Who was “Theophilus,” that New Testament man of mystery?

RACHAEL’S  QUESTION:   Luke addressed the books of Luke and Acts to Theophilus, but who is he?   THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Theophilus is a very important person in the New Testament, yet we know next to nothing about him.  If, that is, he was an actual person at all rather than some sort of [Read More…]

“Can we be good without God?”

MARY’S QUESTION: Is a belief in God essential to morality? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Many online articles carry that above headline so Mary’s question is a classic, one seen in this little incident: A traditional Nativity scene is being moved away from Nebraska’s state capitol for Christmas week 2015 to make way for atheists’ “Reason [Read More…]

Who wrote the Bible’s Book of Revelation?

JOHN (the perfect name for this question) ASKS: I thought the John of Revelation was the Beloved Disciple. The sermon today tried to disabuse me of that notion. What do we know about this? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: One cherished Christmas tradition is dramatic presentation of the story of Jesus via Handel’s “Messiah,” the most-beloved, [Read More…]

What’s the background of the Episcopal Church’s new leader?

AN EPISCOPALIAN ASKS: Can you tell us something more about the presiding bishop of our [Episcopal] Church? I’ve heard only upbeat things about him from people who have met and heard him. Will he be a Marco Rubio — a very effective speaker who can connect with people? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Perhaps so. Here’s [Read More…]

Is Islam a “religion of peace”?

With Islamic State claiming responsibility for the Friday the 13th massacres in Paris, the Religion Guy is re-posting the following answer from February 21,2015, and calls attention to the link below to “Who speaks for Islam in a time of terrorism?” DAVID ASKS: Where is the Muslim peace movement? Put another way, if Islam is [Read More…]

What is Seventh-day Adventism?

RUSSELL’S QUESTION: Since Donald Trump brought Ben Carson’s religion to the forefront, can you tell us more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Presidential candidate Trump contrasted his own “middle of the road” Presbyterian Church (USA) with Carson’s Seventh-day Adventist Church as a religion “I don’t know about.”  That suggested the SDA [Read More…]

What faiths practice cremation?

GORDON’S QUESTION: What do various faiths say about cremation vs. burial of remains? I know in some places like the United Kingdom cremation has become very common, maybe even surpassing ground burial. THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Cremation (high-temperature burning that turns a corpse into ashes and bone fragments) is indeed by far the majority practice [Read More…]

What is an agnostic?

LISA’S QUESTION: What does it mean to be agnostic?  Are there people who actually consider it to be a religion? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: In Pew Research’s much-mulled 2014 religion poll of 35,000 U.S. adults, 3.1 percent defined themselves as “atheists” (compared with 1.6 percent in a similar 2007 survey) while a somewhat larger faction [Read More…]

How should Christians holding public office conduct their duties?

GENE’S QUESTION: How ought Christian believers conduct themselves as public office-holders? To what extent should they promote biblical principles in the context of a democratic society? What grounds should they cite? Are some biblical principles too idealistic for a secular society? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Gene posted this fourfold query before Kentucky county clerk Kimberly [Read More…]

Which U.S. churches accept legal abortion?

EVA’S QUESTION: Are there any Christian denominations that accept the legality of abortion? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Yes.  To make things manageable the following discusses only Christianity in the U.S. in the era of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision to legalize abortion nationwide. Although some predominantly white “mainline” Protestant churches are officially neutral or opposed, five [Read More…]