September 19, 2023

While It Was Still Dark  In simple words, John gives us an important observation about the morning of the resurrection. “…It was still dark…” As always with John the words operate on two levels. Yes, it was before dawn so it was dark. John, however, was not referring to the limited number of lumens peering over the horizon. The time of day is only a servant to his greater point. The world was dark not because the sun had yet... Read more

September 15, 2023

Ethics and Human Behavior As someone who studies ethics, I have observed the behavior of some students and professors in the field with some confusion. If ethics is the study of the right way to live, the right thing to do, then why do some in the field do the wrong thing? More specifically, why do some behave in ways that contradict the field they are studying or teaching? Why do some ethics teachers breach ethics?   Ethics Professors and... Read more

September 12, 2023

John Calvin There are few Protestants more influential than the French theologian John Calvin. His Institutes of the Christian Religion have shaped Protestant theology for 500 years. Calvin is a brilliant thinker, and his interpretation of Scripture is usually insightful. He is formidable and worth reading. What Is Calvinism Modern Calvinists often use the acronym TULIP to describe the Calvinist system: T=total depravity. Sin ruins every area of existence, including human will and intellect. No person can turn to God... Read more

September 8, 2023

Alexander Lang: Leaving The Pastorate His name is Alexander Lang, and most people would have never heard of him had it not been for his letter detailing his reasons for leaving the ministry. Pastor of Arlington Heights Presbyterian Church in Illinois for 10 years, Lang gave his last sermon on August 27th. He chose to explain his reasons for leaving Arlington Heights and the pastorate in an online forum. Lang describes the pressures, real and perceived, of ministry. He also... Read more

September 5, 2023

The Bible There is a new addition to my office, a brown leather copy of Holy Scripture. I ordered it when I was at a denominational meeting this summer. Not often do I find my favorite translation in a comfortable size, so when I found this one I was excited. The two gold ribbons for page markers are tucked in Genesis and Isaiah, where my reading is right now. I do not need a ribbon for the Psalms, as I... Read more

August 31, 2023

What I have most wanted to do is make religious writing an art    New Atheism Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and other writers are part of an intellectual movement known as “New Atheism.” While there have always been atheists, New Atheism is a militant version of the ideology. In the past, atheists have been content with mere disbelief. New Atheism, however, argues it is important to protest against religion, ridicule it, and convert people from religion. It has a zeal,... Read more

August 28, 2023

Conspiracies and Faith: Did Jesus Really Exist? What is in Area 51? Did Oswald work alone? Was there a moon landing or was the footage filmed on a set somewhere? Is Elvis alive? Did he fake his death? Did the aliens build the Gaza Pyramids? No doubt you can add several conspiracies to the list. Watching late-night TV while fighting insomnia, you can find yourself engrossed in all kinds of conspiracies, usually involving aliens. Add in grainy pictures and eerie... Read more

August 23, 2023

Addictions Among Us In my pastoral role, I have become convinced that most families have a member who faces an addiction of some kind. According to a recent survey, 46% of all Americans have a friend or family member with a substance abuse problem. If one were to calculate the number of people who have behavioral addictions, the percentage would undoubtedly be much higher. No segment of society is immune. Recent comments by professional golfer Rory McIlroy about Phil Mickelson’s... Read more

August 15, 2023

I’m Not Good at Waiting I confess it, I’m not good at waiting. Long lines in a checkout center annoy me. If I am stuck in one, my eyelids will twitch and my nostrils will flare in an accelerating rhythm. I will have to fight the desire to put down my merchandise and flee. Put me in a long line of traffic and I will curse the invention of the automobile itself. If I have placed an Amazon or eBay... Read more

August 10, 2023

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? …How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? …But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. Psalm 13   The Human Brain The human mind is a gift and a wonder. Our brains process information so quickly we are seldom aware of the process. We can evaluate visual information and auditory information and walk down a flight of... Read more

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