America’s church slide II: What to do?

GENE ASKS: What one factor more than any other would draw more people into the church? THE GUY ANSWERS: In the previous Religion Q and A, Gene asked  “what one factor accounts for the indifference so many Americans harbor toward the church?” The Guy nominated “fading cultural respect,” scanned what observers think about causes, and [Read More...]

America’s church slide: Why?

GENE ASKS: What one factor accounts for the indifference so many Americans harbor toward the church? THE GUY ANSWERS: Forced to pick  just “one factor” among many, The Guy says fading cultural respect — for committed Christians, for Christian churches, and for Christianity. Begin with some hard data. As Religion Q and A analyzed last October [Read More...]

Women & men & Bible & church

PARK ASKS: What are the major scriptural passages [and interpretations] relative to a complementarian and egalitarian approach to gender roles in the church? THE GUY ANSWERS: A big one. First, about that lingo: “Egalitarians” say the Bible teaches across-the-board equality without regard to gender. Period. This supposedly “liberal” view is held by many “conservatives.” “Complementarians” [Read More...]

God, prayer & the Super Bowl

THIS QUESTION doesn’t come from a “Religion Q and A” reader but a headline in The Record, the daily newspaper in the New Jersey county that’s hosting a certain athletic event: “Does God care who wins the Super Bowl?” THE GUY (who lives in that county) ANSWERS: You gotta be kidding. Spiritual suffering, physical and [Read More...]

Oh, those religious fund-raisers

GRETCHEN ASKS: (Paraphrasing) She attended a fund-raising event for an unnamed organization where a slide show began by saying that “on the 8th day God created” this group and then presented its purposes. She found that “arrogant and self-serving” and it “bothered me beyond belief. Am I being overly sensitive?” THE GUY ANSWERS: In The [Read More...]

What is faith?

MICHELLE ASKS: What is faith? THE GUY ANSWERS: This is the simplest yet perhaps most difficult question in the brief history of “Religion Q and A.” Not the sort of thing journalists usually write about, but The Guy can at least report on what some thinkers have said about this. Start with Merriam-Webster definitions: 1) “strong [Read More...]

Are there different versions of Islam’s Quran?

DUANE ASKS: Are there different versions of the Quran or just different interpretations of the one version? THE GUY ANSWERS: Since early in the history of Islam, only one Quran text in the original Arabic language has been fully authorized. However, as with most religious matters, the story is complicated. The religion teaches that the Quran existed [Read More...]

Happy New Year, year-round

THE GUY EXPLAINS: Nobody posted a “Religion Q and A” item on the new year’s theme so here’s his own chosen topic, aspects of time’s passage in world religions. The commonly observed times have notably religious origins. Years (e.g. 2014) are counted from an ancient and inaccurate guess on when Jesus Christ was born. Non-Christians [Read More...]

Did baby Jesus cry?

MARY (an appropriate name for this) ASKS: Did the infant Jesus cry? THE GUY ANSWERS: Good one. A beloved Christmas carol says “the little Lord Jesus no crying he makes,” which would have been a tiny miracle. But the New Testament, which has the only early accounts of Jesus’ Nativity, tells us nothing about his infancy, or [Read More...]

Which Bible version is the most authentic?

DUANE ASKS: There are many different versions of the Bible: King James, New International Version, New Revised Standard Version, etc. Which is considered the closest to the earliest available manuscripts? THE GUY ANSWERS: Folks shopping for Christmas gift Bibles are well aware of the countless editions on sale, those aimed at Moms, teens, substance abusers [Read More...]