Jim Henderson has blazed
a new path as an innovator, author, church-evaluator, self-professed subversive, and leader in the creation of new ways to be publicly and persuasively Christian in the 21st century. Maybe the most subversive — and sensible — surprise of all is the population to which this well-caffeinated Seattle man has turned for partners, friends and teachers: atheists.
What could a Christian possibly learn from atheists? A lot, it turns out
. As more and more Jesus followers like Henderson are discovering, taking a look at yourself and your religion through the eyes of the unconvinced can be a revelatory experience.
What do Christians learn when they start listening to atheists? Henderson, author of the forthcoming book The Outsider Interviews
, has found that the “I’m right/you’re wrong” model is a conversation-killer par excellence….
The Twin Cities Pride Festival cannot prevent
an evangelical Christian
from passing out Bibles and discussing his views against homosexuality at this weekend’s event, a federal judge ruled
Twin Cities Pride argued that its rights should take precedence because it’s paying $36,000 to lease Loring Park on the edge of downtown Minneapolis for the two-day event. The group also said Johnson contradicts the festival’s “message of celebration and pride in being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
But the judge ruled that the 42-acre park is a public forum, so Johnson’s free-speech rights must be honored. Tunheim said Johnson is entitled to go ahead with his plans as long as he remains undisruptive.
We hear rather less about the looming transformation of America into an evangelical theocracy now that George W. Bush is no longer president, but anyone who remembers those wearying debates will find Mark Chaves’ analysis of political activism in American churches illuminating. It turns out that evangelical congregations, despite all the exertions of the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition, tend be less politically engaged on many fronts than their mainline Protestant, black Protestant and Catholic counterparts.
Atheist Gina Welch went undercover for two years, joining a megachurch and revealing her nonbeliever status to no one. She talked with TIME about why even atheists can respect Christian evangelism. “They felt that they could do something about the eternal suffering of others. I came to see evangelism instead as a kind of empathy. That made me feel like there was something in it I could respect.” “…the experience that I had of most people was that they were very concerned with being good in this life. They wanted to do as Jesus would do in this life.”
In big-time sports, God often gets a prominent place on the field of play. A shout-out here, a prayer there. But this faith surge is being powered by a brand of conservative Christianity that is — likeï€¢ two teams competing on the field — very €˜us’ vs. €˜them,’ USA Today
religion columnist Tom Krattenmaker writes.
should we be pleased that the civic resource known as “our team” — a resource supported by the diverse whole through our ticket-buying, game-watching and tax-paying — is being leveraged by a one-truth evangelical campaign that has little appreciation for the beliefs of the rest of us?
Nearly a year ago, evangelical Christian leaders gathered in Washington to try to moderate their rhetoric toward Islam and begin a more respectful, positive dialogue with Muslims around the world. This week, a handful of evangelical ministers announced the first fruit of that effort, a plan to put on a Christian music festival, establish humanitarian relief projects and hold a theological conference in Morocco. See Also Pursuing an Evangelical-Muslim dialogue The goal, they said, is not to proselytize but to break down hostile images. “We have stereotypes of Muslims, and they certainly do of conservative Christians. They’re both caricatures we
A vicar is planning a series of evening classes to spread the Christian messages in cult cartoon The Simpsons. The Rev Robin Spittle, 46, of All Saints Church, Kesgrave, Suffolk, is holding four classes, each one focusing on one of the four main characters – Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa. Mr Spittle said that despite appearances, each episode had Christian themes running though it. The Gospel According to The Simpsons “They have a clever way of covering a lot of ground in a short space of time. Each 20-minute show gets a whole message across,” he said. “They are a
Plans of some Christians to evangelize as they offer aid pose dilemma for Iraqi reconstruction. Christian Science Monitor, Apr. 17, 2003 http://www.csmonitor.com/ By Jane Lampman, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor When President Bush called his war on terrorism a “crusade,” he backtracked quickly in the face of intense reaction at home and abroad. Now many people are worried that, in the case of Iraq, that inopportune choice of words may turn out to hold more than a modicum of truth. As Christian relief agencies prepare to enter Iraq, some have announced their intent to combine aid with evangelization.
AP, Oct. 12, 2002 http://www.tcpalm.com/ WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — The World Evangelical Alliance is taking issue with an August report from U.S. anti-Semitism and confesses that Christian churches have “been much to blame for tolerating and encouraging it,” but says this history doesn’t remove the right to share Christianity with Jews. The Catholic bishops said deepened appreciation of God’s unbroken covenant with the Jewish people means “campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer acceptable in the Catholic Church.” But the evangelical paper defends such targeted evangelism and denies that Israel’s covenant relationship by itself brings salvation
AP, Aug. 31, 2002 http://www.bouldernews.com/ By Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press Jewish leaders are assailing the Southern Baptist Convention — and the Roman Catholics are to blame. The trio of faiths, all major forces in American religious life, are embroiled in an unusual three-sided dispute stemming from the question of whether Christians should attempt to convert Jews. Southern Baptists say yes — and have criticized a committee of U.S. Catholic bishops that took a different tack. Jewish spokesmen, in turn, have accused the nation’s largest Protestant denomination of hypocrisy, arrogance and prejudice. Speaking on Phil Donahue’s TV talk show, one