Why the slide in the influence of America’s churches?

GENE ASKS: What one factor accounts for the indifference so many Americans harbor toward the church? THE GUY ANSWERS: Forced to pick just “one factor” among many, The Guy says fading cultural respect — for committed Christians, for Christian churches and for Christianity. Begin with some hard data. As Religion Q and A analyzed last [Read More...]

Women and men and the Bible and the church

PARK ASKS: What are the major scriptural passages [and interpretations] relative to a complementarian and egalitarian approach to gender roles in the church? THE GUY ANSWERS: This is a big one. First, about that lingo: “Egalitarians” say the Bible teaches across-the-board equality without regard to gender. Period. Nevertheless, this supposedly “liberal” view is held by [Read More...]

Does God hear prayers from just anyone?

ROBERT ASKS: Do you think God hears, listens to, prayers of anyone? THE GUY RESPONDS: Nobody should care what a mere journalist like The Guy thinks on matters like this beyond his spiritual pay grade that are better left to pastors or theologians. However, the topic is important so here are a few notes. This assumes we’re [Read More...]

Those Latter-day Saints: What’s in a name?

ROYCE WONDERS: (Paraphrasing) What’s the origin of Mormonism’s official name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and do those two “of” phrases mean Saints are on equal footing with Jesus, or that Jesus was Mormon, or what? THE GUY RESPONDS: The founding Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. originally called his group “the Church of [Read More...]

Does help for communities justify churches’ tax exemption?

GORDON ASKS: (Paraphrased) Secularists challenge tax exemptions for houses of worship, saying this denies valuable revenue to communities that get little or nothing in return. True? THE GUY ANSWERS: False, judging from new scholarly research. Putting money aside for a moment, those knowledgeable about troubled urban neighborhoods will especially shudder to think what local conditions [Read More...]

What is the moral status of sex outside of marriage?

ANNE ASKS: Do we have to get married to have sex? What does the Bible teach? THE GUY ANSWERS: The questioner lives outside the United States, reminding us this affects all devout Christians and Jews (also adherents of Islam and other non-biblical faiths) coping with the “new morality” promoted in entertainment media and western society [Read More...]

What do different churches teach about mental illness?

ERIN ASKS: What are the attitudes toward mental illnesses in different Christian congregations? THE GUY ANSWERS: There may be trivial exceptions but The Guy sees hardly any difference on this among Christianity’s various branches. The Catholic Church’s approach was well defined in a 1996 speech by Pope John Paul II that encouraged professionals who treat [Read More...]

Is it time for the old Mainline churches to shed that label?

BOBBY ASKS: Who are the “Mainline” Protestants today? DOUGLAS LIKEWISE ASKS: (Paraphrasing) What do we make of proposals for “Mainline” Protestants to drop that label for themselves? And where does that leave me, an “evangelical” who remains in the Episcopal Church “as a grain of sand in the oyster”? THE GUY ANSWERS: The dictionary definition [Read More...]


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