Christianity: Use only as directed

In Graham Greene's novel The Third Man, people suffer and die because of diluted penicillin purchased on the black market in postwar Vienna. American Christianity is suffering a similar fate, though our diluted faith is practiced in the open for all to see.New York Times columnist Ross Douthat raised the issue by pointing to the conundrum of Bible no-no's flourishing in the Bible Belt. Social scientists affirm the positive connection between religion and several measures of personal and … [Read more...]

What’s missing in our conversation about marriage decline

In all the conversations around the decline of marriage I wonder if we are paying enough attention to the old-fashioned concept of sacraments.Christians have traditionally understood marriage as more than mere contract, more than mutual agreement, more than partnership. The church understands marriage to be a sacrament. That is to say, though not exclusively, a dispensation of God's grace for the transformation of the recipient.The endgame with sacraments is union with God by growing in … [Read more...]

One resource every pastor, scholar, and student needs

encyclopedia of ancient christianity

I've had about a week to thumb through InterVarsity Press's magisterial Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, though I've only digested a fraction of its 3,000-plus pages.With the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and Ancient Christian Texts, IVP has become an important source for patristic studies in English. The arrival of the EAC only cements that appraisal. Every pastor, scholar, student, and hobbyist (like me!) needs it -- or at least easy access.The material is, as you … [Read more...]

How God uses work to fashion our souls

God sanctifies our labor. The Apostle Paul enjoined us to work with our hands (1 Thes 4.11) and provided the example, stitching tents as a common tradesman (Acts 18.3). Though we might mistake it as part of the Curse, work is a holy undertaking.Sometimes the church makes this point in explicit terms, other times in subtler language.Not long ago I looked at an icon of Archbishop Luke of Simferopol and Crimea, a recent Orthodox saint who lived from 1877 to 1961. Following the fashion, … [Read more...]

I guess they redid the math: World Vision reverses gay marriage decision

Well, now. World Vision has reversed its decision on same-sex marriage and employee conduct, according to World magazine. Christianity Today reproduced a letter sent by WV, explaining in part,The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. . . . [W]e made a change to our conduct policy that was not … [Read more...]

What’s so bad about incinerating 15,000 babies?

The news from Britain that aborted fetuses were incinerated to heat hospitals is both shocking and banal.First, shocking: Over the course of just two years more than 15,000 humans living in a modern, Western democracy with protections for human rights were nonetheless disposed of and then utilized for their carbon.This is the inversion of ancient paganism. We aren't crafting wood in God's image. We are turning God's image into mere wood. It still amounts to idolatry, but the worship is … [Read more...]

Sabbatical

I'm taking a breather. I've tried a noise fast unsuccessfully in the past: no social media, broadcast media, etc. I couldn't hack it.This time I'm going to do it a bit differently. I'm going to put my blog on hiatus for a bit (longer than Phil Robertson's benching) and discontinue use of social media. No Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for a while.In the meantime, I'm going to read novels, listen to jazz, and ride my bike. If the world blows up or the pope becomes Hindu, send a pigeon. … [Read more...]


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