Church and state and a problem with paperwork

J.R. Daniel Kirk reminds me of a story. It’s a story I’ve told here before, years ago, but let me tell it again, briefly. It’s about my first marriage, which ended unhappily but began happily enough. This is a story from that happy beginning. It was 1991 and my then-fiancée did not have a birth [Read More…]

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Links for a fuzzy Tuesday

There may be a pattern here, but if there is, I don’t see it. My first-hand experience with mega-churches is pretty slim, so I’ve never seen a Singing Tree Christmas Spectacular. Wow. I’m watching this video — — and as the singer in the angel costume is being lifted up above the choir on a [Read More…]

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You have heard it said

Just a small bit more here on that passage in Romans I’ve been referring to as Paul’s mini-Sermon on the Mount. I call it that because it closely follows many of the things that Jesus taught in that sermon in the Gospels. Paul wasn’t quoting the Gospels — he was writing years, maybe even decades [Read More…]

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‘Let no one despise’

In the first epistle to Timothy, the author includes this challenge and encouragement: Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. It’s interesting there that the writer assumes that this will be advice that Timothy will need — that some will, [Read More…]

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Pearly Gates, etc.

The rule of three suggests that there ought to be a joke. It all but requires that there be a joke. “So Christopher Hitchens, Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong Il are standing at the Pearly Gates. And St. Peter says …” I’m afraid I can’t figure out how the rest of it goes. Part of [Read More…]

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Words, words, words

Three sharp observations about words and language — Richard Beck quotes Scot McKnight: Evangelicalism is known for at least two words: gospel and (personal) salvation. Behind the word gospel is the Greek word euangelion and evangel, from which words we get evangelicalism and evangelism. Now to our second word. Behind salvation is the Greek word [Read More…]

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Kim Jong Il is dead

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died at age 69. This is big news, I think, but I don’t really know what it means for the future. My thoughts are similar to those of Dr. Thompson: The strange leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, has died. Everyone is worried about what’s going to [Read More…]

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Vaclav Havel, 1936-2011

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. Playwright, dissident, Velvet Underground fan and the first president of the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel has died at [Read More…]

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