The Weapons of Our Warfare: The Question of Churches Arming Themselves

The Weapons of Our Warfare: The Question of Churches Arming Themselves

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who works on the staff of a nearby church. He shared with me that they were having conversations about what to do if an extremist attack took place at one of their services or programs.  According to my friend, much of the conversation centered on the idea of providing armed security (off-duty police officers) as well as intentionally arming and training some staff or congregation members. Continue reading

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Scot McKnight and Miraslov Volf on Twitter: Do Muslims, Jews, and Christians Worship the Same God

Scot McKnight and Miraslov Volf on Twitter: Do Muslims, Jews, and Christians Worship the Same God

There is a fascinating discussion between the two theologians on twitter, sparked by Volf’s latest work, Allah: A Christian Response, in which he takes the position and Muslims and Christians worship the same God but have different understandings.  Here are a few of the interchanges between the two of them on twitter (sparked by an initial tweet by Justin Taylor of McKnight’s comments):

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Like a Child

Like a Child

“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Jesus

We often talk about possessing the “faith of a child” (although Jesus never actually mentions this). We rarely talk about what Jesus actually does mention: possessing the humility and the lowness of status of a child.

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Fifty-two Years Ago

Fifty-two Years Ago

Fifty-two years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

I wasn’t alive then. It was seven years before I was born. I grew up in the decades following one of the the most internally divided and violent eras in U.S. history since the Civil War.  However, studying history and remembering the feel of growing up after these events (the distrust of government, the angst and anger of Vietnam), it reminds me that the present times are perhaps more like the past than we would like. Continue reading

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It Is Okay

It Is Okay

Beloved, it is okay to be afraid to love in the face of threat and violence. It is okay to want something else, anything other than a love that serves even those who are our enemies, and to pray, “Please take this cup from me.”

We are not up to the challenge to love so deeply.

I am not up to it.

So, we rely on the strength of Christ, who also prayed “take this cup” but then surrendered: “Your will be done, not mine.” Then he took up his cross in order to reveal a love that cannot be deterred or overcome by fear, violence, or even death.

This is the only kind of love that matters.

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In Times of Hate, We Seek Wisdom In Order To Love Better

In Times of Hate, We Seek Wisdom In Order To Love Better

I told someone a few weeks ago that we could probably expect an increase in extremist attacks outside of the Middle East, and that, unfortunately, there would likely be attacks tied to refugees from Syria. Already, as I said it, there was the growing rumble of fear here in the U.S. regarding refugees, and my own concern was that if/when an attack happened that was connected with refugees, that it would feed such fear and even turn it into anger and hatred. Now we find that such an event has occurred in France. Continue reading

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