Just A Word - Christianity Today

Articles from the Non-Profit Communications Ministry

Christianity Today is considered a leading voice of the evangelical movement with its coverage of the global church. Every monthly print issue and daily website updates include interviews, feature articles, essays, and commentary from leading Christian thinkers, and theological analysis on current issues, trends, people and news events that impact people of faith. Christianity Today delivers commentary from a biblical perspective, covering the spectrum of choices and challenges facing Christians today.

Take time out to follow the thoughts of the authors of Christianity Today, be encouraged and provoked to engage in current affairs of the world from an essential Christian perspective. 

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Jan

Interview: Stephen Mansfield: Why So Many Conservative Christians Wanted a ‘Pagan Brawler’ in the White House

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And how their choice of Trump has affected the church since last year’s election.

Election 2016 ended a year ago, but its effects on American culture, including the American church, persist. Many are still asking how Donald Trump became president, and what part evangelical Christians played in making that happen. Stephen Mansfield, author of bestselling books about the religious faith of recent American presidents, believes that faith matters in the story of President Trump as well. Choosing Donald Trump: God, Anger, Hope, and Why Christian Conservatives Supported Him describes Trump’s remarkable partnership with conservative evangelicals. Blogger Samuel D. James spoke with Mansfield about what the events of last year mean for Christians and how a divided American church can heal.

Is it fair to consider Donald Trump a prosperity-gospel Christian?

He’s definitely drawn to the side of Christianity that preaches personal power, prosperity, and success in this world. Part of that preconditioning comes from his years hearing sermons from Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote The Power of Positive Thinking. Peale privately believed in “born again” Christianity, but Trump fed from the stream in Peale’s thought that was essentially secular motivational philosophy. Trump sees himself as a religious man and sees his own success as the result of living out certain religious principles—just not the ones at the heart of the gospel.

You describe how meeting with religious leaders during the campaign gave Trump something of an “education” he didn’t know he needed. Were his stances on religious liberty, abortion, and socially conservative issues a product of political ambitions?

A good illustration is his approach to the Johnson Amendment, which prevents pastors from endorsing ...

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1

Jan

Zimbabwe Can Be Born Again: Church Leaders Explain Mugabe-Military Crisis

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As politicians and media debate coup, evangelicals see ‘opportunity for the birth of a new nation.’

This week, church leaders in Zimbabwe called for prayer—and a transitional government—after 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe was placed under house arrest by the military.

“We see the current situation not just as a crisis in which we are helpless,” wrote eight evangelical, Catholic, charismatic, and ecumenical Protestant leaders. “We see the current arrangement as an opportunity for the birth of a new nation.”

Political tensions began last month, flaring up between Mugabe’s two potential successors: his vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Grace. The next presidential election is in 2018.

Mugabe took Grace’s side, firing Mnangagwa for “disloyalty.” But then the army took Mnangagwa’s side, placing Mugabe under house arrest and arresting the leaders of Grace’s faction.

The takeover has been peaceful so far, perhaps because Mugabe’s tight-fisted, often cruel 37-year reign was anything but democratic. The country loses at least $1 billion to corruption annually.

One of those calling for Mugabe to step down has been Evan Mawarire, an evangelical pastor who has been arrested twice for his viral online protest of Mugabe’s corruption.

This week, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe joined other church leaders in releasing a joint statement explaining how the current crisis is actually a kairos (opportunity). CT has reproduced their letter in full below:

1. The Moment of TruthMany Zimbabweans are confused and anxious about what has transpired and continues to unfold in our nation. While the changes have been rapid in the last few days, the real deterioration has been visible for everyone to see for a long time, especially during the public ...

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Jan

Politics & Religion: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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Dr. Amy Black is Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College.

Politics & Religion: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

In this episode of Theology for Life, Lynn and Ed talk with Dr. Amy Black about political civility and religion and her book Honoring God in Red or Blue. Is it too late to have humility, grace, and reason as we engage in politics? How do we look at the last presidential campaign season and recover from what was incredibly divisive? What do evangelicals do now to move forward in a helpful matter?

According to Professor Black, politics is about compromise and getting along with people involves compromise. There is no way around this. We need to be able to have meaningful discussions even when we disagree.

Is power zero-sum? Maybe, but it need not be. What does it look like to share power for the flourishing of all? And how can our character impact the discussions around politics that we do have?

Dr. Amy Black is professor of Political Science at Wheaton College.

Dr. Lynn Cohick is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.

Dr. Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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