Sunday, January 2, 2011

Top 10 Stories of 2010

Here is a brief summary of the top 10 stories from 2010 from Christianity Today:
  • 1 - Aid groups rush to help Haiti after suffering a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake, raising $750 million in a mere five weeks. The subsequent scandal over the Baptist missionaries' efforts to move 33 children to the Dominican Republic raises questions about 'amateur' aid.
  • 2 - Thousands of global evangelical leaders meet in Cape Town to discuss missions. Their gathering reflects a much greater global diversity than in the past. (See also the Wikipedia article on the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. LCWE was organized in part by Billy Graham in 1974 when some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 countries met in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss and promote evangelism.)
  • 3 - Word Vision wins its unemployment case in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It ruled 2-1 that the organization can fire employees who are not orthodox Christians. A loss could very well have caused great turmoil for faith-based organizations' hiring rules.
  • 4 - Midterm elections cut in half the number of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives. Activist groups claim the vote was a backlash against March's health-care reform bill, which also brought about new state abortion funding restrictions.
  • 5 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Hastings College of the Law chapter of the Christian Legal Society. It said that the school's policy that student groups must open all positions to all students - even those who oppose the group's core values - "is a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition."
  • 6 - The Deepwater Horizon oil spill shifted the creation care debate. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary dean Russell Moore called it a "defining moment" comparable to Roe v. Wade, and oversaw a SBC resolution calling for "full corporate accountability."
  • 7 - American evangelicals found themselves at odds with African Christians over Uganda's proposed anti-gay bill, which would punish homosexual acts with life imprisonment or even the death penalty.
  • 8 - Prominent Old Testament scholar Bruce Walke resigned from Reformed Theological Seminary under pressure amid debate on the historicity of Adam. "If the date is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution," he said in a video for BioLogos, to deny that reality will make us a cult." (Note: See my earlier article "Dr. Francis Collins, Evolution, and the Continued Debate" from May 12, 2009 where I shared some information and commentary on the BioLogos Foundation. Read also the extensive dialogue that resulted in the comment section between me and some supporters of evolution.)
  • 9 - Christian Musician Jennifer Knapp announced that she was in a same-sex relationship, spotlighting questions of pastoral response to gay Christians.
  • 10 - Terry Jones, the pastor a small church in Gainsville, Florida, sparked worldwide condemnation when he threatened to burn a Qur'an (Koran). He later promised never to burn one.
For another list of top religion stories from 2010, see also the article at Religious News Service. They highlighted the continued abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, the election of a second openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, Robert Schuller handing over his Crystal Cathedral empire to his daughter after disagreement with his heir-apparent son and the subsequent filing for bankruptcy (see my own article "Even the Crystal Cathedral is Tightening Its Belt" from January of 2009) and updates on several well-known Christian leaders.

No comments: