15 Killed in Fire at Haiti Orphanage Run by US Church

The controversial Church of Bible Understanding lost accreditation several years ago for unsanitary conditions at the facility. A fire swept through a Haitian children’s home run by a Pennsylvania-based Christian nonprofit group, killing 15 children, officials said Friday. Rose-Marie Louis, a child-care worker at the home, told The Associated Press that the fire began around 9 p.m. Thursday and firefighters took about 90 minutes to arrive. The orphanage had been using candles for light... Read More

Forgive Us Our Sins (And Theirs, Too)

How an ancient prophet’s prayer answers our modern outrage. Last fall, a friend from church was distraught. She forwarded me a video that has since gone viral and left her confused and alarmed. When I viewed it, I understood why. In the controversial clip, John MacArthur shares his thoughts about popular speaker and author Beth Moore, declaring she should “go home” and citing the dangers of “women preachers.” His theological differences with her came as no... Read More

Democratic Christians Weigh Their Primary Concerns

The presidential contenders are wooing religious voters. How do the faithful make sure God isn’t a political prop? Pastor Telley Gadson was the calm center of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Taylors, South Carolina, as the congregation prepared for a visit from Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and a North Carolina congressman who would speak on Biden’s behalf. The historic black church is known as the 9-1-1 because of its street address. And the church did seem like it... Read More

Real Love Requires a Command

Strangers and Enemies Don’t Come Naturally In a familiar passage from Mark’s gospel, Jesus gets asked what matters most. Embroiled in a cauldron of theological unrest over taxes and what happens after we die, Jesus impressed with agile wisdom. An Old Testament Law professor, overhearing, interjected his own question: “Of all the commandments, which is most important?” (Mark 12:28). There were over 600 commandments in Old Testament Law, the Torah, addressing... Read More

On Earth as It Is in Flight

Travel reminds us of our God-ordained dependence on others. There’s a call button above every seat on commercial airplanes. In all my travels, I don’t think I’ve ever used it. I’m not sure if that is due to shyness or to pride, as there have certainly been times when I acutely needed help while seated. While traveling recently, for example, I endured some delays and was thirsty. Yet I waited to ask for anything until the plane reached 10,000 feet, when the flight... Read More

The Motherly Love of a Wrathful God

Our perceptions of an angry, Old Testament deity are distorted. I did not always feel a certain loathing for this phrase. The church tradition in which I grew up emerged from the frontier revivals. One of the marks of good revival preachers lay in their skill of placing sinners in the hands of an angry God, often “the God of the Old Testament,” and then transferring them into the gracious and loving hands of “the God of the New Testament” revealed in Christ Jesus.... Read More

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Responses to our December issue. The First Christian I love Mary as the mother of our Savior. As a former Catholic who was taught she was an intercessor to Christ, I had to learn to comprehend she was only chosen to be his mother. She, too, was a sinner who needed a Savior. She deserves to be admired and respected but certainly not worshiped or prayed to. While I found “The First Christian” very interesting, I think it had two notable flaws. First, Mary Magdalene would be the... Read More

Gospel Proclamation within Secularity

(Or, The Art of Church Planting Preaching) Part 1 The title of this article probably has piqued the interest of some and drawn the skeptical eye of others. “Church planting preaching?” “Secular preaching?” How can the sacred process of proclaiming the timeless and infallible Word of God to his people be any different whether it takes place in a school gymnasium or within the sanctified walls of a traditional church building? That is a great question. I have had the... Read More

Lessons from the Long-Shot Bid to Bring Christian Liberal-Arts Education to Russia

The Russian-American Christian University had a brief lifespan and a limited enrollment. But the school planted seeds that might flower in the future. In 1995, I taught a non-credit night course in Russian church history for what would become the Russian-American Christian University (RACU). It was a memorable experience on multiple counts. The class was held in rented space on the old campus of the Patrice Lumumba People’s Friendship University, where a larger-than-life bust of the... Read More

Latest Burkina Faso Church Attack Kills 24, Including Pastor

Sunday’s raid left 18 more wounded and burnt down the town church. Gunmen killed 24 civilians, including a church pastor, and kidnapped three others on Sunday in Burkina Faso, an official said. It was the latest attack against a religious leader in the increasingly unstable West African nation. The mayor of Boundore commune, Sihanri Osangola Brigadie, said the attack occurred in the town of Pansi in Yagha province. The roughly 20 attackers separated men from women close to a Protestant... Read More