If We Were Hobbits, What Kind of Hobbits Might We Be?

In my last post, I wrote of how Jesus might have been a halfling given how central a place food had in his life and work (See Was Jesus a Hobbit?). As one would expect, Jesus would have been a good hobbit. But not every hobbit is virtuous. If you and I were hobbits, what kind of hobbits might we be? Would we be good hobbits, like Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, or less than noble halflings like Lotho Sackville-Baggins? Many of us are familiar with Bilbo and Frodo, but not Lotho. Lotho was … [Read more...]

Was Jesus a Hobbit? Food and Drink Feature Prominently in His Story and Kingdom Vision

©2014 Creative Commons

There is a lot of debate as to whether or not Jesus was fully divine and fully human. Add this to the debate: perhaps he was a hobbit. After all, food and drink were such vital features of his life and work, as with Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and the other halflings. As one spans Jesus’ life, it almost reads as if he enjoyed hobbit-like first and second breakfasts, afternoon tea, dinner, and related forms of culinary merriment (See this video clip). Jesus turned water into wine ( … [Read more...]

Multi-Faith Matters: Evangelicals in a Multi-Faith World

Members of Multi-Faith Matters with Imam

I am a member of a group titled “Multi-Faith Matters.” We are a team of Evangelical pastors and academics telling the stories and discovering the best practices for living in a multi-faith world with love, and without compromise. Our group believes that Evangelical Christians in North America need to come to terms with the fact that our Christian privileges are shrinking, that other traditions are increasing in presence, and that we cannot operate as if we are living in a mono-faith world. This p … [Read more...]

Blessed Are the Happy in Jesus, not Tortured, Cheated or Diseased Souls

©2007 Creative Commons

All of us want to be happy, but we look for happiness in different places and with mixed results. Some of us grieve over not obtaining happiness. Others of us think we have achieved it, but we are deceived. Others of us have the proper object of happiness, but we fail to realize it. It is important that we pursue the ultimate Good, who alone is the basis for true and lasting happiness. Our hearts will forever remain restless until they find their rest in the Good, that is, God, as St. Augustine … [Read more...]

Die to a Martyr’s Complex—We Cannot Out-Give God

©2011 Creative Commons

Lent is a forty day period in the church calendar, which begins with Ash Wednesday, and ends the day before Easter. It involves fasting, prayer and repentance, and emphasizes identification with Jesus. Jesus fasted and prayed for forty days and nights in the wilderness. Many observers of Lent also believe Jesus was in the tomb forty hours.Christians who observe Lent give up various comforts and habits, such as chocolate or coffee or cigarettes. Recently, Pope Francis called on the faithful … [Read more...]

Palm Sunday: Do We Approach Jesus with an Open Hand or a Closed Fist?

Palm Sunday Picture

Today is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. On this day, we celebrate Jesus in his humble glory riding a donkey and its colt into the city of Jerusalem, as the crowds and children cry out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, 15) The crowds threw palm branches on the path before Jesus to celebrate him as their approaching King (Matthew 21:8; John 12:13), who came to bring peace and justice. Many … [Read more...]

Displaced Christians Place Emphasis on Forgiveness and Love

©2013 ODI

What good is religion, anyway? Religion is extremely good, when it promotes radical love in the face of extreme hate. I was deeply moved by the video of Christian girls in Erbil, Iraq, who were interviewed after they and their families were displaced from their homes by ISIS. My friend Adam Estle at Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding made available this video link in his recent EMEU Weekly Communiqué, which you can find here.How would we respond if we were displaced from our homes … [Read more...]


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