Episode 559

Pastors Remain Cautious of AI, Religious Freedom Restoration Act & Things to Consider When Using A Commentary

Mar 6, 2024

According to a recent Barna study, pastors are becoming slightly more comfortable with Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a tool for some uses in the church but remain wary of its role when it comes to personal relationships. Iowa and Utah are the latest states to pass legislation protecting religious freedom from governmental intrusion, with related legislation active in Georgia and four other states. And, maybe you’re interested in using a commentary to help in your study of God’s Word. A commentary is a book written by a scholar that provides additional perspective and background information on a Bible passage or topic.

Transcript

According to a recent Barna study, pastors are becoming slightly more comfortable with Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a tool for some uses in the church but remain wary of its role when it comes to personal relationships.

According to the study, three out of four (77 percent) of U.S. pastors agree that God can work through AI. Top ministry-adjacent uses are for graphic design, marketing and tracking church attendance/engagement.

Using AI for theological tasks, however, remains a concern. While 43 percent of pastors see its potential for sermon preparation and research, only 12 percent say they are comfortable with using AI to actually write sermons.
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Iowa and Utah are the latest states to pass legislation protecting religious freedom from governmental intrusion, with related legislation active in Georgia and four other states.

Iowa and Utah passed state versions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in February.

Bills are active in Illinois, Missouri and Rhode Island to strengthen or amend religious liberty laws already in place.

Hannah Daniel, director of public policy for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), applauded the legislation that mirrors the 1993 RFRA, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1997 only applies to federal legislation.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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Maybe you’re interested in using a commentary to help in your study of God’s Word. A commentary is a book written by a scholar that provides additional perspective and background information on a Bible passage or topic.

Longtime seminary professor Thomas Schrenier offers some tips for picking a commentary.

First, make sure it’s a good one. He says commentaries written by sound scholars are generally best. “Not because they are necessarily better, but because they have read, processed, sifted, thought through the work of many scholars,” he writes.

He says remember that a commentary can’t cover every topic. Don’t be surprised if your specific question isn’t answered by the given commentary.

Finally, he says read commentaries to gain different perspectives. “I think the main benefit a commentary provides a pastor is that commentaries help pastors see other perspectives that they didn’t consider before.”

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