One of the best-known evangelical leaders in England—Nicky Gumbel, of Holy Trinity Brompton and the Alpha Course—has retired this month after 46 years in ministry at the London multisite church. His message for the congregation: “The best is yet to come.”
Even after the landmark Supreme Court ruling on abortion, most pro-life Christians continue to support incrementalist legal moves and oppose criminalizing mothers. But that hasn’t stopped a vocal minority of self-proclaimed “abolitionists” from pushing a more rigid approach.
In the words of his friend and colleague, the late author and advocate Ron Sider “broke negative stereotypes of evangelicals—as well as some conservative evangelicals’ negative stereotypes of social justice.”
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Behind the story
The easiest way to assess something like the Alpha Course, which was developed into a powerful evangelistic tool by Nicky Gumbel, is to look at numbers. Back when Alpha Course was just getting started, CT reported that 500,000 people participated in a year. With Gumbel retiring, the count has grown to 30 million people in 170 languages.
Those numbers are hard to wrap your head around. But even if you just look at one or two of those people, the impact can be staggering. News editor Daniel Silliman was reminded of some teenagers he interviewed in 2021 who ran their own Alpha Course out of a Baptist church in Texas.
Just a few people showed up. But while the numbers were easy to comprehend, the impact was not. “What I see with students most is they cry,” one teenage Alpha leader said. “They cry and cry until they’re happy, and they get fired up about God and they go and pray for each other.”
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The Oglala Sioux Tribe suspended all church and missionary work on tribal land last week, but then reversed the decision the next day. Religious organizations, not including Native American churches, will now be required to register.
The director of the archaeological excavation of the Philistine city of Gath has decided to stop summer digs so scholars can catch up on 25 years of publishing their findings.