“Nones” are fine with denominations

Contrary to the common assumption, “Nones”–people with no religious preference–have positive feelings about most Christian denominations and denominations in general, according to a LifeWay study.

The most favorable impressions among non-believers are Baptists and Catholics.  Baptists scored 61% favorable, 19% unfavorable, and 20% not familiar enough to have an opinion.  Catholics scored 57% favorable, 23% unfavorable, and 20% not familiar enough.

Lutherans (46% favorable, 22% unfavorable, 33% not familiar enough) were down on the list, third from the bottom, with Pentecostals (38% favorable, 27% unfavorable, 35% not familiar enough) coming in with the lowest numbers.

See details after the jump and go to the link for another interesting category:  “not for me.” [Read more...]

Imaginary Yelp reviews from famous theologians

What might Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, Billy Graham, John Chrysostom, Tim Keller, and the Apostle Paul say about Joel Osteen’s church, with its Prosperity Gospel and Power of Positive Thinking?

Anthony Sacramone has the spiritual gift of being able to give spot-on madcap imitations of famous preachers and theologians.  See what he does in imagining Yelp reviews of Rev. Osteen’s church from those distinguished figures. [Read more...]

Russia’s mission to restore traditional values?

Russia reportedly sees its mission as restoring traditional values to the world, over against the “libertine West.”  This is involving a new alliance between Vladimir Putin’s government and the Russian Orthodox Church.  The immediate goal is to spread the ideal of “holy Russia” throughout Eurasia.  So says Forbes contributor Paul Coyer, excerpted after the jump.

I’ve heard some conservatives  praise Putin’s administration for its opposition to gay rights and other socially liberal movements.  Can or should American Christians get behind the Russian effort?  What would be the problems with that?  I’m curious too to hear from American orthodox folks.  I realize that not all Orthodox churches are Russian Orthodox.  But are any of you in that tradition, and, if so, do you go along with “holy Russia”?  Are any of you other Orthodox in favor of what Putin is trying to do? [Read more...]

Soft persecution

Catholic journalist Russell Shaw analyzes the persecution of Christianity that is breaking out in our culture and that, he says, is likely to get worse.  It isn’t “bloody persecuction,” but a “soft persecution.”  But it is still persecution of religion by the state, and it takes two forms. . . . [Read more...]

Calling God a woman

Now that the Church of England has ordained its first female bishops, it is considering changing the Book of Common Prayer and catechetical materials to refer to God as “she” and as “mother.”  (This will probably be in formulations like “father and mother” as some liberal churches are already doing.)

Here is a good response to this effort from a Roman Catholic perspective:  Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Twelve Reasons Why You Can’t Call God “Mother.” [Read more...]

You Might Be a Lutheran If…

The invaluable Anthony Sacramone has put together a mashup of theological culture and Jeff Foxworthy, resulting in a list of 20 descriptors entitled “You Might be a Lutheran if. . . .”  My favorite:  “You think the pope is the antichrist but still a Christian.”  After the jump, the first part of the list and a link to the rest.

My challenge: Add to them.  (Bonus:  Explain Mr. Sacramone’s more obscure references.)

My other challenge:  Come up with something similar for other Christian traditions, preferably one you are a member of.  (“You might be a Catholic if. . .”; “You might be a Baptist if. . . .”; “You might be a Calvinist if. . . .”; You might be Orthodox if. . . .”; “You might be a theological liberal if. . . .”; etc., etc.)

[Read more...]


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