An Evangelical Manifesto

The church has a serious image problem. A recent book, unChristian, by Barna pollster David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons reveals much about how Millennials, the emerging generation - both those inside and around the church - view Christianity. The results weren't good. An overwhelming majority of young people view Christians as hypocritical, too judgmental, too focused on the afterlife, and too political in the worst sense of the word. And that image is often particularly true of [...]

The Year of Living Biblically: Interview with Author A.J. Jacobs

In church one day, my pastor asked us to raise our hands if we believed in what the Bible said. The right answer seemed pretty obvious, and the whole congregation and I raised our hands. Then he asked us to raise our hand if we had read the Bible in its entirety. Touché, Pastor Sean. Touché.

In his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as [...]

Lifeboat Theology vs. Ark Theology (Part 3 of 5 by Rich Nathan)

Let me give you an illustration of the difference between the narrow focus of contemporary American evangelicalism and the big focus of the Bible.

D.L. Moody, the great 19th-century evangelist, described his calling and said that he essentially understood the world as being like an ocean liner that hit an iceberg. God had said to him, "Moody, it is your job to pull as many drowning people out of [...]

Is Social Justice a Distraction from the Gospel? (Part 2 of 5 by Rich Nathan)

Social justice is not a distraction from our commitment; it is part and parcel of the gospel of the kingdom. We read in Mark 1:15:

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"

What is the message of the kingdom? Certainly the center of the message is the proclamation that through one's faith in Jesus Christ (the King), a person can be eternally saved. Thus my church regularly calls people to put [...]

Exciting SBC Alternative Not Without Shortcomings

During the closing days of January, more than 15,000 Baptists from 30 different Baptist denominations gathered together at the Convention Center in Atlanta. Although all Baptist groups were invited to join in what was called The New Baptist Covenant, official representatives from the largest Baptist group in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Convention, were conspicuously absent. [...]

Good News for Southern Baptists

As the nation's second largest denomination (after the Roman Catholic Church), Southern Baptists have been given much, so their potential to do good is considerable - as is the danger of missing opportunities to do good. Sadly, until now, constituents and leaders of the 16-million-member Convention have tended to lag behind other large Christian communities when it comes to addressing the issue of environmental stewardship in general and climate change in particular. But that may be [...]