Sudan denies the release of condemned Christian

This weekend there were reports that Sudan would release the woman who was condemned to be hanged because she would not repudiate her Christianity.  But now Sudan is denying those reports, saying that only a court ruling could release her.  The woman, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, whose husband is an American, had her baby in prison, where she is also caring for her 20-month-year-old son.  She had her baby baptized. [Read more…]

Tullian Tchividjian expelled for crypto-Lutheranism?

Tullian Tchividjian, the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian and the grandson of Billy Graham, was kicked out of the Gospel Coalition blogging community for what the GC folks are calling a doctrinal issue over sanctification.  Others claim other reasons, including Rev. Tchividijian’s criticism of how other GC members handled a sexual abuse scandal.  But I take the official statement from the Reformed organization seriously.

As we have posted, Rev. Tchividijian discovered the distinction between Law and Gospel in some Lutheran writers who helped him through a personal crisis in his ministry.  The complaints about “anti-nominanism,” being weak on sanctification,  and downplaying the role of moral improvement in salvation sound like common Calvinist misunderstandings of Lutheranism. [Read more…]

“The hardest place on earth to be a Christian”

That would be Pakistan, according to Jesse Johnson.  It isn’t just that Christian are persecuted by the government.  The entire culture systematically excludes, punishes, and torments Christians.  Christians may not attend schools or universities, so most of them are illiterate.  This keeps them from getting decent jobs. Their testimony is not accepted in a court of law, so they lack legal protection.  Their daughters are routinely kidnapped.  Christians are often accused of blasphemy and murdered. [Read more…]

Natural law vs. nominalism

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, an Orthodox priest, gives a lucid explanation of the difference between “natural law” and “nominalism” when it comes to moral philosophy.  He does so in a way that makes it nearly impossible to believe that Luther was a nominalist, as he is often accused of being.  Fr. Reardon also goes on to criticize his fellow Orthodox who believe that since church weddings are sacramental, the world outside may conduct marriage any way it pleases. [Read more…]

What the LCMS believes about the Bible

We blogged about the Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the LCMS.  President Harrison has now posted an excerpt from the Statement of Biblical and Confessional Principles, passed by convention in 1973, in response to the church schism over the inerrancy of Scripture.  But that’s not all the statement affirms, setting off the Lutheran view also from that of some other theologies, including those that also affirm inerrancy. [Read more…]

More on the Christian sentenced to die for her faith

More details about the Sudanese woman we blogged about who was sentenced to hang because she would not renounce her faith is married to an American.   Her father was a Muslim, so her conversion constitutes apostasy.  Also, marrying a Christian constitutes adultery, for which she was sentenced to 100 lashes.   Since she is pregnant, the flogging and the hanging will not take place for two years, until the child is born and weaned.  The new development is the information that her husband is an American.  As would be her child.  She has another child, Martin, who is 18 months old and who is being imprisoned with her.  Both children would also be Americans citizens. [Read more…]