Sunday, January 25, 2015
One of the Newsboys founders says he's now an atheist. Fans of the group probably won't remember George Perdikis--he left the group before the first album of the Australian group was recorded. Nevertheless, he helped write some of the songs on the first album. Perdikis talked about his experiences with the group in a Patheos post.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Andrae Crouch has died at the age of 72. The Christian music pioneer suffered a heart attack last weekend and he never recovered. Not only did he write some songs that are considered standards in Christian music (such as The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power and Jesus is the Answer), he wrote music for The Color Purple, The Lion King, worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Quincy Jones. Crouch earned seven Grammys and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Ridley Scott's 3-D version of the Biblical story of Exodus earned the top spot its debut weekend, pulling in more than $24 million--not as good as Noah did on its first weekend. NPR asked professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley Robert Alter to weigh on on the film. Where did it differ from the Biblical record? You can hear or read the story here.
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.