Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2017: 41-50

Numbers 41-50 of the top 50 articles for 2017

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 41-50.


In 2017 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read. The top story this year received over 11,600 hits.

TAR posts about 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 41-50.

  1. Why Many Churches Are Dropping the 11 A.M. Sunday Service and Looking at ‘Wednesday As the New Sunday’

On his blog, Lifeway President and CEO Thom Rainer observes that many churches have already dropped the traditional 11 a.m. Sunday service because they supposedly no longer fit the needs of their congregations. He asked several church leaders why they no longer hold services at 11 a.m. and found five common answers.

  1. Two Members of A PCA Family Shot By Son, Who Then Shoots Himself

Dead are James W. Stockdale, 21, and Kathryn B. Stockdale, 54, his mother. Sheriff George T. Maier said Jacob T. Stockdale, 25, fired a shotgun at his mother and brother, killing them, then shot himself. He was taken by ambulance to Canton’s Aultman Hospital and then by helicopter to Cleveland Metro Hospital, where he was listed Thursday morning in critical condition, the sheriff said.

  1. Why Is The Episcopal Church Near Collapse

Beckwith says the failure of the resolution introduced by conservatives to declare the church’s “unchanging commitment to Jesus Christ as the son of God, the only name by which any person may be saved” was extremely disturbing. “When a Christian church cannot bring itself to endorse a bedrock Christian theological statement repeatedly found in the New Testament, it is not a serious Christian church,” wrote Allen.

  1. As Losses Mount, Presbyterian Official Declares: “We are not dying. We are Reforming”

The decline contrasts with several years of steady growth among some other reformed denominations in the United States. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) – which split from one of the PCUSA’s predecessor bodies – has reported growth for each of the past five years, rebounding from a short period of decline that began in 2008. Separately, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) have reported significant growth each year, partly due to receiving congregations which sought dismissal from the PCUSA.

  1. Beyond Symbolic Gestures: The PCA and Underprivileged Women

On the one hand, Jessica was encouraged. This was the first acknowledgement from a church court that her church leaders had wronged her. The RPR Committee had officially (for the second time in two years) cited her presbytery. Perhaps members of her church might begin to question the ways Jessica had been characterized and treated by her session and presbytery.

  1. Your Preferences Aren’t the Point of Worship

I can confidently say that I wasn’t the “30-something church-planter” whom he alluded to, but I could have been. In the many years that I’ve been attending General Assembly I’ve often grumbled, I’ve often held up my preferences as the standard of worship, but whenever I’ve done that I was wrong.  We don’t worship in light of opinions. We worship in light of the word of God. And at this year General Assembly, God was worshipped. We prayed, we sang, we read, we heard the word preached, we collected offerings, and we received the Lord’s Supper. 

  1. Deceptive Dust – A Response to Paul Zahl

Tullian, you know how to get ahold of me. Please, seek reconciliation and true repentance, not this saccharine substitute of your own making. The good news is that it isn’t too late for you. You can still be reconciled to God and to his people, but not if you continue to live apart from God’s covenant promises by justifying your self with your pithy turns of phrase. I said long ago that I pray for you daily, and I still do. Please reach out to me, or Kevin, or Chris Rosebrough. Seek the actual reconciliation that comes through God’s people and his discipline. Shut your website down today, and seek to be restored to real genuine fellowship with God and his family.

  1. Piper: Salvation By Faith Alone and Just a Little Bit More?

“We are justified by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.’ Faith that is alone is not faith in union with Christ. Union with Christ makes his perfection and power ours through aith. And in union with Christ, faith is living and active with Christ’s power.  Such faith always ‘works by love’ and produces the ‘obedience of faith.’ And that obedience— imperfect as it is till the day we die—is not the ‘basis of justification, but… a necessary evidence and fruit of justification.’ In this sense, love and obedience—inherent righteousness—is ‘required of believers, but not for justification’—that is, required for heaven, not for entering a right-standing with God.”

  1. Tragedy in Lewis – A Pastoral Response

We can’t repent on behalf of others.  Those who claim ‘you can’t face up to the truth’ are in one sense right.  We can’t.  At least if we saw ourselves and our sin as God sees it, we would not be able to stand.   It was the apostle Paul who towards the end of his life said, ‘I am the chief of sinners’. I am reminded that every day I sing, pray or read the psalms of a man who committed adultery and then murder.  He knew the pain of the reality of Psalm 51.

  1. The Gay Christian: The Unicorn In Our Midst

It was a conversation with a lesbian student at the Divinity school that convinced me to “Pay attention to this issue.” After a brief exchange about whether or not a homosexual can be a Christian, she blurted out, “We’re going to change the churches. Give us 30 years, and it will happen.” Some 30 years later, that revolution is taking shape. We see it in principally two ways. One, very aggressive in nature. The other, slow and intrusive.


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