Fellow Pilgrims (RJS)

 The next section of Philip Yancey’s new book Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? looks at three kinds of Christians having an impact in our world: pilgrims, activists, and artists. Yancey devotes a chapter to each, and each deserves some consideration here over the next several posts. Pilgrims. This is a particularly [Read More...]

5 Questions … and Some Answers (RJS)

I picked up an interesting and somewhat unusual new book recently, Science and Religion: 5 Questions. The editor, Gregg D. Caruso, posed five questions on science and religion to thirty three different authors and scholars covering a broad range of viewpoints. Respondents include Daniel C. Dennett, Michael Shermer, William Dembski, John Polkinghorne, and Rabbi David [Read More...]

Love the Lord Your God (RJS)

The way we read and tell the story of the Old Testament plays a large role in the view that many people have of Christianity. To many outside the church the story can be framed as ancient myth, the story of an autocratic tribal god, a founding myth for ethnic identity. Within the church other [Read More...]

No Miracles Allowed? (RJS)

I’ve been reading Stephen Jay Gould’s short book Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life in which he outlines the concept of non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), an important concept in the discussion of science and Christian faith. In Chapter 2 Gould provides two examples illustrating the idea of NOMA and the compatibility [Read More...]

Reclaiming the Good News (RJS)

Our world is athirst for the good news of the gospel, often without knowing it. But what is this good news and how do we pass it along? In chapter 4 of Vanishing Grace Philip Yancey looks at ways that we as God’s people can reclaim the good news and pass it on.  This chapter [Read More...]

Now Choose Life (RJS)

In the last post on Iain Provan’s new book Seriously Dangerous Religion we looked at Genesis 3, a story that Provan sees as relating the embrace of evil by humans created in the image of God. This embrace of evil had consequences for Adam and Eve and for their descendants.  But this raises an important [Read More...]

Tradition and Our Way of Life (RJS)

What role should tradition play when it comes to theology and biblical interpretation? This is a significant question, and one that comes up quite often in discussions of the relationship between science (or other areas of study) and Christian faith.  It isn’t a new question of course, but one that has played a role in [Read More...]

Churchless and Secular (RJS)

My world … and welcome to it. (HT James Thurber) I’m not churchless or secular, but by far the majority of my friends, peers, and coworkers are. Although my university community is not yet the norm for the country as a whole, it may reflect a growing trend. Churchless is an increasing phenomenon in the [Read More...]

It Isn’t Love – But it Should Be (RJS)

What is the first word that comes to mind when I say Christian? This question, and the answers given by non-Christians shape the second chapter of Philip Yancey’s new book Vanishing Grace. Yancey is convinced that all people long for meaning, a sense of purpose, that our life actually matters. We also long for genuine [Read More...]

NOMA and Rocks of Ages (RJS)

A topic that comes up often in the discussion of science and religion is Stephen Jay Gould’s concept of non-overlapping magisteria or NOMA. I’ve read many papers and books that refer to this principle – sometimes agreeing, more often  disagreeing significantly from both sides. There are those who disagree with the concept, wanting to put [Read More...]