Last Week, Today: Dear Pastor, Can I Come to Your Church?

"Dear Pastor, Can I Come to Your Church?" (Christianity Today)

Two researchers conduct a nationwide experiment on how churches respond to emails from potential newcomers. They used the same email for each church, but changed the names of the senders to indicate a different ethnicity (e.g. black, white, Asian, hispanic). What did they find? How did Mainline Protestants vs. Evangelicals compare? 

"Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?" (NYT)

Eliza Griswold reports from the birth-land of Christianity: "From 1910 to 2010, the number of Christians in the MIddle East continued to decline; once 14 percent of the population, Christians now make up roughly 4 percent." 

"'That Hideous Strength' is Evangelicalism's Text for the Future" (Patheos)

Jake Meador points out that as the American business world starts becoming hostile to Christian orthodoxy, evangelicalism will have to begin to decouple its cozy nesting with bourgeois establishment: "Today's boomers have discovered that orthodoxy is bad for business. And so they have turned on orthodoxy."

"Os Guinness: Welcome to the Grand Age of Apologetics" (Christianity Today)

Os Guinness, who worked alongside Francis Schaeffer and has written and spoken extensively on the need for a vigorous, civil public square, is interviewed about his latest book, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion. 

"We have to see that it's not just ideas that are shaping us; it's modernity itself. Even today most apologetics deals with ideas--modernism, postmodernism, relativism, secularism. I would argue that we need not only to do that, but also to look at modernity…"

"In Iraq, I raided insurgents. In Virginia, the police raided me." (WashPo)

A former infantryman in Iraq compares how a recent police raid in his apartment parallels the way in which the Army initially treated Iraqi civilians in the early phases of the war, until it realizes it was inspiring Iraqis "to hate us rather than help us."

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