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World Evangelical leaders confer at Wheaton

By Giselle Gaytan - Posted at The Wheaton Record:

A group of 60 evangelical leaders met on Monday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 18 in the Billy Graham Center to discuss the future of American evangelicalism in the context of the term’s current political associations.

“I do think the name [Evangelical] has never been held in lower public esteem. And since we can’t really avoid it, we do need to reclaim the name if we can,” said well-known pastor and author Timothy Keller, who attended the gathering. “The name is tied to the behavior of visible churches and institutions and leaders who represent evangelicalism to the world.” The name can be reclaimed, Keller said, if the behavior of many of these representatives changes.

Associate Professor Politics and Law and Director of the Center for Faith, Politics and Economics David Iglesias attended the evangelical consultation. He told the Record about the political factors that made the evangelical consultation necessary and its political importa…
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Would Christ have had to die for the social justice gospel to be true?

By John Hendryx - Posted at Monergism:

So-called "progressive Christians" are all progressive and no Christian.

The "social justice gospel" is all social justice and no gospel.

"Nationalist Evangelicals" are all nationalist and no evangel.

What do these movements have in common. They all fail to take into account the seriousness of the human condition. The missing element is regeneration: They are all law and no gospel. Human effort without new life. Take away their politics and social causes and they would have nothing to talk about and their movements would collapse in a week.

Those in Christ, who are theological conservatives, on the other hand, by grace, recognize that man cannot extract himself from the morass he is in. He cannot save himself - his will is inflexibly and hopelessly corrupt. No amount of human wisdom or good works can save himself or others. The quick fixes offered by these other groups do nothing to change the nature of fallen man. W…

Why This Reformed Christian Will Not Be Charismatic In 2018

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Tim Challies has published a list of predictions for the “New Calvinist Movement” for 2018. It has understandably provoked discussion. He writes,
In 2018 we will begin to see wider practice of the sign gifts among those who hold to Reformed theology and this will bring some controversy. To this point the debate surrounding cessationism and continuationism has largely been theological, but it will soon become far more practical. We will see churches that are Reformed in much of their theology also practicing prophecy, inviting tongues-speaking, and founding healing ministries. As a matter of sociology Tim is probably correct. The attempted synthesis of some few aspects (see below) of Reformed theology with Charismatic and Pentecostal theology, piety, and practice will continue. This synthesis is part of a pattern that has roots in the 19th century. On this see the essay “Magic and Noise: On Being Reformed in Sister’s America” in Always R…

Oklahoma House Panel Advances Bill Protecting Religious Convictions of Foster, Adoption Agencies

By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — An Oklahoma House panel has advanced a bill that protects the religious convictions of faith-based foster and adoption agencies, in that they may decline to place children in certain households if the arrangement would violate the tenets of their faith.

“To the extent allowed by federal law, no private child-placing agency receiving neither federal nor state funds shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies,” reads SB 1140.
The bill was presented by Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Travis Dunlap, R-Bartlesville, and has already cleared the Senate 35-9.
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Heads Up Illinois Parents

By Angela Wittman

In 1994 I was elected to our local school board on an explicitly Christian platform. Our greatest concerns (I'm referring to my Christian friends and supporters) was Goals 2000 (Outcome Based Education), Comprehensive Sex Ed and the general intolerance of Christianity. I served until the spring of 1999 and did not seek re-election due to the lack of support from my husband.

Looking back I think he saw the physical toll the constant stress was taking on me. I also remember the ridicule my teenage sons saw directed toward their mother by the head of the local teachers union who was also their biology teacher; I felt a duty to resist the potential wickedness I believed was headed our way if we did not draw a line in the sand against unrighteousness as an administrative body. But I never thought I would be sitting here 19 years later warning Illinois parents that legislation was being proposed that would mandate schools to teach children LGBT history.

Here is an excerpt…

The Burden of All These Little Gods

By Rachael Dymski - Posted at The Gospel Coalition:

I’d shake your hand, but mine is full with all these little gods.

They weren’t so big when they first caught my eye. They weren’t so ugly either. No, they were pretty, when we first met, these little gods and I. And they fit so comfortably to the shape of my hand, so smoothly in my grasp, it was as though I was meeting a dear old friend.

Thus I put them on, like rings, just to enjoy for a little while, but they are rather reluctant to leave. So my hands are heavy, but aren’t they beautiful, with all these little gods?

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Jailed For His Faith? American Pastor to Stand Trial in Turkey Monday

By Amber C. Strong - Posted at CBN News:
An American pastor imprisoned in Turkey will be at the mercy of that country's courts Monday. Pastor Andrew Brunson, 50, will stand before a court after being locked away and charged with espionage and "membership in an armed terroristic organization" among other things.

Supporters say his actual crime is being a Christian.

“Let me be crystal clear. He is on trial because he is a Christian. His faith is the crime. He is a hostage of the Turkish regime,” wrote Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

The ACLJ, who have taken on Brunson’s case, says the South Carolina native had no prior run-ins with the Turkish government and had been sharing the gospel there 23 years.

He has spent 17 months in prison already and faces up to 35 years.

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See also:
Further on Pastor Andrew Brunson (Renovate)