Faith and Culture

Kennedy’s departure opens 2nd seat for Trump to fill

June 29 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement effective July 31, ending 30 years of service that began with his 1988 confirmation in the Ronald Reagan administration. Kennedy’s resignation opens a second seat for President Donald Trump to fill. In 2017, Congress amended rules to allow confirmation of justices by a simple majority vote …

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‘Insider Movements’ in Muslim missions critiqued

June 29 2018 by Andrew J.W. Smith, SBTS

A new book edited by two Islamic studies seminary professors explores the weaknesses of the popular “Insider Movements” in Muslim missiology. “Muslim Conversions to Christ: A Critique of Insider Movements in Islamic Contexts,” which released last week, is an academic response to a missiological approach that argues Muslims can confess Jesus as Lord and remain Muslim.

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Debate begins on next high court nominee

June 29 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The retirement announcement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy quickly ushered in guessing games on whom President Trump would next nominate to the Supreme Court and how long Roe v. Wade and other rulings would survive. Kennedy, long the high court’s swing vote on controversial decisions, told Trump …

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Churches looking ‘more like their neighborhoods’

June 29 2018 by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends

More American churches are multiracial, but still less so than the neighborhoods surrounding them, a new study shows. A Baylor University study, released June 20, found the percentage of multiracial congregations in the United States nearly doubled. From 1998 to 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, multiracial churches grew …

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Court ruling to help Christian teachers, supporters say

June 29 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

Christians and other teachers in public schools, as well as the school-choice movement, stand to benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision June 27 that public-sector unions may not require fees from nonmembers, supporters of the ruling say. In a 5-4 opinion, the high court ruled against such mandates …

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High court affirms pregnancy centers’ speech rights

June 28 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a key free-speech victory for pro-life pregnancy centers today (June 26) by a 5-4 vote. The high court reversed a lower court decision regarding a California law that, in part, essentially requires pregnancy care centers to promote abortion services. The justices ruled the pregnancy centers that challenged the measure would …

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Study shows troubling picture of teens, mental health

June 28 2018 by Helen Gibson, Facts & Trends

Mental health struggles and thoughts of suicide may be more common than church leaders realize – even among some of the youngest members of a congregation. Around 1 in 3 high school students (31.5 percent) say they’ve experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey recently released by the Centers …

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Churchgoers stick around for theology, not music or preachers

June 27 2018 by Bob Smietana, Facts & Trends

Most churchgoers will put up with a change in music style or a different preacher. But don’t mess with a church’s beliefs or there may be an exodus, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. The study of Protestant churchgoers found most are committed to staying at their church over the long haul. 

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High court annuls ruling against florist

June 27 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The U.S. Supreme Court provided a promising directive June 25 in the ongoing effort by business owners to practice their faith convictions. The justices issued an order that annulled a lower-court ruling against Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman, a Southern Baptist who declined to design flowers for a same-sex wedding.

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Social media & teens: a way ‘to see what is happening’

June 27 2018 by Morgan Collier, Baptist Press

While social media often is seen as a bad thing, what if Instagram and YouTube could be used to reach the lost, nurture spiritual maturity and expand congregations? A pivotal outreach to today’s youth may start with an LED screen, with 95 percent of teenagers reportedly having a smartphone or access to …

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