Someone asked me about the potential threat of “terrorist infiltration” if we as a nation provide refuge for those fleeing Syria and northern Iraq. Here is my response: Continue reading
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
To so many of my Christian brothers and sisters who disagree with today’s SCOTUS decision: Continue reading
The “prodigal son” story is really about “prodigal sons“.
Even the son who stays home, who works hard to please his father—to be just like his dad—can miss the nuances that make all the difference: It wasn’t the kind of business dad ran or its success, but (as the younger son recognized) how he treated his employees and those around him. It wasn’t the words he spoke, but why he spoke them…and to whom…and how. Continue reading
From the Gospel of Luke:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the upper room.
From the Gospel of Matthew:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
From the Apocalypse of John:
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
The Gospel of Luke records a revelatory and visionary event that happened in the life of a young Jewish girl name Miriam (Mary), who lived in the northern hill country of Judea, called “the Galil” (Galilee). The Jewish people have been conquered, occupied, and oppressed by the Romans for about 40 years when this event takes place:
The word of YHWH to Isaiah the Prophet:
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
It might surprise people to know that Jesus didn’t talk about church very much. While Jesus does spend a lot of time talking about what I would call “Kingdom oriented relationships and practices,” in all four Gospels, Jesus only mentions church (Greek ekklesia) explicitly in two passages, and both are in Matthew. Continue reading
Last week Donald Miller posted some thoughts regarding his reasons for “not going to church very often.” His firstpost, “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere” primarily discussed his lack of connection to lecture and music, scholastic and entertainment based models for worship services and other programs. His second post, “Why I Don’t Go to Church Very Often, A Follow Up Post“, went into more detail about those issues and others. Continue reading
I have been keenly aware in every job I have ever had that I could be suspended, fired, or forced to resign for “saying what I think.” I haven’t always liked this reality, and I’ve been known at times to push the boundaries. However, I have never considered my employer’s right to terminate me for such behavior a “violation of free speech.” My guess is that if you have ever been employed, you are aware of this as well—and I think we all really want it to work that way.