The Chronicles

A Record of Times

I Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut

How an MMA fighter found Jesus—and discovered his calling in the Congo. Growing up, I faced pretty severe bullying. Maybe it’s because I was chubbier and had pimples on my face. Maybe I was too nice and let other kids walk over me. At 13, I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and I battled suicidal […]

Most Read Posts of 2016 (1-10)

It’s that time of year. (10) Marriage, Divorce, and the Church: What do the stats say, and can marriage be happy? This post from Valentine’s Day 2014 asked Are Christian divorce rates the same, or even higher, than the rest of the population? Is a happy marriage possible? (9) What Do White Evangelicals Owe People […]

When God Fights Idolatry with Unconventional Weapons

A better way to read the bizarre story of Elisha and the bears. Three times last year I asked a Christian audience this question: Which story in Scripture bothers you most? There are numerous candidates—the flood, the destruction of Sodom, the Passover, the conquest of Canaan—most involving large numbers of people being killed. But each […]

Interview: Why the Church Needs a Lesson in Urban Geography

There are street-level realities that keep our communities divided by race and class. For all the church’s efforts at promoting racial unity in urban America, what if our cities are actually designed to keep us apart? In Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation (InterVarsity Press), urban missiologist David P. Leong […]

Seven Boring Ways the Church Can Change the World

Honestly, it’s nothing radical. In 2010, sociologist James Davison Hunter published To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. In this much-discussed book, Hunter critiqued the (largely failed) tactics of contemporary Christians to change the world, arguing instead for an approach he called “faithful presence,” a sort […]

Reading the Reformation in 2017

Historians are still finding new things to say about Martin Luther and his movement. There are so many events planned to mark the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Fresh conversations have been sparked in churches, the press, and seminar rooms. Wittenberg and other Reformation sites in Germany have been […]

The Pressure to be Justified

Luther’s law/gospel insight is as brilliant as ever—especially in 21st century America. Playmobil, the German toy company, made unexpected headlines in 2015 when it released a limited edition Martin Luther figurine. Outside of how smiley it cast the cantankerous theologian, the toy itself wasn’t especially newsworthy. What got everyone’s attention was how quickly it flew […]

Division Is Not Always a Scandal

What to think of the 45,000 denominations that rose from the Reformation. Not every Christian is celebrating the Reformation’s anniversary this year. It’s not just Catholics who have reservations; many Protestants do as well. Our enthusiasm for the Reformation’s emphasis on Scripture as the highest and final authority does not mean we can ignore how […]

Christianity Without an Adjective

We shape society when we remember who we are first and foremost. We shape society when we remember who we are first and foremost. Historians will conduct postmortems on American Christianity’s recent relationship with politics and culture for years to come. Some Christians have felt pressured by the political right to trust the state to […]

News: Gleanings: January/February 2017

Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our January/February issue). Indonesia: Christian governor accused of blasphemy Indonesia’s first Christian governor in 50 years faced blasphemy accusations after quoting a passage from the Qur‘an in a speech last fall. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as “Ahok,” apologized to the archipelago’s Muslim community—the […]

90,000 Christians Killed in 2016, 1 Every 6 Minutes: Study

Christians continue to be the most persecuted believers in the world with over 90,000 followers of Christ being killed in the last year, according to prominent Italian sociologist and author Massimo Introvigne.

The Getty’s Say All Christians Should Sing: ‘To Not Sing Is to Live in Disobedience’ (Interview)

World-renowned contemporary hymn writers The Gettys just finished their fifth annual Christmas tour and are now embarking on a new project to encourage all Christians to lift up their voice in song.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singer Quits Due to Donald Trump Inauguration Participation

A singer for the more than 150-year-old Mormon Tabernacle Choir whose storied history includes performing for ten presidents is coming under serious fire on social media after she resigned from the group due to its participation in the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Franklin Graham Wants Trump to Make America a Global ‘Peacemaker’ Again

Popular evangelist Franklin Graham is calling on President-elect Donald Trump to restore the United States to its role as a global peacemaker following what some have called one of the worst foreign policy presidencies in American history.

Will Liberal Church Attendance Spike Because of Trump?

While the debate continues over the exact fallout that will come from the election of Donald Trump, one group may reap an unexpected benefit: progressive Christians.

Churches for Middle East Peace Praises Obama on UN Israeli Settlements Vote

Churches for Middle East Peace, a coalition with representatives from 22 national Christian denominations has praised the Obama administration’s controversial abstention on a recent United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements on land claimed by Palestinians.

Crowder Taunts Satan in Grand Ole Opry Performance of ‘Run Devil Run’ (Watch)

Grammy nominated singer Crowder performs his new song, “Run Devil Run” on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage, a song dedicated solely to taunting Satan.

Robert Jeffress Says Israel Has Biblical Land Claim; John Kerry, Barack Obama ‘on the Wrong Side of God’

Outspoken Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress has accused President Barack Obama and Sec. of State John Kerry of putting America on the “wrong side of God” after the United States failed to veto a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory East of Jerusalem.

Billy Graham Named Among Gallup’s 10 ‘Most Admired’ Men in the World for Record 60th Time

For the 60th time, the Rev. Billy Graham has been named as one of Gallup’s 10 most admired men in the world, continuing his record number of appearances on the list.

Obama’s Sanctions Against Russia Justified and ‘Overdue,’ Paul Ryan Says

Painting Russia as a threat to global security, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said President Barack Obama’s sanctions against the Vladimir Putin led nation for malicious cyber activity and harassment of U.S. officials Thursday were “overdue” and justified but faulted the president for pursuing eight years of “ineffective foreign policy.”

Top 8 in 16: #1

We’ve been looking back at the most-viewed posts on Persecution Blog in 2016. Today we look back at #1, the most-read post of the year on Persecution Blog. It’s a post from September that looks at the nation with the fastest growing church in the world, a nation whose official name starts with “The Islamic […]

Disappeared human rights lawyer resurfaces

ICC Note: A human rights lawyer that helped in the cases of approximately 100 cases of cross demolition involving churches has resurfaced after disappearing. Zhang Kai was summoned to the police office and detained for 48 hours before being released. Although Zhang has grown quite accustomed to being detained, the family was particularly worried this […]

Leader of protests against Jakarta’s Christian governor accused of blasphemy

ICC Note: The leader of the Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI) in Indonesia has been accused of blasphemy. The FPI is responsible for organizing the protests that have drawn hundreds of thousands of Muslims to Jakarta to protest the Christian Governor of Jakarta and demand his resignation for a statement of alleged blasphemy. Now the leader […]

Mideast Christians, especially those displaced, face mounting challenges

ICC Note: Mideast Christians, especially those displaced in Iraq and Syria are facing hard decisions when it comes to returning to their homelands. The destruction wreaked by ISIS and civil war has left many areas unlivable and many Christians untrusting of their Muslim neighbors. In the Nineveh plains, for example, is oil rich and known […]

Iraqi Forces Launch Second Phase in Battle Against ISIS to Retake Mosul

ICC  Note: Earlier this month the operation to liberate Mosul came to a significant pause as forces reworked their strategy and arms in retaking the city. On Thursday, the operation resumed with more than 5,000 soldiers and security forces entering the southeastern neighborhoods. The forces have reported that the three fonts will continue their advance […]

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