“It’s just locker room talk.”
With these five words, Donald Trump and many of his supporters have tried to brush away the presidential candidate’s sexually predatory comments recorded in a 2005 conversation between the GOP presidential candidate and NBC host Billy Bush. Presumably, the same defense covers Trump’s conversations with Howard Stern about threesomes, anal sex, and his own d
Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Norman Geisler on Why He's Supporting Trump and not Changing His MindTrump supporter answers common Evangelical objections
He’s certainly changed his views over the years, so how can you trust his stance on issues of evangelical concern (e.g. abortion, same-sex marriage) once he is elected?
This question seems to suppose that it is wrong to change your view, even when you are wrong. By this logic the Supreme Court should never have changed its view in the Dred Scott decision (1857) when it pronounced Blacks not to be regarded as “persons” under
- (UPDATED) James MacDonald denounces Trump’s ‘misogynistic trash.’
[Updated with James MacDonald reaction]
Two days after The Washington Post released a video of Donald Trump candidly bragging about his aggressive groping and kissing of women, there has been little public movement among his leading evangelical supporters and detractors.
While Republicans in Congress—most notably John McCain—scrambled to distance themselves from Trump this weekend, many of his evangel
- Director of the Center for Applied Christian EthicsHow do Christians respond to the heightened attention and attendant vexation about the crisis of race in America today? Allow me to offer at least four ideas on how we might begin.
First, reckon with the truth that history has consequences that last a long time. Although it is true that we are long past the days of slavery and at least half a century since the end of Jim Crow laws, we are mistaken if we fail to recognize the way that our society
- A hashtag started a movement to get millions of women into the Word.
In the beginning, there was a hashtag.
#SheReadsTruth, a project among a few Twitter friends to encourage each other to read Scripture every day, has turned into a movement involving more than 3 million women—the fastest growing Bible-reading community on the Internet.
Through its popular app and site, She Reads Truth offers a straightforward approach to the Bible, one clearly born out of a social media age. The daily pas
- With help from key scholars, CPX tackles one of the most notorious episodes of Christian history.
- Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump's blatant immorality.
As a non-profit journalistic organization, Christianity Today is doubly committed to staying neutral regarding political campaigns—the law requires it, and we serve our readers best when we give them the information and analysis they need to make their own judgments.
Just because we are neutral, however, does not mean we are indifferent. We are especially not indifferent when the gospel is at stake.
- The former president has a new hope for racial justice—starting with the church.
This fall, the New Baptist Covenant will hold its first national meeting since 2008. convened by President Carter in the late ’90s, the association of Baptist denominations is an unmistakable symbol of President Carter’s values: a humble and spiritual commitment to racial reconciliation and social justice.
At a time when racial discord is as rancorous as ever, President Carter talked to CT about gr
- Pollster Scott McConnell on the origins of evangelical unorthodoxy, how our busyness affects our beliefs, and why loving God translates into better theology.Do people have the ability to turn to God on their own initiative? Can individuals contribute to their own salvation? Did God create Jesus?
These are 3 of nearly 47 positions LifeWay Research asked 3,000 Americans in a recent study for Ligonier Ministries on heresy. The study, which included a sample of 586 evangelicals, asked respondents th
- I love the diversity of cultures, ages, and worship styles.
I was not at Moody Church today, but ended up at another Chicagoland church due to an odd twist of circumstances.
I was planning to be in Miami this weekend, preaching at Christ Fellowship, while Knute Larson preached at Moody Church. However, the storm bumped me out of Miami on Thursday— but James MacDonald was recovering from knee surgery and he asked me to fill in at Harvest Bible Chapel.
So… I was gone from Moody Church
- Join me in Chicagoland, North Carolina, or Nashville.
Church, Mental Health, and Counseling Summit – November 3-5 – Naperville, IL
Saturday, October 8, 5:00 pm
Harvest Rolling MeadowsRolling Meadows, IL
Sunday, October 9, 9:00 am
Harvest ElginElgin, IL
Sunday, October 9, 11:00 am
Harvest Rolling MeadowsRolling Meadows, IL
Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS)Dallas, TX
Centered & SentDurham, NC
- Refugees, pastor burnout, Evangelicals in exile, and more
America’s Duty to Take in Refugees – Scott Arbeiter
Cross Point pastor Pete Wilson's resignation reveals reality of 'pastor burnout' – Lorraine Caballero
Evangelical exiles: How Trump is driving some believers away from the GOP – Jon Ward
How to Pastor an Evangelistic Church – Ed Stetzer
Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election
Deborah Fikes – Hillary Clinton
Norman Geisler – Donald Trump
- Things we're reading and discussing this week.
This week, the much-discussed Nat Turner biopic Birth of a Nation released to mixed reviews, partially on account of the controversy surrounding director Nate Parker’s past in the months before the release, partially on account of the film’s disputed artistic merits. CT interviewed Parker about his Christian faith this summer, then discussed whether rape accusations against Parker should deter moviegoers from watching his film, especiall
- Campus ministry's push for theological consistency prompts painful backlash.
It’s up to staff members on 667 college campuses to decide whether they share InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s theological beliefs on sexuality, following an 18-month study on LGBT ministry that concludes next month.
There will be no morality clause to sign, no list of things they can and cannot do or say, and no statement to verbally affirm, according to Greg Jao, vice president and director of campus en
- I had many doubts about the Bible. Now I see Scripture as a flame that melts away unbelief.
It is a sultry day with a hot breeze spinning little dust whirls down the winding road by the Sea of Galilee.
There is an air of expectancy everywhere. We hear voices, raised to an excited pitch as friend calls a greeting to friend. Down every trail leading to Galilee little clusters of people make their way. Word has spread abroad that Jesus is returning to Galilee.
Suddenly He and H
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