A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

You Are What You Speak: When Politics Becomes a Holy War, People Get Hurt and Sometimes Killed

High Quality Angry preacher breathing fire Blank Meme Template
This is a revised post written a couple of years ago, but is sadly just as timely.
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.--Luke 6:43-45

We have some idioms in our culture that reflect the importance of actions-- "Actions speak louder than words" and "Talk is cheap," Such adages speak of the importance of actually doing what we say we will do and not just talking about it. These sayings do not minimize the importance of words; they highlight the significance of action.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday at the Cinema: Listen to the Voices of Civil War Slaves

Monday, July 08, 2019

Life Is Too Short to Read Bad Books

I'm an avid reader. At any given moment, I carry with me in my computer bag three to four books I am currently working through, so that if I have thirty or more minutes in between my busy schedule, I can find a place to stop and read. In addition, I almost daily check websites I have bookmarked for articles and posts I am interested in reading. The one sense I never want to lose is my eyesight. I cannot imagine being in a world where I cannot read.

One of the things I used to do was to finish every book I started, even if after a few chapters I did not like it. I suppose it was one of those things where I was taught to finish what I began, so I suffered through a bad book until the very last chapter, of the very last page, of the very last sentence, of the very last word... until my very last groan.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: 2 Kings 5:1-14 or Isaiah 66:10-14

Psalter: Psalm 30 or Psalm 66:1-9

Epistle: Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16

Gospel: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
God of all nations and peoples, your Son commanded his disciples to preach and heal throughout the world. Grant us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the zeal to proclaim the good news of peace and justice, and gather all humanity into life with you. Amen.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Crime Definitely Does Not Pay

Man who robbed bank to get away from wife sentenced to home confinement

June 14, 2017 | 2:32am | Updated

A Kansas man who robbed a bank last September and told police that he was hoping to get caught so he would get prison time to escape his wife was sentenced Tuesday to six months of home confinement after pleading guilty, the Kansas City Star reported.

Lawrence John Ripple took the guilty plea in January. He told the judge Tuesday that he had heart surgery that left him depressed when he committed the bank robbery, the paper reported.

His public defender told the court that Ripple had lived a law-abiding life and was in a stable relationship with his wife. He has four stepchildren, the report said.

Ripple handed a note to a bank teller in Kansas City demanding cash and warning he had a gun. Ripple took the money, $2,924, and went to sit in the lobby, where he told a guard he was the "guy he was looking for."

Officers arrived quickly. An FBI agent wrote in the affidavit that Ripple had earlier been arguing with his wife. He told investigators he wrote the note in front of his wife, telling her he would "rather be in jail than at home."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

What Does It Mean for the Church to Change its Values to Match the Culture? Confusing Authority with Interpretation

You may have seen this meme posted on social media:
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It is most often posted by Christians of a more conservative bent, but several of my more progressive friends have posted it or something close to it. When conservative Christians post it, it is directed at those Christians who accept gay marriage and are pro-choice on abortion. When progressive Christians appeal to it, it is pointed at those Christians who support militarism and border walls designed to exclude those seeking asylum. The problem with this meme, like most memes, is that it is simply a simplistic response to the complex problem of biblical interpretation. I ask you to consider the following.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Third Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 or 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

Psalter: Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 or Psalm 16

Epistle: Galatians 5:1, 13-25

Gospel: Luke 9:51-62
O God, you set us free in Jesus Christ with a power greater than all that would keep us captive. Grant that we might live gracefully in our freedom without selfishness or arrogance, and through love become slaves to the freedom of the gospel for the sake of your reign. Amen.