What’s Driving Christianity’s Global Growth? | Influence Podcast


In this episode, I talk to Brian Stiller about five drivers behind Christianity’s explosive growth worldwide. Stiller is a global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, an ordained minister in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and author of From Jerusalem to Timbuktu: A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity, recently published by IVP Books. To learn more about Brian Stiller, visit BrianStiller.com. Episode Notes 00:00 Introduction of podcast 00:45 TruFire Sunday school curriculum sponsor ad 01:08 Introduction of Brian Stiller 01:18 What From Jerusalem to Timbuktu is about 03:30 Evangelicalism’s explosive growth over the last century 05:46 An overview of the five drivers behind … Continue reading What’s Driving Christianity’s Global Growth? | Influence Podcast

Review of ‘George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father’ by Thomas S. Kidd


 Thomas S. Kidd, George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (New Haven, CT: Yale, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle George Whitefield is not well known by Americans today, including American evangelical Christians, his spiritual heirs. In the eighteenth century, however, Whitefield was well known not only in America, but also in his native England—well known, well loved, and widely criticized. Thomas S. Kidd outlines the life of this influential evangelist in George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father. Whitefield was born in a Gloucester inn on December 16, 1714, to hardworking though not particularly religious parents. He secured a work-scholarship to Oxford University, … Continue reading Review of ‘George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father’ by Thomas S. Kidd

Review of ‘Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics’ by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel


 Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, eds., Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics: A Guide for Evangelicals (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2013). $24.00, 336 pages. In contemporary America, many people describe themselves as “spiritual, not religious.” They are interested in God, prayer, and spiritual disciplines, but not in dogma or denomination. They are critical of religious people who, to them, seem concerned only with the finer points of doctrine and weekly attendance at a specific type of Christian church. Evangelical Christians—including Pentecostals—need to listen to this critique, even as they disagree with it. The disagreement part is easy: Spirituality and religion … Continue reading Review of ‘Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics’ by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, May 3, 2011


“Welcome to hell, bin Laden.” So said Gov. Mike Huckabee in the opening statement of his Huckabee Report. It’s a common sentiment, but is it a Christian one? James Martin SJ, asks, “What is a Christian Response to Bin Laden’s Death?”  Jennifer Fulwiler writes about “The Shocking Truth That God Loves [loved?] Bin Laden Too.” Jim Wallis argues that “it is never a Christian response to celebrate the death of any human being, even one so given over to the face of evil.” Joe Carter reminds us that “our relief at his death must be tempered by a Christian view … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, May 3, 2011

People of the Great Commission


Steve Wilkens and Don Thorsen, Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong (Well, Almost Everything): An Insider’s Look at Myths and Realities (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks, 2010). $16.99, 224 pages. What is evangelical Christianity? In Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong, Steve Wilkens and Don Thorsen set out to discover “an adequate and accurate definition” by identifying and critiquing several caricatures of the movement on the basis of “the empirical realities of evangelicalism’s history, its present composition, and its trajectories toward the future.” The chapter titles identify the caricatures. Readers learn that “Evangelicals Are Not All…” Mean, Stupid, and … Continue reading People of the Great Commission

“Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told” by Bradley R. E. Wright


Bradley R. E. Wright, Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2010). A few years ago, the Barna Group polled 270 non-Christians regarding their impressions of eleven different social groups. Only 22% of respondents held a favorable impression of “Evangelicals.” Evangelicals thus ranked tenth out of eleven on the poll, below lesbians (23%) but above prostitutes (5%). As this statistical factoid traveled through print and online media, it morphed into proof that American society as a whole, not just a small sample of non-Christians, … Continue reading “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told” by Bradley R. E. Wright