Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How Does 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?

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

Many U.S. congregations are still racially segregated, but things are changing

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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Former Megachurch pastor gets TV talk show

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

Journalist investigates big-name evangelicals

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

The advance of evangelical Protestantism in Latin America

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

Mormons acknowledge founders Polygamy

The Mormon church is admitting for the first time that its founder had as many as 40 wives. Read more about the Joseph Smith revelations at the BBC.

Katy Perry's depression

image from Wikimedia Commons
Singer Katy Perry says God helped her overcome depression following her divorce and one of her songs talks about it. She says By the Grace of God was "the first song that I wrote coming to make this record, when I was in a different place, I was in a darker place." Perry told Australian TV host Rove McManus she even had thoughts of suicide. Read more at the Desert News.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Matthew McConaughey is back in church

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:
image from Wikimedia Commons
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.
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."

Read the full article in GQ here.

The rapid spread of Christianity in China

The Economist reports that Christianity "is spreading rapidly, and infiltrating the party’s own ranks" in China.
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

One-in-Five Americans Share Their Faith Online

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

Megachurch dissolving

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

Whatever happen to... Carman?

Carman was big in Christian music in the 80s, but where has he been lately? After battle with cancer, he's making a comeback. Read the story here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Megachurch Pastor Resigns

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

Early Image of Jesus

Archaeologists in Spain say they've found an early images of Jesus--and he is beardless with short-hair. The image dates back to the fourth century. Read more at Discovery News.

Survey: Religion’s Influence Waning

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

Texas Ebola patient's connection to Baptist Church

The Dallas Ebola patient has a connection to Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. KXAS-TV has a video report.

First US Ebola case hits home for Baptist church

Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas has a personal connection to the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. Read the story in the Associated Baptist Press.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nicolas Cage stars in Christian film

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's family headed to court

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.

New Seminary coming to NY

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

Home for Religion Publishers

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.

Harry Potter gets a Christian retelling, minus the magic

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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Brain Surgery for Pastor

A Tennessee megachurch pastor underwent brain surgery this morning. David Landrith, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, is battling an aggressive form of cancer. The surgery seems to have gone well. Read more here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Poll on American's relationship to God

Seven out of 10 people under the age of 40 say a relationship with God mattered to them. That's the finding of a new poll by Rare, a Cox Media Group. Evangelical Christians, Roman Catholics, and African Americans were the most likely to say so. There's more information at the AJC here.

Billboard Causing Firestorm Of Controversy

A billboard in middle Tennessee billboard is still causing talk four months after it went up. Some call it bullying and others call it God's truth. Read more at WFMY-TV.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Christian student group returns to Cali campus

Cal State University has striped official status from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The campus ministry refused to go along with a University requirement that anyone can be leader in the group--even if they aren't a Christian. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship decided to come back to Cal State this fall despite losing official club status. Read more at the Long Beach Press Telegram.

Proposal: Giive out Satanist material in FL schools

The Satanic Temple wants to hand out materials in Florida schools--including The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities. Orlando's WFTV has a video report.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Church Services are Changing

Churches are becoming informal, open to gay men and lesbian according to a new study out of Duke University. "More and more Americans worship in congregations where drums are played, words or images are projected on screens, and praise is expressed via upstretched hands, reports the New York Times. Read more here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Radio show host will not be allowed back

John Munro is not returning to the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, despite the fact his megachurch has decided his suspension from the pulpit was unwarrented. That's the report of the Christian Post. Read the full story here.

Chick-Fil-A and Christian Principles

NPR talks about the man who founded Chick-Fil-A and his Christian principles.

Ted Cruz booed at Christian event

Senator Ted Cruz was booed off the stage at an event sponsored by In Defense of Christians in Washington, DC--where most of the people in attendance came from the Middle East. IDC focuses on the plight of Iraqi Christians and others believers in the region. Cruz was initially welcomed, but when he began a defense of Israel, the crowd turned against him--especially when he remarked, "“Let me say this: those who hate Israel hate America. And those who hate Jews hate Christians.” Here's a video from the event.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Church Billboard About Sex Catching Attention

A billboard put up by a church in Pennsylvania is getting some praise and some criticism. WNEP-TV has a video report.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pastor under investigation

Image from Calvary Church website
A North Carolina megachurch pastor is being investigated by his church. Leaders at Charlotte's Calvary Church haven't revealed specifically what John Munro has done that's in question, other than that there are allegations that he violated part of the employee handbook. He has also been speaker on the radio broadcast Back to the Bible. But the ministry has terminated his contract.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Domestic violence and church

Most Protestant senior pastors say they know victims of domestic violence but seldom address the topic from the pulpit. That's according to a new survey that found only a minority of them have had any training about how to help victims. Read more about the LifeWay Research survey here.

Formal charges filed with elders over Megachurch leader's alledged abuse

A group of former pastors from Seattle's Mars Hill Church have filed formal charges against Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll. KOMO-TV has a video report.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Judge: You are a 'pathetic human being'

During sentencing of convicted child molester, the Maryland judge called the former church youth group leader a ‘cowardly pervert.’ Worse yet, church leaders tried to cover up what Nathaniel Morales did. WJLA-TV has a video report.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baptists Change Marriage Message

The Southern Baptist Convention is changing its focus from holding off on marrying until they are financially stable to marrying at a younger age. Read more in the Tennessean.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

15 biggest megachurches in America

When you talk about churches with the most people in pews on Sundays, you have to start with Pastor Joel Osteen and his Lakewood Church. The non-denominational Christian church in Houston, Texas averages 43,5000 in attendance. Read more at http://national.deseretnews.com/article/2049/15-biggest-megachurches-in-America.html#LpQ0142xCyqs1Qdo.99

Megachurch Pastor Removed from Evangelical Organization

A megachurch pastor is getting kicked out of an organization he founded. Mark Driscoll, who leads Seattle's Mars Hill Church, stated the Acts 29 Network around the turn of the century. But recent controversies led leaders of the group to post this note on the Acts 29 Network site:
It is with deep sorrow that the Acts 29 Network announces its decision to remove Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church from membership in the network. Mark and the Elders of Mars Hill have been informed of the decision, along with the reasons for removal. It is our conviction that the nature of the accusations against Mark, most of which have been confirmed by him, make it untenable and unhelpful to keep Mark and Mars Hill in our network. In taking this action, our prayer is that it will encourage the leadership of Mars Hill to respond in a distinctive and godly manner so that the name of Christ will not continue to be dishonored.
A group of protesters gathered outside the Mars Hill church last weekend. Here's a video report from KING-TV in Seattle:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Women Bishops coming ot Church of England

The Church of England leaders will allow women to become bishops. The church's General Synod voted for the change today. The first female bishop could be on the job by the end of the year. Woman have been ordained in the church for a decade.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The first trailer is out for the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings which stars Christian Bale. It's Ridley Scott's take on the story of Moses leading his people to freedom from their Egyptian oppressors. Scott already has sweeping epics under his belt like Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven. So it's expected that Exodus will be filled with visual effects. Exodus is due to reach the big screen December 12.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Katy Perry Sued by Christian Musicians

Christian hip-hop musicians are suing Katy Perry, claiming her song “Dark Horse” borrowed too much from a 2008 Christian song “Joyful Noise." The suit was filed by Flame (Marcus Gray), Chike Ojukwu, Lecrae Moore, and Emanuel Lambert. Read more in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Pope Meet Sex Abuse Victims

Pope Francis asked victims of clergy sex abuse for forgiveness. The Pontiff held his first meeting with several abuse survivors today. He told them he would "not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not...I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. He said those responsible would be held accountable.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Publisher Affirms support for Driscoll

Tyndale House Publishers says reports that it had cut ties with megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll are wrong. Read more here.

God moments of the World Cup

Christianity Today offers a list of moments when players acknowledged God's role in their lives at World Cup in a post here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Belief in Satan is on the rise

Deliver Us From Evil is on the big screen this week. Vox takes a look at it and believe in Satan here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Publisher severs ties with Megachurch Pastor

Mark Driscoll has lost his publisher. The Seattle megachurch pastor has been in hot water lately over charges of ethical breaches and poor leadership at his Mars Hill Church, which has some 14,000 members. Tyndale House was to publish Driscoll’s next book The Problem with Christianity but won't be doing so anytime soon--and will not reprint last year's A Call to Resurgence. Driscoll has apologized for using ResultsSource, Inc. to buy up copies of the book so it appeared to have more sales than it actually did. Driscoll also faces allegations that a significant part of the book was plagiarized. You can read Driscoll's apology here. Read more about the controversy at the Daily Beast here.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby: the Bible verses behind the battle

The man leading Hobby Lobby says his company's stand on contraception that led to the steps of the Supreme Court, is informed by Scripture. CNN takes a look at those verses here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Shift on Same-Sex Marriage by Largest Presbyterian Denomination

The Presbyterian Church, USA, has voted to allow clergy to perform same-sex marriages. The vote of 371-238 took place at the group's annual meeting in Detroit. The decision by the General Assembly now goes to the regional presbyteries. The amendment will need a majority of the 172 presbyteries to go into effect.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baptists oppose gender reassignment

The Southern Baptists Convention has come out against gender reassignment--both surgery and hormone therapies. At the denomination's annual meeting, messengers adopted a statement affirming the creation of "two distinct and complementary sexes" and "God's good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one's self-perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design." The resolution also condemned “acts of abuse or bullying committed against" what it called “image-bearers of Almighty God.” Read the entire resolution here.

Baptists Pick new President

The Southern Baptist Convention elected Ronnie Floyd of Arkansas' Cross Church as president while meeting in Baltimore. Floyd has chaired the Executive Committee and served on the denomination's Program and Structure Task Force member. Floyd takes over for New Orleans pastor Fred Luter, Jr. Second place went to Dennis Kim of Global Mission Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, followed by Jared Moore of New Salem Baptist Church in Kentucky. Clint Pressley of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina was picked first vice president.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bieber Reportedly Baptized

Justin Bieber was baptized just a few days ago in a Manhattan bathtub, according to TMZ. Following criticism of some racists comments he made several years ago (which we told you about last week here) Bieber posted some Bible verses on Instagram. Now, there are reports of his baptism by Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Journey from the Brady Bunch to Faith

Many fans did not know that Ann B. Davis, who played the wisecracking housekeeper on "The Brady Bunch" by the name of Alice, became a Christian.
"It was hard for outsiders to grasp the spiritual changes that caused this tough-willed and very private woman to put her career on the back burner and, in 1976, join a commune of evangelical Episcopalians led by Colorado Bishop William C. Frey and his wife, Barbara. She stayed with the household as it moved to an Anglican seminary in western Pennsylvania steel country and, finally, to the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, where she died June 1 at age 88.
Read more about her journey here.

N Korea Holds American

North Korea says it is detaining a U.S. citizen who it says entered the secretive country as a tourist in April and broke the law. What did the man do? He allegedly left a Bible in a hotel where he had been staying. More from CNN.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What Americans think of the Bible

The number of Americans who say the Bible as "the actual word of God, to be taken literally, word for word," is falling. A new Gallup poll puts the percentage at 28%. It was at 30% two years ago. In the 1970s the figure was closer to 37%. However, three-fourths of Americans still say the Bible is "in some way connected to God." Read more here.

Justin Bieber's Bible verse post

Justin Bieber is apologizing for racist comments he made in two videos--recorded five years ago. The videos were recently made public. Bieber blames his young age and posted a picture of a book showing several Bible verses related to forgiveness. The Instagram image has more than half-of-a-million likes. The verses include:
  • John chapter 8 verse 12: "Whoever follows me [Jesus] will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
  • Isaiah 61:10: "For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness." 
  • 1 John 1:7: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Southern Baptist Church switches view on Homosexuality

The New Heart Community Church voted to change its official stance on homosexuality after the pastor's son "came out" as gay. The Southern Baptist church in La Mirada, California also voted to keep Danny Cortez as pastor, who said he would support his son. The congregation considers itself a 'Third Way' church. You can read more at the Huffington Post here.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Missionary sentenced to life

North Korea says missionary Kim Jung-wook must serve a life sentence of hard labor for "allegedly spying and trying to set up underground churches." The Associated Press reports on the South Korean's situation here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Baptists Losing Members

Membership in the Southern Baptist church is still falling--seven years straight. LifeWay Christian Resources says there are now 15.7 million members, down .2 million from the previous year. Weekly church attendance also fell--more than 2 percent, putting the weekly average at 5.8 million. The number of baptisms is down as well--more than 300,000. The consistently falling membership is sure to be a topic at the denomination's annual convention, which gets underway week from Tuesday in Baltimore.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bible College president arrested on labor charges

The president of Cathedral Bible College in Marion, South Carolina was arrested this week. Reginald Wayne Miller is accused of making international students perform forced labor on threats of deportation. WSPA-TV has this video report.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Redford as Roberts?

Robert Redford may play the late Oral Roberts in a new film. Come Sunday will tell the story of of Oklahoma evangelist Carlton Pearson who falls out of favor with the evangelical community when he stops preached there is a hell. Roberts was Pearson's mentor. Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.


A new Christian social network is looking to compete with photo-shairing platform Pinterest. Godinterest is intended to be a "safe family friendly Christian alternative... organizing ideas including Church events, travel planning, inspirational quotes, home decorating ideas, meal planning and advice, wedding or event planning, activities for children.." You can check the bookmarking site for yourself here.

Middle East’s Christian population in flux

Despite tremendous growth over the past century, the Christian share of the overall population in the Middle East decreased from 10% in 1900 to 5% in 2010. Find out why here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Liberty University responds to complaints about Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck created a stir last month when he preached a sermon threaded with Mormon theology at the evangelical Liberty University, according to Religious News Service. Read more here.

Muslim at Baptist Seminary

A Baptist seminary has its first Muslim student. Ghassan Nagagreh is part of the doctoral program of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas. The Religious News Service has an article about what's become a controversial topic here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Latinos moving away from the Catholic church

Fewer Latinos call themselves Catholic than did just three years ago. A Pew Research poll found 55 percent call themselves Roman Catholic--down from 67% in 2011. The numbers are even higher when looking at just 18-29 year olds. Many are becoming Pentecostals, leading Catholic churches to move toward livelier services. Read more about the survey here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Christian Publisher leaving NRB because of the book God and the Gay Christian

The NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) is parting ways with WaterBrook Multnomah because of its association with a new book called God and the Gay Christian. Even though WaterBrook Multnomah handles many best-sellers, including books by Kay Arthur, John Piper and David Jeremiah, the company that owns WaterBrook Multnomah choose to publish Matthew Vines' book God and the Gay Christian under the Convergent Books imprint. In the book, Vines argues for same-gender sex, claiming it is not sinful. Convergent Books and WaterBrook Multnomah are both owned by Penguin Random House.  The Convergent staff wrote an explanation about why God and the Gay Christian was published here.

Singer in Christian Metal Band Gets 6 Years

A San Diego judge sentenced Tim Lambesis of the Christian metal band As I Lay Dying to serve six years in prison after he was convicted of trying to kill his wife, Meggan Lambesis. Tim Lambesis plead guilty earlier this year--and he returns to court soon to face a $2 million lawsuit filed by his wife. Read more details from San Diego's KGTV here and from the local newspaper, UT San Diego here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bill Gothard resigns

Conservative Christian leader Bill Gothard is being accused of making unwanted sexual advances--by more than two dozen women including some underage teenagers. He resigned from the Institute in Basic Life Principles after denying the allegations. In a statement he said that when he touched women, it was never with sexual intent. He spent more than half a century leading the Institute, which has produced materials for home-schoolers. A group called Recovering Grace published the allegations against Gothard online here. Gothard is 79 years old, has never been married and not been charged with a crime. His brother, Steve Gothard, resigned from the organization in the 1980s after being accused of having affairs with several employees.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Can Christians make funny movies?

A new movie genre debuts at the box office this weekend: the Christian comedy, writes Eric Marrapodi at CNN.com. "Moms’ Night Out" starring Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin is opening on more than 1,000 screens, and it aims to do something no other Christian major motion picture has endeavored to do: make you laugh. On purpose. Read more here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ben-Hur remake

Paramount/MGM is remaking the 1959 classic Ben-Hur. It is scheduled to debut in February of 2016. The studio is enlisting the help of the makers of the recent miniseries The Bible and the Son of God.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Boy's love of gospel music may have saved his life

A young boy's love of gospel music may have saved his life. WXIA-TV has the story in this video report.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Christian golfer rejoices after second Masters win

Golf champion and professed Christian Bubba Watson is praising God after winning his second Masters jacket in three years. Read more at Christianity Today.

Friday, April 11, 2014

State of the Bible

As many Americans say they are skeptical about the Bible as those who say they are engaged with it. That's the finding of a survey by the Barna Group. The number of skeptics among adult Americans has grown by 10 percent in just the last three years. While nearly 9 out of 10 Americans have a Bible in their home, only about about a third read it on a regular basis. Read more here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Does Religious behavior match what people do?

A new study explores why people exaggerate their religious behavior. Hear the story from NPR below.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pastor Resigns

A Florida megachurch pastor stepped down from the pulpit today. Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale confessed to a "moral failure" to his congregation of about 20,000 people. He resigned Thursday after talking to the church board about it the day before.

Friday, April 4, 2014

TV Preachers Avoid Tax Scrutiny

NPR takes a look at how some prosperity TV preachers like Kenneth Copeland are doing after a congressional investigation into their fundraising fizzled. You can listen or read the report here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scientists: Noah's Ark would have floated

Researchers at the University of Leicester in England say Noah's Ark could have carried 70,000 animals without sinking. They based their conclusion on the dimensions listed in The Bible. The considered the weight of the animals, not whether they would have had enough space or not. The graduate students are studying in the school's Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Atlanta Archbishop gets mansion

Catholics in Georgia are upset that the Archdiocese of Atlanta spent roughly $2 million of church money on a new mansion for the archbishop. WGLC-TV has this video report.

CBS46 News

Monday, March 31, 2014

Noah opens big

Paramount's Noah movie did well on its opening weekend in the US--as well as in places like Russia and Australia. Paramount says the US domestic take is going to come in around $44 million. The film has already earned more than $50 million overseas.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Paisley, Gilbert & N. Grant get hoaxed

Actress Melissa Gilbert, country music star Brad Paisley, and Christian singer Natalie Grant are victims of dying daughter hoax. Here's a video report from ABC News.

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Friday, March 28, 2014

Christian College Prof says discovery supports believe in God

Leslie Wickman, director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University, writes in an Op/Ed piece for CNN, "The remarkable discovery, announced this week, of ripples in the space-time fabric of the universe rocked the world of science – and the world of religion. Touted as evidence for inflation (a faster-than-the-speed-of-light expansion of our universe), the new discovery of traces of gravity waves affirms scientific concepts in the fields of cosmology, general relativity, and particle physics. The new discovery also has significant implications for the Judeo-Christian worldview, offering strong support for biblical beliefs." Read more here.

World Vision flip flop hits bottom line

World Vision back out of plans to start hiring legally married gays after more than 3000 sponsors pulled out their support for the relief group. Among those protesting World Vision's initial decision: The Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Franklin Graham and the Family Leadership Council led by Tony Perkin. Based in Seattle, World Vision has more than 1000 employees. Some of the denominations World Vision represents have decided to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Emma Watson talks religion

Even though Emma Watson is a star in the Biblical epic Noah, she doesn't have Christian views. She tells The Telegraph , "I already, before I did the movie, had a sense that I was someone that was more spiritual, than specifically religious. I had a sense that I believed in a higher power, but that I was more of a Universalist, I see that there are these unifying tenets between so many religions."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pastor says he accidentally flooded Texas by praying too hard

An Oklahoma pastor this week said that his attempt to remove demons from the United States had worked a little too well, causing a severe drought to turn into massive flooding. Read more here or watch the video below.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Theives take $600k from Megachurch

Houston's Lakewood megachurch says about $200,000 in cash and $400,000 worth of checks is missing. KPRC-TV has a video report.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fake arrests of pastors

A video of three Ohio pastors being arrested at their churches during Sunday services for preaching the gospel has caused a stir in Akron. The law enforcement officers are real, but the videos are faked. They are part of a production coming up at the Akron Civic Theater called Defending the Faith. Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry issued a press release explaining the arrest were just a promotional effort.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Scientists who say they are Christians

A new survey finds 2 million out of nearly 12 million scientists are evangelical Christians. According to Christianity Today, "The survey also found that evangelical scientists are more active in their faith than American evangelicals in general. They are more likely to consider themselves very religious, to attend religious services weekly, and to read religious texts at least every week." Read more at here.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

'Sports Chaplains' Bring The Gospel To Olympic Village

There are probably fewer American fans in Sochi than at previous Winter Games, partly because of concerns about security, and partly because of the time and expense it takes to get to the Russian resort town on the Black Sea. But Americans are represented there, with gusto, by a group of evangelical Christians who call themselves the International Sports Chaplains. Members of the group have been going to the Olympic Games since 1988.

Read or listen to the full story at NPR.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Divorce and the nonreligious

Evangelical Christians have higher than average divorce rates than people who say they aren't religious at all. That's according Baylor University research. The researchers also say the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation has risen from 3 to 30 percent in the last 50 years. Read more here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hollywood films a testament to renewed interest in Bible stories

Hollywood appears to be banking on moviegoers’ interest in faith and God as it prepares to roll out two big-budget films based on biblical tales. Producer-director-screenwriter Darren Aronofsky’s 3-D opus “Noah,” starring Oscar winners Russell Crowe as Noah and Anthony Hopkins as his grandfather Methuselah, is due to be released in March. “Exodus,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale as Moses, is scheduled to be released in December. Read more at the Washington Times.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Singer Skips Grammys

Mandisa won two Grammy Awards for her Christian music, but she wasn't at the awards show Sunday night to pick up here awards. Find out why in a Daily Caller post here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Most Bible-minded American Cities

The American Bible Society has come out with its list of the most "Bible-minded" American cities. Chattanooga takes over the top spot this year from Knoxville, which held it in 2012. Other Southern cities follow while East coast towns populate the bottom. The only large American city in the top 10 is Charlotte, North Carolina.

1. Chattanooga
2. Birmingham, Al.
3. Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
4. Springfield, Mo.
5. Shreveport, La.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Academy Award nomination for Christian singer

Christian author and singer Joni Eareckson Tada is up for an Oscar. She sings the title song from the film Alone Yet Not Alone. The song is up for Best Original Song. Written by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel, it beat out songs from Jay Z, Taylor Swift and Coldplay, among others. Alone Yet Not Alone is the only song that doesn't come from an animated movie. It's up against Karen O's The Moon Song from Her, Pharrell Williams' Happy from Despicable Me 2, U2's Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and Let it Go from Frozen. Here's a video of Tada, who is a paraplegic, singing the song. The movie opens nationwide in March.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

TV show about a Texas megachurch

NBC has ordered a pilot episode of a show about a Texas megachurch. The working title is Salvation. The lead character's husband dies under mysterious circumstances. Read more about it at Deadline.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chartig new evangelical waters in documentary films

The Denver Post takes a look at efforts by Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family to move into documentary film, particularly it's nationwide effort to push Irreplaceable in theaters this summer. The paper quotes the head of Focus on the Family as saying, "Culture is led by entertainment. We're awakening to the fact we have to do more in this (area). Just getting in the public policy arena and slugging it out — we're not not doing it very well." Read more here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The declining membership numbers of the Protestant church

The dramatic decline in confidence in organized religion is unmistakable. According to the General Social Surveys of the National Opinion Research Center, the percentage of Americans who have a great deal of confidence in organized religion declined dramatically from 2000 to 2010—and the decline was nearly the same for evangelicals as for oldliners. Surprisingly, the biggest decline among any age group within these families is among older evangelicals. Among that group, the number expressing confidence in organized religion fell from 42 percent to 26. Indeed, this was the largest decline for any family or age group except among younger black Protestants—another ominous sign for an established segment of American religion. Read more at the Christian Century here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baptist churches bet on college footbal

Two churches made a bet on the outcome of the BCS National Championship game. The First Baptist Church of Auburn and First Baptist Church of Tallahassee agreed to travel to the other's city if the opposing team won the game. Since Florida State beat Auburn, a group from the Auburn church will travel to Tallahassee for a summer mission trip.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Atheist church schism

A non-religious gathering started last year in London already has a breakaway group forming. Read more at CNN.

One year without God

California pastor Ryan Bell has lost his teaching positions and a consulting job after announcing he would live the year as an atheist. “I am not sure what I am. That’s part of what this year is about,” he told the Huffington Post. Read the full story at Charisma Magazine.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christian Singer details battle with Alcoholism in Book

Ashley Cleveland's new autobiography, Little Black Sheep: A Memoir, tells about the singer's parents, who were alcoholics--something that she dealt with as well. She tells Cross Rhythms, "There was quite a bit of alcoholism in my family on both sides so I would say that I have quite a strong genetic predisposition for it and then environmentally I was quite right for it because I was vulnerable and so yes I did, I became an alcoholic and a drug addict myself." Read a detailed review here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ala. pastor charged with murder, arrested trying to flee country

Richard Shahan tried to get on a flight to Germany but was stopped--and now faces charges he shot and killed his wife. He resigned from the First Baptist Church of Birmingham on Tuesday. WVTM-TV has a video report.

WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Atheism’s 10 defining moments

Atheism found its way into the headlines several times this year. One of the writers for Religious News Service has put together a list of 10 of "atheism’s defining moments and trends from the last year." This includes congregations of nonbelievers meeting, atheists becoming more visible in the U.S. military and the rise of "compassionate atheism." Read more from Religious News Service.