Why missions can’t separate love and truth

While pagans and others observed the summer solstice, the Church of England announced that it would begin a special outreach those who identify with pre-Christian religions like druidism.“I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture,” said Rev. Steve Hollinghurst in the London Telegraph, the only place I could find the story.Assuming it's real, let's hope the effort demonstrates more spiritual discernment than Episcopal Bis … [Read more...]

Jesus vs. the philosophers

I just starting a new book by the contemporary Egyptian monastic elder, Matthew the Poor. He died in 2006, and Conciliar Press has published a collection of his talks under the title Words for Our Time. I plan on doing a full review soon but failed to make it past the first chapter before finding something I had to share:The teachings of Christ are not the type of wisdom boasted of by worldly philosophy; rather, Christ's wisdom is housed in very simple words. "Love your neighbor as … [Read more...]

The one thing kids need to hear most from their dads

I read a story yesterday that drilled right through me. It's from a letter Montaigne wrote to a neighbor about the love fathers show toward their children. The excerpt is long. Forgive me in advance. You'll thank me when it's done:After the late Marshal de Monluc lost his son . . . he used to stress greatly to me, among his other regrets, the sorrow and heartbreak he felt for never having opened up to him. He had lost, he said, by that habit of paternal gravity and stiffness, the comfort … [Read more...]

One thing your mind needs more than anything else

Strutting peacock

Scientist, philosopher, and atheist gadfly Daniel Dennett offers some helpful guidelines for those looking to better engage ideas.His seven tools, excerpted from his new book, Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking, should prove helpful to a large number of readers.The advice ranges from "Answer rhetorical questions" and "Employ Occam's Razor" to "Beware of deepities," that is, statements that sound profound but are merely ambiguous. Those of us interested in Dennett's least … [Read more...]

Believing the best about God

Burying the talent

Our assumptions about God affect our experience of him. My mind returned to this thought several times while recently reflecting on the parable of the talents.The story, which Jesus tells in Matthew 25, is familiar to most of us. Before a man of means departs on a lengthy journey, he deposits some of his wealth into the hands of his three servants: five talents to the first, two to the second, and one to the third.As soon as he's gone, the men get busy.Different servants, different … [Read more...]

In the community of God’s love

Three fish

The Trinity speaks to the interrelatedness of the Godhead, each person of the Trinity reaching into the others by an eternal bond of affection and love. That might seem abstract, but our love as Christians is supposed to mirror this love. But how, practically? It starts with charity -- less the noun and more the verb."Whenever one person helps another by word or deed," said Mark the Monk, "let both understand that this is the grace of God at work." Charity, in other words, is God's love … [Read more...]

The changeless love of God

zoutedrop, Flickr

Our experience of God often changes, doesn’t it? Sometimes he seems angry, other times loving; sometimes comforting, other times convicting; sometimes close, other times aloof. It varies, which is tricky because Scripture tells us that God doesn't change. So maybe -- if you'll forgive me for speaking for the entire human race -- the problem is us.Scripture frequently associates God with fire. He appears in the flames of a burning-yet-unburned bush. He leads by a blazing pillar. Flame streams … [Read more...]


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