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…

Let’s swap “sloppy wet kiss” for “break the arm of the wicked man.” In 2018, an unusual Bible made national news. Published in 1807, the so-called “Slave Bible” offered Caribbean slaves a highly edited edition of the KJV. The editors presumably cut out parts of Scripture that could undermine slavery or incite rebellion. If you want a pro-slavery Bible, it’s unsurprising you’d get rid of the exodus story or drop Paul’s declaration that in Christ “there is … neither slave nor free” (Gal. 3:28). But why did the creators of the “Slave Bible” cut out the Book of Psalms? After…

What pop culture gets wrong about charismatic women, and what “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” gets right. In 1998, just over a decade after the scandal that landed Tammy Faye Bakker’s husband, Jim, in prison and crashed the couple’s ministry empire, Tammy Faye was a guest on Roseanne Barr’s daytime show. Roseanne’s opening line of questions quickly turned obnoxious, even cruel: “I want to know what in the heck is the makeup a metaphor for? What does it really mean? Because you know it’s really extreme.” Tammy Faye, obviously stung, tried to deflect the insult. Roseanne persisted: “No, your makeup…

Even during a pandemic, we have a duty to anticipate God’s goodness. The first thing to go was the trip she’d earned to Boston. Then it was her summer internship at the local theater company, followed by the business course she wanted to take for college credit. Eighteen months of disappointments finally spilled over last week as my 17-year-old and I were discussing a potential graduation trip. “Mom,” she interrupted, her voice quavering ever so slightly, “I can’t talk about this. I can’t handle getting excited. It just hurts too much when things get canceled.” My daughter’s comments reminded me…

Leaving home after graduating from high school is an exciting season of life—a time of new opportunities and challenges. For young Christians trying to fit in at a secular university, though, it’s also a time when their faith may come under attack. Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College was written to prepare college-age believers to engage with a secular culture confidently and compassionately, but without compromising their faith. It’s written by a father of three who wanted his children to be able to answer questions commonly asked by unbelieving friends like: Wouldn’t…

As leaders, how do we avoid the faults of online life without shirking our public responsibility? Recently, Caitlin Flanagan argued in The Atlantic that we really need to quit Twitter. She joins a long line of people who’ve sworn off the medium (at least for a time). Andrew Sullivan, Chrissy Teigen, Alec Baldwin, and other celebrities have publicly quit social media. Ta-Nehisi Coates famously left Twitter (and his 1.25 million followers) after an online argument with Cornel West in 2017. In her essay, Flanagan examines how Twitter destroyed her “ability for private thought” and enjoyment of reading. She even admits…

There’s a window of opportunity to bring young adults back after they leave organized religion, says sociologist Melinda Lundquist Denton. Almost two decades ago, a small group of sociologists embarked on a longitudinal research project called the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR). Hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Notre Dame, NSYR researchers tracked the faith lives of America’s youth for a full 10-year span, from early adolescence into emerging adulthood. Their findings were reported in three books: Soul Searching, Souls in Transition, and A Faith of Their Own. The culmination…

The New Testament You Never Knew Online Bible Study with N.T. Wright Starts March 8 Bible scholars N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird say the New Testament is filled with startling and unforeseen twists. According to Wright, “When we see Jesus announcing the kingdom of God saying the time is fulfilled, this is the time for God to become King, we also see Jesus doing all kinds of things like healing people and celebrating with all the ‘wrong’ kinds of folk, and then explaining that this is what it looks like when God becomes King. It is not what people…

The New Testament You Never Knew Online Bible Study with N.T. Wright Starts March 8 Bible scholars N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird say the New Testament is filled with startling and unforeseen twists. According to Wright, “When we see Jesus announcing the kingdom of God saying the time is fulfilled, this is the time for God to become King, we also see Jesus doing all kinds of things like healing people and celebrating with all the ‘wrong’ kinds of folk, and then explaining that this is what it looks like when God becomes King. It is not what people…

By Darryl Strawberry Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. —Proverbs 3:5–6 In the sport of baseball, a player’s mental approach to the game can largely determine success or failure. When competing against the most skilled and athletic players in the world, a competitive advantage often is achieved more by what’s going on between the ears than between the lines on the field. As a major leaguer, I tried to approach each at bat or each play in…

Dear Friends, It’s been an immense privilege to bring God’s Word to you each day during this tumultuous year. Together, we’ve rested firmly in God’s love and providence, assured by His Word that He will surely fulfill all that He’s promised through the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re now within days of the end of our fiscal year. If you’ve already given to support Truth For Life, our most sincere thanks! And if you’ve yet to reach out with a generous donation to Truth For Life, please don’t delay. Truth For Life is 100% listener funded, and every gift, no matter…

I read older poems I’ve written and try to find myself in them. They feel vaguely foreign, memories of writing faded and far away. It makes me feel strange to read them, making me wonder about the intersection of heart and mind and truth and imagination when we write.

If we let stereotypes guide our thinking, we might think Brazilian ranchers are interested only in their crops or cows. But the truth is more complex.

By Jennifer Allwood Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. —Deuteronomy 31:6 We all like safe. It’s human nature to avoid hard things, and our normal tendency is to drift toward the safe thing in order to protect ourselves. I mean, who honestly likes to be scared? Women especially like “safe.” Women who have gone through hard things will almost always choose safe, because for the love of all things holy, they don’t want to go back to…

The rhetoric around fallen leaders often erodes our high call to holiness. L’Arche International recently published an internal report revealing the news that Jean Vanier, its founder, sexually abused women for decades. In the report, the leaders of L’Arche unequivocally condemned Vanier’s abusive behavior. They sought forgiveness from the victims while also lauding the victims’ courage to come forward and testify. Along with many others, I was devastated by the news. After Vanier won the Templeton Prize, I contacted him about a possible interview. When his secretary was on vacation, he sent me a personal response that said, “From Jean,…

I don’t see him much. Hear his laugh. Feel the impact of his presence as he bounds into the room. The brother who lives far away and whose heart I understand and miss but don’t reach out to except on holidays. Except for this year, surprising myself when I didn’t call him on his birthday.

The following is a Bible Gateway exclusive Sneak Peek and First Listen of It’s Not Over: Leaving Behind Disappointment and Learning to Dream Again (Thomas Nelson, 2020) by Joshua Gagnon (@joshgagnon). Order the book and unabridged audiobook on CD in the Bible Gateway Store. By Joshua Gagnon While God-sized dreams often begin with our response to a specific need, there are lots of needs in our world. Actually, there are lots of needs in each of our communities. So we need more input when it comes to identifying which needs (and which dreams) God is using to direct our steps….

5:30 am. I didn’t make it out to the studio behind our house but sat on the couch by the back door. When the sun rose, I could look out the windows and watch morning quilt together shades of light.

How insights from genealogy can help change the terms of a contentious debate. Ever since Charles Darwin proposed his theory of evolution, Christians have struggled to locate Adam and Eve within an evolutionary past. According to the traditional reading of the first chapters of Genesis, God created Adam and Eve directly and all human beings descended from that first couple. Yet many Christians have discarded this belief on the basis of evolutionary science, which holds that human beings, having descended from animals, first appeared on earth as a population rather than a single, divinely created pair. S. Joshua Swamidass, a…

Still, three-quarters of evangelicals say they agree with their church leaders on politics. Churchgoers are most likely to say they don’t know whether their pastor is a Republican or a Democrat—and many preachers believe that’s a good thing. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that almost half (45%) of people who attend services at least a few times a year are “unsure” of their clergy’s partisan leanings. Over a quarter (27%) say their clergy are a mix of both parties, while 16 percent say they lean Republican and 11 percent say they lean Democrat. The job of…