Is the Resurrection essential to Christian belief?

Just 42 percent of Americans identify the resurrection of Jesus as the point of Easter, according to a 2010 Barna survey, and only 2 percent "describe Easter as the most important holiday of their faith."I find this astounding. The Resurrection is the faith. A Christian faith not centered on the Resurrection is not fully Christian. "If Christ is not risen," said Paul, "then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty" (1 Cor 15.14). If the grave isn't empty, then our faith is.Yet … [Read more...]

What Barton and Copeland get wrong about war and faith

barton and copeland

In this video Kenneth Copeland and David Barton argue that soldiers returning from war should not suffer PTSD or self-condemnation because of their experiences. I know they mean well, but their treatment of the scripture is baffling."Look how many people in Hebrews 11 faith hall of fame are warriors," says Barton."Almost the whole list, man," says Copeland."The whole thing," affirms Barton.But, no, not actually. Here are the individuals listed in Hebrews 11:Abel, not a … [Read more...]

George Orwell and bending the Bible for our own purposes

George Orwell

Florence King once called George Orwell “Every conservative’s favorite liberal and every liberal’s favorite conservative.” Why? Conservatives invoke his critiques of totalitarianism. Progressives appeal to his attacks on reactionary politics. Orwell is easily bent to many ends -- like the Bible.Here's an enlightening quote from a review in The New Statesman:Since whoever we are (save for a few sad Leninists) we all agree with George Orwell, it usually follows that Orwell must agree w … [Read more...]

Doh! Archbishop of Canterbury forgets what it means to become a Christian

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

While undertaking a revision of the traditional christening (or baptismal) service, the Church of England has pretty much negated the whole enterprise.Whereas once parents and godparents were asked if they "reject the devil and all rebellion against God," along with "the sins that separate us from God and neighbor," the new language prompts disavowal of "evil . . . and all its empty promises." It's a fine thought, but hardly an adequate baptismal renunciation.The revisions are, as the … [Read more...]

Read this before you burn that picture of Jesus

Where's Jesus?

Around Christmas time it's impossible to avoid pictures of Jesus. But Megan Hill is still trying.According to her recent post in Her*meneutics, Hill has asked teachers to excuse her kids from coloring nativity scenes and says she covers books depicting Christ in brown paper. To be clear, Hill has nothing against Jesus. She seems quite devout. Rather, her beef with his image comes from a conviction that Christ should never be depicted.Arguing for her view, Hill says her "objection … [Read more...]

Why did God create us? Consider the orange peel

Orange peel, more than it seems

Though some orange varieties favor the late spring, most ripen in the fall and winter. I mention that to set up a quote from Robert Farrar Capon's book The Supper of the Lamb, which could have have added significance as you next reach for an orange.Whether you rip off the peel in chunks or carefully remove it in a long ribbon, "[n]othing is more likely to become garbage than orange rind," he says; "but for as long as anyone looks at it in delight, it stands a million miles from the trash … [Read more...]

Is God a king or a congressman?

The scriptures speak of God as a king. Christians in the ancient East and medieval West had no trouble with this image. But it is hard for us moderns, who have little or no working experience with monarchy, to imagine God as king.Instead, we tend to think of God as a congressman.What does a congressman do? Primarily, he represents us. He secures special benefits for the citizens of his district. We write him when we are irritated by events in the world. If we face an intractable … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X