CT Highlights for April 2015

CT April 2015

CT stands for Christianity Today magazine. I try to read it cover-to-cover each month. Though my views bend more toward the conservative end of the spectrum than its editors, I find it keeps me in touch with the state of the faith in many ways. Seems to me a pastor should make it his business to stay informed this way to some degree. For that, I am grateful for the publicati0n.

Here at the ten most interesting things to come out of the current edition, at least from my perspective.

  1. Kevin DeYoung has written a new book published by CrosswayWhat Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality (p. 1). I suspect this resource will help a lot of us better navigate the cultural waters of this challenging issue from a biblical perspective.isis
  2. The Bible Society of Egypt transformed the ISS propaganda video’s “two rows by the seas” (beheading of 21 Coptic Christians) into its largest outreach in 130 years. In 1.65 million tracts on God’s promise of blessing amid suffering, it asked: “Who fears the other? The row in orange, watching paradise open? Or the row in black, with minds evil and broken”, (p. 15)?
  3. Last year, 2.6 million Twitter users shared Bible verses 43 million times. The number one tweeter (including retweets)? Desiring God’s John Piper–105,836. The number one verse tweeted? Philippians 4:13 (p. 16).lecrae
  4. Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae won four top spots in gospel categories last year, including No. 1 gospel artist of the year (p. 17).
  5. When five Christian pastors in Laos prayed for a sick woman who later died, a Laotian provincial court imprisoned and fined them for being “illegal doctors” (p. 17).
  6. Nearly one year after Jews for Jesus launched one of its most successful and controversial evangelism campaigns, more than 1.3 milli0n people worldwide have watched That Jew Died for You. The three-minute YouTube video depicts Jesus carrying the cross to a gas chamber (p. 19).
  7. Today, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Ukrainian Jews worship Jesus as Messiah. This makes Ukraine, a nation of 45 million, the region’s fulcrum of the Messianic Jewish movement (p. 20). (By comparison, Ukraine has about 1.7 million evangelical Christians and more than 23 million Orthodox Christians, who constitute about half the country’s population.)
  8. A new breed of apologists defend the faith now and they are female (see image above). CT calls them “the unexpected defenders.” I was familiar with Nancy Pearcey, but not Holly Ordway, Mary Jo Sharp, Kristen Davis, Melissa Cain Travis, and Amy Orr Ewing. Empathetic AND rationalistic apologetics. Excellent! Ladies, check it out (p. 35ff).
  9. In England, 38 percent of youth now say they don’t believe in God (p. 46).
  10. Up to 1 in 3 Swedes claim atheism, and only 18 percent say ‘I believe there is a God’ (p. 65).

My gift to those who may not have the bandwidth or inclination to read CT but can still profit from the highlights.

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