Millenials Are Quitting Church Because It’s Too Parochial

That's not the only reason, but it's an important one. After decades of increasing church attendance in the U.S., the Barna Group and Pew Research Center claim from their surveys that church attendance in the U.S. is in decline during this century. It's been going on for several decades in the Roman Catholic Church and mainline Protestant church denominations. But now it is happening in non-mainline churches, although it is not happening yet in Pentecostal church denominations.Why this … [Read more...]

What a Pity: No More Christian Bookstores

Christian bookstores were an important part of my Christian growth. I used to love to scour the books on the shelves in Christian bookstores. And I often struck up a relationship with store owners or employees. Sure, I shopped at secular bookstores, too. But I bought most of my theological books at Christian bookstores. It was an education that I got in no other place--thumbing through books that presented varying theological positions. I didn't get that in my church. It proclaimed a certain … [Read more...]

Dustin Johnson Wins to Stay #1

Yesterday, Dustin Johnson won the Mexico Championship at Mexico City by one stroke. It is sort of a new tournament on the PGA Tour that switched venues from Trump National Doral Miami. It was Johnson's fourth World Golf Championship title.Johnson held a four stroke lead over Spanish rookie sensation Jon Rahm, who attended Arizona State University. Then Rahm rattled off two birdies at the Chapultepec Golf Club, and the game was on. But Rahm, who had not three-putted during the entire … [Read more...]

Did Enoch and Elijah Escape Death and Go to Heaven?

Ancient rabbinical writings contain statements about spiritual heroes, such as Moses, who are said to have gone to heaven and either remained there or returned, usually to reveal heavenly secrets or mysteries to earthlings. But Proverbs 30.4 states, "Who has ascended to heaven and come down?" insinuating that the answer is "no one." Later, Jesus reportedly said, "No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man" (John 3.13), speaking of himself.Then, … [Read more...]

Jihad Watch Featured My Post about the Qur’an

On December 2, 2016, I posted this piece, "Does the Qur'an Promote Violence?" I had posted about this subject on numerous occasions (see them listed in this post). This post was prompted by my attending days earlier the joint Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (as a member since 1999) and the American Academy of Religion. It was held in San Antonio, Texas, November 19-22. Specifically, the post was based on notes I took while attending a 2.5 hour forum hosted by the … [Read more...]

Christians Fleeing North Sinai Due to ISIS

Hundreds of Christian families are fleeing their homes in the Egyptian territory of the North Sinai due to threats and killings by ISIS. On February 19, the Egypt chapter of ISIS released a video calling Coptic Orthodox Christians, who are most prominent in Egypt, “our priority and our preferred prey.” Most are fleeing for Cairo or thereabouts.I have blogged before about this increasing turmoil in the North Sinai. I suspect that it is another development leading to the eventual formation of a … [Read more...]

New Golf Rule Changes

Well, after posting Sunday and today about my apparent error regarding the golf rule about "building a stance," I learned only minutes later there was a very important announcement today in golf about the rules of the game. It reminded me of what the outspoken yet winsome golfing legend Gene Sarazen once said to me. I was playing with him at Augusta National in the par-three, nine-hole competition that is a tradition on Wednesday before the Masters tournament starts each year. Gene was there … [Read more...]

I Stand Corrected About “Building a Stance” in Golf

Three days ago, I posted about the third round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, played last Saturday. I claimed that Ricki Fowler, who eventually won the tournament, had broken the rule of gold that forbids "building a stance." (See "Ricki Fowler Should Have Been Penalized.") It happened on his second shot on the second hole, which was televised. When Ricki took his stance to play, he was standing on pine needles under the pine trees. He scraped both feet backwards multiple times in an … [Read more...]