What Does Biblical Meekness Look Like in a Litigation-Loaded Culture?

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5; ESV)John practices law and is a practicing Christian. Some might wonder how “practices law” and “practicing Christian” can go together in the same sentence, but John’s story reveals that they can.John was involved in a mediation proceeding with a former client based on a conflict between his law firm and this former client that dated back several years. John and his team sat in one room, and the other party and his la … [Read more...]

Lord, “Where There Is Injury,” Let Me Pardon—But Only After Pursuing Legal Action.

The prayer often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi referred to as the “Peace Prayer” includes the words, “Where there is injury, pardon.” 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. What a contrast to the dominant way of thinking in our litigation age, in which we are bombarded by threats to sue on a recurring basis. The bombardment can twist our thinking so that we mistakenly paraphrase … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day May Be Very Profitable, But You Cannot Buy a Priceless Mother’s Costly Love

Mother's Day has become one of the most commercialized and lucrative holidays on record. According to a Washington Post article, the inventor of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, would be irate to know that "Mother's Day has become one of the most profitable U.S. holidays, with annual spending steadily growing since 2006. This year, consumers are expected to spend a record high of $23.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation." If mothers were to reap the financial rewards for the holiday, … [Read more...]

“In Nothing We Trust”: How Do We Restore Confidence in America?

A 2012 Atlantic article says that the national motto could be “In Nothing We Trust.” A summative statement puts it well: ...people have lost faith in their institutions. Government, politics, corporations, the media, organized religion, organized labor, banks, businesses, and other mainstays of a healthy society are failing. It’s not just that the institutions are corrupt or broken; those clichés oversimplify an existential problem: With few notable exceptions, the nation’s onetime social pillar … [Read more...]

Immunity to Critique Leads to Political and Spiritual Abuse of Power

No one is immune to critique. In fact, we all need it. However, when a leader claims directly or indirectly that he or she is immune to critique, it is a warning that (further) a devastating abuse of power is around the corner. I so resonated with former U. S. President George W. Bush stating earlier this year that the media is indispensable to democracy. An independent media is not an enemy of the people: “‘We need an independent media to hold people like me to account,’ Bush said. ‘Power can b … [Read more...]

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...]