Is God Great?

Sunday morning I heard something unsettling. We were invited to join in a vibrant chorus claiming, “Our God is Great!” If you’ve attended any contemporary praise worship you’ve heard this song and its many variants a thousand times. “Our God is an awesome God!” Etc. The songs come out of the bombastic tradition of Israelite [Read More…]

We Live in Different Worlds

A CNN interview has been posted to my Facebook page. Those posting it expressed shock that Christian woman would express her support for Donald Trump by saying that “God could even use a harlot.” The outrage was on several levels. First that Trump’s behavior could in any way be overlooked. But more importantly that Trump [Read More…]

The Bible on Non-Christian Religions

What does the Bible say about non-Christian Religions? The simple answer is nothing, for the same reason the Bible doesn’t say anything about airplanes, 401Ks, nuclear power, and iPhones. The concept of religion as we know it didn’t exist in the time that the Bible was written. It comes about much later in human history. [Read More…]

The Assimilation Debate

Recently Facebook, bringer of many things, brought me two. The first was a quote from Bobby Jindal: “Let’s be really honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it’s an invasion, . . .  we need to tell folks, if you want to come to our country, come here legally, learn English, adopt our values, [Read More…]

The Real Schism, It’s Not What you Think.

The United Methodist church appears to be following other major protestant denominations into the throes of division. The issue is same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ persons living in same-sex relationships. Of course various accusations are being made with regard to who is more biblical, orthodox, faithful to tradition, etc. I want to suggest that [Read More…]

Depravity and Political Discourse

Among the many things that some Christians believe one is the doctrine of Total depravity. It goes along with Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the Saints to form the backbone of American Calvinism, TULIP. I am not going to argue whether these are or are not adequate characterizations of Christian theology. I am [Read More…]

Let’s Talk about Burkhinis!

So I’m trolling through Facebook postings and I find an article on a French ban of a garment called the burkhini on French beaches. Actually it isn’t a ban on the burkhini. It is a ban on “ostentatious religious garments” or “garments that make an ostentatious show of religion” on the beach. It isn’t really [Read More…]

You Can’t Love People and Hate Their Religion

In the Christian polemic against Muslims a common theme emerges. A specific instance comes from pastor Steven Anderson, but it could be Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell Jr, Tony Perkins or any of a dozen others. I do not hate Muslims at all. In fact, I love Muslims and want them to be saved. Do I [Read More…]

The Bright Heart of Dallas

In the last 48 hours the city of Dallas has reeled with grief. Grief felt for victims of police violence against African Americans. And grief felt for the 5 police officers assassinated by a gunman, and 7 others wounded while they were protecting the right of the people to peaceable assembly. The sun had barely [Read More…]

It Isn’t About Us. Really.

The New York Times recently ran yet another “why aren’t Westerns outraged” articles after the attacks in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Baghdad. In the article Anne Barnard suggests that this failure of outrage serves the Islamists by making Sunni Muslims feel ever more isolated from the West. “One of the primary goals of the Islamic [Read More…]