Join the conversation on Jesus, faith, culture, and more.

How Does God Love You?

There was a man crying beside the hospital bed of his 6-year-old. She had cancer. It was terminal. He watched her deteriorate over a few short months after the diagnosis. The cancer in her body was shutting down vital organs. The dad prayed, pleaded, take me, take me instead. The dad couldn't bear to see his child suffer in such a way. He wanted his daughter to live life to the fullest - to grow, to learn, to discover - he wanted to teach her how to … [Read more...]

Why We’re So Amazing

I'm continually amazed at how great we think we are. The focus on the self and its capabilities is astounding. It's become so normal it's promoted as good. Here are a few quotes that express this thinking: Love you. Trust your own goodness. Believe in your own powers. They're fantastic quotes if they're backed with God. By themselves, they're empty. I know folks take issue with God - and for good reason. Those claiming to know him have made a mess of … [Read more...]

Don’t Be So Creedy

The many denominations of Christianity have a number of creeds passed down from early church fathers. The creeds are multifunctional. They unify. They express core beliefs. State theological beliefs. Defend positions. They can be clung to rather tightly. However, creeds, like car manuals, rarely reflect what people believe, say, and do. When reading religious creeds, or listening to someone justify their faith with them, I always get the suspicion that … [Read more...]

What Is The Bible All About

A lot of us tend to judge religious texts by modern standards. That is, we assume that they'll be coherent, chronological, and without contradiction. It seems rational, right? I mean if we're going to live life by the words in a book (and tell others to do the same), that book better damn well have it straight. The better question to ask is what should we have straight? Academia has long since discovered the numerous inconsistencies with ancient … [Read more...]

Science and Religion: Kiss And Make-Up

The science and religion debate rages on, round and round, back and forth. There's a trending twist though. Those on the side of science are adding an economic argument. Whereas before most just pointed their fingers and called the religious stupid, many are now adding, "and I'm tired of paying for it!" The attacks on the religious come from many sources (e.g., social elites, the media, academia), and there is certainly a lot of fodder. The … [Read more...]

The Church Gate

I saw a quote from the author Anne Rice. It stated: "In this country, Christians can teach toddlers to hate and to persecute, and we, through the automatic tax exemption for churches, foot the bill." I'm not too clear on the economics of this argument, or what she deems the more serious issue (the hate or the money). What struck me is how many now view the church. The light of the world has clearly dimmed. The tall white steeples that were once the … [Read more...]

The Competing Kingdoms

The kingdom of the heavens that Jesus describes has been depicted as God's reality. It's where we can find wisdom, peace, joy, power, and fullness of life. In short, we find ourselves. There are, of course, other competing kingdoms. They also claim fullness of life and getting everything we want. One is the kingdom of the Mall. Philosopher James A.K. Smith, in a lecture at Calvin College, uses a Shopping Mall to depict a very powerful message too. The … [Read more...]

Living By The Sword

Some have noticed that I am quite harsh with Christians. A glance at Shit Christians Say or What The Hell Are┬áChurches┬áTeaching, provide some backdrop to this. What I've realized is that, despite what hypocrisy I claim to expose or truths I expound upon, my heart is often in the wrong place. Who doesn't like to feel just a little bit superior? We like to think we're right. We're justified. We cling to this. Moses did when he killed the Egyptian. Peter … [Read more...]

Your Faith, My Faith, The Faith

What is faith anyway? There are many directions and rabbit holes with this question, but here are two to consider. The first is the formal approach. This is faith in regards to commitment or trust in a person or deity. This is the way of the religious. The second is informal faith. This approach relies more on hope, trust, and belief. It's based on the wisdom, intuitions, and experiences of our lives. Many of us get stuck in the formal. We try to adapt … [Read more...]

An Imperfect Path

For Father's Day I thought I would tell a story I heard from a good friend. As dads, we love our kids. We cherish them. And we want what's best for our kids. However, we're often challenged to the breaking point. We lack the skills necessary to help our kids. We stumble and fall, often. Despite this, we can still lead. The story is of a farmer in the middle of Michigan. The dad would get up every morning, often snowy mornings, at 3:00 AM. He would wade … [Read more...]