There are clear, pro-life reasons why mothers and fathers need time with new babies. When our twins were born in 2019, I took six weeks off work. My husband did too—thanks to his then-employer’s family leave plan, offered equally to new mothers and fathers alike—and it’s impossible to overstate how indispensable his leave became. It wasn’t that I had a difficult physical recovery. Mercifully, I didn’t, especially by the standard of multiples pregnancies. But I found I couldn’t set myself up for tandem nursing alone, which meant that without my husband’s help, I would have been nursing 50 percent of…

We don’t need a better guidebook or a different set of rules. We need to change the way we approach the conversation. I wish I still had my copies of the popular sexuality and dating books from my youth so I could see which quotes I highlighted as a 15-year-old. I’m sure there is a list somewhere in my handwriting titled “What I Want in a Future Husband” (though, to be honest, it was probably pretty short: Jonathan Taylor Thomas). While writing Talking Back to Purity Culture, I reread fresh copies of those books. As I revisited the words that…

Q&A with Mission Aviation Fellowship President David Holsten on the challenges of reaching the most isolated villages in the world. In a remote village on the side of a mountain in Papua, a man has been writing letters. “I’ve written so many letters asking for teachers to come,” he says. “I’ve written so many letters, my pens have all run out of ink. I don’t have any more pens to write with. But then all of the sudden I heard you guys were coming. I was so happy hearing that I could not sleep at all last night.” A new…

Christian health workers and pastors navigate stigma at Apostolic, evangelical, and Methodist congregations. Yvonne Binda stands in front of the congregation, all dressed in pristine white robes, and tells them not to believe what they’ve heard about COVID-19 vaccines. “The vaccine is not linked to Satanism,” she says. The worshipers, members of a Christian Apostolic church in Zimbabwe, are unmoved. But when Binda, a vaccine campaigner and member of an Apostolic church herself, promises them soap, buckets, and masks, there are enthusiastic shouts of “Amen!” Apostolic groups that infuse traditional beliefs into Pentecostal doctrine are among the most skeptical in…

Some Copts cheer Sisi’s stance and new five-year reform strategy, while others focus on absence of attention to problematic ID cards and reconciliation committees. Committing Egypt to a five-year program of human rights reform, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi did not mince words about religion. “If someone tells me they are neither Muslim nor Christian nor a Jew, or that he or she does not believe in religion, I will tell them, ‘You are free to choose,’” he said. “But will a society that has been conditioned to think in a certain way for the last 90 years accept this?” The…

The EC president and CEO says he “will not and cannot” lead after its vote to waive attorney-client privilege. Ronnie Floyd is the latest to leave the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee (EC) over its decision to hand over privileged documents in an upcoming abuse investigation. Floyd, the president and CEO of the EC, announced in an email Thursday night that he could no longer serve in the role, which he has held for two years. His resignation is effective October 31. In the past couple weeks, more than ten members of the EC left around the much-debated vote on…

With dozens of congregations already on their way out, the Reformed Church in America anticipates “difficult decisions” at its postponed General Synod this week. This week, North America’s oldest denomination will confront its gridlock over LGBTQ ordination and same-sex marriage. Votes cast in Tucson at the Reformed Church in America’s General Synod—delayed 16 months due to the pandemic—will chart the course for the already-splintering denomination. In the past year, conservative factions have broken ties with the RCA, with other churches threatening to follow. Delegates to the synod, which starts Thursday and will continue through Tuesday, will determine how the denomination…

How intimacy with God fuels Meg Baatz’s ministry among same-sex-attracted and LGBT peers. Meg Baatz was first drawn toward God as a preteen. “I was really insecure and just full of shame and guilt, and searching for meaning,” she says, but she knew “Jesus was there just loving me exactly as I was.” Years later, while serving as a Bible study leader in a campus ministry, Baatz says her “faith and sexuality journey collided” as she became more conscious of feelings of attraction to other women. For Baatz, prayer has been key in her personal discipleship as she holds to…

Two experts on intercultural evangelism explore the challenge of sharing Christ in a climate of growing indifference. Christian evangelism entails a conversation with people of different beliefs. But those conversations are also often between people of different cultures. That’s where Effective Intercultural Evangelism, a new book from missiologists W. Jay Moon and W. Bud Simon, steps into the discussion. They want to help Christians share the good news of Jesus in a world of diverse cultural perspectives. Readers might assume such a resource would be aimed at those in cross-cultural missionary contexts. But the authors want us to realize that…

Survey of almost 19,000 adults in 17 nations examines societal conflict between different religions, political parties, races and ethnicities, and urban and rural communities. “Conflict” is a troublesome word to describe a society. But increasingly across advanced global economies—and particularly the United States—their societies believe it is the correct label. If there is any good news, religious conflict lags behind. The Pew Research Center surveyed almost 19,000 people in 17 North American, European, and Asia-Pacific nations this past spring about their perception of conflict across four categories: between political parties, between different races and ethnicities, between different religions, and between…

Old-school evangelical leaders once knew the value of “care” over “cure.” “You know, Mike, I used to be gay,” I said. Mike stopped moving his paintbrush as the words fell clumsily from my mouth. He was painting the St. Louis apartment I called home in the summer of 1997 as I began working toward my PhD in historical theology. He’d asked me about my schooling, and we got to talking about faith. Mike had explained to me how he felt he could never go to church because he was gay. “I know they say that’s not supposed to happen,” I…

As Erbil Christians finally get to govern themselves, Chaldean Catholic archbishop Bashar Warda explains to CT how ISIS freed Christians from the centuries-old understanding that they are second-class citizens. This week, the Christian enclave of Ankawa in Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, was designated by the autonomous region’s prime minister as an official district with administrative autonomy. Starting next week, Christians will directly elect their own mayor and be in charge of security, among other matters. Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called Ankawa a home for “religious and social coexistence, and a place for peace.” Archbishop Bashar Warda, the…

ShareWord will continue to distribute Scripture, but emphasize church partnerships and equipping Christians for evangelism. Say “Gideons,” and the vision that comes to mind for most people is Bibles in hotel nightstands and pocket-sized Scriptures passed out to students. It’s a recognized brand, with a well-publicized purpose, but it’s getting a new moniker in Canada. Gideons International in Canada will now be known as ShareWord Global. “God has called us to expand our evangelistic efforts internationally and come alongside our brothers and sisters across the world with tools, resources, and inspiration to be faithful—not just to a brand name, but…

After yet another military overthrow of a democratically elected leader in West Africa, minority evangelicals debate the role of faith in politics. In its 63 years of independence, Guinea has had three presidents. Last month, the West African nation suffered its third coup d’etat. This time, says the local Christian minority, their Francophone country might just get it right. “Alpha Conde cannot return,” said Etienne Leno, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) pastor. “We are praying that the new military authorities—who we find to be wise and intelligent—will be led by God.” On September 5, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of…

For 19 days, two staffers told unaccompanied minors that God is a good father. Young Life leaders Eric Collins and Felix Chavez were thrilled to find a group of students eager to hear God’s Word. But there was a catch. The young people were inside Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, behind two security checkpoints and any number of locked doors. They were unaccompanied minors seeking refuge from violence in Central America, held in the custody of the United States government. In April and May 2021, the Office of Refugee Resettlement temporarily housed 1,500 boys ages 13–17 on the grounds of…

Christian ministries are concerned about the Biden administration’s efforts to expand a Trump program of scanning letters. Pastor Frank Switzer has written thousands of letters to men in prison. During his first tentative years as a young pastor, a woman in his congregation in Phoenix approached the pulpit one Sunday and asked him to write to her son, who had just been sentenced to five years. Switzer’s yes turned into a long list of correspondents spanning more than two decades of letter writing. But a new policy at the Federal Bureau of Prisons could change how Switzer and other Christian…

An excerpt from the best-selling author’s memoir, “Where the Light Fell.” At a vulnerable time in my spiritual development, I found myself at a Bible college with a 66-page rule book and little emphasis on grace. Other students seemed quite content in the controlled environment. In me, however, the campus culture encouraged more cynicism than faith. My cynicism gradually softened over the course of my sopho­more year. I found some relief in a new Christian Service assign­ment: “university work.” Four of us male students started visiting a nearby state university every Saturday night with the goal of engaging students in…

Inconsistent and insincere appeals for exemptions to public health rules are undermining important freedoms. If you believe in religious liberty only when it’s good for society, then you really don’t believe in it. A sincere commitment to religious liberty requires support for exemptions that allow people to do things you might disagree with, whether that’s Mennonites refusing to serve in the military, Catholics declining to work with same-sex foster parents, or Native Americans doing drugs. So supporters of religious liberty and robust religious exemptions might feel conflicted about a court ruling in Pennsylvania that rejected religious exemptions to mask mandates…

Brian Houston will go to court in Sydney over alleged child abuse by his late father. Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston will plead not guilty to illegally concealing alleged child abuse by his father, his lawyer told a court on Tuesday. Houston did not appear at Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court when his charge was mentioned before a registrar for the first time. His lawyer told the court Houston would be pleading not guilty to the charge of concealing a serious indictable offense of another person, his late preacher father Frank Houston. The case will next be before the court…

The reasons worship services should be offline are all too human. Every week, in the front lobby, the secretary of the church I attended in kindergarten updated the archive of sermon recordings. This was in the early 1990s, so the archive was a spice rack of cassette tapes, with maybe two or three copies for each sermon, in case multiple homebound church members wanted to listen simultaneously. That sort of care for those who can’t make it to church on Sunday—whether occasionally or long-term, due to old age, chronic illness, or disability—is uncontroversial. Most churches have long since moved past…

The philosopher and theologian ventures a new hypothesis on Genesis, human origins, and the historical Adam. As head of the ministry Reasonable Faith and a prolific writer on topics of philosophy and theology, William Lane Craig has spent decades staking out sophisticated positions on the toughest questions of Christian faith. But for a long time, his beliefs on one controversial topic—the place of Adam and Eve in biblical and biological history—have remained unsettled. Craig considers this matter at length in his latest book, In Quest of the Historical Adam: A Biblical and Scientific Exploration. Science and religion scholar Melissa Cain…