What are America’s biggest Christian groups?

RACHAEL’S QUESTION: What are the major Christian denominations in the U.S.? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Numbers. Numbers. The Pew Research Center snagged some headlines April 2 with projections on world religions as of 2050 that are worth pondering. Among other things, we’re told high birth rates will make world Islam almost as large as Christianity, [Read More...]

What did Jesus mean in his Good Friday saying to the “daughters of Jerusalem”?

KRISTYN’S QUESTION: I’m having trouble discerning what Luke was trying to communicate when he referred to the women of Jerusalem on Jesus’ trek up to Golgotha [in Luke 23:28-31]. If this is exactly what Jesus said, I have no idea what he meant. Can you shed some light on this? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Thanks [Read More...]

How will the gay marriage OK affect the Presbyterian Church (USA)?

DUANE’S QUESTION: What do you think will happen to the Presbyterian Church (USA) now that it has voted to officially sanction gay marriage? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Maybe not much. The Presbyterian Church (USA) announced March 17 that a nationwide referendum among regional bodies (“presbyteries”) has redefined marriage as “between two people, traditionally a man [Read More...]

666!!: What should we make of the Bible’s scariest number?

WESLEY’S QUESTION: Does it really matter if it is 666 or 616? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Hold that 616 for a moment. The Bible’s scariest number — 666 — occurs in Revelation 13:17-18, a famously perplexing passage in Scripture’s most perplexing book. (If you’re superstitious, note that’s in chapter 13.) “The International Bible Commentary” recounts that assorted [Read More...]

Did Paul write all 13 letters the Bible credits to him?

RACHAEL ASKS: What is the debate about the authorship of Paul’s letters to the early church? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: The New Testament includes 13 letters (“epistles”) from Christianity’s first decades that name the apostle Paul as the author, or Paul with colleagues Silvanus, Sosthenes, or Timothy. The earliest is 1 Thessalonians, written just a [Read More...]

How should we understand the three “Abrahamic” religions?

NIHAL ASKS: Why aren’t the three Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) one main religion? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Nihal posted his query while preparing a 9th grade school report, and unfortunately this response comes too late to help. On the specific question of”why” these three faiths exist the way they are the best a [Read More...]

Is Islam a “religion of peace”?

DAVID ASKS: Where is the Muslim peace movement? Put another way, if Islam is a peace-loving religion where are the Muslim voices for peace? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: “Islam is a religion that preaches peace,” U.S. President Barack Obama told CBS last September, and likewise President George W. Bush’s mosque speech after 9-11 said “Islam [Read More...]

Should religious fasting be kept secret?

HAEVEN ASKS: I’m beginning to fast and was wondering if I should hide it from people because of the verse that says to. I don’t know if I can tell people without the intent to show off. THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: We’re heading into Lent 2015, the annual season when Christians are most likely to [Read More...]

How did the Romney era affect his Mormon church?

KEN ASKS: What has been the impact on Mormons of the burst of intense attention they received during the Romney presidential bids? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: This was posted before Mitt Romney took himself out of the Republicans’ crowded 2016 steeplechase. But this is a good moment to analyze the era when his presidential ambitions [Read More...]

Circumcision: When, How, Who, What, Why?

JOHN ASKS: When did circumcision start and how was God involved? How did its use evolve to today’s practice? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: In the Jewish faith, ritual circumcision of males (bris) to remove the foreskin of the penis has been a requirement ever since God designated it as a “sign of the covenant” with [Read More...]