No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Precious few of us will ever receive an invitation to travel for free to the Holy Land or to tour with a group of high-level Christian influencers to witness first-hand the stories behind the headlines in places like Rwanda, Guatemala, or Haiti. But the experience of those who are invited on all-expenses-paid educational junkets sponsored by governments, NGO’s, and ministry organizations carries into the words and work of these influencers. This is precisely why these leaders have been chosen to … [Read more...]

Jerusalem Day 2017

This Tuesday evening at sundown, the Jewish community will commemorate Jerusalem Day - the 50th anniversary of the day the vastly-outnumbered Israeli army reclaimed and reunified the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War.My husband and I experienced the depth of the connection the Jewish people have with this place during our first visit to Israel in 2009 after Bill joined the board of the Caspari Center. We'd flown through the night, and had been awake more than 24 hours when we … [Read more...]

Shavuot, Pentecost: To Learn, To Try, To Eat

Shavuot begins at sundown on Tuesday, May 30th. Click here for a 5-minute guide to the holiday.Pentecost is Sunday, June 4th. Click here for a 5-minute guide to the holiday.Why am I pairing these two holidays? Because just as every other part of Jesus' ministry was rooted in his observant Jewish identity, the story of Pentecost recounted in Acts 2 is directly related to the reason people from every known tongue, tribe, and nation had converged on Jerusalem. They were there for the feast o … [Read more...]

What Does “Rejoice In The Lord” Mean?

Not long ago, an acquaintance asked me how I was doing. She knows my husband and I are facing a number of serious trials. I was having a hard day, and told her so. My words hung in the air for a moment. She rushed to fill the uncomfortable silence with a Bible verse encouraging me to rejoice in God’s faithfulness.We’ve all been there – either on the speaking end or the receiving end. I cringe remembering times I’ve offered words meant to comfort someone who is hurting, only to have those word … [Read more...]

Farewelling well

Many Evangelicals were shocked to hear that one of their own, broadcaster Hank Hanegraff, host of The Bible Answer Man syndicated radio program, had joined the Orthodox Church. Hanegraff’s faith shift is another account of a former Evangelical moving to a different stream of the Church. When former Evangelical Theological Society president Francis Beckwith joined the Catholic Church, a round of discussion and debate followed similar to the conversation currently taking place about Hanegraff’s dec … [Read more...]

It’s Still Easter: One Thing To Learn, One To Taste

It's the Wednesday after Easter. All the decent candy (chocolate bunnies and Starburst jelly beans) marked 60% off is gone from the clearance section at Walgreens.The candy may be gone, but it's still Easter on the liturgical church calendar. The fifty-day Easter season mirrors the fifty days between Passover and Shavuot in the Jewish festal calendar. It is in this space that you can most clearly see the relationship between the two calendars.I’ve discovered many people are i … [Read more...]

Is It Possible To Think For Ourselves AND Pursue Spiritual Community?

At one end of the spectrum, we have the language of the Benedict Option, which includes a call to nurture a comprehensive Christian worldview in the greenhouse of a shared, committed faith community.At the other end of the spectrum, we have encouragement for believers to think for themselves a la the Bereans named in Acts 17:11. Musician Steve Taylor’s 1983 satire, I Want To Be A Clone, sends up the fear driving some forms of Christian indoctrination: “They told me that I’d fall away/unless I … [Read more...]