In a recent interview with reporters while traveling from South Korea, Pope Francis revealed that he believes he only has "two or three years" left, and would even consider retiring early. The 77-year-old leader of the Catholic church said,
I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's house.
Pope Francis said that though the idea “does not appeal to some theologians," he would consider retirement if he began to feel like he couldn’t handle his responsibilities as pope, like his predecessor. Pope Francis said that “"Benedict XVI opened a door,” and even admitted that he is currently being treated for nerve problems ... Discuss
In a conversation with reporters, Pope Francis said that the U.N.—and not a single country—should be involved in the decision to take action against ISIS, but protecting Christians and religious minorities in Iraq was essential.
In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression I can only say that it is legitimate to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb 'to stop'. I am not saying 'bomb' or 'make war', but stop him (the aggressor). The means by which he can be stopped must be evaluated. Stopping the unjust aggressor is legitimate
Pope Francis said that a senior church official has been sent to Iraq to distribute charity funds and minister to refugees who have been displaced by ISIS. The brutal Islamic group has forced thousands to flee their homes and have been targeting Christians and other religious groups who do not adhere to their radical ideology. The pope also revealed that he sent a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General, reiterating how important it is that ISIS be stopped ... Discuss
The highly influential Acts 29 Network of churches and church planters have removed their co-founder and one-time leader Mark Driscoll from membership. Several pastors on the Acts 29 leadership team sent Driscoll a letter detailing what they called "ungodly and disqualifying behavior," saying they "feel that we have no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29." You can read the full letter here. On their website, Acts 29 leadership posted:
It is our conviction that the nature of the accusations against Mark, most of which have been confirmed by him, make it untenable and unhelpful to keep Mark and Mars Hill in our network. In taking this action, our prayer is that it will encourage the leadership of Mars Hill to respond in a distinctive and godly manner so that the name of Christ will not continue to be dishonored.
The move comes on the heels of a series of troubling revelations about Driscoll, including a compilation of some years-old online comments he made under the fake name "William Wallace II." Driscoll has since apologized for the comments, pointing out that he had already directly expressed regret for the Internet postings and his early "angry prophet days" in previous books. However, the full scope of the comments have created a firestorm of controversy around the frequently controversial pastor. Driscoll has yet to publicly respond to the Acts 29 letter ... Discuss
Pope Francis may be 77 years old, but he still believes that his message to younger generations about technology is an important one. During a sermon in Germany, the pope called the Internet a "gift from God,” but warned of the dangers of wasting your life playing with the latest gadgets, adding, “Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions.”
Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things … chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve the quality of life, but distract attention away from what is really important.
The pope, who is active on Twitter himself, did praise the power of the Internet, but said it should be “a network not of wires but of people" … Discuss
Vernon Hooks is the pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, a church in Clarksville, Tenn. where a burned cross was discovered on Tuesday morning. The church, just outside of Nashville, has a mostly black congregation and anywhere from 100 to 200 members, one of whom contacted Hooks when they saw the cross. "It was devastating," Hooks told USA Today. "I was somewhat hurt, but then I took time out to ask God to forgive whoever did this."
"Whoever did it, we forgive them," Hooks told reporters while gathered with various church members. "That's the message, that we are a forgiving church and we'll let the police do their job."
It's been classified as a hate crime, but the case is murky. "It was assigned to a detective, but we have no leads," said Sgt. Charles Gill of the Clarksville Police Department. "We've got nothing" ... Discuss
Book designer Adam Greene wants to turn the modern, printed Bible into a visually beautiful, easy-to-read, redesigned work of art. Greene’s Kickstarter has raised more than $750,000 for the intensive project that—by drawing inspiration from the dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant—turns the Bible into a re-organized, four volume series, each the size of a contemporary novel. As he explains, the vision of the Bibliotheca project is taken from the history of scripture:
The literature of the Bible was experienced by its ancient audiences as pure literary art—written or oral—with none of the encyclopedic conventions we are accustomed to today (chapter divisions, verse numbers, notes, cross references, etc.). Furthermore, the texts were appreciated as individual works of literature, which gradually accumulated into what we recognize as the biblical anthology. By separating the text into several volumes, and by applying classic & elegant typography, Bibliotheca is meant to provide a fresh alternative to the reader who wants to enjoy the biblical library anew, as great literary art.