Emily McFarlan Miller writes for the Religion News Service.

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Are Evangelicals Expecting Too Much From a Trump Presidency?

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Segar

As it is, white evangelicals made up a little more than a quarter of those who turned out to cast their ballots. And by winning 81 percent of their vote, Trump was assured the presidency.

Now, evangelicals are expecting much in return from a president-elect who did not mention God in his victory speech, who was “strongly” in favor of abortion rights until he was against them, who has said he does not believe in repentance, who has made lewd comments admitting to sexual assault.

How Christian Women Are Making 'Holy Mischief' in the Church

by Emily McFarlan Miller 11-01-2016

Image via RNS/Emily McFarlan Miller

“I think there’s a moment of great creativity for women leaders in the religious sphere,” said the Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary, and author of God’s Troublemakers: How Women of Faith Are Changing the World.

“I think that we are seeing, in lots of areas of American life, that some of the traditional structures that served well for a long period of time are no longer doing so. … A time of change means there’s a possibility of new types of leadership and new people doing it.”

Will Evangelical Women Turn the Tide Against Trump?

by Emily McFarlan Miller 10-17-2016

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“I think it took a comment from Trump that personally affected a majority of evangelicals for there to be a tipping point,” said Katelyn Beaty, editor at large of Christianity Today, and author of A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World.

“More than half of every church is women, and all those women are affected by comments about sexual assault.”

Mike Pence Defends Trump at Liberty University Amid Evangelical Debate

by Emily McFarlan Miller 10-12-2016

Image via Reuters/Jason Miczek/RNS.

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence urged forgiveness for Donald Trump Oct. 12 at Liberty University as evangelical outcry increased in volume over the weekend release of a 2005 video in which Trump is heard making lewd remarks.

“It’s not about condemning what is said and done. It’s about believing in grace and forgiveness,” Pence said at the Lynchburg, Va., school, headed by prominent Christian conservative and Trump backer Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Pence’s Convocation speech, in which he freely shared his testimony as an evangelical Christian, comes two days after Faith & Freedom Coalition leader Ralph Reed laid out the evangelical case for Trump at the largest weekly gathering of Christian students in North America.

Why Christians Love the Enneagram

by Emily McFarlan Miller 10-04-2016

Image via  /Shutterstock.com

What’s your number?

It’s not a pickup line. At least, it wasn’t at the pre-conference portion of an event called “Why Christian?,” which was back for its second year at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

No, this inquiry is actually just a standard part of the Enneagram, an ancient personality typing system that recently has exploded in popularity in Christian circles.

Two-Thirds of Americans Say Regardless of Religion, Our Worship Is All the Same to God

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-29-2016

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The study comes in the same year that Larycia Hawkins — Wheaton College’s first black, female professor to receive tenure — parted ways with the evangelical flagship school after she posted on Facebook that both Christians and Muslims worship the “same God.” The controversy stirred fresh debate among evangelicals about whether all religions worship the same God, and whether God accepts the worship of all religions.

Christian University Kicks Out Student After Racist Social Media Post

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-21-2016

Belmont University/Wikimedia Commons

A Belmont University freshman “is no longer a student” at the Christian school after sending a racist Snapchat post about three African-American football players who had protested the treatment of minorities in America.

The post was sent under the Snapchat username “juswoodard97” during the Sept. 19 game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago.

It showed Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins, Ron Brooks, and Steven Means with their fists raised during the national anthem and was captioned with a racial slur followed by this threat: “Every one of them needs a damn bullet in their head. If you don’t like this country get the hell out.”

Finding God in the Cosmos

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-20-2016

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Thank God for the internet.

If you believe in God, that is. For a time, Mike McHargue did, and then he didn’t, and now he does again.

But it’s on the internet where McHargue — better known as “Science Mike” to listeners of “The Liturgists” and “ Ask Science Mike” podcasts — found community when he was questioning his Southern Baptist upbringing and then the atheism he had adopted. And it’s on the internet where he’s forged a community with others like him who can’t comfortably wear either label: Christian or atheist.

The 'Spiritual Battle' Over the Dakota Access Pipeline

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-19-2016

Image via RNS/Emily McFarlan Miller

It’s being called “the largest, most diverse tribal action in at least a century”: hundreds of Native American tribes camped among the hills along the Cannonball River.

They’ve gathered in tents and teepees, and in prayer and protest, to oppose the construction of an oil pipeline, engaged in what both activists and religious leaders are calling a spiritual battle.

And they won a partial victory on Sept. 9, when the federal government ordered a provisional halt on construction near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

What’s behind the opposition to the pipeline, and what makes it spiritual? 

Where Did the Bible Go?

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-08-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

"The Reformation gave at least a segment of Christians access to the Bible in a way that hadn’t happened before. Most of our history has been a rather Bible-less Christianity that was dictated or defined mostly by the hierarchical church, not by people who read the Bible. … We gained the freedom to approach it, and then in the current age, we have ceded that exploration to media, to entertainment forms, to prepackaged interpretations that are delivered in video, audio and pulpit forms so that there’s a substitute Bible that isn’t the Bible, per se, at the same time that people aren’t reading."

Christian Photographer Tries Kickstarter Campaign for a Hotel With a Purpose

by Emily McFarlan Miller 08-31-2016

Image via RNS/Purpose Hotel

Photography has taken Jeremy Cowart around the world.

Cowart — recently featured in Christianity Today’s “Makers” issue and named the “Most Influential Photographer on the Web” by The Huffington Post — has photographed the Passion World Tour in 2008 and Britney Spears’ Circus World Tour in 2009.

He’s photographed Haitians after the 2010 earthquake, holding pieces of debris on which they’d written their thoughts and prayers, for a photo project that later was displayed at the United Nations.

And he’s stayed at a lot of hotels. Which got him thinking: What if a hotel could do more than just provide a place to stay for a night?

Lawsuit Against Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Elder Dismissed

by Emily McFarlan Miller 08-29-2016

Image via RNS/Mars Hill Church

The civil racketeering lawsuit against former Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll and former executive elder Sutton Turner has been dismissed before a judge had the chance to consider the case.

The reason: Neither Driscoll nor Turner ever was served with the suit, brought by four former members of the now-defunct Seattle church.

U.S. Lutherans Approve Document Recognizing Agreement with Catholic Church

by Emily McFarlan Miller 08-16-2016

Nearly 500 years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Castle Church door, the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. has approved a declaration recognizing “there are no longer church-dividing issues” on many points with the Roman Catholic Church.

Report: Most Churchgoers Are Hearing Politics from the Pulpit

by Emily McFarlan Miller 08-09-2016

Most American churchgoers are hearing politics from the pulpits of their churches during this presidential election season, according to a new survey.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (64 percent) in the survey released Monday by the Pew Research Center say their clergy have spoken about at least one political or social issue in the spring and early summer.

Methodist Pastor in Kansas Placed on Leave After Coming Out as a Lesbian

by Emily McFarlan Miller 08-04-2016

The Rev. Cynthia Meyer. Image via Emily McFarlan Miller / RNS

The Rev. Cynthia Meyer has been placed on an involuntary leave of absence after coming out as a lesbian earlier this year to her rural Kansas congregation.

The leave allows Meyer, a United Methodist minister, to avoid a church trial and comes after she met for more than 12 hours on Aug. 1 with those involved in a complaint against her, according to the denomination’s Great Plains Annual Conference.

James Dobson Joins Evangelicals Endorsing Trump

by Emily McFarlan Miller 07-22-2016

The Focus on the Family founder released his endorsement on July 21, hours before Trump was set to take the stage to accept his party’s nomination on the last night of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

5 Faith Facts on Mike Pence, a ‘Born-Again, Evangelical Catholic’

Pence's unusual faith mix has shaped him as a politician.

First Openly LGBT United Methodist Bishop: 'This Is the Time'

by Emily McFarlan Miller 07-20-2016

Bishop Karen Oliveto. Image via Patrick Scriven / United Methodist Church PNW Conference / RNS

Bishop Karen Oliveto felt called to ministry in the United Methodist Church when she was 11 years old.

But for years Oliveto refused to allow her name to be cast for the role of bishop because she “didn’t want to harm the church,” she said.

United Methodist Groups Divided After Election of First LGBT Bishop

by Emily McFarlan Miller 07-19-2016

Bishop Karen Oliveto. Image via Charmaine Robledo / UMC Mountain Sky Area / RNS

The head of the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops said the election of its first openly lesbian bishop last week “raises significant concerns and questions of church polity and unity.”

Bishop Bruce Ough, president of the Council of Bishops, said the executive committee of the bishops’ council “is monitoring this situation very closely.” The bishops are gathering July 19-20 in Chicago as part of the commission on sexuality called for by the General Conference.

Bill Nye Visits Noah's Ark Theme Park

by Emily McFarlan Miller 07-12-2016

Bill Nye, left, with Ken Ham. Image via Answers in Genesis / RNS

Bill Nye, known from his 1990s TV show as “The Science Guy,” toured the new Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky with the head of the Christian apologetics ministry behind it.

And it was “like the debate all over again but more intense at times,” according to a blog post by Ken Ham, president and CEO of Answers in Genesis. Ham also posted on social media about Nye’s visit, which occurred on July 8.