Is Heaven Vital for Morality or Not?

You may well recall the famous scene in Les Miserables in which Jean Valjean comes clean in public to take the place of another who was in fact on trial instead of himself (Valjean). The scene poses the moral theory called altruism, that is, that one does what is good for others in a disinterested manner. It might be said that altruism is considered by many to be the highest form of moral action; heroic, in fact, when one poses that giving one's life for others is the ultimate act when e … [Read More...]

Church of the Redeemer: Thanks

As some of you know, my new book A Fellowship of Differents is dedicated to our local fellowship, the Church of the Redeemer, and our two leaders and their spouses (Jay and Susan Greener, Amanda Holm and Erik Rosenberg),Today, after our worship time, Church of the Redeemer very generously provided copies of the book for a splendidly reduced price and so we had a book signing that led to some stimulating conversations.Time has shown that there's quite the diversity at Church of the … [Read More...]

Secularization Theory Debunked

Sarah Pulliam Bailey:By 2050, the number of Muslims around the world will nearly equal the number of Christians. Pew projections suggest that Muslims will make up nearly one-third of the world’s population of about 9 billion people. “The culture of the West is going to become increasingly nonreligious at the same time the culture in the Global South persists in being religious,” said David Voas of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. “Repercussions will … [Read More...]

A Prayer for Nepal

Our merciful and listening Father,In whose Son's cries in Gethsemane our intercessions come before you in full love,We join our concerns and compassions in your Son's for those who have died, who are suffering, and who are tending those who suffer,And we pray for mercy and speedy … [Read More...]

Prayer for the Week:

O God,Whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people:Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name,and follow where he leads;Who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns,One God, for ever and ever.Amen. … [Read More...]

Revival Sermon Lines: Discuss

From Billy Sunday, who in a revival sermon used a long-listed set of terms for communism and its communist leaders they were seeing in proponents for labor unions: Billy Sunday claimed that "weasel-eyed, hog-jowled, good-for-nothing, God-forsaken, iniquitous, rapacious buffoons and charlatans, and … [Read More...]

Praying for Nepal

CNN:Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN)A 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force Saturday, toppling homes, temples and historic buildings and leaving at least 1,457 people dead, authorities said.Afterward, whole streets and squares in … [Read More...]

The Kingdom and Lipscomb

April 22 and 23 I was down at Lipscomb University at the sponsorship of Missio Alliance and Lipscomb's fine Bible and theology department in the Hazelip School of Theology for an evening discussion of A Fellowship of Differents, and then a double morning session on Kingdom Conspiracy. The two se … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 25 April 2015

Men vs. women on friends or one friend, by A. Pawlowski:When things get tough, do you turn to your BFF or a coalition of buddies for emotional support? Making friends is a crucial part of the human experience, but just like many aspects of life, it turns out men and women have distinct … [Read More...]

What are “Vain Repetitions”? (John Frye)

Vain Repetition? Really? (by John Frye)When I was a new Christian I was immersed in a very conservative Bible-oriented church. Unfettered legalism was peddled as godliness. For example, we, as teens, weren’t allowed to drink soda from cans (bottles were being phased out for soda) because others m … [Read More...]

Grace: Two Misunderstandings Reframed

Grace can be a word that tells the whole story of the gospel and the Christian faith; it can also be used to distort the whole story. Some people use the term "grace" to put the hammer down on people -- something I call "grace grinding" -- while others turn most everything into grace. [This post … [Read More...]

One.Life in Korean

One of the red calendar days around here is when one of the books appears in a translation. Here is One.Life in Korean. … [Read More...]

Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture (RJS)

Following up on a comment on my post last Thursday, I ordered and have begun to read Walter Moberly's book Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture.  Christian faith is rooted in the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament. On the road to Emmaus Jesus said to two downhearted … [Read More...]

American Evangelicals and the American Apocalypse

I was nurtured in the kind of American faith that was utterly convinced that the Rapture or the Second Coming -- in essence, Judgment Day -- was coming soon, if not very soon, and it was a good thing to be on the right side, which we were. While our pastor did not regal us with ramped apocalyptic … [Read More...]

“Angry Atheist”: A Stereotype?

Yes, says Amanda Marcotte:And I wonder if she would admit the same about evangelicals and fundamentalists and political conservatives?The fact is, shrill voices find a way to be heard.  And public voices who are shrill become the well-known voice of the atheist, not least Christopher … [Read More...]

A Big Surprise

By Jonathan StormentRight now I am reading one of the most recent books to crack the Best Seller list “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” It is a witty look at the way that public shaming is having a renaissance in todays world.Today we don’t lock people up in stocks or tar and feather them, we … [Read More...]

Women and Worship: Corinth

In her very important new book Women and Worship at Corinth, Lucy Peppiatt contends there are no fewer than six reasons to examine afresh the passages in 1 Corinthians about women in worship.Before I get to her reasons, I want to post six slogans in 1 Corinthians -- that is six lines that even … [Read More...]