In this article, I will seek to answer whether theological conservatism and strictness play a vital role in denominational switching, as well as what factors cause churches to grow numerically. In the end, the idea that liberal theologies cause a deterioration in mainline Protestantism, while conservative theologies produce growth, is an oversimplification of the relevant factors that account for congregational development. Though theological conservatism tends to correlate with numerical expansion, it does not do so consistently and in all cases. Nonetheless, correlation does not equate to causation. Conservatism and strictness are merely two among a myriad of other influences that are present among growing churches, including (most notably) higher birth rates, higher youth retention, and a focus on evangelistic efforts.
Have you ever wondered if there are certain psychological variables that could potentially influence or distort someone’s observation of a “miracle”?
With all the claims of people having witnessed a bona fide miracle today, from both Christians and non-Christians alike, it seems incumbent for critical thinkers and spiritual discerners to evaluate each miracle eyewitness and the potential for psychological misrepresentation.
The 3rdedition of the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religionhas just announced the publication of an article by FaithX Co-Founder and Research Director, Darren M. Slade, entitled “Miracle Eyewitness Reports.”[Read more…]
by Darren M. Slade
Have you ever wondered what Genesis 6:1–4 is all about with its weird and cryptic description of “sons of God” taking the “daughters of men” as wives? And who in the world are the Nephilim!?!
The Research Director of the FaithX Project, Darren Slade, has just published a new article in Evangelical Journal exploring a never-before-seen theory about the literary and philological parallels between Genesis 6 and the ancient Ugaritic Epic of Kirta.
The purpose of the article is to identify the function of the “sons of God” in the literary and socio-historical context of Genesis 6:1–4. The article first presents presuppositions to the research, as well as the importance of Ugaritic literature in biblical studies. The investigation then presents a comparative study with the Ugaritic Epic of Kirta and a potential new theory regarding the Genesis pericope. It concludes by suggesting that literary parallels may reveal the Epic of Kirta as a close paradigm for understanding the function of the Genesis passage, concluding that the specific sin of the “sons of God” may not have been unsanctioned marriages, adultery, polygamy, or rape. Rather, the biblical account could act as a polemic against the belief that divine kings obtained immortality through marriage and reproduction, which exacerbated Yahweh’s decision to eradicate humanity and to demonstrate the finiteness of these so-called ancient god-kings.
Check out the article for free by clicking here.