Advent and the three-fold coming of Jesus

It’s Advent Season!  Here is a fine explanation of its different dimensions from Rev. Shawn Stafford:

The word “Advent” means “coming.” During the season of Advent, we celebrate Jesus’ three-fold coming: His coming in the flesh at Christmas, His coming now through His Word and Sacrament, and His coming at the end of the world as King and Judge. Advent is also a time of personal preparation for Christ’s coming through repentance and faith. [Read more…]

When Christianity comes across as dull

The redoubtable Anthony Sacramone tells about how he was influenced–indeed, evangelized–by  C. S. Lewis.

Mr. Sacramone had gone through through a Lutheran parochial school, learned the Catechism, was confirmed.  But, like many young people, he left all of that behind as soon as he could.  Christianity, he says, “seemed so small, constricting, even petty.”  He became an atheist, but in the course of researching a story idea, he stumbled upon Lewis, who “made Christianity bigger than anything I could imagine.”  Later, he came back to Lutheranism.

Read about this after the jump, and then I want to pose some questions.   Christianity has mind-blowing teachings–the infinite God becoming a man, then taking the evil of the world into Himself and resolving it by dying and rising again and offering free forgiveness and everlasting life–so how in the world is it possible to make them seem dull?   I mean, I can see why someone might not believe it, but how can Christianity be so poorly presented that it  seems “small, constricting, even petty”?  And yet somehow that’s the way it comes across to many people, especially young people brought up in the church.  This is surely a communication fail of the highest magnitude.  [Read more…]

American absence

In the course of a discussion of how Vladimir Putin is rebuilding Russia’s Soviet-era spheres of influence, international affairs columnist Jackson Diehl raises yet another example of ineptness in American foreign policy. [Read more…]

“Son of God,” the movie

A movie entitled The Son of God will be released February 28.  An expanded version of material from the Bible TV ministeries but released from a major studio (20th Century Fox), it will keep in the miracles, unlike some film renditions of Jesus’ story.  Details from Variety after the jump.  Here is the trailer.  (But does it look good?  Is it really helpful to turn material from the Word of God into the visual medium of film?)

[Read more…]

NSA tracking porn visits to discredit enemies

According to a document leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA has been tracking visits to porn sites and other questionable activities as a way to discredit or perhaps blackmail suspected Muslim terrorists.  Read about it after the jump.  Is this a brilliant tactic that should be expanded to combat the pornography plague or a dangerous precedent-setting invasion of privacy?  Or what? [Read more…]

Obamacare for small businesses delayed a year

Most attention in the Obamacare rollout has been on the individual mandate to buy insurance from an approved “exchange.”  But small businesses, those with 50 or fewer employees, have an exchange of their own that they can buy from.  But that part of the HealthCare.gov website isn’t working either.  So the administration is delaying that part of Obamacare for a year. [Read more…]