Jesus’ Crucifixion Is the Greatest Compliment: Take Comfort on Good Friday

Jesus’ crucifixion is the greatest compliment, though not everyone thinks so…One of the things I most appreciate about my Muslim friends is the high regard they have for Jesus: they honor him as a great prophet. This is one reason why many Muslims (though not all) claim that Jesus was delivered from being crucified. How could a true prophet of God die such a shameful death? Surely God would have delivered him from the cross.As much as I appreciate my Muslim friends’ high regard for Jesus … [Read more...]

God’s Church Is More Than “Giving Units”. She Is United to Jesus Christ.

God’s church is more than a collection of giving units. As the bride, she is united to Jesus Christ. Sometimes Christian leaders refer to their congregants as “giving units,” that is, as those who contribute financially to the church institution.It is so easy in our free market society to measure God’s people primarily by what they contribute to the church collection plate. After all, our society often places supreme value on the effective exchanges of goods and services; such valuation easil … [Read more...]

Join Palms in Prayer and Solidarity on Palm Sunday for Egyptian Christians and All Who Face Religious Persecution

Today, on Palm Sunday, Christians around the world wave palm branches in remembrance of people greeting Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9; ESV) People around the world also join palms in prayer in remembrance of Coptic Christians killed today by deadly blasts in two churches in Egypt.Regardless of our ecclesial affiliation, we who are Christians must not only join palms in pr … [Read more...]

Where Is Barth’s Mozart When You Need Him? From the Lisbon Earthquake to Chemical Weapons in Syria.

Whenever one considers natural and/or moral disasters, one can easily come away overwhelmed and despondent. What moves us to action to aid those who suffer in the wake? Hope certainly has something to do with moving beyond the threat of paralysis or inactivity in many if not all situations. Public opinion across the world will continue to weigh in on whether President Trump should have ordered the destruction of the airfield in Syria that reportedly housed the planes used in the chemical weapon … [Read more...]

You Are What You Eat. You Become What You View.

“Mom was right: You are what you eat.” Could it also be true that we become what we view? Here I’m reminded of the short story, The Great Stone Face, published by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The story is based on an old legend claiming that someone would arise in their midst that would look like the Great Stone Face—a rock formation on a nearby mountainside that had the air of a living human countenance from the right distance and lighting. The person who would emerge with the striking resembl … [Read more...]

Lord, “Where There Is Hatred, Let Me Sow Love”—for Those Like Me.

The prayer often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi referred to as the “Peace Prayer” includes the words, “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” Even though it is often claimed that St. Francis did not pen the prayer, it still resonates and penetrates our hearts as if he or someone like him did. And yet, we need to ask what is meant by love. We all have notions of love, but what kind of love does the prayer envision?In light of the prayer’s second major section, it would appear that for t … [Read more...]

Clearing Up the Smog: An Interview with an Environmental Scientist on Comprehensive Health

In view of the heated engagement nationally and globally concerning environmental protections and the economy, I reached out to an environmental studies professor at a Christian university to seek his perspective on comprehensive health. My hope is that the cool-headed exchange in the interview that follows will help clear up some of the smog surrounding pressing issues. These issues concern human health, the well-being of our planet, and economic vitality.Steven A. Kolmes is Director of the … [Read more...]