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….
One of the current foundations of the Christianity is the atonement. Generally that is thought to be Jesus taking the wrath of God for us with his substitutional crucifixion in order to appease God wrath toward man’s sinfulness. I, like many others I’m sure, thought that atonement was a foundational issue with Jesus and the early church. In reality it was post-Constantine theologians who gave … Continue reading Atonement….
Lets continue on with some more quotes from the book by Tony Jones entitled The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier “I’m humble,” an emergent might tell you, “because I don’t know what I’m wrong about today. I’ll speak with confidence, and I’ll speak with passion, but I won’t speak with certainty.” Being humble/uncertain in any area of theology is very intimidating to some within … Continue reading Humble Emergents vs. Absolutists….
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
Anyone who has read much of this blog knows that I take the creeds of the Christian church to have done more harm than good. Here are some words about that by Harvey Cox in his book The Future of Faith: Creeds were always something theologians invented, often to stake out spheres of authority. The vast body of lay Christians knew little about them and … Continue reading Those Non-Western Christians…
This is a continuation of the previous post about the words of Jesus taking front and center in Christian living. Last time we talked about how the red letters came about in our Christian bibles and about an organization dedicated to putting them back in their proper place in Christianity. This time I want to tell you about a couple of books that put the … Continue reading The Words of Jesus….
I think most people, especially those who call themselves Christian, are at least a little familiar with the third great rummage sale in Christianity which was the Reformation. I will only give a very brief look in this post. Martin Luther, a monk with an incredibly low self-image, started it in 1517 when he nailed his list of 95 complaints about the workings of the … Continue reading The Third Great Rummage Sale — The Reformation
This is a continuation of my review of the book Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Robin Meyers. Here are the quotes we will look at on this post: Adoration of the post-Easter Christ so dominates the language and liturgy of the church that the wisdom of pre-Easter Jesus is all but lost. We know that … Continue reading Saving Jesus — (Part 2) Post-Easter Jesus
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???
This will probably be my last post about the early christians for a while. Next time I will begin to concentrate on some of the early theologians,bishops/historians/leaders or whatever you want to call them, and how they influenced the direction of the church. Closing this chapter, at least for now, it is important for you to remember what “faith” was to the early Christians. Here … Continue reading How Faith Changed….
I am going to jump ahead a little here so that I can put something into your mind before we tackle early church leaders. To illustrate my point I want to once again use a quote from The Future of Faith by Harvey Cox: Thus, it is now clear that the “official Christianity” that eventually emerged was only one among a range of “Christianities” that … Continue reading Official Christianity….
After an almost one year hiatus I will soon be posting again on this blog with this new format and a new direction. Where I Have Been: The first three years this blog examined how current day churches are doing in following Jesus’ words as found in the red letters of most Christian bibles. That study was concluded in August of 2011 and is still … Continue reading Welcome to the Re-Purposed Red Letter Living Blog
I am a frequent visitor to several Christian blogs. One of the bigger ones I recently visited was discussing Matt 26:11 The poor you will always have with you. There were the usual posts saying that Jesus was inferring that “since the poor will always be here why bother to do anything about it”. These types of comments used to get me upset but I … Continue reading Our Sheltered Lives…..
In the next few posts I am going to do some personal reflections. Will they be objective; of course not, after all they are personal to me and where I am in my life right now. If I am nothing else I am compassionate about things I truly believe in! I don’t pretend to have answers to the questions I have but I am constantly … Continue reading Two Types of Worldviews…
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
I just finished the book Letters from a Skeptic by Greg Boyd and I must say I was profoundly moved by the contents. The book is essentially a series of letters between Dr. Boyd, who was once an atheist, but now a noted theologian and his unbelieving father Ed. The letters took place over a two year period and covered … Continue reading Book Review – Letters from a Skeptic
On Sunday I listened to a sermon from my pastor that truly moved me. It is about a subject that is very near to my heart. For that reason I am posting a copy here without comments. Please take the time to read it. You will be enriched by its message. It is kind of long (most clergymen are long winded aren’t they?) but it … Continue reading The Jesus Factor
We have all seen many pictures such as the above portraying Jesus. Most show him as a fair haired blue eyed person of European descent. Of course in reality that is likely not what Jesus looked like. He probably looked much more like most of the 9/11 terrorists than what we are used to seeing. Let’s get over what Jesus might have looked like … Continue reading It’s Just a Face
Subtitle: Some very inspiring words I just finished a book entitled “The Twenty Piece Shuffle” by Greg Paul. It is about a ministry to the poor in the Toronto area. Greg Paul has done such a great job in putting us inside this ministry by telling stories of those who have frequented the mission over the years. It is a very worthwhile read to … Continue reading The Twenty Piece Shuffle
I have always wondered why Catholics are so focused on the Virgin Mary and Protestants, except for Christmas Eve, almost totally ignore her? If we read the Gospels and the Book of Acts, besides for Jesus’ birth Mary is mentioned only a couple of times in the text so that doesn’t lead us to believe that Mary had a very prominent role among the … Continue reading The Thing about Mary
Matt 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Putting a camel through an eye of a needle sounds like an impossible task! That is unless the needle is the size of a building. Will there be no rich men (or women) in … Continue reading The curse of riches
There is a wide disparity of opinion about how true to Christ mega-churches are. I probably fall somewhere in the middle of that opinion. As I see it, the pastor of the small church that I currently attend doesn’t have much good to say about any of them. He seems to say that, in order to appeal to the most number of people, they dilute … Continue reading How about those mega-churches?
Most of the information about Christmas is found in the Gospel of Luke. Luke was probably a gentile by birth and was believe to be well educated in Greek culture. He was a physician and was probably a good friend to Paul. Luke’s account was believed to be the most accurate historically; it seems he took extra pains to be sure that everything was just … Continue reading About Christmas