Monday, December 8, 2014
While the degree of racial segregation within religious congregations remains high, some houses of worship in the U.S. have become more diverse in recent years, according to findings from the most recent (2012) National Congregations Study. While about eight-in-ten American congregants still attend services at a place where a single racial or ethnic group comprises at least 80% of the congregation, one-in-five now worship in congregations where no single racial or ethnic group predominates in such a way. Read more at the Pew Research Center.
Labels: Racial Issues
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
A onetime megachurch pastor is getting his own TV show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network. Rob Bell will tape his show in front of a live audience and it will air beginning December 21. Bell's book Love Wins was not only a best-seller, it lead to his resignation from Mars Hill Church, which he started. Here's a same be trailer for "The Rob Bell Show" below.
Friday, November 14, 2014
A North Carolina journalist has played a major role in toppling "high-profile evangelical leaders such as Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church), Bill Gothard (Institute in Basic Principals), and Dinesh D’Souza (Kings College)." Read more at the Charlotte Observer.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
A new study finds "only 69% of adult Latin Americans are now Catholics, down from 92% in 1970. Protestants now account for 19%, up from 4%. Over the same period the share of those with no religious affiliation has grown from 1% to 8%—though most of these people still believe in God." Read more in The Economist.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
|image from Wikimedia Commons|
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Matthew McConaughey says having children has sobered him. The Texas native says he changed his priorities--like getting back in church. He tells GQ magazine:
McConaughey and his family are going to a non-denominational church in Texas. He says, "It's based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins, but many different denominations come in."
As soon as we had children, I was like, "You know what? That was important to my childhood." Even if it was just for the ritual of giving an hour and a half on Sunday to yourself, to pray and to think about others, even if you're tired or whatever. I noticed how much I missed it and needed it. It's a time for me to take inventory of my last week, to look at what's in the future and say my thank-you's and think about what I can work on to do better.
image from Wikimedia Commons
Read the full article in GQ here.
The Economist reports that Christianity "is spreading rapidly, and infiltrating the party’s own ranks" in China.
Read more in the Economist.
The line is blurring between house churches and official ones, and Christians are starting to emerge from hiding to play a more active part in society. The Communist Party has to find a new way to deal with all this. There is even talk that the party, the world’s largest explicitly atheist organisation, might follow its sister parties in Vietnam and Cuba and allow members to embrace a dogma other than—even higher than—that of Marx. Predicting Christianity’s growth is even harder. Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world.
Read more in the Economist.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
About the same percentage that tune in to religious talk radio, watch religious TV programs or listen to Christian rock music also share their faith online during a typical week, according to a new Pew Research Poll. These messages reach about half of all Americans. Read more here.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Seattle's Mars Hill Church is disbanding and each of its congregations will make a decision as to whether to shut down, merge together or become separate churches. The church property is being sold and the main location staff is being let go. Just a couple of weeks ago, founding Pastor Mark Driscoll resigned. There are more details from the church's own announcement posted here.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
After an extended leave of absence from his church during an investigation about charges against him, Mark Driscoll has resigned from Seattle's Mars Hill Church. A notice about the resignation has been posted on the church's website here. It reads in part..
Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner. While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life and leadership, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.Pastor Mark has never been charged with any immorality, illegality or heresy. Most of the charges involved attitudes and behaviors reflected by a domineering style of leadership.KIRO-TV has a video report below.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
More than 7 out of 10 Americans say religion isn't as influential as it once was in public life and politics. That's the highest number since Pew started asking the question in 2001. At that time, only half of Americans had that view. Read the results of the survey here.
Monday, October 6, 2014
The Dallas Ebola patient has a connection to Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. KXAS-TV has a video report.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The film version of the successful Left Behind book series hits the big screen this Friday. Nicolas Cage stars in the film that's directed by legendary stunt man Vic Armstrong who did work on the “Indiana Jones” movies. Cage plays an airline pilot who must land his plane when millions of people disappear. It's not the only religious film on the way. The Biblical epic Exodus is set for theaters this December and a prequel to The Passion of the Christ with Ben Kingsley called Mary won't be far behind. Here's the trailer for Left Behind.
Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, died last year. Now his family is battling for control over the Southern California church and what Smith done with his money. His daughter is suing, charging that her father was abused and neglect before he died. KABC-TV has a video report here.
Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Reformed Theological Seminary are forming a seminary next year in New York City. The partnership "reflects the influence of Reformed theology on evangelical thinking, as well as the impact of megachurches on theological education," according to the Christian Century.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Chicago is "home to a number of religion publishers, the result of the migration of certain ethnic and faith groups to the center of the country, but also of Chicago’s historic role as a transportation hub and a center for printing" reports Publishers Weekly. Read more at here.
what happens if you replace the magic in Harry Potter with Christianity? That's the idea behind some posted fan fiction that's getting some play in the media, But there's also speculation that it's a satirical hoax. Here a video report from Newsy.