Capitol Hill Baptist Church Sues D.C. Government; Claims It Has No Alternative To In-Person Services

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. government are depriving Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) of its members’ only means of worshiping together, according to a suit filed on the congregation’s behalf in federal court.

First established in 1878, CHBC is attended by dozens of congressional staff members who live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood surrounding the U.S. Capitol complex.

Senior Pastor Mark Dever is a nationally known evangelical leader and the founder of the 9Marks organization that provides ministry and administrative resources for churches across the nation.

Capitol Hill Baptist Church Senior Pastor Mark Dever (Screenshot from CHBC video).

“For CHBC, a weekly in-person worship gathering of the entire congregation is a religious conviction for which there is no substitute,” the church said in its suit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Continue reading “Capitol Hill Baptist Church Sues D.C. Government; Claims It Has No Alternative To In-Person Services”

Harvard Scholars Say Faith And Marriage Are Two Pillars For An Enduring Economic Prosperity

Dr. Patrick Fagan of Marripedia offers concise summaries of two important recent works — one from two scholars at Harvard and one from Cal State Long Beach — who marshal mountains of data that demonstrate the solid connection between strong religious faith, strong marriages, and strong economic prosperty.

I had the privilege of working with Pat for six years at the Heritage Foundation when I was teaching journalists how to do computer-assisted reporting. I know him to be a scholar of the first rank and a man unalterably committed to the truth

These are important works for Hill staffers involved in shaping government policies toward families, economics and societal expectations:

Faith, Families and Prosperity Are Inter-related

A 2019 book entitled “The Wealth of Religions: The Political Economy of Believing and Belonging” by Harvard’s Rachel M. McCleary and Robert J. Barro asserts the economic value of religion by exploring the extent to which religious beliefs motivate people to be economically productive. Continue reading “Harvard Scholars Say Faith And Marriage Are Two Pillars For An Enduring Economic Prosperity”

The Moment: Confronting The Prospect Of Death By COVID

For the past week, a persistent fever in the 100-102 range, chills and seemingly insatiable exhaustion have been my constant companions. Coming back from Bethany Beach Monday was a tough slough. Fever hit 103.5 that evening.

Before you say it, I felt like something was creeping up on me the day before we headed over there. It made for a pretty miserable time. Sunday I stayed back at the house.

Physician’s assistant said Tuesday morning it sounded like a mean viral infection that she didn’t think was COVID. But, just to be sure, she scheduled me for a test today. Continue reading “The Moment: Confronting The Prospect Of Death By COVID”

Check Out These Three Undisputed Facts About Jesus And One Quite Irresistible Conclusion

Every now and again, I receive an email that stands out among the hundreds of such messages that hit my inbox just about every day. One such missive came today that I would like to share with you.

Stand to Reason founder Greg Koukl.

The email came from Stand to Reason’s Greg Koukl. Along with Josh and Sean McDowell, Frank Turek, J. Warner Wallace, Gary Habermas, Hugh Ross, and Ravi Zacharias, Koukl has in recent years labored mightily and successfully to put Christian apologetics in a prominent place in America’s public forums, secular and spiritual.

The heart of this particular message was the following three facts that are essentially settled as beyond dispute among Christianity’s defenders and its skeptics: Continue reading “Check Out These Three Undisputed Facts About Jesus And One Quite Irresistible Conclusion”

HARD FACTS: Is The Claim Jesus Rose From The Dead Just Another Fairy Tale Like The Easter Bunny?

The grave is empty. How do you explain it? (Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash)

It’s Easter week, the most important seven days on the calendar for the billions of people around this Earth who call themselves Christians. That’s because the single most important event in history happened during this period.

That event is the central claim underlying their faith — that Jesus was crucified dead and buried on Friday, then rose again on Sunday and appeared to hundreds of people in the following days before ascending back to Heaven from whence He came. He will return some day and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord and Savior.

But how can someone who is genuinely open to hearing all of the evidence for and against this central claim of Christianity know what to accept as logical and true and what to reject as baseless claims? Every day this week on HillFaith we will consider this question from a variety of angles, beginning today with the following video produced by the Impact360 Institute:


 

What About The World On The Other Side Of This Pandemic?

Bob Perry is a commercial airline pilot who has seen the coronavirus pandemic up close and personal in recent days. He’s also talented, thoughtful observer from a Christian perspective, writing at True Horizon. Here’s a sample:

“Christianity exploded during the plagues and persecutions in the ancient world. And it did so precisely because Christians served those who most needed it. They comforted and cared for the sick and dying. This isn’t just a job for healthcare professionals. It’s a duty for us all …

“The economic expectations we have come to accept as normal are reckless, selfish, and short-sighted. We borrow and spend too much. We save too little. Our leaders are more worried about the next election than the next generation. Continue reading “What About The World On The Other Side Of This Pandemic?”

Cold-Case Expert Explains Why He Took A Close Look At Christianity

J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective and career Los Angeles law enforcement expert, was asked recently what it was that prompted him to take a serious look at the evidence for Christianity.

“We had been together about 18 years before she convinced me to go to church. I was more than willing but I thought I would just be going as an attendee,” Wallace said of why he agreed to accompany his wife to a service. Even if it wasn’t true, he thought, it might be useful if it helped him and his wife raise their children.

“Did I mock the Christians I met? Yeah, I did,” Wallace continued. “A lot of the Christians I met were people we were taking to jail, so they were easy to mock.” Wallace specialized in the oldest unsolved murder cases and he recalled one individual in particular who had committed the crime 25 years before. “I found 12 years worth of Bible studies in that guy’s house,” he said.

Today, Wallace is one of the world’s best-known Christian apologists. He explains how and why it happened in the following video:

Should People Pray Through This Coronavirus Crisis? That Totally Depends On …

There was a minor flap in some  quarters of the media and other precincts of the intelligentsia a few days ago when a news photo appeared of Vice President Mike Pence leading a White House meeting of the coronavirus task force in prayer.

Among those disgusted/amused/outraged/otherwise non-plussed by the photo was evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, who snapped:

“There’s even a picture of the virus task force praying together! We don’t need prayer; we need science! Here’s the photo, which distresses me but doesn’t surprise me… [a]fter all, one godly intervention is just as delusional as another!” Continue reading “Should People Pray Through This Coronavirus Crisis? That Totally Depends On …”

CULTURE: ‘I Still Believe’ Topped Charts On Opening Day In Theaters

It’s based on a true story and features stars like Shania Twain and Gary Sinese in supporting roles, and, despite the gathering quarantining as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the new movie “I Still Believe” had a highly successful debut at No. 1, according to Christian Post.

“The Lionsgate film, made with a budget of $12 million, brought in over $9 million in ticket sales over the weekend, causing it to rank at No. 1 on Friday, beating out Sony’s ‘Bloodshot’ and Disney’s ‘Onward.’ Weekend totals show the film at No. 2 overall.

“’I Still Believe’ chronicles the story of how the award-winning Christian singer Jeremy Camp fell in love with and married Melissa Lynn Henning, who died in 2001, less than a year after they were wed.”

Go here for the rest of the Christian Post story and here is the official trailer:

Actor, Skeptic John Rhys-Davies: ‘We Owe Christianity The Greatest Debt Of Thanks That A Generation Could Have’

If you’ve seen the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy or the “Indiana Jones” series, you saw Hollywood actor John Rhys-Davies. He’s also starring in the forthcoming “I Am Patrick” about the Irish saint.

Screen shot from “I Am Patrick” trailer on youtube.com.

Rhys-Davies is not a Christian, but he is not bashful about expressing his admiration of and appreciation for the role of Christianity in the development of individual civil liberties we take for granted:

“Everything that we value — everything that I valued when I was a student 50, 60 years ago, which I cannot any longer count on an audience accepting — really comes from Christianity,” Rhys-Davies recently told podcaster Lucas Miles.

“The idea of the right of free speech, the idea of the right to hold your own opinion really derives from the second century A.D., when Roman Christians were told they must practice the emperor’s religion and faith, and that quiet voice in them said, ‘No, actually, I serve a different God. And I have a divine right to do so,’” he told Miles. Continue reading “Actor, Skeptic John Rhys-Davies: ‘We Owe Christianity The Greatest Debt Of Thanks That A Generation Could Have’”

Have You Heard About The Other ‘Miracle On Ice’ From The 1980 Winter Olympics?

It’s a stirring moment that invariably brings a smile and a tingle whenever we see the replay of those epic last 10 seconds of the USA Olympic Hockey Team’s victory over the Soviet Union, punctuated so perfectly by Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles?”

Even for those who aren’t particularly enamored of Canada’s national sport, ice hockey can be a fascinating game to watch. My son has played hockey since high school and to this day he plays in a men’s league in Richmond as a 40-year-old who can still skate circles around younger guys.

Mark Johnson was one of the stars of that 1980 USA Olympic Gold Medal hockey team, going on to an 11-year career in the NHL that included being named to the all-star lineup at one point.

Johnson loves to talk about the miracle of 1980, but he delights even more so to talk about the other miracle that followed. I guarantee you this video will thrill you and maybe even change the course of your life:


By the way, the victory over the Soviets, who had won the Olympic gold medal four consecutive times, was not the medal winner for Mark Johnson and his teammates. They had to then play Finland, which was no slouch of a team, either, for the gold medal and won it, 4-2.



CHECK OUT THESE GREAT HILLFAITH POSTS, TOO!

Actor Ben Affleck Found ‘The Way Back’ and It’s Not Just a Movie

Are You Breathing God’s Air While Denying He Even Exists?

Actor John Rhys-Davies on the Debt ‘We Owe Christianity’


 

Actor Ben Afleck Found ‘The Way Back’ And It’s Not Just A Movie

Ben Afleck has seen and done it all on the silver screen. “Batman.” “The Accountant.” “Pearl Harbor.” “The Sum of All Fears.” “Armageddon.” And don’t forget “Good Will Hunting.”

Ben Afleck in “The Way Back.” Screenshot from the YouTube trailer.

He’s also spent a lot of time on the front pages of the tabloids. Lots of women. Lots of booze. Lots of ups and downs and sideways. Lots of pain for Ben, for Jennifer, their kids, lots of folks.

You may also have heard Afleck has a new movie out, “The Way Back.” It’s about a guy struggling with alcohol. He was a great basketball player as a kid. Now he finds himself asked to come back and coach. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it is a highly autobiographical work of art.

But here’s what you may not know: Afleck has found faith: Continue reading “Actor Ben Afleck Found ‘The Way Back’ And It’s Not Just A Movie”

‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?

Scotland’s Eric Liddell is best-known these days, where he is known at all, as one of the heroes of the 1981 classic movie, “Chariots of Fire,” thanks to his winning gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Screen shot from “Chariots of Fire’ clip on youtube.com.

What is less well-known is that Liddell was a deeply committed, born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. He came from a missionary family and died of a brain tumor while in Japanese internment in China a few months before the end of World War II.

“Chariots” remains to this day my favorite movie of all time for one scene in particular in which Liddell explains to his critical sister that he will return to the mission work in China, but first he must honor God by competing in the Olympics. Thus his wonderful declaration that “God made me for a purpose. God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Continue reading “‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?”

How To Know That The Life And Miracles Of Jesus Aren’t Just A Legend

If you’ve ever been involved in a debate on campus or in a typical Washington discussion group about religion, odds are good you’ve heard somebody claim the following:

“You can’t trust the Bible because Jesus was a man who was a great teacher but still no more than a man, and besides, in the decades after his death, his followers  invented Christianity by embellishing his words and actions to turn him into this mythical God-man figure.”

It may sound sophisticated and smart, but the reality, as NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video, is the Gospels are solid and credible testimony that you could stake your life on in court:


 

New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs

Experts didn’t expect such a development but it appears the ranks of the “Nones” — people who identify with no religious denomination or following — are no longer increasing and a decline may even be ahead.

Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman (Screen shot from Facebook).

That’s the news from two recently completed massive studies, both of which are reported today by the Religion in Public (RIP) blog. In the first, Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman notes:

“A truism of the American religious landscape is that Americans are becoming more religiously unaffiliated and that this tendency is especially pronounced among the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996). Continue reading “New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs”