Religion

St James Church Secedes from the Episcopal Church

In 2004 the members of St. James Church in tony Newport Beach, Calif., voted to secede from the Episcopal Church of the United States. Like dozens of other conservative Episcopal churches at the time, St. James found the theology of its denomination insufficiently orthodox (and the consecration of a gay Episcopal prelate unbiblical). So it, and others, sought—and found—protection among …

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An American Original: Oral Roberts

The YouTube video is almost too corny to believe. The year is 1955. A young boy, about 6 and afflicted with polio, is sitting on Oral Roberts’s lap. With praise and prayer, the preacher touches the boy all over his legs, ankles and feet, begging the Lord to restore movement to the limp and paralyzed limbs. “Oh, Jesus,” he says, …

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Rick Warren Finally Opposes Uganda Anti-Homosexual Law

Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor who drew fire last January when he gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration, is to be lauded for his fortitude. In a videotaped statement released last week, Warren condemned proposed legislation in Uganda that would increase penalties for homosexual behavior. (Earlier versions included the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. Now homosexuality—and advocating for …

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God’s Miraculous Makeover

You likely believe that when you die, you’re going to heaven. More than 80 percent of Americans do. But in what form? Are you “you”? If so, are you old or young, fat or thin? If not, what are you? An angel? A spirit? A spark? On the question of resurrection, the consensus breaks down. According to a 2005 NEWSWEEK …

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Obama’s Other Pastor

In the early summer of 2000, the Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell got a phone call that would change his life. The George W. Bush campaign was on the line, wanting to know if Caldwell would introduce his friend the governor of Texas at the Republican National Convention. “I was shocked. I did not expect the call,” Caldwell recently said …

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Everything Old Is New Again

It should come as no surprise that N. T. Wright believes that the resurrection really happened. As the Anglican bishop of Durham, a commitment to the idea of a risen Jesus would seem to be part of the job description. Among many Western Christians, however, the word “resurrection” means something else: a supernatural event, a spiritual ascent, a poetic metaphor. …

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