George Barna has a new report up, categorizing the changing world of American/North American Christianity. Sadly the report so far is not good. In church attendance, Bible reading, and 'belief that the Bible is true in all the principles it teaches' (only the principles, mind you), Evangelicals have gotten dangerously close to the 50/50 ratio of those who do and those who don't. Church attendance is at 59 percent; Bible reading has gone from 71 percent to 62 percent; belief in the Bible's authority has dropped from 75 percent to 65 percent. I will be giving an update on each part of George Barna's six-piece report over the next few days. (ALSO: Interestingly, the number of self-described Catholics who qualify as Evangelicals has gone way up - something to be happy about!) -SEAN
'You could also say it is necessary to believe with faith alone to be saved, but it’s not essential to believe in faith alone as a body of doctrine. This is how I explain the faith of Catholics who exhibit remarkable Christian virtue while resisting the evangelical doctrines of grace. However, valid as this faith may be, it doesn’t mean such a man is suited for a young woman who is seeking to live her life according to the Bible. To the extent that the Catholic man recognizes the authority and revelation of Christ to be in and from the institution of the Catholic Church without reference to Scripture, their yoke is uneven.'
'Finally, if zeal be true, it will be joined to a deep humility. A truly zealous man will be the last to discover the greatness of his own attainments. All that he is and does will come so immensely short of his own desires that he will be filled with a sense of his own unprofitableness. He will be amazed to think that God should work by him at all. Like Moses, when he came down from the mount, he will not know that his face shines... Admire zeal; seek after zeal; encourage zeal. But see that your own zeal be true.'
'One morning last week I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. That’s a nice way of saying I was grumpy. My fuse was short. My voice was loud. My temper was nasty. Clearly my heart was not focused on living like Christ has called me to. My husband and sons, on the other hand, woke up smiling. They were happy at the prospect of a brand-new day, at least until they encountered me at the breakfast table. My attitude stunk, and they smelled the stench pretty quickly. And then, a funny thing happened—instead of persuading me to perk up with their bright smiles, they started to get grumpy themselves.'