By the time you are reading this, Pope Benedict XVI will be resting back at home after his trip to Mexico and Cuba. While in Cuba the Pope met with Fidel Castro. Castro had a pressing question to ask: Just what does a pope do? Castro asked the Pope to send him a book he could use for “reflection.” Just how powerful is the grace of God? I think we will see in the coming days in Cuba.
What are the reasons Catholics in the United States leave the church? Here are seven of them. Seems to me many of these could be said to be the reasons Protestants leave their churches as well.
The home of the “Brownsville Revival” starting in the 1990s in Pensacola, Florida is now going through some very hard times financially. Instead of 5,500 a night showing up for healing and miracle services, 800-1000 now come for two Sunday morning services. Honestly, this is a tough one. Just what were they to do when so many people were showing up for services? Would you have turned people away rather than building a bigger sanctuary?
John Piper and Tim Keller headed a panel in New York City Wednesday night discussing racism and the church. Piper is uniquely qualified to talk about matters, both as a pastor and as the adopted father of a black daughter. That wasn’t the biggest news of the week for Piper. The board of Bethlehem Baptist where Piper serves as pastor has agreed on a successor for Piper in the pulpit. Piper plans to step down as teaching pastor by June of 2014.
In other transitional news, Mark Driscoll is stepping down from leadership roles in both the Acts 29 network and the Gospel Coalition. “As for myself, I want to humbly serve Jesus and his men in Acts 29 by doing whatever is best for them,” said Driscoll. What one word out of that sentence are you iMonks going to latch onto the most?
Ho boy. Have fun sorting this one out. TBN and the Crouch family are being sued by other members of the Crouch family for spending excessive amounts of donations on lavish personal items. Well, if you call a $50 million dollar luxury jet and a $100,000 motor coach to transport Jan Crouch’s dogs around “excessive” or “lavish.” I suppose this will come down to what the definition of “is” is. You can read more of the details, if you can stomach them, here. And here. I think I’ll stick to Downton Abbey and Mr. Magoo, if you don’t mind.
A proposed road in Kentucky that would take visitors to Noah’s Ark is creating quite the controversy. Seems some think it crosses church/state boundaries. Ken Ham, no doubt, has ideas of the spiritual make-up of those who oppose improving this road. Meanwhile, a different kind of ham is stirring controversy in Houston. Does’t PETA stand for People Eating Tasty Animals? No?
Happy birthday wishes went out this last week to Harry Houdini; Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle; Clyde Barrow (of Bonnie and …); Steve McQueen; Howard Cosell; James Lovell; Tennessee Williams; Leonard Nimoy; Diana Ross; Bob Woodward; Sam Walton; Billy Carter; Eric Clapton, and Norah Jones.
Instead of featuring a bonus video from one of the birthday boys or girls on this week’s list, perhaps we can spend a moment remembering one who passed on this week, the incredible Earl Scruggs. Read this tribute to the bluegrass pioneer here while you watch him play. Enjoy. RIP, Earl.