A friend of mine recently spoke of a meeting he was at where every Christian leader in the room was trying to convey how he or she was more unique than everyone else. Upon hearing this, my wife remarked how interesting it is that the more we compete with one another to promote our own uniqueness the more we look just like one another. How true. Indeed, the common fixation with promoting how unique we are clothes us in various shades of dull gray.This reminded me of a story surrounding B … [Read more...]
Evangelicals, Same-Sex Marriage & Wedding Cakes: Are Evangelicals Trying to Have Their Cake and Eat It, Too?
Evangelicalism is a very diverse movement, contrary to how the media often portrays us. The same-sex marriage debate nationally reflects such diversity. Questions for many Evangelicals revolve around three things: what is constitutional, what is biblical, and what is relational.Many Evangelicals oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. I believe most would oppose church-officiated same-sex wedding ceremonies based on their biblical perspectives. Still, concerns around how to engage … [Read more...]
What do you make of the following point about “brilliant personalities” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together? “The church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and the brethren.”Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote these words in the section “The Ministry of Authority” in Life Together. Based on this brief section, I am not sure what Bonhoeffer would have made of personality tests. I certainly think they have a place in discerning who we are and how we operate. Moreover … [Read more...]
One of the striking features of Karl Barth’s theology is his emphasis on God’s freedom. For Barth, God always remains Lord in revelation. We never master God. Barth’s adherence to this emphasis helped to safeguard against presumption. While God tabernacles in the flesh, he never resides in my back pocket as a good luck charm; nor is he a genie in a bottle—my wish is not his command.Barth’s emphasis on God’s freedom bears significance for such subjects as individual and ecclesial parochialism … [Read more...]
What is globalization? The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides popular as well as precise considerations. On a popular level, globalization is viewed as the liberalization of the world economy and westernization of vast domains of culture, including economics and politics; moreover, it involves the spread of innovative technologies and the cessation of main causes of strife and unification of communities across the globe. On a more in depth level, globalization involves “fundamental c … [Read more...]
Will Jesus return as Alec Baldwin’s character, Blake, in Glengarry, Glen Ross? Blake came down from the corporate office to shame the company’s salesmen with his brass balls and talk of real men being closers (selling houses). He sought to shame the salesmen into submission and squeeze from them higher rates of production. Blake could care less about finding faith on earth, only money. The ABC's of Blake's Great Commission to the employees of the real estate firm were: As you are going, “Always B … [Read more...]
"Sometimes our worst enemies are our best friends." This was the response of one of my Christian colleagues to Friedrich Nietzsche's claim that the doctrine of the crucified God is the most despicable teaching and Christianity is the greatest misfortune in human history. Before explaining the basis for my colleague's claim, let's take a look at what Nietzsche actually wrote: The Christian movement, as a European movement, has been from the start a collective movement of the dross and refuse ele … [Read more...]