Should Christianity try to be “cool”?

Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity,  argues that there are intrinsic contradictions inherent in the various attempts to make Christianity “cool.”  See what he says after the jump, whereupon I offer some thoughts on my own on the efforts to adapt Christianity to one culture or another and offer a modest proposal. [Read more…]

Matisse’s conversion

Henri Matisse was one of the great artists of the 20th century.  What most people do not know, however–and what exhibitions and art critics tend to ignore–is that Matisse underwent a dramatic and life-changing conversion to Christianity. [Read more…]

1,500 year-old confession of faith

Scholars have discovered a 1,500-year-old papyrus from ancient Egypt that contains a remarkable Christian confession, including an early description of Holy Communion.  Reportedly, the writing was rolled up in an amulet, a Christian version of the amulets-with-protection-spells worn by pagan Egyptians.

The article on the find says that this is an example of Christian “magic,” but the text says nothing about protection or anything spell-like.  The ancient Hebrews of the Bible would also wear little cases that contained Bible verses (Deuteronomy 11:18).  The ignorance of the news story in saying that this is one of the “first” references to the Last Supper–the early Church Fathers, such as Irenaeus who died in 202 A.D., referred to it all the time–casts further doubt on the “magic” claim.  This instead sounds like an example of Christians following a cultural practice while giving it a new meaning.  Anyway, read the text after the jump. [Read more…]

Hans Fiene takes down the Osteens

You may know of Pastor Hans Fiene from his uproariously funny and theologically profound Lutheran Satire videos.  He now has another forum, The Federalist, in which he has published the definitive critique of mega-pastor Joel Osteen.  His wife has created an uproar for saying that worship should be about our happiness rather than God’s glory.  But, says Pastor Fiene, the Osteens have said so much worse. [Read more…]

An evangelical pastor discovers vocation

We Lutherans don’t go in for “personal testimonies” very much, but after the jump is a “testimony” from a pastor who discovered the doctrine of vocation and tells about the difference that has meant in his ministry. [Read more…]

Nationalizing theology

Socialists often “nationalize” industries.  Totalitarian governments are interested in more than economics.  China has announced plans to nationalize Christian theology. [Read more…]