Katelyn Beaty’s critique of evangelical fame-worship is wise but overly tame. There’s a scene in The Fellowship of the Ring in which Bilbo Baggins, the hero of the earlier book The Hobbit, has just received a small bit of counsel from his friend Gandalf the wizard. Gandalf tells Bilbo he needn’t attempt a task that would be challenging and quite likely deadly. And it makes Bilbo suspicious: “I have never known you to give me pleasant advice before,” he says. “As all your unpleasant advice has been good, I wonder if this advice is not bad.” Though Bilbo turned out…

New study projects that the religious identity in the US will drop below 50 percent by 2070. Pew Research Center isn’t ruling out a future religious revival in America. But given the country’s steady trends away from faith affiliation, experts don’t know what it would look like to see a return. Analyzing surveys about religious identity and religious “switching” going back to 1972 and trying to project the American religious landscape out to the year 2070, they can’t say what demographic signs might indicate a coming swell of conversions. “We’ve never seen it, and we don’t have the data to…

Houston’s College of Biblical Studies, where three-quarters of students are Black or Hispanic, finds ministry partners in DTS and Tony Evans. In an era when conservative evangelicalism and multiethnic urban ministry increasingly find themselves in tension, the College of Biblical Studies (CBS) is combining them. The school averages 500 undergraduate students per semester online and across three campuses: Houston, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. As its bylaws require, the student body is strikingly diverse. In Houston—a majority-minority city—about half of the students are Black, a quarter Hispanic, and a quarter other ethnicities. The Indianapolis campus also has 50 percent Black…

Brent Leatherwood stays on to lead the Southern Baptist entity after the “Dobbs” ruling and a major denominational abuse report. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s interim leader, Brent Leatherwood, will become its next president. Leatherwood spent the past year as acting president, leading the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm during a historic span that included the reversal of Roe v. Wade and landmark denominational moves on abuse reform. The ERLC board of trustees unanimously approved his appointment on Tuesday. A five-year staff member at the ERLC, Leatherwood was chief of staff under the previous interim leader, Daniel Patterson,…

On November 3, 2020, Tim and Aileen Challies received the shocking news that their twenty-year-old son Nick had died. Tim, an author and blogger, began to process his loss through writing, which eventually led to the book Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God. During this launch event, Tim reads a brief excerpt from the book and then has a discussion with Alistair Begg and Bob Lepine about God’s purpose in and through our sorrows, reminding us that lasting comfort is something that only He can provide. Watch or listen to the message “‘Seasons of…

The seminary’s sixth leader, David Emmanuel Goatley is an academic, pastor, and missions agency leader rooted in the Black church. Fuller Theological Seminary, the largest Protestant interdenominational seminary in the country, named Black church theologian and missions leader David Emmanuel Goatley its next president. Goatley, who leaves a post at Duke Divinity School to begin in January, says he wants to counter the “partisan poison” he sees in American evangelicalism, and turn students’ eyes to the testimonies of the global church. And like presidents in higher education everywhere, he also faces the problem of declining enrollment. He will be the…

Sheila Gregoire’s research has Christians across the spectrum correcting harmful assumptions and bringing new attention to women’s pleasure in marriage. When it was published last year, Sheila Gregoire’s marriage book, The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended, came as a stark contrast to what many Christians learned from the church about sex and marriage. Drawing from her own research, including a survey of 22,000 Christian women, the Canadian author affirms that sexual pleasure is for women too—and chronicles the damage done to women, men, and their relationships when people operate on…

“God’s law has been written on all of our consciences, but only in Christ is it written on our hearts.” — Alistair Begg Click Below to Download your Image: Apple Devices:iPadsiPhones Other Devices:Android PhonesAmazon FireMicrosoft Surface Social MediaFacebook BannerFacebook PostTwitter PostInstagram Post Desktop ComputerLargeSmall

Our historic, global faith tradition connects sanctity of life with social justice. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when opposition to abortion united evangelical Christians across the political spectrum. Along with political conservatives, left-leaning advocates for the poor like Ron Sider spoke out against abortion. In 1987, he published Completely Pro-Life as an explanation for why Christians should support a consistent life ethic. Sojourners magazine, the leading periodical of the evangelical Left, published several pieces against abortion in the 1980s. But that moment is gone. This summer, when the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade ignited…

Evangelicals are eager to preserve their unity—and the country’s. Singapore has decriminalized gay sex while pledging to add a constitutional amendment to protect the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. The country’s evangelical leaders broadly opposed the government’s decision to repeal Section 377A of the penal code and supported the proposed amendment. Though there are currently only mild discrepancies over strategies of engaging the government and the LGBT and same-sex-attracted community, they know the church is susceptible to division. “There is understandable uncertainty and anxiety as we await the unfolding of a new social compact regarding…

Q&A with Jewish scholar Steven Fine on the history of a biblical minority. The Good Samaritan shows up in the Gospels as an apparent exception to his people, since he’s the “good” one. Then he exits the stage, presumably to go back to life with the rest of the Samaritans, with little explanation of what a “Samaritan” is or why that might have mattered to Jesus and his first followers. A new exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, opening on September 15, promises to expand our understanding of these biblical people. CT spoke to Steven Fine,…

Independent artists like Montell Fish have found success on social media platforms rather than traditional labels. Montell Fish is a Christian musician whose songs took off with tens of millions of streams. But unlike artists who have risen through the ranks of CCM, his main platform isn't a worship stage. The 24-year-old artist went viral on TikTok from his bedroom, where he recorded himself, wearing a T-shirt and black bandana, playing the guitar, and singing in falsetto, “Why don’t you talk to me like you used to?” His calming, “lo-fi” (low-fidelity) music stands in stark contrast with the high production…

After more than two years in diplomatic limbo in South Korea, Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church is now in Thailand, trying to seek refugee status. Pastor Pan Yongguang and nearly all of the 61 members of his Chinese house church have arrived in Thailand. The congregation left the southeastern city of Shenzhen for South Korea between 2019 and 2020, trying unsuccessfully for months to gain refugee status. Last month, the group left Jeju Island for Bangkok, hoping to appeal to the UN refugee office. Their search for a home continues as they hope to make one more move in the near…

As in the past, one can learn about our nation’s political divisions by looking at our religious ones. This piece was adapted from Russell Moore’s newsletter. Subscribe here. An uncanny number of people are imagining the looming collapse of the United States. Some speak openly of preparing for “civil war,” while others crow about the need for a “national divorce” between red and blue states. Most, though, whisper these thoughts. They look at a country seemingly at the breaking point and begin to wonder whether we may indeed be heading for a national conflict of some kind. To answer such…

In her seven-decade reign, she spoke regularly of the importance of her personal faith. Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, has died at the age of 96. Throughout the course of her unprecedented reign, Queen Elizabeth II spoke frequently about her personal Christian faith. Delivering her first Christmas Address in 1952, a tradition started by her grandfather, King George V, the Queen requested prayer for her upcoming coronation. “I want to ask you all, whatever your religion may be, to pray for me on that day,” she said, “to pray that God may give me wisdom and…

“He said to him, ‘Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.’ And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:20–22) Imagine a patient at the doctor’s office going into a long explanation about his symptoms and the reason for his visit. The physician sits there, waiting patiently for the end of the prolonged description until…

William Ruto credited God and church leaders for his victory. Should this be the model? William Ruto sees the hand of God in Kenya’s presidential election results. “We have worked hard,” the outgoing deputy president told his supporters after the Supreme Court ruled he won the presidency, defeating five-time challenger Raila Odinga. “But as the Bible teaches us … some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but we trust in God.” In another victory speech, Ruto credited the many pastors who opened their pulpits to him, accepted donations from his campaign, and urged their congregations to pray for his…

Liberal Protestants built a global elite in the 20th century. Its fracturing holds a caution for evangelicals today. Political upheaval has produced a split within a large Christian community. The once-unified people have hardened into separate and oppositional cultures. On one side is a mix of institutional leaders, pastors, and intellectuals who claim a centrist, even progressive, mandate by God. Most of the seminaries, NGOs, and charities are run by these people, and those institutions tend to promote the same worldview. On the other side are pastors and allied political leaders who represent a numerically much larger group of Christians,…

The Porter’s Gate offers an album of “Climate Vigil Songs.” Deckers Creek, an Appalachian tributary that runs through Morgantown, West Virginia, was once clean and clear. These days, it often has an orange hue. “That’s the heavy metals leaching into the creeks and ground water,” said Zac Morton, a pastor at First Presbyterian Church, a nearby congregation of roughly 250. “It’s notorious as an acid mine tributary.” In Appalachia, Morton says, addressing climate change and weaving the theme of environmental justice into liturgy reflects the experiences of his community. His church members live in an area littered with reminders and…

How stories of misbehavior distort our vision of male-female friendship in the church. When news of Matt Chandler’s “inappropriate” online relationship popped up in my phone notifications last week, I was in the middle of a church staff retreat with my copastors, who are all male. I interrupted one of them to read the story aloud. The news landed like a lead balloon between us, and then we came together as a group and talked about how stories like this make us feel and whether our own ministry friendships might be “inappropriate.” The larger evangelical world was shaken too. Twitter…

Without the ascension, Christ’s nativity, passion, and resurrection would have been pointless. The ascension is the defining moment that marked the end of Jesus’ personal ministry on earth and the beginning of the Great Commission. Alistair Begg walks us through the Gospel plan, the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, and the personnel God uses to accomplish His purposes. As every believer joins in His mission, Jesus continues to reign from heaven, seeking the lost through weak, fearful servants like us. Listen to the message “Mark 13: An Introduction” Read the full transcript