Emily McFarlan Miller writes for the Religion News Service.

Posts By This Author

Wheaton Group Blasts College's Silence Over Hastert Abuse Confession

Image via REUTERS/Frank Polich/RNS

Gay students, supporters, and alumni at Wheaton College, a top evangelical Christian school that counts former House Speaker Dennis Hastert among its most famous grads, have told the administration they are “stunned” the college has not condemned the sexual abuse of boys that Hastert admitted committing when he was sentenced last Wednesday for fraud in trying to cover up the abuse.

Evangelicals' Summer Reading: Stories of People of Color, Women, Queer Christians

by Emily McFarlan Miller 04-29-2016

Image via Deborah Jian Lee/RNS.

A new, national church book club has picked Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Chicago-based journalist Deborah Jian Lee as the featured title.

One Book, One Church is an effort organized by Lee and Urban Village Church, a congregation with four locations in Chicago whose mission is to “create Jesus-loving, inclusive communities that ignite the city.” Urban Village is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, a United Methodist group that welcomes LGBT members.

The Bible Is Among the 10 Most Complained About Books of 2015

by Emily McFarlan Miller 04-12-2016

Image via REUTERS/Chris Tilley/RNS

What does the Bible have in common with Fifty Shades of Grey or one of John Green’s best-selling young adult novels? For the first time in nearly a decade, the Bible made the list of the American Library Association’s 10 most frequently challenged books last year.

Filmmaker Crowdfunding Documentary About 'Same God' Flap at Wheaton

by Emily McFarlan Miller 04-01-2016

Image via Midgett Productions / RNS

The image of a tenured African-American political science professor at an evangelical college wearing the hijab in solidarity with Muslims caught the attention of filmmaker Linda Midgett. A Wheaton College alumna, the Louisiana-based Midgett decided the controversy that erupted from former Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins’ Facebook photo had all the elements of a good documentary.

Bill to Make the Bible the Official Book of Tennessee is Back

by Emily McFarlan Miller 03-30-2016

Image via Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The state’s Senate Judiciary Committee on March 29 gave the green light to a bill that would make the Bible the official book of Tennessee, The Tennessean reports.

Mark Driscoll to Launch New Church on Easter Sunday

by Emily McFarlan Miller 03-16-2016

Mark Driscoll. Image via Mars Hill Church / RNS

Controversial former Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll plans to launch his new church on Easter Sunday (March 27). The Trinity Church will host its first gathering that evening at the Glass and Garden Drive-In Church in Scottsdale, Ariz., it announced on its website.

Russell Moore: Don't Call Me an 'Evangelical'

by Emily McFarlan Miller 03-01-2016

Russell Moore. Image via Theology147/Wikimedia Commons

Russell Moore may be president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. But don’t call him an evangelical — at least not until the current election cycle ends.

Moore started introducing himself as a “gospel Christian” a few weeks ago. That’s because, he said, “The word ‘evangelical’ has become almost meaningless this year, and in many ways the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Iranian-American Pastor Expected Back in the U.S.

by Emily McFarlan Miller 01-21-2016

Saeed Abedini with his family. Image via American Center for Law and Justice/RNS

An Iranian-American pastor released by Iran last weekend is expected back in the U.S. after more than three years in prison there. Saeed Abedini, who since has been at a U.S. military hospital in Germany, is scheduled to arrive on American soil Jan. 21 evening, according to a Facebook post made Jan. 20 by his wife, Naghmeh Abedini. She described him in “very good condition.”

Larycia Hawkins ‘Flabbergasted’ by Wheaton’s Move to Fire Her

by Emily McFarlan Miller 01-06-2016

Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins says she is “flummoxed and flabbergasted” by the evangelical flagship’s decision to begin dismissal proceedings against her for expressing the belief that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

Speaking at a press conference in the sanctuary of Chicago’s First United Methodist Church on Jan. 6, Hawkins reiterated that she has not wavered from the college’s statement of faith.

“Wheaton College cannot scare me into walking away from the truth (that) all humans — Muslims, the vulnerable, the oppressed of any ilk ­— are all my sisters and brothers, and I am called by Jesus to walk with them,” she said.

What's an Apostolic Christian and Why is Kim Davis' Hair So Long?

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-10-2015

Image via USA Today/RNS

Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk jailed for five days for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, identifies as an Apostolic Christian and attends Solid Rock Apostolic Church in Morehead, Ky.

But what’s an “Apostolic Christian” and why does the group object to same-sex marriage? Let me 'splain:

Q: Who are Apostolic Christians?

A: The term could refer to any one of a few different groups, including the Apostolic Christian Church or the Apostolic Pentecostal movement, also known as Oneness Pentecostalism. Solid Rock’s website was down Sept. 9 and a busy signal greeted anyone trying to reach the church. But it is listed on a worldwide directory of Apostolic Pentecostal churches and ministries.

Did You Hear the One About the Pope?

by Emily McFarlan Miller 09-02-2015

Image via Mario Anzuoni / Reuters / RNS

“The California drought is so bad, people in Napa are asking the pope to change the wine into water.”

That joke, courtesy of late-night TV host Conan O’Brien, is the warmup to a new “Joke with the Pope” digital campaign, encouraging people to “donate” a joke to support one of three causes ahead of Pope Francis’ historic U.S. visit.

The campaign, which begins Sept. 8, is being launched by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States and precedes the release of its new mobile app, Missio. The mission societies work to spread the Catholic faith overseas, especially in poor and remote areas.