So, Jesse Duplantis thinks that a $54,000,000 donation toward his private jet would be a good investment in missions.
Use this Excel worksheet to plug in your own figures and see if he’s right.
He reasoned that “if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey.” The private jet is his missions strategy. “All it’s gonna do is it’s going to touch people, it’s going to reach people, it’s going to change lives one soul at a time.”
(This is just one of many reasons he can’t–or, more accurately, won’t–submit to ECFA standards of responsible stewardship.)
Continue reading “The Jesse Duplantis Missionary Endowment Calculator”
Social action has enjoyed a kind of renaissance among evangelicals lately.
This activity would include helping the poor, advocating for the oppressed, defending the helpless, reforming a secular institution, and other worthwhile causes.
According to recent research, evangelical churches have become increasingly involved in issues of social justice. Nearly 68 percent of younger evangelical Christians affirm that the best way to address social evils is to “practice your ideals in everyday life.” They increasingly see the church as a counterculture, whose mission is neither to integrate itself with culture nor baptize culture, but to become a mission to culture, “calling people to come under the reign of God through Jesus Christ.”
These surveys demonstrate that younger evangelical Christians consistently oppose abortion like their forebears, but refuse to engage in cultural warfare or partisan politics. Instead, they eagerly “employ their faith publicly to fight against global poverty and sex trafficking or for creation care and immigration reform.” Consequently, a New York Times opinion columnist labels this younger generation of evangelicals the “new internationalists.”
This renaissance of social action isn’t limited to the young, however. For every one dollar given by evangelicals to political organizations, the same group has invested twelve dollars in foreign missions and international aid. Six of the seven largest evangelical mission organizations have relief and development as their primary focus. Furthermore, the “missional church movement” sees social action as a natural expression of the church, at least on a local level.
Continue reading “An Evangelical Renaissance of Social Justice”
In my research for a potential book, I’m looking at statistics on Christians, especially those identified by the term “evangelical.” I’m happy to say the news is generally good. That is, if you ignore certain Christian “research” groups that derive financial benefit from shocking believers with gloomy statistics. Two sources with credible data and competent analysis include:
Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012).
Bradley R.E. Wright, Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites . . . and Other Lies You’ve Been Told (Minneapolis, MN: BethanyHouse, 2010).
In Wright’s work, I ran across this passage near the end of the book. This should be of great interest if you have a loved one in college, especially if it’s a generally secular school (with or without former religious ties). Here it is without further comment from me. His information is sobering enough on its own.
In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research surveyed the religious beliefs of over twelve hundred faculty members at various American colleges and universities. As I understand it, this study was looking for anti-Semitism among faculty members, but they instead found something surprising: a strong intolerance toward Evangelical Christians.
One of the questions asked faculty members if they had negative feelings toward various religious groups. As shown in Figure 8.10, over half-53%-of the faculty members reported having negative feelings toward Evangelical Christians, and this was far more than toward any other group. Twenty-two percent of faculty members had negative feelings toward Muslims, 18% toward atheists, 13% toward Catholics, 9% toward non-Evangelical Christians, 4% toward Buddhists, and 3% toward Jews. The study’s authors concluded that “if not outright prejudice, faculty sentiment about the largest religious group in the American public borders dangerously close.”
 Bradley R.E. Wright, Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites . . . and Other Lies You’ve Been Told (Minneapolis, MN: BethanyHouse, 2010), 205–206.