I have often said on this blog that maybe we should give up our stained glass churches and move them to strip malls, abandoned buildings, or other less costly surroundings. For many churches today paying the mortgage and utilities is a the second biggest drain on a small congregation (the biggest drain is usually the pastor’s salary). That is why there is some validity to … Continue reading The Common Cathedral…..
Toward the end of his life, while in a Nazi prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a well known Lutheran theologian, wrote some tantalizing letters to his friend Eberhad Bethage where he wrestles with what he calls “religionless Christianity.”The letters in question were written in 1944 not long before he was executed by the Nazi’s. What did Bohhoeffer mean by Religionless Christianity? Here are some of the words … Continue reading Religionless Christianity???
No this post is not about anything in today’s world. There are some Christians who are on evangelism missions abroad who are doing risky things but for the most part Christians are pretty well settled down in their safe lives much like everyone else in this country. But that definitely was not the case for many in the early church. Here are some words about … Continue reading Christians Doing Risky Things….
The phrase “I believe” seems to have a lot of weight in today’s world but to me it is a cautionary phrase. We have to distinguish between “I believe” and “I am”. Let me give you an example of that: “I believe that Jesus told us to take care of the poor.” This seems to be a powerful declaration but is it really? What if … Continue reading I Believe……
In 1997 Richard Carlson wrote a very popular book entitled Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…. and it’s all small stuff. In that book he listed one hundred things to make our lives more peaceful. Some of those topics that I took to heart included: Let Others Be “Right” Most of the Time Learn to Live in the Present Moment Surrender to the Fact that Life Isn’t … Continue reading And Its All Small Stuff…..
From A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith by Brian D. McLaren: We’re following the best Christian tradition of going back to Jesus and the Scriptures, so our quest for a new kind of Christianity is, in fact, a most conservative quest. In our return to our roots, however, we’re not writing off all the great sages, scholars, and saints … Continue reading A New/Old Kind of Christianity
As we have learned in several of my recent posts Origen was one of the most influential theologians in the early church who was later deemed a heretic and then after that a saint again. He spent quite a bit of time reading the “scripture” of his day. I put scripture in parens here because there was no Bible as we know it today in … Continue reading Oh That Founding Father Origen…
There are many today who believe that all of the Bible must be taken as absolutely happening and the stories are without the possibility of error. But this is not the case with many of us follower of Jesus.. Several of the early fathers of the church warned against taking things literally. One of those was Origen. Here is a quote from People’s History of … Continue reading Don’t Take It Literally….
Of course all Christians recognize the phrase the kingdom of God from the Lord’s prayer. But the interpretation of that phrase seems to vary considerably depending on what version of Christianity you follow. Here is what Martin Luther said about it in his small catechism: Your Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven: What does this mean? The kingdom of God certainly comes … Continue reading The Kingdom of God…..
My study of the early church leaders is to show that there was much diversity in the early church that was later driven out. Many, if not most of the “church fathers” believed things that are now considered heretical. Ignatius was certainly no exception. Ignatius and Irenaeus had definite ideas of how the young Christian congregations should be governed. Both authoritarians, they were hardly advocates … Continue reading Early Church Leaders – Ignatius …..
I started out my Spiritual journey as a Catholic because that is what my parents were. I came to find out that they were only tepid Catholic as they really didn’t go to church themselves very often but more often just dropped us off and then went home. Upon entering high school I went about twenty years moving between an inactive Christian and an agnostic … Continue reading Shouldn’t you read Paul in light of Jesus, instead of reading Jesus in light of Paul?”
I am going to use a quote from one of my favorite authors and that is Philip Gulley from his book The Evolution of Faith: How God is Creating a Better Christianity: Some Christians have thus concluded that we are our own worst enemies, that our best option for a viable future lies in our determination to embrace a rigid faith in order to stave … Continue reading Own Worst Enemies…
With this post I will begin looking at some of the early church leaders. We will start with Origen. Here a quote from another Diana Butler Bass book. This one is entitled A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story While Tertullian emphasized the negative aspects of the military to Christian discipleship, Origen pointed out the positive vision of a life of … Continue reading Saint to Heretic to Saint Again…..
With this post I am going to introduce you to a book that has had a pretty profound affect on my faith. It is by Robin Meyers entitled Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus. Here are a couple of quotes from the book that will provide fodder for this post: Strangely, we have come to a moment in human … Continue reading Beliefs vs. Practices….
Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there. I first heard the above quote many years ago but have never tried to learn its source. I looked it up and here is what I found: According to research by quote maven and Oxford English Dictionary contributor Barry Popik, the earliest verifiable use of this insightful saying seems to be as a … Continue reading Fear of Death….