Palm Sunday Prayer

Almighty and everliving God,In your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christto take upon him our nature,and to suffer death upon the cross,giving us the example of his great humility:Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering,and also share in his resurrection;Through Jesus Christ our Lord,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,One God, for ever and ever.Amen. … [Read More...]

Church Decline Among Whom?

W. Bradford Wilcox:America’s churches are in trouble, and they are in trouble in communities that arguably need them the most. One of the tragic tales told by Harvard scholar Robert Putnam in his important new book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” is that America’s churches have grown weakest in some of the communities that need them most: poor and working-class communities across the country. The way he puts it, our nation’s churches, synagogues and mosques give children a sense o … [Read More...]

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Weekly Meanderings, 28 March 2015

Has the sun set on Sunday School? Many a prayer has been said over the fate of the vaunted American institution, whose struggles cut across denominational lines. Between 1997 and 2004, churches lost tens of thousands of Sunday school programs, according to data from the Barna Group, and more recent studies show that enrollment has fallen across denominations. From 2004 to 2010, for example, Sunday school attendance dropped nearly 40 percent among Evangelical Lutheran churches in America and al … [Read More...]

Public Ed: Diluting Moral Teachings?

Justin P. McBrayer:HT: CBWhat would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t beli … [Read More...]

Greece, Germany, and Jews

Frank Jordans:BERLIN (AP) - It was 1943 and the Nazis were deporting Greece's Jews to death camps in Poland. Hitler's genocidal accountants reserved a chilling twist: The Jews had to pay their train fare. The bill for 58,585 Jews sent to Auschwitz and other camps exceeded 2 million Reichsmark - … [Read More...]

The Praying Heart (by John Frye)

The Praying HeartAs a person and as a pastor, I have struggled with developing a daily practice of prayer. Countless people have talked to me over the years about this same challenge. I have preached sermons on prayer, read books on prayer (including Scot McKnight’s book Praying with the C … [Read More...]

The Trinity (by Nature) is Freedom (Geoff Holsclaw)

Geoff Holsclaw is Affiliate Professor of Theology at Northern Seminary, and Director of their new Masters in Theology and Mission.  You can also follow Geoff on Twitter and Facebook.The Trinity (by Nature) Is FreedomDoes God love us because God has to, or wants to? Is God free to love us? Or … [Read More...]

Pope Francis: Death Penalty “Inadmissible”

Vatican Information Service: Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS)- This morning the Holy Father received in audience a delegation from the International Commission against the Death Penalty. Below we offer extensive extracts from the letter the Pope gave to Federico Mayor, president of the Commission, … [Read More...]

And It Was Very Good (RJS)

John Walton's new book The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate explores a topic at the center of much of the controversy between science and Christian faith. Following the format used in his earlier books The Lost World of Genesis One and The Lost World of Scripture … [Read More...]

Old Perspective Analytically Examined

Douglas A. Campbell, The Quest for Paul’s Gospel: A Suggested Strategy (2005), 160-162.The first phase: the rigorous contractThe opening progression1 a.     God is omnipotent (and presumably also omnipresent and omniscient).1 b.      God’s omnipotence is known to everyone from the cos … [Read More...]

Christian Zionism and American Evangelicalism

Ryan Rodrick Beiler:The issues in Israel today are multi-layered and complex at a number of levels, and most in West today think Israel deserves a place in which to dwell in safety, but most also are now seeing that current Israeli policies suppress and oppress Palestinians. A clip from a solid … [Read More...]

A Glorious Dark, Review by Jonathan Storment

I am not very good at book reviews, what I am good at is something more related to plagiarism.  So if you enjoy this small mini-series of blogs over the next three weeks, then I encourage you to get A.J. Swoboda’s new book A Glorious Dark.It is a great book, and I wasn’t planning on loving as muc … [Read More...]

The Pope and The Woman: The Bad and The Good

From Thomas Reese, who details five problems and five opportunities -- go to the link for the full article:The Bad.When it comes to women, Pope Francis has five strikes against him, but he also has some good points. First strike: He is male. Second, he is celibate. Pardon the … [Read More...]

It’s Time to Change Time

Source:States across the country are taking a dim view toward daylight saving time. And some say it's time to turn back the clock -- so to speak. Lawmakers in 10 states have proposed legislation challenging what, for many, is a twice-a-year headache, and one they just endured again earlier this … [Read More...]

Richard Beck on “Progressive Purity” (with Rachel Held Evans)

One of my favorite thinkers in the blog world is Richard Beck at Abilene Christian (with whom and Jana Kris and I dined recently). He doesn't touch a thing without rearranging my thoughts. He sees American Progressivism and Progressives as creating a purity culture.Here's a clip of a few … [Read More...]

Hope is Our Foundation (RJS)

Christianity is a religion founded on hope precisely because it is founded in God and his work in the world through Jesus, the Messiah of God. The resurrection is the clearest example of this hope, but it is far from the only example in scripture. John Polkinghorne outlines New Testament insights … [Read More...]

Is “Trinity” Use-less? (Geoff Holsclaw)

By Geoff Holsclaw, pastor at Life on the Vine and colleague at Northern Seminary.Does the Trinity really matter to our regular lives?  And with this supposed “trinitarian revival” of the last 75 years, what are the options? Have things really changed? Or is it all useless?Well, Zondervan’s Tw … [Read More...]