Christians Fleeing Persecution in Russia Can Stay in Germany

Faced with mounting threats and anti-missionary laws, Baptists win asylum appeal despite supposed constitutional protections in their home country. As evangelicals increasingly become the target of Russia’s severe anti-evangelism laws, a German court ruled this month in favor of a Baptist family who fled attacks, insults, and threats in their homeland. Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) initially rejected the Russian Christians’ asylum application... Read More

How Can So Many Pastors Be Godly and Dysfunctional at the Same Time?

Illuminating the blind spots in most approaches to spiritual formation. Pastors can be godly and dysfunctional at the same time. They can be holy and not whole. They can be biblically faithful and psychologically broken. They can be prayer warriors and control freaks, spiritually mature and emotionally repressed. They can sincerely love Jesus yet be addicted to food or porn or pain meds. I know this to be true from experience. For many years as a pastor, I was godly and dysfunctional at the... Read More

Americans Who Know Religion Best Hold Worse Views of Evangelicals

Pew: Religious literacy usually helps Americans appreciate other faiths. Evangelicals score highest when it comes to their own. There’s an adage that sometimes comes up in the church: “You can’t love what you don’t know.” Research has shown that people with the greatest understanding of other faiths tend to have more positive views of outside traditions. But a recent survey found one key exception: evangelical Protestants. The people who know the most about... Read More

God Blessed My Church with Migrants

I don’t want to imagine my community without faithful leaders like Cesar Quintero. Editor’s note: Last Thursday, Politico reported that Trump administration advisers had proposed dropping the US refugee cap to zero next year, to the dismay of advocates like the National Association of Evangelicals’ humanitarian arm World Relief. The Trump administration already cut the number of refugees the US will accept by more than half of the typical 75,000–95,000 range. Another... Read More

You Don’t Accidentally Evangelize: If You Don’t Prioritize It, It Won’t Happen

We need to bring intentionality to our gospel witness today. Evangelism has fallen out of style. Sure, some of us are trying to keep it at the forefront of our churches’ thinking, but stats don’t lie: While 79% of unchurched people said they would engage in a faith conversation if asked, only 39% of Christians have shared how to accept Jesus in the past six months. That’s a wide margin by any measure. This means that over 60% of people are not telling our world about... Read More

You Don’t Accidentially Evangelize: If You Don’t Prioritize It, It Won’t Happen

We need to bring intentionality to our gospel witness today. Evangelism has fallen out of style. Sure, some of us are trying to keep it at the forefront of our churches’ thinking, but stats don’t lie: While 79% of unchurched people said they would engage in a faith conversation if asked, only 39% of Christians have shared how to accept Jesus in the past six months. That’s a wide margin by any measure. This means that over 60% of people are not telling our world about... Read More

From DC to Mecca, Should ‘Human Dignity’ Be the New ‘Religious Freedom’?

Shift in human rights language could allow for greater acceptance in the Muslim world. In his opening remarks at the second US Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo challenged every major world religion and secular society—and also invited them in. “We all agree that fighting so that each person is free to believe, free to assemble, and to teach the tenets of his or her own faith is not optional,” said Pompeo last week to the almost 1,000... Read More

Interview: What the Ordination Debate Misses: Laywomen in Ministry

Complementarians and egalitarians share common ground in lay leadership. As managing editor of the Christian Research Journal and a women’s ministry trainer in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Melanie Cogdill has had ample opportunity to closely observe the unique discipleship challenges faced by evangelical women. In Beyond the Roles: A Biblical Foundation for Women and Ministry, Cogdill has gathered essays from various authors who explore a theological foundation for... Read More

The Nazis Persecuted Him. The Soviets Killed Him. Today He’s Barely Known.

James Edwards’s biography recovers the memory of German theologian Ernst Lohmeyer. Whenever I teach the history of 20th-century Europe, I incorporate stories from Christians who resisted the evils of totalitarianism. That list always includes martyred anti-Nazis like the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the university student Sophie Scholl. But thanks to theologian James R. Edwards, this fall I can add one more name to that cloud of witnesses: the German Lutheran Ernst Lohmeyer, who... Read More

6 Keys to Reproducing Normal-Size Churches

All churches can, and should, reproduce. Language of sending is common in evangelical vernacular in recent years. Church planting initiatives rank at the top of the agenda of denominations and networks throughout North America. It’s exceedingly clear that lasting change in the evangelization of North America requires far more healthy, faithful churches than we currently have. But what part does the normal church play in getting us there? Granted, “normal” is a vague... Read More