May 7, 2011

Underlying everything I wrote about the distinction between “justifiable” and “just” in my previous post is my belief that the coming Kingdom of God on earth is the Christian’s and the churches’ critical principle for discerning whether something (such as a violent act) can be celebrated. I have adopted Isaac Watts’ 1793 hymn as my anthem for the coming messianic Kingdom on earth: Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Does his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to… Read more

May 6, 2011

Several people have asked me to clarify what I mean when I say that an act may be “justifiable” but not “just.”  The background is my post about the killing of bin Laden which I suggested might be justifiable but not just.  Someone said that it is okay to celebrate bin Laden’s death (something I denied) so long as one is celebrating the justice in it and not the killing per se.  I cannot bring myself to celebrate something that… Read more

May 3, 2011

I realize I’m treading on dangerous ground here.  And everyone who knows my Anabaptist tendencies will not be surprised.  Nor will those who know my Niebuhrian tendencies.  That’s right–I’m a person caught in a paradoxical mindset torn between John Howard Yoder and Reinhold Niebuhr!  I tend to think every reflective Christian ends up there. One thing Yoder (Anabaptist) and Niebuhr (Christian realist) would agree on is that Christians should never celebrate killing–however justified it may be.  Anabaptists like Yoder probably… Read more

May 1, 2011

I’ve been reading a new book by my LDS acquaintance Robert (Bob) Millet who teaches religion at Brigham Young University.  Because I know he prefers to be called a Latter Day Saint (LDS) that’s what I’ll call him here.  The book is Modern Mormonism: Myths and Realities (Greg Kofford Books).  Now, you’ll have to know a little of my own background and Bob’s to understand why I have to be open to his argument that LDSers are Christians. Bob begins… Read more

April 29, 2011

Some have questioned whether anything like the satisfaction or penal substitution theories of the atonement can be found before Anselm.  I have asserted they can be. Hear Athanasius in De Incarnatione (On the Incarnation of the Word) (and these are only two selected quotations out of many possible ones): “And so it was that two marvels came to pass at once, that the death of all was accomplished in the Lord’s body, and that death and corruption were wholly done… Read more

April 29, 2011

Some comments here are so good that I want to make them posts.  I hope “Robert” won’t mind if I do that with his recent comment about God abiding by rules in his interactions with the world.  This is simply another way of saying God is sovereign over his sovereignty.  He can choose how his sovereignty will be exercised.  Only such an explanation (as given by Robert below) explains why God is not arbitrary.  Here is Robert’s comment in response… Read more

April 28, 2011

According to news reports, David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade, died in a car accident in Texas on Wednesday, April 27.  May he find peace and bliss in paradise with his Lord. When I was a Pentecostal preacher’s kid and a student in a very secularized high school (where I was the object of much ridicule for being openly a believer) David Wilkerson’s book and the movie based on it gave me great comfort and some ammunition. … Read more

April 27, 2011

Some students (current and former) and I have been reading and discussing a new book entitled Church in the Present Tense: A Candid Look at What’s Emerging by Scot McKnight, Peter Rollins, Kevin Corcoran (editor) and Jason Clark (Brazos Press).  It’s an enlightening and stimulating volume of essays related to the concept of “emerging church.” My favorite essay so far is by Jason Clark who is coordinator of the Emergent UK online resource network, pastor of Vineyard Church Sutton (UK) and… Read more

April 24, 2011

It was my intention to move on from the controversy about capital punishment that resulted from my post “Capital punishment is sin.”  However, I just viewed Saturday evening’s episode of the TV show “48 Hours” (April 23).  (I wasn’t able to watch it when it aired because we attended a wonderful Easter concert that included many songs about the cross and the atonement as well as the resurrection.  We tried not to be distracted by the fact that we were… Read more

April 24, 2011

A recent Associate Press article out of North Carolina reported on wild fires that burned homes and churches.  My local newspaper published a “box” highlighting the following quote by a member of a church that burned: “There is nothing that happens that God does not intend to happen.” I went to the internet attempting to discover if the church is Reformed and was unable to establish that.  However, I have reason to doubt it.  The church SEEMS to be African-American… Read more

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