I am now reporting, writing, and editing news for Christianity Today.
Here are my first few stories:
Benny Hinn says he is done with the prosperity gospel. But longtime observers are not ready to take his word on faith.
Hinn has been a leading proponent of prosperity gospel theologysince the 1980s, teaching that God rewards active faith with health and wealth. But on September 2, during his 3-hour, 50-minute weekly broadcast, Hinn said he had changed.
“I am correcting my own theology and you need to all know it,” the televangelist told his studio audience and those watching online. “The blessings of God are not for sale. And miracles are not for sale. And prosperity is not for sale.”
It was quiet in the morning chapel when a Bethel University student took a pen and paper and put words to the fear: “Does God really love me?”
Then another student at the small evangelical school in Mishawaka, Indiana, took another piece of paper and wrote, “Am I good enough?”
Three students wrote, “Can a loving God send unbelievers to hell?” Six asked, “Why does God answer some prayers and not others?” Twelve: “Is Christianity the only way?” Twenty: “Is God really real?”
Less than six months after LifeWay Christian Resources announced it was closing all 170 stores, the company has come up with a plan to put its products in more brick-and-mortar outlets than ever before.
LifeWay has launched an “authorized dealer program” that allows independent Christian retailers to sell its popular Bible studies.
LifeWay-brand Bible studies by Beth Moore, David Platt, Priscilla Shirer, and others were previously available only in LifeWay outlets. They will now be sold in special, branded sections of more than 290 stores.
The publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention expects to have 350 authorized dealers by October, with 15 to 20 new stores signing up for the program every week.
The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) changed its position on end times theology, voting this summer to drop the word “premillennial” from the denomination’s statement of faith.
Many of the 350,000 people who belong to EFCA churches still believe Jesus will return to earth to reign as king for 1,000 years, but the denomination no longer considers that doctrine essential to the gospel.
An internal document explaining the rationale for the change says premillennialism “is clearly a minority position among evangelical believers.” Premillennialism has been a “denominational distinctive” for the EFCA, according to the document, but shouldn’t be overemphasized.
“The thought was, we must either stop saying we are a denomination that majors on the majors … and minors on the minors, or we must stop requiring premillennialism as the one and only eschatological position,” said Greg Strand, EFCA executive director of theology, in an interview with Ed Stetzer.