Is Suicide Sin? According to news reports suicide has increased in the United States by about thirty percent in the past two to three decades. It seems that is the case in some states more than others, so it might not be correct to project the statistic onto the whole country. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that suicide is increasing in America. In recent years many celebrities have committed suicide and, in most cases, people who knew them said… Read more

Is It Okay to Hate Men? Recently the Washington Post (online edition if not print edition) published an opinion column by a feminist asking “Why can’t we hate men?” She rightly pointed out the painful history of men abusing women and especially the recent seeming avalanche of celebrity examples of such. That history of male mistreatment of women (and I will add other men) is sordid and calls out for angry responses and penalties. I am not even going to… Read more

Is the Evangelical Christianity of My Youth Gone? I know I’m not the first person to ask such a question. I well remember hearing older folks ask almost the same question when I was a kid and wondering what they were talking about. Now that I’m one of those “older folks” I understand what they were talking about. Change is inevitable but uncomfortable—especially as we age. But my question is whether the amount of change is not only of degree… Read more

Did God the Father Really “Turn His Face Away” from Jesus? A relatively new (“newish”) hymn sung in many evangelical churches says that as Jesus was dying on the cross “the Father turns his face away.” (The hymn’s title is “How Great the Father’s Love for Us.) I do not know whether the hymn’s authors were influenced by German theologian Jürgen Moltmann, but in the latter’s classic book The Crucified God he argues that this was the essential moment of… Read more

About the Handbook of Denominations in the United States (14th Edition) (Note: This book, of which I am one of the authors, is now available for purchase. The publisher is Abingdon Press and following essay (which I wrote) about the volume is being published in the United Methodist publication “Ministry Matters.” I use it here with permission by the United Methodist Publishing House.) I have always been intensely interested in denominations. I grew up in one that claimed it was… Read more

Shopping for a Church (An Oldie but a Goodie) One question I’ve been asked several times here (and elsewhere) is how to find a good church. Whenever someone asks me that I know one two things are not the case. The person asking is not absolutely loyal to any denomination or there are too many or too few churches of his or her denomination in the locale. I once moved to a large city that had only one church of… Read more

My Feeble Attempts at Satire Miss the Mark Occasionally I use my blog to make a stab at making a point about religion using satire. My most recent post/essay (“Totally Tongue-in-Cheek…”) was satire. Hardly anyone seems to have gotten the point. It was not about restaurants. The point was: What if restaurants did this? They don’t…and for very good reasons. Why do churches do this? They do…and possibly for reasons that are very good for them. But is the trend… Read more

Totally Tongue-in-Cheek but Hopefully Enlightening A new trend is developing in the American restaurant business. I have seen it growing everywhere I go. Recently I was in a large American city looking for a Mexican restaurant and couldn’t find one. That seemed odd as Mexican (or “Tex-Mex”) food has traditionally been popular there. I drove all over the city and looked on the web and examined the “Yellow Pages” under “Restaurants.” All I could find were restaurants with names like… Read more

Who Is the Ruler of this World? An Answer for Bible-believing Christians The answer may surprisingly surprise many contemporary American Christians—especially those profoundly influenced by Calvinism and other forms of divine determinism. *I speak here only for myself; I do not speak for any other person or any institution or organization *This blog post is intended for self-identified Bible-believing Christians. Others may ask questions for information and insight. This is not a discussion board; please address comments and/or questions to… Read more

Who Is the Most Influential American Theologian? I apologize for the picture; I cannot find a pic of him that is in public domain. If you don’t know what he looks like, go to “Google Images” or his web site or Youtube. Drum roll…..The most influential American theologian is…John Piper. And he is extremely influential in Brazil and other countries outside the U.S. Never heard of him? Well, that probably means you’re not a hip Christian. Piper is often overlooked… Read more

Browse Our Archives