Christianity is Harder Than We Pretend it is

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We make a lot of pitches with Christianity.”It’s a free gift.””The peace and satisfaction your heart desires.”These are the expectations we set. And expectations help preface either disappointment or fulfillment.Unfortunately, for many Christians, the reality of faith is a shocking letdown compared to the false premises that were guaranteed them by pastors, churches and other believers.As people obsess over church attendance, burnout rates and demographic changes within Christianity, we become infatuated with solving today’s problems—determined to find the perfect fix.Thus, we analyze church traditions, styles, techniques and theologies and wonder…

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God in Gaza

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Three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting left Gaza’s beleaguered Christian community beginning 2009 in their worst situation since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.”We as Palestinian Christians are very saddened to see those on both sides killed from bombing and rockets lobbed back and forth, but Israel has exaggerated their response,” said Hanna Massad, exiled pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, the only evangelical congregation in the 25-mile coastal strip. “We weep for the Israelis who have died, but the suffering is much more on the Gazans.”The January 18 ceasefire ended a 22-day Israeli…

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Is Gay Marriage Destroying the United Methodist Church?

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Update (June 13): Nearly 90 Methodist conservatives have signed a response to the unity proposal by prominent pastor Adam Hamilton and other progressives, claiming it “will only extend, localize and exacerbate the acrimonious debate over the issue. “”Irreconcilable” disagreement over same-sex unions is once again prompting debate over splitting the historic United Methodist Church (UMC), one of America’s largest denominations.”If we are one church, we cannot act as if we are two. If, in reality, we are two churches, it may not be wise to pretend any longer that we…

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Bible Translations, The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn’t What You Think It Is

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Bible Translations: When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.So concludes “The Bible in American Life,” a lengthy report by the Center for the Study of Religion…

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