Biblical Salvation: How It’s Possible To Be A Christian And Still Not Be “Saved”

Growing up evangelical, one of the primary questions we were taught to ask strangers was: “Are you saved?” Or, better yet: “If you died tonight do you know where you’d go?” The concept of being saved was pretty simple, really: You’re a sinner headed for hell, Jesus died to take your punishment, and if you [Read More…]

When Bad Theology Tricks You Into Praying To A Toy (Should We Pray To Saints?)

Once in a while you see a story and you have a hard time deciding if it’s funny or sad. Such is the case with Gabriela Brandão’s grandmother in Brazil. Gabriela’s grandmother had spent years praying to “St. Anthony,” only to be informed by her granddaughter that she hadn’t been praying to St. Anthony at all. Instead, [Read More…]

The Most Comforting Words In The English Language (When God Feels So Far Away)

The other day I was driving in the car with my 14 year old, when she asked me, “Dad, why does God feel so far away sometimes? It feels like he’s really far away from me.” I didn’t really have an answer for her. The best answer I could come up with is, “It just [Read More…]

For The People Who Say, “But Jesus Didn’t Abolish The Law”

The Old Testament is tricky ground. It always has been. In it, you will find something that’s often referred to as “The Law” (insert dramatic theme music). The Law, attributed to Moses, contains 613 rules and regulations that Israel used to keep order in their society during ancient times. You’ll find some nice stuff in [Read More…]

The Execution of Michael Servetus & My Primary Deal-Breaker with Calvinism

When I’ve written about Calvinism I’ve not infrequently heard “that’s just a caricature of Calvinism,” or that I don’t understand what Calvinism actually teaches (neither of which are true).  While it’s true some of my critiques may not apply to some modern American Calvinists (who in all honesty, probably shouldn’t call themselves Calvinists), when I talk [Read More…]

Why I Just Couldn’t Be An Atheist, Even If I Wanted To

I love my atheist friends, but I just couldn’t be one– even if I wanted to. At least once a year I head up to Mount Desert Island, Maine, to spend time with one of my best friends, Terry Firma, who writes for Friendly Atheist here at Patheos. Regardless of what’s going on in our [Read More…]

Remembering to Pray for Terrorists on 9-11

On this day every year, we remember a tragic day in our nation’s history. It will always be a day etched into my mind, that each year begs the “where were you?” question. While most Americans watched the day unfold in the morning, I watched the towers collapse late in the evening Korean time. I [Read More…]

10 Things Your Childhood Pastor Didn’t Tell You (But Should Have)

What things do you know now that you wish your childhood pastor would have told you? As I look back on what I know now, here are 10 things I wish I had known back then: [Read more…]

I’m Thinking That Calvinism Needs An Extreme Makeover (#CalvinismDebate)

Last night I tuned into the Calvinism debate that was lighting up twitter, and really tried to listen with an open mind. Really, I did. For some reason however, I just quickly get lost in most conversations with Calvinists. I think it all goes back to seminary for me. I had the “pleasure” of sitting [Read More…]

Is Your Theology A “Little Bit Off”? Here’s A Quick Test To See

How can we distinguish between good & bad, right & wrong theology? The answer to that can be challenging. The subject of theology is never simple and it certainly isn’t a science or math problem where you can follow a few clear steps and arrive at a provable, correct answer. This isn’t to say that [Read More…]