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Bob Smietana

Bob Smietana is a veteran religion writer and national reporter for Religion News Service.

All Stories by Bob Smietana

Dave Ramsey sued for $150 million by former fans who followed his timeshare exit advice

By Bob Smietana — June 1, 2023
(RNS) — The class-action lawsuit is the latest legal woe for Ramsey and his company.

How evangelical Christian writer Jemar Tisby became a radioactive symbol of ‘wokeness’

By Bob Smietana — May 30, 2023
(RNS)–Once an evangelical insider with a textbook conversion story, Tisby has become persona non grata in some Christian circles for his books on race and religion, including the 2019 bestseller, ‘The Color of Compromise.’

Tim Keller, retired New York megachurch pastor and bestselling author, dies at 72

By Bob Smietana — May 19, 2023
(RNS) — The success of Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the heart of New York City as well as his bestselling books made him one of the most influential evangelicals in the US.

Tim Keller, influential author and pastor, receiving hospice care at home

By Bob Smietana — May 18, 2023
(RNS) — Keller, founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020.

What is Christian nationalism, anyway?

By Bob Smietana — May 17, 2023
(RNS) — The rise of Donald Trump on the backs of conservative Christian voters has led to a national debate over Christian nationalism and the role of religion in American culture. But few people agree on what Christian nationalism is.

Cyberfraud cost Florida Baptists more than $700,000   

By Bob Smietana — May 16, 2023
(RNS) — Churches, like other organizations, face an onslaught of phishing emails and other attempts at cyberfraud. One mistake can be costly.

David Sills, former seminary professor named in Guidepost report, sues SBC

By Bob Smietana — May 12, 2023
(RNS) — The former seminary professor claims in a complaint filed in the US District Court for Middle Tennessee that he was made a scapegoat for the denomination’s sex abuse crisis.

Southern Baptists lost nearly half a million members in 2022

By Bob Smietana — May 9, 2023
(RNS) —The Southern Baptist Convention has lost 3 million members since 2006, about half of that in the last five years.

Why Habitat for Humanity’s theology of the hammer offers hope in polarized times

By Bob Smietana — May 9, 2023
(RNS) — For nearly five decades, Habitat for Humanity has inspired people from different backgrounds — who often can’t agree on anything — to work together for their neighbors’ benefit.

Scott Sauls, author and Nashville pastor, placed on indefinite leave of absence

By Bob Smietana — May 7, 2023
(RNS) — Sauls is one of a growing number of high-profile pastors whose leadership style has come under scrutiny in recent years.

Joshua Butler, author of controversial book on sex, resigns as pastor of Arizona church

By Bob Smietana — May 3, 2023
(RNS) — The book had been criticized for its comparisons of spiritual experiences to sex and male pleasure.

Taylor professor Julie Moore cited Jemar Tisby on her syllabus. Then she lost her job.

By Bob Smietana — May 3, 2023
(RNS) — A well-respected professor and published poet, Moore said her provost named Tisby in explaining why her contract was not renewed.

SBC Executive Committee rejects nominee Jared Wellman and restarts search for CEO

By Bob Smietana — May 2, 2023
(RNS) — Critics of the Texas pastor questioned his role in the search process as former Executive Committee chair and wondered why interim President Willie McLaurin, who is Black, had been passed over.

Missio Alliance hosts hopeful conversation for disruptive times

By Bob Smietana — May 1, 2023
(RNS)—After a ‘season of apocalypse,’ a diverse group of church leaders gathered outside of Chicago to discuss how churches can innovate in trying times.

Georgia pastor Mike Stone to challenge SBC President Bart Barber this summer

By Bob Smietana — April 26, 2023
(RNS) — Stone said he wants to help local churches do more evangelism and to do a better job at dealing with abuse.
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