Some were not interested in losing their power and corrupt privileges. Others preferred to continue their religious life with a “straw God”.
The force of Qureshi’s argument comes from applying the litmus test of history to the claims of each religion.
The New Testament writers tell us that God’s honour is not something so fragile that it needs to be protected by legal restrictions.
20 suggestions for a better connection between preacher and listeners.
The word “evangelization” is used across the spectrum of the Christian world. The question is: What is the meaning of it? How is it defined? What does it refer to?
Is the exit-strategy (like the one seen with Brexit) the only way forward amidst the widespread dissatisfaction towards the EU?
Sadly ‘integrity’, ‘incorruptibility’ and ‘honesty’ are not words often used to describe today’s politicians. That’s why we cannot leave our future just to the politicians.
Conversion from Islam is impossible in many places and in the few locations where it is possible legally, there are social and cultural impediments to change.
The Holy Spirit is neither present nor active in a mission in which sin and the cross of Christ are absent.
We take a look at four theories regarding Jesus' 'supposed' resurrection from the dead.
This “Holy Week” in Spain thousands of people who refuse to follow Jesus will be moved by religious images. They will sing and cry.
We spoke with Protestant Christians who had had their electricity and water cut off, who had been removed from the local population registers, whose children had been prevented from attending school.
When the devil lies, Jesus said, he speaks his native language. As fallen human beings, it is our native language too. Lying is universal.
Through his mysterious death in Paris in 1971, the charismatic and self-destructive Jim Morrison managed to create a legend.
Pope Francis focuses on the primacy of conscience rather than the prescriptive nature of law.
What can you do when people just don’t seem interested in good books?
Fundamentalist Muslims, Reformed Muslims, Converted Muslims, Secular Muslims... There are at least 11 ways this faith is lived out in Europe.
Granted, the European Union is a very imperfect human project, not to be confused with God’s kingdom. Yet we are told to pray for God’s kingdom to come, that is, for his will to be done in Europe as it is in heaven.
Painter Sergi Barnils talks about how his Christian faith influences his art in an interview with a Spanish newspaper.
Islam is in Europe to stay, albeit progressively and in different forms. Different versions and traditions of Islam compete with each other. It has become Europe’s second religion after Christianity.
While India has always had a religiously plural ethos, contemporary India has been polarized along religious lines with the advent of the Hindu nationalist political party to power in 2014 with an absolute majority.
It is good to rethink the gospel presentations we use.
Statistics often do not give any indication of the religious commitment, beliefs and practices of a person. Some believe that only a third of all Muslims in Europe actively practice their Islamic faith.
Produce information about your events in accessible formats. Book a sign language interpreter for the meetings during your mission week.
Most of the time most of us remain blissfully unaware of riches with which we have not yet engaged.
Citizens from all over Europe are driving to Brussels to offer themselves as ‘Official European Chauffeurs’, willing to bring refugees to their respective countries.
The main character of Himmelweg is a Red Cross worker who is an accessory to manipulating History, by covering up the truth of what really happened in a Nazi concentration camp.
Gavin Matthews on Arkady Ostrovsky’s The Invention of Russia.
The response of the European Churches to climate change, as with all environmental issues, has been patchy, but there are signs that this is beginning to change.
When confronted with the dichotomy of ‘people’ or ‘elite’, Jesus refused to be cornered. His answers to trick questions introduced a new dimension.
What are the priorities that Christ incarnated with his life?
According to Endô, the Catholic Japanese author whose book is the basis of Scorsese’s new film, “Silence” isn’t about God’s silence, but about how God speaks through silence and trauma.
First and foremost, a Christian vote is a vote for others.
Beginning in the USA and expanding then to Europe, we witness the rise of a rampant individualism where “my rights” are the primary interest.
Our churches should be examples of institutions that serve the common good, that speak out against injustice, and that are led with integrity.
Apparently, we all agree that the value of a person doesn’t depend as much from their doing as from their being. But, what does the world understand by being?
His autobiography “Porcelain”, introduces us this militant vegetarian, who defends animal rights, does not drink, smoke or take drugs, but confesses being addicted to porn.
Jamil, a former Muslim: “Yemenis follow Christ with all their hearts. There is no way back. We all know that. Becoming a Christian will cost you much”.
The fact of Jesus’ death for us is an objective truth that should grip us and reassure us. Was I wanted? Most definitely, yes. The cross has proven that!
Have I ever felt hated or rejected or made fun of? Yes, I have.
The Christian church is a global phenomenon, and mission is a worldwide endeavor.
Globally, some 65 million people have been displaced this year, roughly equivalent to Britain’s whole population.
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) converted to Christianity when he was young, going on to become one of the foremost Protestant composers.
The situation of Christians in North Korea does not seem to have improved during this past year.
The final banquet that closes every Asterix book reflects humanity’s yearning for a happy ending.
We are totally vulnerable before him, whether we know it or not, he knows us.
We need to commit to escaping our filter bubbles and actively finding perspectives which challenge our default positions.
With Pope Francis the Roman Catholic Church is simply becoming more “catholic”, i.e. embracing and absorbing all, without losing its being “Roman”.
The new man, dreamed up by el Che, does not exist and will never exist, if he is not born from above.
For years I sat and heard messages that seemed to be targeted at someone else (and often that someone else was not there). What a wasted opportunity.
While the risk society is a secular phenomenon, it provides an opportunity for Christians to live distinctively and attractively.
One of the last biographies published about the Nobel literature prize winner says that Dylan has never rejected his faith in Jesus. But the lyrics of some of his songs reveal a spiritual battle.
Reconciliation requires sacrifice; it is costly and is humbling. But it is the only way to construct the identity of a nation that fosters peace, generosity and prosperity.
Here are some favourites that preachers sometimes find themselves repeating.
Jess and Rena with their baby son were kicked out and all their sheep and horses were taken away. They didn’t have any money, not enough clothes to wear and no place to sleep.
Because of the paradoxical relationship between God’s freedom and human freedom, Christians need a robust “theology of surprise”.
A suggestion on how to deal with Halloween and other popular festivals.
We, the Evangelicals of Albania, understand that this is how we must love our nation today in order to be true to our gospel calling.
I ask the Lord - who bore our griefs and pains - to erase the scars of the wounds and the pain of our Nigerian girl. And to show her that, for him and for all of us, she is a precious stone.
It would be a mistake to think that their story was nothing more than the nihilism of hopeless youth. Their rage was a cry of rebellion against an empty life.
509,980 is the number of people forced into labour in the EU. That’s more people than those living in Toulouse. Or Liverpool. Or Gdansk. Or Antwerp.
There is a place for patriotism and healthy national pride. But surely we should get nervous when British exceptionalism and nationalistic fervour get wrapped up in religious language.
Morning always comes. We live in darkness, but we live with hope. And our hope is God Himself.
In the most award-winning series at the Emmys, sin is not sweetened to make it more attractive, but it is shown in its most repulsive light. Is this a glorification of evil, or its complete opposite?
Across Western Europe and the US, those who hold to traditional Christian sexual ethics not only find themselves on the wrong side of popular opinion, but allegedly on the “wrong side of history” too.
Putting to one side the hermeneutical questions around the identification of the EU with Bablyon, what is clear is that the demonization of the “other” inspires hatred not love.
The main character in “Bridge of Spies” not only believes in the power of the word, but also seeks to identify himself with the other, with the enemy.
A look at European statistics on five key biomedical issues: surrogate parenthood, gender transformation, the new eugenics, euthanasia and abortion.
If the current situation has encouraged mission agencies in Europe to ask questions again about their core business and the values of service, radical availability, and sacrifice, then God will continue to be glorified, even in the midst of political turmoil and uncertainty.
I have always found striking, the discrepancy between the public support for euthanasia (among those who are healthy) and my patients’ desire for continued life.
Is there a Bible school where you could take a single course? Diligently hunt the best books to read, as well as well-informed people to engage with in conversation.
So as we look to the future, what should govern our aspirations? Perhaps Jesus’ models of salt and light in Matthew 5:13-16 could give us a framework.
We need to be people who guard hearts in the church environment. Good music and good preaching is not enough.
The issue at stake is whether or not Luther is to be rescued from himself in order to be heard by the church and the world.
Dr Calum MacKellar considers the ethics of the editing of human genes in the creation of embryos
An increasing atmosphere of Islamic triumphalism in the wake of the coup could potentially put pressure on Christians or increase the threat level for them in Turkey, but for now that threat isn't present.
A Commentary on Russia’s new anti-terror legislation. By expert William Yoder.
What mysterious properties do the Oikopleura dioica have to challenge God and cause such religious tremors?
What does it mean to be Catholic? The question is simple but the answer is fraught with complexities.
Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar have also enacted similar laws, with Nepal going so far as to include them in the recently adopted constitution.
In the midst of economic collapse, a couple thousand Christians in worship and prayer.
Two ideologies drive the attacks against Christian communities: the Mapuche worlview, and the Socialist and Anarchist movements.
Viewing the issues of the referendum debate through the lens of what theologians call “salvation history”, the mission of God to redeem His creation, throws new light on them and provides vital perspective to help us make our decision on the 23 June.
In Revelation 13, we have a description of what a state or a government can become when everything goes wrong. A state can become a devouring beast, destroying everything in its path, and especially attacking Christians with demonic hatred.
Our modern society has evolved in such a way that the manner it has chosen to resolve the class struggle has been to try to implement the entertainment principle as a “need” for human beings.
“There are 2,200 in France and about 50 in the Bretagne region. However, these are still relatively unknown churches”. French public television France 3 airs report about evangelical pastor Thierry Le Gall.
Any accommodation to the idea that we are ultimately capable of saving ourselves, any accommodation to the fact that salvation is not God’s gift from beginning to end is a slippery slope towards a false gospel.
We love new technologies and we use them passionately. But we also know God’s mission is done through and for real people. The ELF conference in Wisla (Poland) reinforces our aim to analyse the big challenges of today through the Christian worldview.
It is impossible to understand Prince (1958–2016) without one of these two powerful forces, but the same could be said of many of us.
Some of the ways that evangelical organisations are taking up the global challenge of implementing creation care as a mission task.
Glenn Frey (1948-2016) was the soul of The Eagles. The band’s success allowed them to enjoy everything that life had to offer them. The conclusion that they came to could not have been more disheartening.
Mangalwadi’s book ranges effortlessly though history, politics, economics, theology, sociology, and philosophy. His conclusion is cultures that are rooted in the Bible, provide the best environment for human flourishing.
The extreme political right has simply developed a compelling narrative that weaves a dystopian mythology around the themes of ethnic dilution, conspiracy, migration, religious terrorism, and resource scarcity.
Whatever happens in June, Britain will still be part of Europe; we are not voting for the English Channel to become an ocean.
The latest film by the Coen brothers, “Hail, Caesar!” presents us with the problem of the ministry of the gospel on screen: how to see in order to believe.
I find it amazing that God would “overcome” the world in the worst thinkable way, by letting his son be condemned to death. He allowed the darkest force to be used against him.
An evangelical emphasis on nurturing societies that encourage openness, tolerance, and diversity of religious expression should be seen as a benefit to all citizens and beneficial to mission and ministry globally.
The loss of ethical meaning in public, civil communities feeds religious extremism. People will search for meaning, sometimes leading to life, sometimes leading to death.
To my mind, it is on the cross that the character of Christ reaches its greatest splendour. During the hours of deepest darkness, his words shine like radiant gold.
Why would someone take their life and the lives of people they have never met, including an 8-year old girl, in the most despicable way? What were they hoping to achieve?
Notice how many buddha statues or wall hangings are for sale in local garden centres, or in home improvement centres, or cosmetic shops.
Freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and religious freedom are battles that are worth fighting.
First and foremost, Christian voters must remember that God is sovereign – not Brussels, and not the UK government.
The heavenly hope was, for Peter, no “pie in the sky when we die” – it was a real and life defining certain expectation.
“Arrival” is not a film about aliens, but about the problem of human communication.
We need to listen well, watch carefully, pray diligently, and keep in mind that in pastoral care situations there will be multiplied factors at play.
We should recognise that breadth of awareness is not evidence of the depth of our engagement.
Motherhood can sometimes be an idol to be worshiped - and as for all worship, it has its detractors and its fanatics.
If we would talk as much with Muslims as we do about them, Europe would be a different place.
The preacher speaks a message that is intensely personal, yet also expansively global in scope.
The problem with the ECJ ruling on religious clothing is that it seems to be working on the assumption that secularism is ‘neutral’. But this is a myth.
Without careful and disciplined action, the church’s theology and practice of mission will be impoverished.
One of the most painful situations for those serving among people without legal papers in the United States is to help parents to make plans for the care of their children in case they are arrested and deported.
The monsters and ghosts in “The Shining” are real, but they live within us.
Whether the election results swing left or right, the church will always steer its own course. And she will not be afraid to be critical of the government where the gospel would require. A manifesto by theologians Janneke Stegeman and Alain Verheij.
Today’s multicultural European society seeks to integrate the foreigner yet often fails because of the differences that exist between cultures. We believe that this is a challenge that God is putting in front of the churches of today.
The traditional theological structure was geared to give Yes or No answers. The post-Vatican II structure is more inclined to suggest Both-And types of answer on all kinds of issues.
Personal journeys, radical agendas and perplexing dilemmas.
It is estimated that over 100 million people in the majority world base their livelihoods on locally mining gold, precious stones, and other high-value minerals with minimal equipment, capital, and training.
Valentine was right. Marriage is worth paying a price for.
Transgenderism is the next major issue that Christians are going to have to come to grips with – theologically, morally, medically, legally and pastorally. Many in our churches have been taken by surprise.
Both content and form speak of the divine heart beating on every page of the Bible.
What the Pope has in mind is an altogether different kind of reformation, i.e. a reformation that will make his church more catholic and more Roman, doubtfully more evangelical.
Paul instructed his readers to pray for the authoritarian leaders of his day, so that the ‘soft powers’ of the gospel–love, truth and justice–could prevail.
Hope perseveres in the face of hardship, recognizes that God in his grace wants to preserve this world and protect it from its self-destructive powers.
Today, we might comfortably discuss ministry by, even under, but especially from leaders with disabilities.
If you are telling David’s story with Goliath, much better to have a stone in your hand than to be wearing authentic shepherding garb from 1000BC.
We are free, in Christ, to be all that God had originally intended us to be. Christians should be shouting the news that equality is part of God’s intended plan.
For the Muslim convert, the feeling of being at home includes the aspects of fellowship (“sharing things in common”), and growing into a sense of shared ownership as partners.
Any society that wants to survive must care for the weak and vulnerable in their midst.
Young Markus had been an ambitious Muslim. He studied in an Islamic university led by his father and his mission was to reach out to Christian youth and lead them to the “right path”.
Protestants find it difficult to come to terms with this Marian dogma. This is due to not finding even a hint of evidence for this belief in the Bible.
The police and Islamic religious authorities in these countries are highly vigilant against any attempts by Christians to reach Malay Muslims with the gospel.
Scars can be powerful preaching aids, but open wounds rarely are.
A starting point: invite a refugee to go with you to visit a museum, watch a football match, share a meal.
A new generation of African younger leaders is rising to the challenge of missions.
Slovakian MEP Branislav Škripek, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, and former prime minister of Ethiopia Tamrat Layne, spoke about how faith in God has shaped their lives.
A healthy, informed debate on the role of migration is sadly lacking in Europe. Europeans talk about migration, Africans talk about the diaspora.
This is God’s work, taking whispers from the margins and translating them for many to hear, speaking truth to power.
Churches are forbidden in Saudi Arabia, and converting from Islam is punished with decapitation.
In the region, almost 40% of the Protestant churches have become secret churches. “We do not want to be associated with anything illegal and our desire is to be law-abiding citizens”.
Christians have never been empiricists, only accepting what can be seen or touched or measured. A review of Suzanne O'Sullivan's book 'It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness'.
In assessing the ecumenical scene, the risk of looking at Lund without being aware of what happens in Rome is real.
The number of believers of Muslim background has increased radically in the Horn of Africa, despite the high costs associated with the decision of leaving Islam to follow Christ whole-heartedly.
National greatness in God’s eyes is outward focused, and rather than being the object of God’s blessing, any material prosperity was to be seen as an outworking of their obedience to God’s ways.
A man who thinks the whole world revolves around him has been helped into the White House by millions of evangelical Christians.
We should be more careful when pointing to the evangelical churches of Colombia as the promoters of the “no”.
As Americans go to the voting booths to choose the candidate they hate the least, we in Europe need to brace ourselves for the outcomes.
“The aim of the JDDJ is to find commonalities, not differences. But with that comes a lopsided methodology that obscures those differences”, says theologian Michael Reeves.
I will present a conceptual model. It was life-changing for me to discover it, and I have found that it clearly matches the biblical directives, as well as the fuller biblical narrative.
Is there anything that you would not be willing to give up, under any circumstances, out of your love for the Lord, even if you understood, without a shadow of doubt, that you must give it up or let it go?
From 1995 to 2012, there were about 480 foreign entities working inside North Korea, of which 70 were Christian. Christian groups have operated in 85 counties in the country, meaning that some 60% have had some exposure to Christian organizations.
In the world we live in, love is always presented exclusively in relation to romanticism.
Where is the Roman church headed After Vatican II? An interview with Leonardo de Chirico.
It appears once again as if the Russian state will be moving simultaneously in opposite directions. Restrictive measures are combined with financial support for Protestant and multi-confessional projects.
In response to television programmes romanticising adultery, one parliamentarian in Netherlands raised sponsorship for roadside adverts stating: ‘Adultery–the family game where everyone loses’.
Have you contemplated what it means that the refugee migrants are going to stay in Europe, your country, your town, your village? Or are you deep down still thinking and maybe even hoping that they will go away again?
We should take the angst we feel about crowns and rewards and then let that energy drive us into the Bible to explore what God is like.
The last book by the philosopher Manuel Cruz looks into our “systematic quest for exculpatory arguments”.
The territorial dimension of the hierarchical church, centered on the authority of the bishop, has found it difficult to come to terms with the charismatic energy of the movements, more inclined to follow their own lay leaders than the local bishops.
His surviving works are rare and are in museums all over the world but, says Susan Mansfield, the Dutch artist remains a man of mystery
The Hadith reports can take Muslims in many directions: to compassion for widows and orphans, to patriarchal attitudes towards women, to disdain for religious minorities, and to military jihad for the cause of Islam.
Samuil Petrovski, President of the Serbian Evangelical Alliance, and General Secretary of the IFES Serbia writes about the Nick Vujicic’s visit to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro last spring.
We are to forgive first, then either we can bear with, or we need to approach and proactively address the situation.
I will never be more influential than when I succeed in helping people be reconciled with each other, with their situation, and ultimately with God.
When we handle the Bible carelessly we demonstrate a lack of value for our God’s communicative nature.
Too many gospel presentations offer only a ticket to heaven when you die. And too many Christians are walking around with hope of comfort tied exclusively to that end of life anticipation.
The basic place of meeting between Christian and Muslim is our shared regard for Jesus the Messiah; and the most fundamental point of difference is not the place of women or of violence, but who we believe the Messiah to be.
Don’t let your homiletical skill get ahead of biblical and theological awareness. People will praise a public speaker, but they need a preacher who is biblically and theologically healthy.
If you knew nothing about Colombia, you might well think, “That’s great! There’s peace now”. But life in Colombia is never quite as straightforward as it might seem.
The danger of deciding on the basis of narrow personal or national self-interest is to overlook a whole range of possible consequences to the other parties in this set of relationships – which could then rebound on us.
As I have listened in person to the prayer requests from persecuted Christians, two themes have caught my ear. The first is the fear that they will be forgotten or abandoned by other Christians.
The survival of the Church today does not depend on Europe. But the survival of Europe as we know it certainly depends on the Church.
The modern-day relevance of Wilde’s book could not be any clearer: a new hedonism, the cult of eternal youth, when in reality it is just the vanity of fleeting beauty.
Sir Fred Catherwood: “Patriotism gives to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. But in the end nationalism wants total allegiance, because it is more than politics. It is religion.”
Should the protest of Reformed Christians against laws allowing shopping on Sunday be heeded? Do transgendered people have a right to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with?
One obvious implication is the age of retirement for ministers, elders, trustees, and others. Should leaders continue to retire at, say, 65, or as in a number of denominations, 70?
There remain many who believe that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Their reasoning, argues Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim, is flawed.
As Romanians, we have passed through many great battles against our own government, battles over state laws that were against the law of God. During our history, the Ottoman Empire wanted our children, just as other empires did.
Kajsa Wahlberg: ‘Criminals are businessmen; they calculate profits, marketing factors and risks of getting caught before investing time and money into selling women in a particular place.’
A Christian Maths student is interviewed about her faith on the back cover of a secular Spanish national newspaper.
There are Christians in both camps, and good reasons for both positions, but it is almost impossible to separate fact from propaganda. This article aims to articulate a biblical framework within which we might start to ask the right questions.
More than 1,575 refugees per 100,000 of Sweden’s population claimed asylum last year. But just how large is Europe’s Muslim population, and how fast is it growing?
The way in which Catholicism perceives time - the sense of definitiveness as well as that of a progression - is a solid indicator of its basic theological framework.
By putting you in the position of an ordinary person with a large amount of power and asking you to make morally difficult choices, the video game manages to shed light on politics, ethics, and the human condition.
Jesus was able to command others to follow him, yet his approach to leading these followers was to build close relationships where he taught in small groups, challenged, mentored, and answered their questions.
Freedom needs spiritual values, internalised discipline and self-government. The truth will set us free, Jesus promised.
It is one thing is to work together on areas of common concern in society, e.g. the promotion of Judeo-Christian values in society; it is an altogether different issue to engage in common mission and evangelism.
Money is one of the tools of that centralised authority, open to all the abuses that control over its supply enables. The coin in Jesus’ hand was the perfect example of those dangers.
The people of the “capital of Europe”, natives and European workers are mourning separately because they do not speak the same language and their frame of reference is different.
The scientist and theologian believes that Galileo’s story has been distorted, and accuses Dawkins of “staining science.” An interview published in Spain’s El País.
To forgive requires first to be aware, through God’s light, of the dark hidden corners in our own heart.
In terms of the Protestant evaluation of Roman Catholicism, Barth’s theology of the Word has weakened the evangelical ability to assess Rome having the Bible as supreme standard.
‘Can we live up to the ideals we espouse?’ Doug Marshall (working with refugees in Malta) commentates on five 2016 World Press Photo images.
Evangelical Focus is a daily free newspaper financed by advertising and sponsors. To support our work and allow us to keep serving our readers, you can make a donation by paypal or bank transfer (writing "Evangelical Focus donation" on the subject).