Category Archives: Christianity

E. Stanley Jones: The Sermon on the Mount, Creeds, and Christianity

E. Stanley Jones:  The Sermon on the Mount, Creeds, and Christianity

E. Stanley Jones was a Methodist missionary and theologian. He is most well known for his work in India and, espeically, his friendship with Gandhi.  He has many well known works in missionary, theological, and Methodist circles, including The Christ on the Indian Road, which sold over 1 million copies.

One of his works that has been formative for me is The Christ of the Mount, in which Jones focuses on the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  I really cannot recommend this book enough.  It is transformative. Continue reading

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Pew Research: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back

Pew Research: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back

This report is not surprising, but re-affirms the trends that we have been witnessing since the early 1990’s.   As the report states:

“By the end of the 1990s, 14% of the public claimed no religious affiliation. The rate of religious change accelerated further during the late 2000s and early 2010s, reaching 20% by 2012. Today, one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.” (page 2)

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Fasting Meditation 3: A Christian Writing from the Second Century (2 Clement)

Fasting Meditation 3: A Christian Writing from the Second Century (2 Clement)

Although labeled “2 Clement” this excerpt is from a text written by an anonymous author from the second century (A.D. 140-160) and not Clement of Rome (who was from the generation following the apostles).  However, the work was included along with 1 Clement in several Christian collections, one of which (Codex Alexandrinus) dates from the fourth century. Continue reading

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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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“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

In light of tonight’s celestial event, I thought it would be good list the passages in scripture that refer to the “moon turning to blood.”  There are three such passages, with one being a duplicate:  Peter’s quote of Joel on the Day of Pentecost (the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or “Weeks”).  The other is from the book of Revelation.  While there are other biblical passages that describe signs and events in the heavens (the most well known being the star signifying Jesus’ birth), these are the only three that mention what has popularly been called “blood moons”.

Note that the “moon to blood” also includes other celestial events, such as the sun being darkened (all three) and stars falling to the earth (Revelation only).  Additionally, Peter seems to be saying that this prophecy from Joel was being fulfilled at Pentecost.  I quote each of them at length for context: Continue reading

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David Fitch: On Being On The Wrong Side of History

David Fitch: On Being On The Wrong Side of History

I don’t really know David Fitch‘s views or positions on most issues (though I can guess), but I enjoyed this article. I’ve thought for a while that “The wrong side of history” is a phrase that has very little meaning in terms of rational debates, especially about issues of justice (where too often the oppressed have not been those writing history).  It has been an especially troublesome phrase when it is used to simplistically (and erroneously, as Fitch points out) argue that the church and followers of Jesus have consistently been “on the wrong side of history” in terms of social issues.   Continue reading

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