The Church of England is revising its baptism liturgy to accommodate contemporary people who are offended to be addressed as sinners. Also missing, along with the rich language of the Book of Common Prayer, is mention of the devil and the charge to bring children to church and to teach them the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. [Read more…]
Last Sunday was the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul, two different and yet unified confessors of the Christian faith. Also on that day, one of my former students joined our church by adult confirmation, a rite that includes the vow to suffer all, even death, rather than renounce the teachings of the evangelical Lutheran church. I loved how our pastor not only explored what it means to “confess” the faith, but also how he tied Teresa’s confession to that of Peter and Paul. [Read more…]
The Lutheran pastor, Christian Führer, whose prayer meetings became a catalyst for the protests that overthrew Communism in East Germany died Monday at age 71.
I was struck by this quotation from him: “It is not the throne and the altar, but the street and the altar that belong together.” That’s an interesting version of the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. That concept is often taken to refer just to the relation of the church to earthly governments. That’s part of it, but I think it applies more broadly to society and culture as a whole, where God is also active in vocation and in caring for His creation. [Read more…]
Some churches that work hard to get people to “make a decision for Christ” never get around to baptizing them! In fact, there are some ostensibly Christian bodies that don’t baptize at all. And more that will baptize if someone asks for it, but most members don’t go to the trouble. And according to Christian scholar Roger Olson, “one Texas megachurch pastor reported that nearly a third of the people who receive Christ in his church are never baptized. ” [Read more…]
Bishoy Armia Boulous converted from Islam to Christianity seven years ago and compounded his offense in the minds of most Egyptians by suing the government to give him a new Christian ID card. Now he has been arrested–again–as a journalist for reporting on anti-Coptic violence and has been sentenced to 5 years in prison. Christianity Today tells the story of this bold convert. [Read more…]
An update on Meeriam Ibrahim, the woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christianity in Sudan: After being released on appeal, she had been re-arrested, along with her husband (an American citizen) and presumably their children, for trying to leave the country. The family was charged with possessing illegal travel documents, the sticking point apparently having something to do with documents from South Sudan, the rival Christian nation where the husband is from. The couple had an American visa, with the husband having an American passport.
Anyway, after being detained at the police station, the family is reportedly now taking refuge in the American embassy. [Read more…]