November 15, 2018

Fear rages like a consuming fire. Unimaginable natural disasters strike close to home–or even closer, as has been true for some of my friends in California. Over sixty people have been found dead and over six hundred are missing on account of the terrorizing blaze. Will the firefighters ever be able to extinguish the flames, or will the fire keep running wild like our rampant worry? While some experience natural disasters, others experience the horrors of mass shootings. Given their frequent… Read more

November 13, 2018

Isaiah 53:3 reads, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (ESV). The suffering church throughout the ages has claimed that this text finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth. But how about our age? Do we take comfort in the ultimate man of sorrows? Or does the power of positive thinking Christianity stand in the way of our… Read more

November 10, 2018

Jesus tells those who mourn as participants of his kingdom that they are blessed: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt. 5:4; ESV). In a culture where people often medicate their emotional pain, Jesus’ words on the importance of mourning might be a hard pill to swallow. Of course, there is a place for using medication to address various physical and mental struggles. But still, when so many preach a gospel of positive thinking, Jesus’ call that… Read more

November 9, 2018

Switching from one religion to another happens quite a bit in the United States. In 2008 the Pew Forum released its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, and followed this up in 2009 with a report titled “Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.” This report was somewhat surprising in that it revealed a greater fluidity in religious affiliation than had previously been recognized. In the 2007 survey, 28% of American adults had made transitions involving religious affiliation. However,… Read more

November 3, 2018

We all struggle with memory loss. There are times people forget certain things because of trauma (as with dissociative amnesia). At other times, it is due to aging, disease, or injury to the brain. Still, at other times, it may be convenient for us to consciously suppress unpleasant memories to gain an advantage, as in the case of the caravan news, including the call to amass U.S. troops on our southern border. Perhaps the current state of alarm over the… Read more

November 2, 2018

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippian church, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21; ESV). Paul lived with a sense of urgency centered in Jesus Christ. God wants us to live with this same sense of urgency. Unfortunately, there are times we live with a sense of complacency, or quiet despair. At other times, we live with a sense of urgency, but not centered in Jesus Christ. How might… Read more

October 28, 2018

Sixty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.” King’s words are as true today as they were in 1958 for people of every color and creed. It has been claimed that the ultimate inspiration for King’s claim is… Read more

October 26, 2018

We are already hearing talk of candidates for the 2020 US Presidential election. One of the key platform issues in any election is economics. Given that reality, I doubt Jesus would have a chance at being President. Or at least, he would need to find a better speech writer. After all, who’s going to elect a messianic candidate who starts out his stump speech with words like “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”?… Read more

October 19, 2018

In commenting on a CNN article about the missing Saudi journalist, Ahmadiyya Muslim leader Richard Reno posted the following at Facebook: “While I oppose overthrowing foreign leaders (see Libya) or fomenting rebellion in other countries, turning a blind eye to human rights abuses is wrong. Selling weapons to regimes that engage in human rights abuses or killing civilians is not only immoral, but makes you complicit in their crimes against humanity. Putting money over human lives is morally repugnant and must… Read more

October 19, 2018

Mormons, Buddhists and adherents of other religions are not “-isms.” They’re not even “-ists.” They’re people. So, for all their differences from us Evangelical Christians, they’re still so much like you and me. Moreover, as with us, their humanity shapes their approach to their faith traditions, just as their faith traditions shape them as humans. While I find it refreshing and right to hold passionately to ultimate truth claims in a society where relativism is so prevalent, Christians must guard… Read more

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