Cultural Fragmentation Often Trumps Science

Science seeks after objectivity. However, certain cultural predispositions and fragmentation fight against this goal.Political, racial and religious divisions often shape approaches to scientific matters in various ways. One interesting historical example regarding politics and religious concerns Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyles’ competing approaches to the natural world based on political upheaval in their cultural context. Against the backdrop of the wars of religion in Europe, Hobbes was c … [Read more...]

What Kind of Prosperity Gospel Does Your Church Preach?

There are all kinds of prosperity gospel preaching today. There is the name it and claim it orientation that says “God wants you to be rich and famous. Just believe!” Another kind, a very different kind of prosperity gospel, is the one that instead of naming and claiming it goes, “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4; ESV). Instead of salvation being about our naming and claiming ‘it’, our salvation is that Jesus claims and names us!Such naming and … [Read more...]

What if Hell Were Like Anti-Social Media? What About Heaven?

A student by the name of Theresa shared in class about how people often have two Instagram accounts. One is filled with beautiful pictures that are available to the entire world. The other account is only for close friends and family members, and includes less appealing, personal representations, possibly free of all filters. We got to thinking: what would it be like if we lived as if we only had one Instagram account free of all filters intended to alter what we really look like?It also got … [Read more...]

Are You Worried About the ‘Feminization’ of the Church? I Am.

You hear a lot today about the  ‘feminization’ of the church. Many men fear that the ideal of womanhood has eclipsed biblical manhood. They have nothing to fear as long as Jesus Christ is the goal of humanity. After all, he is a Jewish man.Now just as being Jewish does not eclipse humanity, but participates in the new humanity with Gentile believers, so being male does not eclipse humanity, but participates in the new humanity with women: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slav … [Read more...]

How Often Do You Take Prayer Requests for Mental Health?

I begin each class with prayer. I also take prayer requests. On one such occasion this year, a student asked for prayer for her mental health. I was struck by the student’s courage and transparency. Rarely, if ever, have I heard someone ask for prayer for one’s own mental health in a seminary classroom or a church home community gathering. Why is that?No doubt, there are many reasons. One reason is that there is a stigma often associated with mental health. There is this notion that cir … [Read more...]

Who Has Hell To Pay? Just Put Your Sins On Credit

One of the best ways to avoid getting bad credit scores and credit hell is to pay bills on time rather than moving financial burdens around and putting off payments. While many of us know such financial counsel is important, we all too readily defer payments and max out our credit cards. We may even think that someone will either bail us out, or that somehow we will be able to defer on our irresponsible consumer debts ad infinitum to eternity. Those of us who hope for endless deferments would … [Read more...]

At the Crossroads: Medicine, Ethics and Religion, Part 1.

I was waiting in a hospital waiting room this morning. The mission of the hospital was posted on a wall right in front of me. The mission read, “We carry on the healing mission of Jesus Christ by promoting personal and community health, relieving pain and suffering, and treating each person in a loving and caring way.” For those who think science, ethics and faith can never overlap, these words might cut like a knife.There is a whole lot of theology and ethics embedded in that hospital mis … [Read more...]