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Tullian Tchividjian Resigns after Admitting 'Inappropriate Relationship'

(UPDATED) Billy Graham's grandson: 'Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death...thank God grace reigns here.'

Popular pastor and author Tullian Tchividjian has resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

A grandson of Billy Graham, Tchividjian cited "ongoing marital issues" as the reason for his departure from the PCA congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He said that his wife had an affair, and in response, he sought comfort in a friend and their relationship turned "inappropriate."

Tchividjian’s name was removed from the church’s website on Sunday as rumors of his resignation began flying on social media.

He confirmed the news on Sunday in a statement to The Washington Post:

Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm.

On its website, Coral Ridge acknowledged that Tchividjian "admitted to moral failure, acknowledging his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned—effective immediately.

"We are saddened by this news, but are working with and assisting Pastor Tullian and his family to help them through this difficult time, and asking people to join us in praying that God will bring restoration through this process and healing to all involved," stated church leaders.

"The Leadership of Coral Ridge remain committed to promoting the transforming power of the Gospel," the statement continued. "While we do not yet know whom God will direct to lead our congregation ...

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A Lament for Charleston: What Makes This Mass Shooting Different

Christians respond to the deadly attack at a South Carolina church.

Among the startling details in America’s latest mass shooting was the location: a church Bible study.

A gunman killed nine people from a historic African American congregation in Charleston on Wednesday. The incident is the deadliest church attack in decades.

Violence has increased on church properties across the country. Dozens of US churches report fatal incidents each year, according to data from church violence researcher Carl Chinn.

Last year, 74 people died during violent altercations at churches. A quarter of those occured during attempted robberies.

Other motives included domestic violence and mental illness. Religious bias only triggered 6 percent of attacks, according to Chinn's assessment. (His research did not track racism as a factor.)

Like shooting suspect Dylann Roof, the vast majority of aggressors—nearly 8 in 10 of them—were not affiliated with the church.

Following the tragedy at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, writers and bloggers have explored the racial tensions underpinning the latest deadly attack on black Americans. We’ve excerpted several reports and reflections below.

Austin Channing Brown, The Only Logical Conclusion:

There have been far too many mass shootings in America…. But this is different.

Though the weapon is the same, gun violence, this is different because the driving force was white supremacy, this act the epitome of racism, the goal to kill black people. The level of terror that black people feel in America at this moment cannot be underestimated. Because when the driving force of such a massacre is the very thing imbedded in the roots of America, thriving on the branches of generation after generation, sitting in the pews ...

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Hope in the Face of Intractable Racism

The church provides two gifts to the conversation on race.

The avalanche of stories of police mistreating African Americans—from pulling them over for “driving while black” to shooting unarmed teenagers—has caught many white Americans by surprise. With legislation passed during the civil rights movement in place, and an African American President, many people believed racism had been quenched. It makes many wonder, after all the progress, whether that’s even possible now.

The short answer, of course, is no: Racism has not been quenched, nor will it be in our lifetimes. But hidden in that answer is some realistic hope.

Many well-intentioned leaders, intending to “eradicate all forms of racism,” champion laws and programs to end or at least debilitate racism in America. But laws can only do so much. Eventually, we’re stymied by continuing racial tensions, as Matthew Loftus, a physician outside Baltimore, noted recently for First Things:

Conservative commentators and liberal do-gooders alike look at Sandtown, the neighborhood that I live in, and shrug their shoulders. . . . Police officers justify brutality towards citizens because conditions here are brutal, which only makes the nihilism stronger when people who have never been respected by the law in turn have no reason to respect the law.

When despair is in the air, both the powerful and the disempowered agree: Peace and justice can be secured only by violence.

A simple dictionary definition of racism is “discrimination . . . against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” Racism, like all sins, is the result of something good gone bad—in this case, affection for loved ones. Such affection makes possible familial, ...

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Elisabeth Elliot on the Christian Father

Examining the male parents role.

This article originally appeared in the June 18, 1971, issue of Christianity Today. It was republished June 19, 2015, to commemorate the death of Elisabeth Elliot.

Time was when a gift indicated some degree of thoughtfulness. Nowadays when Father’s Day comes around it is no trick at all—it requires no thoughtfulness, hardly even any thought—to grab a bottle of shaving lotion for dear old dad. The supermarkets have arranged such items close by the checkout counter, for impulse buyers, which most of us are now and then. So we have a gift for father, and he thanks us for it but has no way of knowing whether we actually gave the matter some thought or are merely susceptible to advertising.

Most of us will acknowledge that we are indeed highly susceptible. We are buffeted and bludgeoned every day of our lives, from every side, by advertising that discolors, distorts, and in the end may even completely revise our images. To be a Christian in spite of this, to try to keep on being a Christian, to think in a Christian instead of a pagan way, and to accept ones God-given place in this world as Christians must accept their places, is a relentlessly hard job.

One of the images that has been grossly distorted, I believe, is that of the father. “Father image,” “authority figure,” “the old man,” these phrases are often used derisively or at least patronizingly. Television depicts with ho-hum regularity the baffled father, hopelessly naïve and incompetent, bested at every turn by his cute and clever wife and his brilliant and condescending children. He tries hard to swing with them but ends up stumbling and bumbling, providing little more than the big laughs.

Who is ...

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