1. "America's pastor" to leave pulpit, citing health concerns
"Your quarterback's tired," San Antonio's Oak Hills Church senior minister Max Lucado told his elder board. After 20 years at the church, and seven months after being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, Lucado has announced that he's leaving his position. "My health concerns are not so severe that I feel I'm in any danger, just severe enough that I think a change needs to be made," he told television station WOAI.
He says he'll still regularly preach at the church, which has dropped its affiliation with the Church of Christ, and will continue his prodigious writing (he has two more books out this year). "I compare what is happening to going from being president of a college to joining the faculty," he told the San Antonio Express-News. "It was a painful decision, a hard decision, but I feel very peaceful about it now. I've been thinking about it since September."
In a sheer coincidence, Christianity Today's sister publication Today's Christian offers today an online excerpt from Lucado's Cure for the Common Life. The title? "The Lord's Career Advice: Or, how to take your job and love it."
2. Zimbabwe's protest and crackdown are religious
You may have heard about Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's recent attacks on his opponents. The big news is that police beat Morgan Tsvangirai so severely that they apparently fractured his skull and caused brain damage. What you may not have heard is that the attack came during a prayer meeting. The South Africa Council of Churches reports that in addition to Tsvangirai, "in the last few days, a number of church leaders have also been detained and beaten for participating in public prayer meetings."
3. Knesset considers bill outlawing ...