Why pastors’ housing allowance is tax-exempt

As we reported, an appeals court upheld the practice of pastors not having to pay taxes on their housing allowance.  But, you might ask, why is that?  Joe Carter explains the history of that provision, putting it into the context of the laws exempting religious property from taxation that go back through English Common Law  into ancient times. [Read more…]

Pastors’ housing allowance upheld

Pastors have traditionally been allowed to take a large percentage of their salary as a tax-free housing allowance.  A lower court last year ruled that the benefit is unconstitutional.  But now an appeals court has overturned that decision, meaning that the housing allowance is still on. [Read more…]

Church design that appeal to Millennials

The Christian pollsters and research company the Barna Group has researched what kind of church architecture and design elements appeal most to the Millennial generation, the 18-29 year-olds that churches are trying hard to reach.

Briefly, the Millennisals much prefer traditional church design, as well as quiet, contemplative spaces, to the auditorium-style sanctuaries with screens and speaker systems that have become popular in the Church Growth Movement.

After the jump, read about the study and see some samples of the findings. [Read more…]

The 100 best Christian books

An Anglican site has compiled a list of  The 100 best Christian books.  Of course, such lists are a matter of biased opinion, but there are some real treasures here that you might not be familiar with.  (St. Augustine’s Confessions is #1.  George Herbert made #10).   As one would expect in an Anglican list, the English classics are all here (Donne, Bunyan, Chesterton, Lewis), and lots of Catholic works.  The Reformation is under-represented, though there is quite a bit of modern theology.

Check out the list.  What titles do you think should belong?

Ancient heresies today

A study has found that whereas most American evangelicals believe in the Trinity, they often hold views about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that correspond to ancient heresies. [Read more…]

Blessed vs. Successful

If only the Kansas City Royals would have hit it out of the park as often as our pastor does in his sermons, week after week.  On All Saints’ Sunday, with the text of the Beatitudes, he talked about how we confuse being “blessed” with being “successful,” and how the Bible gives us a very different picture. [Read more…]