Evangelicals Aren’t Who You Think

Most of us aren’t conservative white Trump supporters. We need to reclaim our stolen identity.

CHR Comment: I saved this article back in October before the election. It provides an interesting perspective on what it means to be Evangelical, a term used historically, theologically, and politically in American dialogue.

The term comes from German “evangelisch,” which Martin Luther and other reformers used to describe their churches in the sixteenth century. This was a theological use of the term, referring to the Reformation churches as churches “of the Gospel” in contrast with medieval Catholicism, which focused so much on tradition and piety.

Historically, “evangelisch” came to mean what Protestant means in American Christianity, sort of “not Roman Catholic.” The theological use that focused on the Gospel was obscured over time.

As the article points out, Evangelical in America popularly means born again Christian, although many Protestant churches continue to use it in the older theological or historical sense. Because born again Christians have become very active politically, Evangelical has also become a political term to describe conservative Christian voters and that is the use that Jim Wallis is contending against, adding concern about narrowing use of the term to describe white voters.

Source: Evangelicals aren’t who you think: Jim Wallis

Pope Francis to Lutheran Pilgrims: Seek Unity through Charity

The full text of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks to Lutheran pilgrims in the Vatican on Thursday

CHR Comment: Nearly 500 years ago, the historic disruption of western Christendom took place as Protestants and Roman Christians disagreed on the doctrine of justification. The dialogue between liberal Lutheran church leaders and the papacy has continued for decades. Pope Francis expresses his hope that the dialogue will end in “communion.” Anticipate something taking place during the upcoming Reformation anniversary observances in 2017.

Source: Pope Francis to Lutheran pilgrims: seek unity through charity – Vatican Radio

C. Peter Wagner (1930-2016)

Missiologist, missionary, writer, teacher, and Church Growth specialist

CHR Comment: Wagner was a major figure in the Church Growth Movement, which intended to revitalize and grow churches by drawing on sociological principles. The reaction of church and theologians to the movement has been mixed and the results of church growth principles have been controversial.

Source: C. Peter Wagner (1930-2016), Some Thoughts on His Life and Passing | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

Ethiopian Christian Teenager Arrested For Evangelism

World Watch Monitor’s sources said the prosecutor’s office is seeking advice on how to proceed with the case.

CHR Comment: After receiving evangelism training, some Ethiopian teens handed out a book that addressed issues raised by a South African Islamic scholar. The book they passed out was titled, “Let’s Speak the Truth in Love.”

Source: Ethiopian Christian Teenager Arrested For Evangelism Is Back In Jail | Christian News on Christian Today

Churches around World Ring Funeral Bells for Aleppo

Hundreds of churches across the world are ringing funeral bells to draw attention to the suffering Syrian city of Aleppo.

CHR Comment: A Lutheran vicar in Finland, Teemu Laajasalo, started ringing the church bells to raise awareness of the immoral acts against civilians in Aleppo. More than three hundred other churches on four continents have joined in and rung their bells to raise awareness of the problems. Traditionally, church bells signal a call to pray, which is a fitting response to the atrocities in Syria. Lord, have mercy.

Source: Churches around world ring funeral bells for Aleppo

UNESCO Adopts Controversial Jerusalem Resolution

Israel last week suspended its ties with UNESCO over the draft resolution.

CHR Comment: Toward the end of the article is a statement from an Arab representative who states that the UNESCO resolution acknowledges sites as Jewish, Islamic, and Christian though only Arabic names are used, which could be interpreted as excluding the Jews. (Arabic is a language used by both Christians and Muslims but apparently not so much by Jews.)

Source: UNESCO adopts controversial Jerusalem resolution