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
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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)

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Saturday at the Cinema: Straddling the Divide Between Biblical Studies and Theology

My friend Michael Gorman offers his wisdom: Forgive his corny sense of humor:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Scripture Refracted, Or Should the Bible Be Taught in Public Schools?

President Donald Trump has weighed in on the attempt in several states to teach Bible literacy classes in public schools. The other day he tweeted, "Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!"

Caitlyn Oprysko of Politico writes,
A handful of states are making pushes to introduce elective courses in schools that lawmakers say would teach the Bible in terms of its historical context, and though none have passed, critics have pointed out that such bills could blur the constitutional line separating church and state.
There are many who think this is a good idea; after all the Bible has guided millions of faithful Christians for centuries. Why not give people, especially our children, more exposure to its message? One would also think that as a pastor with a Ph.D in New Testament theology I support such an idea... but I do not, and it has nothing to do with the separation of church and state (though that is not an unimportant matter). Let me offer my reasons.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Third Sunday after Epiphany

Old Testament: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

Psalter: Psalm 19

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
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In you, O Lord our God, we find our joy, for through your law and your prophets you formed a people in mercy and freedom, in justice and righteousness. Pour your Spirit on us today, that we who are Christ's body may bear the good news of your ancient promises to all who seek you. Amen.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Old Testament: Isaiah 62:1-5

Psalter: Psalm 36:5-10

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Gospel: John 2:1-11
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O God of steadfast love, at the wedding in Cana your Son Jesus turned water into wine, delighting all who were there. Transform our hearts by your Spirit, that we may use our varied gifts to show forth the light of your love as one body in Christ. Amen.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the First Sunday after the Epiphany-- Baptism of the Lord

See the source imageOld Testament: Isaiah 43:1-7

Psalter: Psalm 29

Epistle: Acts 8:14-17

Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
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Lord God, you revealed your Son in the waters of the Jordan and anointed him with the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim good news to all people. Sanctify us by the same Spirit, that we may proclaim the healing power of the gospel by acts of love in your name. Amen.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: The Five-Second Rule Does Not Apply on the Highway

Not for pick-up: Spilled chicken cause traffic problems

Associated Press
January 7, 2019

CENTRE, Ala. (AP)-- These chicken tenders aren't for pick-up. An Alabama sheriff's office is warning people against eating chicken that tumbled on to a rural highway after a truck wreck.

An 18-wheeler crashed on Alabama 35 on Sunday, spilling boxes of chicken tenders in Cherokee County near the Georgia line. Motorists began stopping to pick up the food, which authorities say created a traffic hazard.

The Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency posted a notice on its Facebook page asking people to quit picking up the chicken. The notice says the food isn't safe to eat after hours on the ground.

The post also says the situation was creating a traffic hazard and it's a crime to block traffic. Violators could face charges.

The sheriff's office says a wrecker crew was on the scene Monday cleaning up the mess.
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Source

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Letting God Off the Hook: War, Violence, and the Biblical Narrative

My friend, Dr. Dan Hawk has just published a book entitled, The Violence of the Biblical God: Canonical Narrative and Christian Faith. Eerdmans has graciously provided me with a copy which I will review on this blog.

Dan is Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. He has spent decades studying and reflecting upon war and violence in the Bible, especially the conquest narratives of the Old Testament Book of Joshua. No one has helped me think through these matters more than Dan-- theologically, historically, and pastorally.

In preparation for my review and in the hope that you will purchase a copy, as this is an important subject with which Christians must grapple, I am linking below to a three-part series Dan wrote for my blog four and half years ago. His posts are a response to posts from UM pastor Adam Hamilton, who has also offered reflections on this important issue. Hamilton's posts are linked within Dan's posts if you care to read them. Each post begins with some brief commentary by yours truly before Dan weighs in.

Enjoy!... and get his book. You won't regret it.
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"Letting God off the Hook (part 1)"

"Letting God off the Hook (part 2)"

"Letting God off the Hook (part 3)"