• Week 1: He Will Come Again in Glory

    Week 1: He Will Come Again in Glory
    Advent devotional readings from Christianity Today.
  • Advent: Living Hope

    Advent: Living Hope
    Advent devotional readings from Christianity Today.
  • A Thanksgiving Like None Other

    A Thanksgiving Like None Other
    The world may look different, but there is still plenty to be grateful for.Thanksgiving looks a bit different this year. Whether you’re celebrating alone, with a few close family members, over Zoom, or maybe a combination of all three, I’m sure things don’t feel quite the same. I grieve this loss alongside you, and with millions of others. You are not alone.
    In my family, and I assume in many of yours, at some point during usual Thanksgiving celebrations, every family member or
  • Why We Can’t Stop Talking about ‘Hipster’ Pastors

    Why We Can’t Stop Talking about ‘Hipster’ Pastors
    Hillsong’s celebrity pastors remind us how style can be both a status symbol and liability in ministry.
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  • The Case for Vocational Singleness

    The Case for Vocational Singleness
    What if singles spent time discerning a call to “undivided devotion to the Lord”?
  • For Expats and Missionaries, COVID-19 Was a Crossroads

    For Expats and Missionaries, COVID-19 Was a Crossroads
    The first question for Christians living abroad was, “Go or stay?” After that, it got hard.
  • Tigray Crisis Tests Ethiopian Christians Along Tribal Lines

    Tigray Crisis Tests Ethiopian Christians Along Tribal Lines
    As Abiy’s military closes in on TPLF forces, thousands flee to Sudan.
    The jagged rock spires and steep mountains of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia are home to some of the oldest churches in the world.
    Against that historic backdrop, forces loyal to the central government in Addis Ababa have pushed toward the regional capital, Mekele, fighting soldiers loyal to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
    Fierce fighting has raged since November 4, when Ethiopians awoke to s
  • Supreme Court Blocks New York’s Worship Service Restrictions

    Supreme Court Blocks New York’s Worship Service Restrictions
    It’s the first time during the pandemic the high court has sided with churches and synagogues challenging the new rules on religious liberty grounds.
    As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.
    The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible
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  • Sometimes, Telling Us More About the Pilgrims Actually Tells Us Less

    Sometimes, Telling Us More About the Pilgrims Actually Tells Us Less
    A new study touches on many factors that shaped life in Plymouth Colony. But the most important one gets lost in the laundry list.
    This December marks 400 years since the Mayflower dropped anchor in Plymouth Harbor, and for the past 200 years the story of its passengers has loomed large in American memory. Generations of schoolchildren have learned its basic plot: how a tiny band of plain men and women, desperate for a better life, crossed the stormy Atlantic and endured unimaginable hardships i
  • SCOTUS Gets It Right on Religious Liberty: Church IS Essential

    SCOTUS Gets It Right on Religious Liberty: Church IS Essential
    But the right outcome here doesn’t mean all restrictions are invalid or that churches should reopen.Last night, the Supreme Court issued injunctive relief to houses of worship challenging New York City’s COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings, the first time it has granted such relief during the pandemic. I have mixed views about the decision and early reactions to it.
    First, I don’t think this decision is as momentous as commentators are suggesting. It is fairly fact-sp
  • Research: Racial Minorities Were More Likely to Contract COVID-19 at Churches

    Research: Racial Minorities Were More Likely to Contract COVID-19 at Churches
    Cell phone location data indicated religious gatherings appeared to be a top transmission spot when the pandemic took off.
    New research suggests that, at the beginning of the pandemic, Americans from lower-income or majority-minority neighborhoods were more likely to be infected with COVID-19 through religious gatherings such as churches than those living in higher-income or predominantly white neighborhoods.
    Cell phone data was an early indicator that Sunday morning church attendance slowed sig
  • Life and Death in ‘The Land of the Clouds’

    Life and Death in ‘The Land of the Clouds’
    In the mountains of Papua, missionaries and Indonesian professionals serve the lost together.
    High above the interior of Papua, the pilot is getting anxious. It’s later in the morning than he wanted, and the clouds are thickening. Somewhere below is the tribal village of Mokndoma. Every now and then the clouds part, revealing its dwellings for a moment, perched on a jungle slope. But the small prop plane is running low on fuel and lacks a clear, windless shot at the grass landing strip.
    Th
  • How a Pastor Got Fired Over Cranberries

    How a Pastor Got Fired Over Cranberries
    Worry about present hardships and trouble distorts our faith in God’s future.
    Much has been made among Christians in 2020 about systemic sin—the collective fault of institutions, societies, and their norms and laws to engender injustice and cause harm. Most evident in heated debates over race, politics, policing, education, and the economy, systemic sin implies a capacity for wrong on the part of structures that individuals could not accomplish on their own.
    But racism still requires
  • God Pops Up: Southeast Asia

    God Pops Up: Southeast Asia
    When the government blocked his Christian radio station, Chanda had to find another way to spread the good news of Jesus. His answer came on a microchip.
    This strategic work in Southeast Asia faces continued pressure from the government and yet it continues to spread. Drawing on new technologies, the leaders have equipped hundreds of “hubs” across their region. In some places, they have brought the Gospel to tribes who have never heard. They’ve even translated the Bible, for th
  • God Pops Up: India

    God Pops Up: India
    Following the miraculous healing of his mother, Anil seeks out the man he is convinced saved his mother.
    Anil’s life took a sudden turn after his mother was miraculously healed following a woman’s simple prayer to Jesus. In this episode of God Pops Up, follow Anil’s journey to learn more about the man, he is convinced, saved his mother.
    After watching this episode of God Pops Up, read more about Apilang Apum’s call to Christ in a remote corner of India.
    Through God Pops U
  • Despite COVID-19, Evangelicals Mobilize for Mission in Europe

    Despite COVID-19, Evangelicals Mobilize for Mission in Europe
    In challenging circumstances, European evangelicals share a message of hope.
    As the coronavirus pandemic continues its relentless march across the world, Europe battles a frightening second wave. New lockdowns, overwhelmed hospitals, and social unrest are increasingly the norm across the continent.
    But as a dark winter looms, European evangelicals can look back with gratitude and look ahead with expectation, thanks to a renewed rediscovery of fervent prayer, fresh creativity, and resilient hope
  • Coronavirus Kills Orthodox Leader Appreciated by Protestants and Catholics

    Coronavirus Kills Orthodox Leader Appreciated by Protestants and Catholics
    Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church died after attending funeral of Montenegro counterpart who also had COVID-19.
    Church bells tolled and mourners flocked to light candles as the Serbian government proclaimed three days of national mourning for Patriarch Irinej. The 90-year-old leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who passed away November 20, became the world’s highest-ranking cleric to die from COVID-19.
    Evangelical leaders in Serbia described him as kind and sincere in his
  • God’s Mercies Redeem Our Guilty Mornings

    God’s Mercies Redeem Our Guilty Mornings
    Like Peter, we too are offered freedom, though we deny him.When my parents entered their latter years, they took up a new hobby: keeping chickens. At the height of their enthusiasm, they tended 21 chickens in a hen house affectionately dubbed the Taj Mah’Omelette—20 chickens, that is, and one noisy rooster. To be a houseguest during this season was to have, as they say, a rude awakening—albeit one followed by a magnificent breakfast.
    The briefest Google search confirmed what I
  • Anglican Churches in the UK Are Shrinking in Size but Not Impact

    Anglican Churches in the UK Are Shrinking in Size but Not Impact
    Report: How smaller congregations are still showing up to support their communities through growing social action.There are two pictures I could offer you of the role and significance of the Church of England in contemporary British society. The first is one of growing secularization and declining church attendance. The second is one where the church is the beating heart of the nation’s socioeconomic infrastructure, with an ever-increasing contribution of food banks, homeless shelters, and
  • We All Know Christ’s Dying Words. But Can We Define the ‘It’ That Is ‘Finished’?

    We All Know Christ’s Dying Words. But Can We Define the ‘It’ That Is ‘Finished’?
    A closer look at the climactic moment on the cross.
  • Rich Lowry on Where Conservatism Goes From Here

    Rich Lowry on Where Conservatism Goes From Here
    Donald Trump transformed conservative and evangelical politics. What comes next?
  • When Conscience Rights Come at the Cost of Human Rights

    When Conscience Rights Come at the Cost of Human Rights
    Evangelicals have done commendable work advancing religious freedom around the globe. But that work has involved some questionable moral compromises.
    In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed the International Religious Freedom Act, authorizing the government to impose sanctions on nations violating religious liberty. The law created an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom along with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. It enshrined religious liberty a
  • Not Alone: Pastoral Leadership in a Fragmented World

    Not Alone: Pastoral Leadership in a Fragmented World
    Leading through challenging circumstances does not mean leading in isolation.
    Have you ever been in a class, whether in school, college, or an training course of some kind, where everyone seems to be struggling except that one student who not only succeeds but does so with an ease that seems to make the mere completion of the assignment feel like gloating?
    In our current socio-political moment, where leaders of all kinds have felt the push and pull of ever changing public health regulations, the
  • Muslims Join Evangelical Theology Conference

    Muslims Join Evangelical Theology Conference
    Annual gathering of Christian scholars seeks better engagement with Islam.
    It is not often that a Muslim appears at an evangelical theological gathering.
    Al Mohler invited three.
    The trimmed-down 72nd annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), held virtually this week, usually welcomes up to 2,000 top scholars to present on the most salient issues facing evangelical scholarship.
    This year’s theme: Islam and Christianity.
    “We are called to truth, and to understand
  • Is The Coronavirus Evidence of a Creation in Freefall?

    Is The Coronavirus Evidence of a Creation in Freefall?
    How does theology explain a pandemic? Basic biology, human sin, or the Devil?
    When I first asked whether the coronavirus is evil, the virus was still novel and the panic not quite a pandemic. But as I type now, almost 1.5 million people have died worldwide and the virus proliferates relentlessly, a conflagration with plenty of wood yet to burn as we await a vaccine and its dissemination. What may have seemed to be a controllable fire in the beginning now rages nearly out of control in the United
  • For Pilgrims, Thanksgiving Was a Way of Life

    For Pilgrims, Thanksgiving Was a Way of Life
    The commemoration we recognize each year came out of a deep view of providence and everyday gratitude to God.
    Studying all extant eyewitness accounts of the first Thanksgiving is not difficult. It requires reading just 152 words, written in late 1621 by Plymouth colony statesman Edward Winslow: Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after have a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed
  • Dave Chappelle Is the Cultural Pastor America Needs

    Dave Chappelle Is the Cultural Pastor America Needs
    Let incisive comedy give us “eyes to see.”The weekend after the election, I was exhausted like the rest of the country, and my spirit was in need of a good sermon. Thankfully, all I had to do was tune into Saturday Night Live to hear from the great American preacher himself: Dave Chappelle.
    As he stepped onto the iconic SNL stage to bring his long-awaited word, I smiled at his familiar Washington, DC, swagger. I’ve been a fan of Chappelle since he played comic Reggie Warrington
  • As a Pandemic Parent, God Calls Me to This Loud and Lonely Life

    As a Pandemic Parent, God Calls Me to This Loud and Lonely Life
    I have a legitimate need for monastic silence. But that need is also a serious temptation.
    Covidtide has been a deeply lonely time for many of us. My single friends miss gatherings and human touch. They bear a unique and heavy grief in this season. But those of us with a full house experience another kind of sorrow that comes with the unrelenting presence of people. We know well the strange dichotomy of simultaneously feeling lonely yet desperately longing to be alone.
    Over the last few years, I
  • The US Will Re-Open to Refugees. Is the U.S. Church Ready?

    The US Will Re-Open to Refugees. Is the U.S. Church Ready?
    The church has a tremendous opportunity as refugee resettlement is restored.Though evangelical Christians, like the rest of the nation, were profoundly divided as they went to the polls, President-elect Biden is poised to make changes in one particular policy area— refugee resettlement— that will present an enormous opportunity for the U.S. church, if we have the eyes to see it, can work together and have the foresight to prepare now.
    Speaking to a Catholic group this past week, Bide
  • Sony’s Pure Flix Acquisition Could Raise the Bar for Christian Movies

    Sony’s Pure Flix Acquisition Could Raise the Bar for Christian Movies
    As a major Hollywood studio invests in on-demand inspirational content, the question becomes how they’ll approach the sprawling offerings targeting the Christian market.In a shakeup of the niche faith-based streaming market, Sony Pictures plans to acquire streaming service Pure Flix and its hundreds of thousands of subscribers committed to “clean entertainment” and “feel-good movies.”
    Pure Flix, one of a half-dozen streaming platforms targeting Christian viewers, wi
  • Shifting the Church: Adapting to New Church Models

    Shifting the Church: Adapting to New Church Models
    The simple church model may no longer be effective in our new reality.
    Change: Simple church may no longer be effective in a changing environment.Shift: Churches need to shift from simple-models to hybrid-models of church.
    We’ve all heard the saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But new tricks—structures and strategies—must be learned if churches want to be effective in this new era.
    Years ago, Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger wrote Simple Church. I devoured that book
  • Pastors Launch Church-Planting Network for ‘Black and Brown Neighborhoods’

    Pastors Launch Church-Planting Network for ‘Black and Brown Neighborhoods’
    A new initiative led by Thabiti Anyabwile aims to support leaders serving in distressed urban areas.
    A team of pastors including Thabiti Anyabwile and John Onwuchekwa have launched a new network—The Crete Collective—to support church planters focused on black, Hispanic, and Asian American communities.
    The network represents a move to bring more people of color into leadership for church-planting initiatives and to focus more missional attention toward poor and underserved urban areas
  • No Pandemic Pause in Persecution, Says Poland Ministerial

    No Pandemic Pause in Persecution, Says Poland Ministerial
    Third annual conference to promote international religious freedom, held virtually, highlights how governments have exploited COVID-19.
    The cause of international religious freedom has gone more international.
    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the third Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief was hosted this week outside the United States for the first time—in Poland.
    Next year it will take place in Brazil.
    Launched in 2018 by the US State Department, the ministerial brings together
  • ‘First Freedom’ vs. Article 18: Will Biden Demote Religious Freedom in US Foreign Policy?

    ‘First Freedom’ vs. Article 18: Will Biden Demote Religious Freedom in US Foreign Policy?
    The president-elect can integrate it into a pragmatic human rights agenda without repudiating Trump’s legacy.
    This week as Poland hosts the third Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom—the latest in a series of high-profile summits initiated by the Trump administration—many observers are wondering what a Biden presidency will mean for the United States’ promotion of religious freedom abroad.
    For the past four years, religious liberty has enjoyed pride of place in P
  • Christians Ready to Help COVID-19 Vaccine Go to Neediest First

    Christians Ready to Help COVID-19 Vaccine Go to Neediest First
    Medical experts prep for ethical distribution, while some church leaders preach against misinformation.
    With outbreaks resurging around the world and—finally—a likely COVID-19vaccine on the horizon, Christian leaders are advocating for fair distribution to protect the neediest people and places, not just the richest.
    But even among those committed to sharing resources to stop the virus, different strategies have emerged around which countries and which vulnerable places and populatio
  • Charities Adapt to Save Christmas from COVID-19

    Charities Adapt to Save Christmas from COVID-19
    Nonprofits are offering churches more ways to give during a season with fewer in-person gatherings.Just as Christians are reimagining what celebrating, worshiping, and shopping will look like this Christmas amid coronavirus restrictions, they may also have to change how they give.
    As seasonal activities get downsized, canceled, or moved online, Americans will miss out on some of their traditional opportunities to contribute to charities that rely on presents or cash donated in person during the
  • How Faith Issues May Shape a Biden Presidency

    How Faith Issues May Shape a Biden Presidency
    Expect renewed focus on partnerships and religious freedom in the next four years.
  • A True Religion Does Three Things and Answers Four Questions

    A True Religion Does Three Things and Answers Four Questions
    John Stackhouse offers a checklist for sincere spiritual searchers.
  • ‘Water on a Stone’: UN Expert on the Hard Work of Religious Freedom

    ‘Water on a Stone’: UN Expert on the Hard Work of Religious Freedom
    Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed on the impact of COVID-19 and Trump, the right to religious conversion, and implementing Muslim declarations.
    Religious freedom requires global consensus.
    Despite the best efforts of the Trump administration to prioritize the issue in its foreign policy, the Pew Research Center highlights that government restrictions on religion have hit an all-time high worldwide.
    In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights included clear language on religious freedom, in
  • Sudan’s Partially Answered Prayers

    Sudan’s Partially Answered Prayers
    An interview with Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo on religious freedom after Bashir, normalization with Israel, defamation of religions, and what to pray for next.
    Sudan is rejoining the community of nations.
    After 30 years of pariah status under former dictator Omar al-Bashir, the nation has established relations with Israel, taken steps to improve religious freedom, and ensured removal of its US designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
    Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo of Sudan has witnessed the entire hi
  • Introducing a Graduate Cohort for Executive Pastors

    Introducing a Graduate Cohort for Executive Pastors
    Lots of executive pastors have stepped into a role without seminary, so we've created a modular, cohort program for XPs who want to learn more in community with other XPs.
    Leading the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College is a great joy. We’ve seen our program grow exponentially, and the current pandemic has not slowed us down.
    One of the advantages of our program is that we are launching cohorts in specialized areas. These cohorts take many of the same classes tha
  • Interview: How Churches Elevate and Protect Abusive Pastors

    Interview: How Churches Elevate and Protect Abusive Pastors
    A psychologist explores the power dynamics that help turn shepherds into wolves.
    The seduction of power, both individual and institutional, is a tale as old as time. Within the church, the misuse and abuse of authority has taken a devastating toll in broken lives and congregations. Yet the true nature of power often goes unacknowledged and unexplored. In Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church, psychologist Diane Langberg brings several decades of experience counseling c
  • Evangelicals and Muslims: Not Brothers, But Best Friends

    Evangelicals and Muslims: Not Brothers, But Best Friends
    Why the World Evangelical Alliance is working hand in hand with Nahdlatul Ulama in an ambitious global initiative to counter religious extremism.
    Last November, when the General Assembly of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) took Sunday off for worship and relaxation near Jakarta, Indonesia, a group of top leaders did something different. We got in a van and traveled to the offices of an Indonesian Muslim youth organization.
    There we spent several hours in stimulating conversation with a group
  • Don’t Overstate the Rewards of Sexual Faithfulness. Don’t Understate Them Either.

    Don’t Overstate the Rewards of Sexual Faithfulness. Don’t Understate Them Either.
    The false promises of purity culture shouldn’t overshadow the true promises of God.
    In his classic book Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton described the surprising, even subversive, nature of truth: “Whenever we feel there is something odd in Christian theology, we shall generally find that there is something odd in the truth.”
    He gave the example of celibacy as an illustration: “It is true,” Chesterton wrote, “that the historic Church has at once emphasized celibacy
  • Assessing Metropolitan Amfilohije, Whose Religious Freedom Fight Brought Down a Dynasty

    Assessing Metropolitan Amfilohije, Whose Religious Freedom Fight Brought Down a Dynasty
    An evangelical reflection on the legacy of Montenegro’s Orthodox leader, the highest-ranking clergy worldwide to die of COVID-19.
    This past year, Montenegro witnessed a phenomenon unprecedented in its history. Nationwide nonviolent street processions rallied against a new Law on Religious Freedoms, drafted—many believe—to divest the Serbian Orthodox Church of its historic churches and monasteries.
    There is no unified view on these events. Some say the marches defended human rig
  • As Armenians Burn Homes, Will Azerbaijan Protect Churches?

    As Armenians Burn Homes, Will Azerbaijan Protect Churches?
    Fate of Dadivank monastery among the many questions amid delayed transfer of territory under Nagorno-Karabakh armistice deal.
    Editor’s note: Catholicos Karekin II has issued a plea to protect Artsakh’s churches. CT’s complete coverage of Armenian Christians is here.
    MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijan on Sunday postponed taking control of a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement, but denounced civilians leaving the area for burning houses.
    The cease-fire ended
  • A Plea to Save Artsakh’s Armenian Heritage

    A Plea to Save Artsakh’s Armenian Heritage
    Head of the Armenian Apostolic Church details the “countless sacred spaces” in Nagorno-Karabakh at risk of becoming the “silent victims of conquest” by Azerbaijan.
    Editor’s note: CT’s complete coverage of Armenian Christians is here.
    Armenian history is marked by the endurance of faith.
    As members of the first Christian nation [301 A.D.], we have faced centuries of persecution and the risk of total annihilation at the hands of our hostile neighbors. Through ou
  • The Mayflower Pilgrims—as Not Seen on TV

    The Mayflower Pilgrims—as Not Seen on TV
    Pop culture has given us a distorted picture of the religious separatists who founded Plymouth Colony. Historian John Turner sets the record straight.
    Pilgrims have become a staple of American life and culture. We hear them referenced in political speeches by both Republicans and Democrats and see them depicted in artwork in museums across the country. Wildly historically inaccurate (and often risqué) Pilgrim costumes usually crop up at Halloween parties. Television programs, from WGN&rsq
  • The Bible Is Our Blazing Fire

    The Bible Is Our Blazing Fire
    A look inside our special issue exploring women's passionate engagement with Scripture.
    Imprisoned by the Nazis in Ravensbrück, Corrie ten Boom and the other women in her barracks regularly gathered to covertly read from a smuggled Bible. “The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God,” ten Boom wrote in The Hiding Place. They’d crowd around the Bible “like waifs clustered around a blazing fire … holding
  • Share the Gospel with Prisoners. Then Apply It to the System.

    Share the Gospel with Prisoners. Then Apply It to the System.
    Evangelicals are superb at the first task. To what extent do they embrace the second as well?
    In 1979, Charles Colson, the nation’s best-known evangelical prison ministry director, visited the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Colson, who had been in prison himself only five years earlier for his role in the Watergate scandal, was known for his sympathy to prisoners’ concerns.
    When he found out that the men in Walla Walla’s solita

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