Christian Author, M.J Andre, Releases New 3-in-1 Study Journal, Book, Maxims

Concept based on the works of Brother Lawrence believed to be first of its kind

TORONTO, Ont. – Author M.J. Andre today announced the release of his new 30-day Christian Study Journal, which also includes the book The Practice of the Presence of God and Brother Lawrence’s Spiritual Maxims.

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IVP Carries on Seventy-Five-Year Publishing Legacy with Books About Racial Division, Change, the Next Generation

WESTMONT, IL—Throughout its seventy-five years of publishing, InterVarsity Press (IVP) has been intentional about providing books that address issues of justice, race, ethnic identity, and other topics that speak to the culture and the church as a whole. During Black History Month in February, IVP will celebrate its legacy by remembering the many IVP authors who have written and are writing boldly and prophetically about the history, and the future, of the Black experience.   Continue reading “IVP Carries on Seventy-Five-Year Publishing Legacy with Books About Racial Division, Change, the Next Generation”

Meagan Good Speaks On Her Divorce From DeVon Franklin: Says It’s ‘The Most Painful Thing I’ve Ever Experienced In My Life’ But She Remains ‘Hopeful For The Future’

Meagan Good has opened up about her divorce from her husband DeVon Franklin. The couple was married for nine years. Continue reading “Meagan Good Speaks On Her Divorce From DeVon Franklin: Says It’s ‘The Most Painful Thing I’ve Ever Experienced In My Life’ But She Remains ‘Hopeful For The Future’”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Admits Being at Meeting About Priest Accused of Abuse

ROME — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Monday he had been at a 1980 meeting at which the case of a priest accused of pedophilia had been discussed, contradicting a previous statement made to a law firm investigating how allegations of clerical sexual abuse had been handled in the archdiocese of Munich and Freiburg between 1945 and 2019.

Benedict — then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — was Archbishop of Munich and Freiburg and in charge of its clerics between 1977 and 1982.

Last week, the law firm conducting the investigation, Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, issued a report that found, among other things, that Benedict had mishandled four cases in which priests were accused of sexual abuse.

At a news conference presenting the findings of the report Thursday, a representative of the law firm said Benedict had denied being at one meeting at which the case of a priest who had been sent to Munich from the diocese of Essen to receive treatment had been discussed, even though minutes of the meeting showed he had been present.

On Monday, Benedict’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, issued a statement saying that, upon reading the findings of the report, the retired pope had been present at the meeting in question “contrary to what was stated.” Archbishop Gänswein said Benedict had called his previous assertion about the meeting “objectively false,” and that it was not made in “bad faith” but was the result of a mistake in the editing process of an 82-page statement provided to the lawyers.

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Source: Dnyuz

Pope Benedict XVI and the Long History of Scandal-Plagued Popes

Catholic Pope emeritus Benedict XVI committed “wrongdoing” in the way he handled sexual abuse cases in his German archdiocese before he was pope, according to a church-commissioned investigation released Thursday. The German law firm that conducted the investigation said Benedict’s claims to have no direct knowledge of sexual abuse cases were not credible.

The report amounts to a shocking and harsh condemnation of the retired pope – the first pope to resign his position before death in 600 years.

Though his predecessor was canonized and his successor has generally been popular, Benedict is not the first pope among the nearly 270 in history whose scandals have caused Catholics and the Catholic Church headaches.

The period between late 9th and 10th centuries saw some particularly bad popes, according to historian Eamon Duffy in his book “Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes.” During this “saeculum obscurum” or “dark century,” the papacy became little more than a trophy in a rivalry between greedy noble families, and many of these popes were more interested in these petty feuds than glorifying God or abiding by the vows of the priesthood.

There was Pope Stephen VI, in power from May 896 to August 897. His predecessor was pope for only 15 days before dying, perhaps of gout or perhaps murdered by Stephen VI’s followers. Once installed, Stephen VI put his enemy – another of his predecessors – Pope Formosus, on trial, which was kind of weird considering Formosus had been dead for months. His corpse was dressed in papal vestments and propped up on a throne before being found guilty of perjury and other offenses, mutilated and tossed into a river. The people of Rome thought that was pretty gross, and they soon deposed and murdered Stephen VI.

Then there was Pope Sergius III, pope from 904 to 911, who murdered his predecessors, bribed and threatened bishops and fathered an illegitimate child. Sixteenth century Catholic historian Caesar Baronius called him an “execrable monster” and “worthy of the rope and of fire.”

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Source: The Washington Post

Christy Thornton on ‘They’ Is Not a Pronoun for God: God Doesn’t Have a Gender, but His Pronouns Do.

Terms and their meanings have always shifted as cultures change. Over the last several years, some of the most significant controversies in the public square have hinged on the use and meaning of words, whether in reference to sexuality, gender, political convictions, or many other examples.

At present one of the liveliest language debates in our culture centers on personal pronouns. As a part of that conversation, some groups are expanding the semantic range of they to include a singular subject rather than only a plural subject—a linguistic leap previously nonexistent in the English language.

Many Christians (including myself) disapprove of this semantic expansion on legitimate and significant anthropological grounds. There is no such thing as a nongendered human and therefore no need to use a nongendered pronoun in reference to a person. Even so, since they is now being popularly used in English as a singular pronoun, I was recently asked about the implications for Christian theological language. If they can take a singular subject, is it appropriate to use they in reference to the triune God?

Put simply, the answer is no. Introducing a nongendered, personal, singular pronoun into our theological discourse isn’t orthodox, in my opinion. The primary reason: God has revealed himself in the words of Scripture, and Christians should use biblical language to refer to him whenever possible.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into why.

First of all, God is holy. In his eternal being, he is wholly separate from everything and everyone he has created. This divide between God and creation presents a quandary for theological terminology. Every word we use in reference to God—whether a noun, verb, or pronoun—already has a meaning from our context within creation.

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Source: Christianity Today

How a Violent Northern Ireland Loyalist Became a Christian and an Evangelist

David Hamilton is a retired minister living in Northern Ireland. He is the author of ‘A Cause Worth Living For: The Story of Former Terrorist David Hamilton.’

I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during an era of bitter and violent conflict between Protestants and Catholics. The Protestants wanted Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom, while the Catholics wanted to unify Ireland as a single, independent republic.

My first awareness of the political differences between Protestants and Catholics came when I was 14 years old. On that day, I had been skipping school with a group of other boys, all Catholic. We were down in a glen, among the trees, where there was a rope swing attached to a branch jutting out over the river. I stood there listening as the other boys discussed what they should do to me. What they did was beat me up and throw me in the river.

As I climbed out of the water, I tried to figure out what I had done to deserve this. When I asked, one of the boys told me: They had attacked me because I was a Protestant. Until then, I didn’t know what it meant to be a loyalist or a Republican. Nor did I understand the distinction between being a Protestant and being a Catholic.

That day marked a turning point in my life, and it set me on a destructive course. I decided I would never again have Catholic friends. And as a teenager, I made the fateful decision to become a political terrorist, joining an illegal paramilitary organization called the Ulster Volunteer Force. I saw myself as a righteous activist fighting for a good cause—for loyalty to queen and country.

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Source: Christianity Today

Skillet Lead Singer John Cooper Gives Christians a Warning Amid Cancel Culture Chaos, ‘Scary’ Times

Rock star John Cooper isn’t merely entertaining the masses. The “Skillet” frontman is also candidly speaking out about issues that matter. From faith to culture to everything in between, Cooper isn’t afraid to share the truth.

Speaking with Faithwire about Skillet’s latest album, “Dominion,” he made some essential points worth pondering in our fractured and ever-chaotic world — particularly when it comes to clinging to hope amid darkness.

“The world does not belong to the devil. The world does not belong to the state,” Cooper said. “The world does not belong to anybody else except for Jesus Christ, who is the King of Kings. The Bible says that He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, ruling in the midst of His enemies.”

The singer said this reality not only informed the title of his latest album but also came to life in light of the chaos surrounding COVID-19 and the increasingly choppy waves of American culture.

“All the things we’ve been through for the last couple of years, it’s really challenging and it’s frankly scary,” Cooper said. “And there’s a lot of frightening aspects to this. What does this mean for the future?”

Listen to Cooper discuss cancel culture, faith, “Skillet’s” new album, “Dominion,” and the conundrums facing modern culture:

But despite the uncertainty and consternation, Cooper believes there’s a reason to pause, reflect, and rejoice.

“We are not shaken because our God is not shaken,” he said. “We don’t have to be afraid because our God is still in control.”

Cooper also spoke about other contemporary issues facing Americans, including cancel culture, free speech, and intolerance. A lot of what is unfolding, he said, has to do with evolving ethics and values.

“We are right in the middle of this shift and what is happening is that the core values of America that we used to believe in are shifting to an incredible degree,” he said. “And now there are people who come out saying, ‘Hey, you people that have those old values that we would call Christian values … those values are no longer acceptable.’”

Cooper said a lot of Christians are still adjusting to this “new world,” especially when it comes to communicating a clear and pertinent message amid increasingly difficult tides.

He believes those with the new moral standards are essentially declining to tolerate people with whom they disagree — the individuals who hold to biblical values.

“Their first things are different. They don’t like the idea of authority of Scripture,” he said. “They do not like the idea of hell, because what that means is that we are doing things that we need to repent for.”

All of this is sparking pressure and tension, with Cooper warning Christians to pay attention and understand what’s unfolding.

“Christians, make no mistake: they want us gone. They want us to shut up. They do not want your views to be heard,” he said. “So, what it means for us Christians is that we … need to be vocal about what we believe so that they understand they might think they are living in freedom but they are actually living in slavery … but Jesus can set them free.”

Cooper hit on a plethora of other topics during the interview as well. Among the subjects tackled, he heralded the ability of music to permeate and open people’s hearts and minds.

“Music is a great way to get the message out because music softens people,” he said. “Music makes people listen … to a message that you might not ever listen to.”

Watch the full, 33-minute discussion here. And check out Skillet’s new album “Dominion” here.

Source: Faithwire