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What the Continued Crucifying Of Rob Bell Says About Modern Christianity

Will we ever learn to disagree without immediately resorting to "heretic"? Read More

Good news, animal lovers. According to Pope Francis, our four-legged friends are heaven-bound. At a recent appearance in St. Peter's Basilica, the pope met a young boy who was visibly upset over the recent death of his dog. Pope Francis assured him, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” Though some theologians may argue that the comment is left to some interpretation, The New York Times reached out to The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit preist and an editor at a prominent Catholic magazine, who said, “He said paradise is open to all creatures. That sounds pretty clear to me” ...

UPDATE: The New York Times has issued a correction to their story, and as Slate points out, the pope’s comments appear to have been translated poorly in the media. Also, the story about comforting a young child who had just lost his dog, was actually about a different pope altogether. From NYT:

According to Vatican Radio, Francis said: “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” which was interpreted to mean he believes animals go to heaven. Francis is not known to have said: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.'’

The eternal fate of all dogs still remains up for debate. Discuss

Dr. George O. Wood, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God denomination, has released a statement asking that all AG churches participate in “Black Lives Matter Sunday” on Dec. 14. The Assemblies of God Pentecostal denomination is a hugely influential organization with nearly 65 million adherents and members around the world. In a statement, Wood asked that members follow the example of Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. of the Church of God in Christ [COGIC] by joining the nationwide movement:

First and foremost, black lives matter. The lives of all people are precious to God, of course, but at the present moment, many of our black brothers and sisters in COGIC and the AG feel that their lives are not highly valued by many in white America. As examples, they point to the recent controversial decisions of grand juries in St. Louis County, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, not to return bills of indictment against white police officers in the deaths of two black males, Michael Brown and Eric Garner ... Whatever your opinion of those controversial decisions, can we stand with our brothers and sisters and affirm the value of black lives generally and of their lives specifically? ... We can take steps together in that direction by affirming the value of black lives and by praying for unity in our churches and our society this Sunday, December 14.

You can read his entire statement here and go here to learn more about Black Lives Matter Sunday ... Discuss

The pastor of Riverchase United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, has figured out a way to hopefully get more locals into his Sunday morning services: He’s moving them to a local Buffalo Wild Wing restaurant and bar. The 45-minute service to be known as “The Stream” will actually take place before the establishment opens for business, so there will be no beer or wings served during the message, though Rev. Wesley Savage told a local paper, “We're going to encourage people to stay for lunch, stay for sports. This is part of the partnership.”

He told AL.com that the idea is to reach a new audience who feel more comfortable hanging out at a wing joint than a traditional church: “We believe there's a population that would attend a service there that wouldn't go to a church. We hope it's going to be a more inviting atmosphere … We want it to be a dialogue, questions and discussion about a topic: Why God? Why the church? Why the Bible? Why should I care about these things?” The wall separating church and wing is finally beginning to crumble ... Discuss

Why We Should Start Celebrating Advent Again

Louie Giglio on what the season of expectation and hope can do for the American church. Read More

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