As one who teaches that Christians are under Christ’s command to love their enemies and refrain from violence against them (Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5:38-48), I have heard every counter-argument in the book. The paradigm of nonviolent enemy love does not align with with the type of Christianity many of us are born into, and out of that tension we’re often forced to try to explain away what Jesus taught on the matter. It is impossible to justify violence against enemies… Read more

As a student of culture, I’ve seen politicians complain about a lot of things– especially during the Obama presidency. Never before have I seen someone get blamed for so many things. Gas prices are too high. Now gas prices are too low. Executive orders which were celebrated under Bush are all of a sudden “illegal” and “unconstitutional.” I’m almost surprised that Obama doesn’t get blamed for the weather– but who knows, maybe that’s happened and I didn’t hear about it…. Read more

Church. There’s probably few words in the English language that provoke so much emotion when I hear it spoken– maybe that’s true for you too. There are times in my life where I’d say the word “church” with watery eyes and a heart of gratitude, and other times when I say the word with exasperation and my hands thrown up in the air. Looking back on life thus far, I can honestly say that church has been both the biggest… Read more

Wheaton College, a well-respected (until recently) Christian college here in the United States, has been in the news for several weeks now after suspending a tenured professor over a Facebook post where she said Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” Many have been following the story, myself included, in hopes there would be a positive outcome to the utterly unnecessary situation. (I explained the theology of her statement in a previous post, here.) At first it seemed like Dr. Larycia… Read more

In the ongoing conversations about Islam in America, the issue of God v. Allah is a critical one to have. Do we worship the same God? If so, what does that mean? The best answer to this question is, of course, Miroslav Volf’s book, Allah: A Christian Response. It’s so important that I’d almost say one should hold off on having a firm opinion on the matter until they’re informed- and Volf has produced what really is the best that… Read more

Several weeks ago I was tucking my daughter into bed (I’m sooo thankful she still asks me to do that) and she said something to me that “filled my bucket” as we say in this house. She said, “Daddy, you know how you taught me all about Jesus? Well, since you taught me about Jesus, I’m going to teach my kids about Jesus, so even when you’re dead that’s how you’re going to live on.” In that moment, I realized… Read more

I like to do as much Christmas shopping online as possible– you get to skip the crowds, and stuff is delivered straight to your doorstep. In fact, the ease of online shopping is something I thank the sweet baby Jesus and former Vice President Al Gore for every year. However, there’s a catch: online shopping means you’ll see some stuff that will make you scratch your head. That’s what happened to me this year, so I’m passing along the fun. Here’s the… Read more

It’s a funny thing what makes Christianity grow and flourish. In the Second Century, Tertullian (one of the early Christian theologians), wrote in Apologeticus that the “blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” For the first few hundred years of our faith, Christianity was an illegal cult of nonviolent enemy lovers who were systematically slaughtered by the powers that be, even though they refused to fight back. Dying instead of fighting had an interesting effect: it caused the growth of… Read more

There’s no time of the year more magical, especially for children, than the season of Advent and the coming of Christmas. Even I, a child in an aging body with more grey hair than I had hoped for at this age, continue to experience the magic of Christmas all these years later. It’s true– it is the most wonderful time of the year. The decorating. The music. The movies (Home Alone > Elf). The fun foods. The visits from those both… Read more

For some, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year– but that’s not true for all of us. It’s quite likely that out of your mix of friends or church family, there are some in your life who will spend the holidays grieving. Here’s a few ideas as to how you could be a better friend to them while they grieve at Christmas: Be a friend who is available. A friend really isn’t much of a friend if they… Read more

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