On December 5th, The Diversity Chronicle posted a blog with the clever title ‘Pope Francis Condemns Racism and declares that “All Religions Are True” At Historic Third Vatican Council’ . People quickly spread the piece via social media, and many—especially Evangelical Christians—attacked the Pope. The fact that the article was a spoof and not true should serve as a reminder to always research and verify … Continue reading ‘Evangelicals and Catholicism…
Jesus Avoided Theological Certainty Within the New Testament, the people Jesus seemingly condemns the strongest — and most frequently — are the ones who have the greatest amount of theological certainty — the Pharisees. The spiritual leaders, the most prestigious religious institutions of the their day, the ones who were the most confident, the most sure and vocal about theology, were flat our wrong — … Continue reading Theological Certainty…..
Before I start on my study of the history of the church I want to do an “aside” post here on another topic. I just read a very thoughtful post over at Rachel Held Evan’s blog about mysticism and evangelicalism. In it she was commenting on a book by Tim Challis about how mysticism, which he defined at any experiences with God outside of the … Continue reading Replacing One Mediator With Another….
Anyone who has read much of this blog knows how I feel about the slippery slope. I believe that the very concept has damaged us theologically, politically and personally beyond anything good that could come out of it. The very concept that everything we believe about a subject becomes worthless if we come to believe that any small part of it is questionable. Here is … Continue reading Skiing The Slippery Slope
Continuing with my study of theology as discussed in the book by Tony Jones entitled The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier, here is the quote for this post: theology is temporary. Since our conceptions of God are shaped locally and in conversation, we must hold them humbly. We must carry our theologies with an open hand, as it were. To assume that our convictions … Continue reading Theology is Temporary…
Today I will continue my discussions of a book by Tony Jones entitled The New Christians; Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. I’m sure if there are any pastors or theologians who accidentally come across the blog post their first reaction is to adamantly disagree with the title that all theology is local. Here is what Tony Jones says about that: theology is not universal, nor … Continue reading All Theology Is Local….
I know you expect this post to be about how the church is very much against the idea of evolution. But really it is going to be quite the opposite. Yes, many denominations within the church, like so many other areas of science, deny evolution of the species as originated by Darwin. The Scopes Monkey trial was evidence of that. William Jennings Bryan put up … Continue reading The Church and Evolution….
I am going into the attack mode this morning. I don’t do this often but sometimes one of those 39,000 versions of Jesus Christ around today severely strike my ire. That is the case with the “Prosperity Gospel”. When I came across these calendars in a stand recently their position next to each other got my immediate attention. Here are some words from Christianity Today … Continue reading Prosperity Gospel And Joel Osteen — Fact or Crap……
I am a regular reader of a Quaker blog called Quaker Quaker. On a recent posting by Mac Lemann I learned a little about Mary Dyer. Here are some of his words from that post: I had recently re-learned, at Pendle Hill from Marcelle Martin, the story of Mary Dyer and the other Quaker martyrs hung on Boston Common. Mary was a follower of Anne Hutchinson … Continue reading Mary Dyer….. Heretic… Quaker….
The gospel of Luke Chapter 6 is the most important chapter in the Bible for me. Of course it includes the Beatitudes which are primary in teaching us how to live our lives but they include much more than that. I want to concentrate on the first beatitude for this post. Luke 6:20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, … Continue reading Luke Chapter 6…
The following is actually a comment attached to my April 5 concluding post on Quakerism. I think it is important enough to pull it out and include it as a separate post. Thanks eriu49 for sending it. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I am very interested in your thoughts about Quakerism. I have been attending Meeting since 1995 and find it meets my needs very well. I found a piece … Continue reading Quakers and the Sacraments…
Lutheran’s attachment to the phrase Sola Fida (By Faith Alone) as the foundation of their beliefs sometimes earns them the banner of being very weak in good works. I believe it to be generally true that many Lutherans (in all their synods) shy away from the concept of good works for fear that others will view them as adding works to the salvation pot. I … Continue reading A Lutheran Pastor’s view of good works and Martin Luther’s words
This is going to be one of those difficult and probably controversial posts. Is Jesus Plan “B” whereas Adam was Plan “A” that failed? In other words did God really plan on Adam being the benevolent seed of mankind and when that didn’t happen he changed gears and came Himself (via Jesus) to do the job of fixing things? This concept has some pretty serious … Continue reading Plan “B”?
This is a quick post to tell you about a very interesting discussion happening on one of the blogs I frequent ( Kingdom People by Trevin Wax). The URL below is a very good post and comments about the basic differences between Evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Church. I take heart that two people with opposing views can discuss these types of issues without name calling. This seems rare now … Continue reading Some interesting discussions…
The term Cheap Grace was originally found in a book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer entitled The Cost of Discipleship. Bonheoffer was a Lutheran pastor and theologian in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. He was hung by the SS as a traitor in 1945 as he rejected Hitler’s rule. To get started let’s look at the following excerpt is from Wikipedia: In Bonhoeffer’s words: “cheap grace … Continue reading Cheap Grace is VERY Expensive!!
This is an awfully theological sounding title and is not typical of what I do on this blog. But as a result of the previous post I just wanted to study a little more on this justification issue. In particular I will be looking at how the major dominations differ in their views of justification. In order to make this manageable let’s break this down … Continue reading The Varying Theological Views of Justification
This post will be the last and the most difficult post for me in this series on personal reflections in my walk with Christ. Justification is an issue that I personally have troubles with. What is the theological definition of justification: a forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins … Continue reading Justification?…
We humans are constantly on the epic journey to find the meaning of life. It drives some of us quite crazy. Let’s look at some of the idols we Americans frequently put in place in our lives: We must have a bigger and bigger home to make our life meaningful — I must admit that I am a regular watcher of the TV show “House … Continue reading What is the meaning of life? – Part 2
Last time I pointed out a couple of reasons why I believe that the phrase Taking America back for God to be erroneous statement. This time I will expand my thoughts on this topic and talk about allegiances. Does God recognize governments and give some more blessings than others? — Except for Israel of course there is little evidence of that in Jesus’ words. And … Continue reading Taking America back for God — Part 2
The title of this series of posts is a popular mantra for a fringe wing of one of our political parties in the United States but is it really true in reality?? I am going to break down my opinions of this topic in next three postings on this blog. Using the word “back” implies that the United States was once a country that followed kingdom of … Continue reading Taking America back for God
We just finished an adult Bible study series at my church on election/predestination today. Boy, was that an interesting one! We certainly don’t shy away from the difficult topics. That is one of the things I like best about my pastor. It turns out that my pastor and I are pretty much aligned on this topic. I assure you that isn’t always the case. I … Continue reading Election/Predestination
I wanted to spend today’s post giving you some quotes from Greg Boyd. I use Dr. Boyd’s words quite often in this blog but will give some first timers a little info about him. He is a theologian and the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul MN. He is also the founder and president of Christus Victor Ministries and an … Continue reading In Principle…..But
I had an interesting Sunday Bible study recently where we covered Romans 13. Of course since this is probably the most debated text in the New Testament it was a lively discussion. I have to hand it to my pastor, he allow a free flow of diverse discussions. I will only cover one topic from our discussions and that is about the “sword”. Here is … Continue reading Jesus and the sword
Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God more frequently than any other topic, and it pervades all his actions as well. He mentioned the kingdom of God more than 70 times in the Gospel texts and it is mentioned by his disciples more than 30 times. Since I haven’t done so yet I thought I would spend the next several posts trying to discover just … Continue reading The Kingdom of God Study 1
I am making a rare Saturday post to give attention to Trevin Wax’s blog posting for today. Go to http://trevinwax.com/2009/03/21/how-scholarship-shields-us-from-the-bible/ . It gives credence to my belief that today’s Christians are generally not doing a very good job of understanding what Jesus says in the Gospels. It looks like this was also not uncommon a hundred years ago. Will we ever learn that Jesus really does … Continue reading Kingdom People Blog Post.