‘Christianity’ Archive

A Letter about ‘Freedom’ and Christianity March 3, 2018 No Comments

I have wrestled with the tensions between Christianity and ‘freedom’; and they have been a major part of my thinking, at times even an obsession.  So I think it’s time that I told my whole story and thinking about this issue. An important event in my life, five years before my conversion, was being whipsawed […]

Time to Stop Using Political Terminology for Theological and Moral Views December 11, 2017 No Comments

Some portions of the American church, it is asserted, have gotten much more politicized in recent years.  It is at the point where many want to ditch the word ‘evangelical’, because ‘evangelical’ is seen by the public as a political category.  I think we need to do more than that.  I think it is time […]

Drawing Lines: The Fences of the Church September 6, 2017 No Comments

The modern Church tries to be open to as many as possible, in order that as many as possible might hear the Gospel.  Jim Belcher has written about a model of the Church not as a fenced enclosure but as a waterhole in the desert.  But you have to do something when the barbarian hordes on […]

‘Faith’ vs ‘Relationship’ July 27, 2017 No Comments

Christians have traditionally spoken of ‘faith’ as the means of taking hold of the salvation of Christ. Roman Catholics have tended to speak of ‘faith plus works combined’, but at their best they don’t regard salvation as a matter of ‘earned success’ but simply want to stress that the faith that justifies leads to works. […]

Why I’m Not Ultimately a Pessimist May 1, 2017 No Comments

These are strange times indeed.  The traditional ‘fusion-conservatism’ has been shattered, to be replaced by a form of nationalism that in some forms seems to lean in the unfortunate direction of white nationalism. Some of the old social conservatives have taken to looking to Putin’s Russia, of all places, as their beacon of hope.  This […]

Opportunities for Positive Testimony October 24, 2016 2 Comments

The candidacy of Donald Trump, and his takeover of the Republican Party, has split the American evangelical world and is, I think, purging it.  But it is creating opportunities for positive testimony as well.  The Daily Beast, far from a religious right site, posted recently a story about the Christians of the ironically named town […]

Do We Have Something to Offer Working Class Whites? An Open Letter to the CCDA Leadership August 23, 2016 No Comments

In the last couple of years there have been a number of stories about an increase in the death rate of working class whites that has not been paralleled among their African American and Latino counterparts.  At the same time, even the Pentecostals and Catholics now are losing their grip on the white working class. […]

Christians May be Decreasing in Number in America, But Not Because of any ‘War’ December 30, 2015 No Comments

Jay Michaelson, in The Daily Beast, proclaimed on Christmas Day that there is a decrease in the numbers and influence of Christians in America, but that the “war” on Christianity is a myth.  I’m not sure the war on Christianity is a myth, but it’s not the cause of our problems, and to the extent […]

Amusement and Awe: John Muir and Walt Disney August 20, 2014 No Comments

In a recent issue of Orange Coast magazine, Bob Sipchen of the Sierra Club contrasts John Muir, the naturalist, and Walt Disney: Walt Disney, who also shares a place in California’s Hall of Fame, appreciated the natural world Muir loved, honoring it in his movies and theme parks.  But the great amusement magician probably understood […]

After Jesus, A Better World December 20, 2013 No Comments

Mark Judge, a Roman Catholic writer, has, just in time for Christmas, given us his version of why the coming of Jesus into the world was an improvement.  Judge quotes the former pope Benedict XVI as saying that the ancient Greeks “considered eros principally as a kind of intoxication, the overpowering of reason by a […]

Thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day March 14, 2013 1 Comment

In a few days comes one of the strangest holidays in our American calendar, in which we honor a saint who actually deserves honoring or remembering, and at the same time the first major non-Protestant ethnic group to come to our shores voluntarily. St. Patrick was not Irish, but ‘British’ [which really means Latin speaking […]

Why I am not a Communitarian November 26, 2012 2 Comments

A philosophy called ‘communitarianism’ has often been proposed recently as an alternative to the growing libertarianism of our time.  This philosophy, they say, can combine social conservatism and economic moderation, as well as potentially reviving an emphasis on the local community, depending on how ‘community’ is defined; some define it at the nation-state level!  This […]

Prison not the Answer: the Veterans-Only Court and Brother’s Keepers May 7, 2012 No Comments

What these war veterans do for each other models what the Body of Christ, especially in smaller groups, is supposed to be like.  These vets are “moving from a highly disciplined environment where violence is normal to an unstructured environment where violence is prohibited.”  So they are their ‘brother’s keepers’ in a way rarely seen […]

No, Hal Lindsey did not discover the Book of Revelation June 24, 2011 No Comments

One of the blessings of being dragged across Europe frequently is that you learn that medieval and Renassance people did read their Bibles and use them in art work. Yes, they added things, like a whole biography of Mary and many saints stories, and many legends about people like Joseph of Arimathea traveling westward with […]

Does Justice Equal Entitlement: A Book Review March 18, 2011 No Comments

  Marvin Olasky, one of the most saintly people I know, has also done a review of Timothy Keller”s new book, Generous Justice. I’m sure it is superior to mine. Nevertheless, I think I have something to say. Timothy Keller, the innovative pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church PCA in New York City, has come out […]