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Msg #2216 The Resurrection Sunday Calendar What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Msg #2215 Before Easter What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Msg #2114 Easter's Power What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
An Historic Look at Protestant Eschatological Thought on the Rise and Fall of Islam
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Data suggests that, when their attendance drops, these nominal Christians become hyper-individualistic, devoted to law and order, cynical about systems, and distrustful of others.What happens to American politics and culture when white Southerners in the Bible Belt quit attending church? What religious views do they adopt? How do they vote? And will the mass exodus from church that already seems to be occurring in the South make the country less politically polarized—or more?These questions are particularly relevant this summer because of two major news developments: the sex abuse crisis in the Southern Baptist Convention and the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which led to state restrictions that made abortion almost completely illegal the South and Midwest.Twenty years ago, revelations of the Catholic church’s sex abuse crisis accelerated a massive exodus of white northeastern Catholics that was already well underway, and it contributed to a secularization of New England culture and politics. A region that up until the late 20th century had some of the nation’s strictest policies on abortion and divorce became a leader in expanding abortion access and legalizing same-sex marriage.The same phenomenon occurred more recently in Ireland, in the wake of that country’s clerical sex abuse crisis. A nation that had some of the highest church attendance rates and strictest abortion and marriage policies in Europe legalized both abortion and same-sex marriage, even as church attendance rates plummeted.It might be easy to imagine, then, that something similar could occur in the southern Bible Belt. As in New England immediately before news of the Catholic church’s sex abuse crisis broke, church attendance rates in the South were already falling before the SBC crisis was fully publicized.Already, 30 percent of Southern Baptists “seldom” or “never” attend church, ...Continue reading...
As a friend of the late seminary professor, I saw up close his deep character and life-long care for the disenfranchised. For 15 precious years, Ron Sider was my colleague at Palmer Seminary of Eastern University, just outside of Philadelphia. One of the most passionate voices for defending the vulnerable, he broke negative stereotypes of evangelicals—as well as some conservative evangelicals’ negative stereotypes of social justice.I first heard of Ron when New Testament scholar Gordon Fee declared that Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger was one book every North American Christian should read.Gordon was not given to exaggerated book endorsements, so as a college student, I saved up my coins and bought a used copy. I had recently been reading 40 chapters of the Bible a day, so I was very familiar with the book’s recurrent message about caring for the poor. As I read Rich Christians, I was struck: Here was an author who genuinely paid attention to Scripture’s emphasis on this theme.Eventually, I discovered that Ron also advocated for racial justice and challenged apartheid, even at a time when those stances were still controversial among many white evangelicals in the United States.Ron was always ready to learn. His commitment was not to a specific economic theory but rather to helping people in need. In that spirit of humility, he adjusted his approach to particular economic solutions in revised editions of Rich Christians. His PhD was in Reformation history, not global economics.I knew less about economics than he, so I wouldn’t have known the difference had he not told me later why he made the revisions. His initial approach to economics needed adjustment, he told me, but still, he hoped people would remember that he and his colleagues were right about apartheid.Some of the more extreme ...Continue reading...
At least 15 people have died due to severe flooding in eastern Kentucky. The death toll is expected to rise, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirmed.
Christians have served well as our society fell apart amid economic crisis. But we still have work to do.Chaotic scenes unfolded before an incredulous world last weekend in an Indian Ocean island the size of West Virginia yet with a population ten times larger. Since July 9, global media outlets have been running lead stories on the dramatic social ferment in Sri Lanka.A massive citizen mobilization pushed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the most powerful Sri Lankan leader since the days of the country’s ancient kings, to unceremoniously leave by a back door to escape the wrath of hundreds of thousands of protesters that came calling at his presidential palace this past Saturday. He fled Wednesday out to deep sea aboard a naval vessel, next to the Maldives on board a military jet, then to Singapore on a commercial airline. From there he sent his belated resignation Thursday, which enabled some closure so that the nation could look to rebuild from here.Lonely Planet listed this middle-income country and tropical tourist hotspot as the world’s best place to visit in 2019. Later that year, Rajapaksa became president by a landslide. He used his military background to great effect to coerce the masses haunted by memories still fresh of the horrific Easter attacks of April 2019. In less than three years, though, he succeeded in presiding over a catastrophic economic collapse that defies belief.Experts call it a man-made humanitarian disaster caused by a deadly cocktail of ego, corruption, and reckless government policies in the face of the pandemic. By January, Sri Lanka ran out of foreign reserves and became incapable of sustaining essential imports or servicing its international debt obligations. By April, the Central Bank officially announced that the second-strongest Asian economy of 1948 was effectively bankrupt.By ...Continue reading...
In a joint effort, Congress has proposed new legislation that would “direct the United States to work with our allies and partners in the [Middle East] to build an integrated air and missile defense system to take on the threat posed by Iran and its violent extremist proxies.”
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