National

Pastor: Ohio law, church can help with payday lending

August 8 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

Ohio’s new law regulating payday lending is an important advance, but the church plays a vital role in helping people who often become casualties of the predatory industry, Southern Baptist pastor David Gray says. Gov. John Kasich signed into law July 30 what some advocates have described as a model for the country in addressing abuses by lenders …

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LifeWay’s Selma Wilson announces retirement

August 8 2018 by Carol Pipes, LifeWay Christian Resources

Selma Wilson, senior vice president of organizational development and chief people officer at LifeWay Christian Resources, has announced she will retire effective Oct. 1. “It has been an incredible honor to be a part of the mission of LifeWay for the past 28 years,” Wilson said.

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John Bisagno, pastor & church innovator, dies at 84

August 7 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

John Bisagno, an evangelistic innovator and longtime pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church, died Aug. 5 in Nashville following a battle with cancer. He was 84. During Bisagno’s 30-year tenure at Houston’s First beginning in 1970, the congregation grew from fewer than 400 to 22,000 members, Baptist Press reported in 1999.

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Pope’s death penalty reversal prompts closer look

August 7 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Pope Francis’ reversal of Catholic teaching on the death penalty continues to draw reaction, with some Southern Baptist theologians saying the move contradicts biblical principles of ethics. At the same time, the theologians surveyed by Baptist Press share Francis’ concerns about just application of capital punishment amid multiple U.S. lethal injections gone awry in recent years …

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Trucker who killed family of 5 finds mercy

August 6 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

A grieving father’s scripture-laden plea for mercy led to a lenient 180-day jail sentence for the truck driver who killed a missionary family of five in an auto accident last year. Cedric Pals told Keith County (Neb.) District Judge Richard Birch he has experienced “unrelenting anguish” …

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Why Americans go to church – and why they don’t

August 6 2018 by Bob Smietana, Facts & Trends

Americans who attend religious services and those who skip them may be looking for the same thing – a connection with God, according to a new survey from Pew Research. The most common single reason for attending services is that people want to be close to God.

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Hammond proposed as Georgia Baptists’ next exec.

August 6 2018 by Biblical Recorder Staff

The Georgia Baptist search team assigned to select a potential replacement for the convention’s executive director has chosen Thomas Hammond, pastor of First Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Ga., The Christian Index reported Aug. 5.  The nominee must be confirmed by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s (GBMB) executive committee at their next meeting on Sept. 11 …

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Technology’s increasing authority in our lives

August 6 2018 by Jason Thacker

In February 2017 there was a far-reaching event that few noticed. It wasn’t the Oscars, or even the president’s first address to Congress. Amazon S3 web servers went down – a much bigger deal than might be expected. These server outages primarily affected the East Coast, but the implications reached farther.

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Bible website garners billions of views

August 3 2018 by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends

Celebrating their 25th anniversary today (August 1), Bible Gateway announced their website has been viewed more than 14 billion times by people using more than 1 billion devices. “Our mission statement is ‘To honor Christ by equipping people to read and understand the Bible wherever they are,’” said Rachel Barach, general manager of Bible Gateway.

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Teens’ screen time linked to ADHD, spiritual problems

August 2 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Teens who report high-frequency digital media use are twice as likely to develop attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports. Christian mental health practitioners say excessive screen time can damage the soul as well.

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