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)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Trinity Tuesday: The Trinitarian Revival

The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of God in Scripture, History and ModernityIt is now common to note that there has been a surprising revival of interest in the doctrine of the Trinity since the second half of the twentieth century. Christoph Schwӧbel comments that "at the beginning of this period it still seemed necessary to lament the neglect of trinitarian reflection in modern theology and to offer apologies for engaging with such allegedly remote and speculative issues," but goes on to say, "both lamentation and apologies, would seem out of place in today's theological situation." Recent writers have found in the Trinity not just the essence of Christian faith, but a seemingly endless generative doctrine for ethical and social ideas. Right belief about the Trinity will determine our understanding of the church, of proper shape of human society, and of many other pastoral and political questions. As Miroslav Volf put it in the title of a paper, "The Trinity is Our Social Program."
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from Stephen R. Holmes, The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of God in Scripture, History and Modernity, p. 1.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Jesus Solves a Dilemma

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A Prayer for Labor Day

On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving Father, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor-- in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living.

We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name.

We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.

May those of us who are now retired always remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of charity.

May our working and our resting all give praise to you until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Methodist Blogs Weekly Links of Note

This week's noteworthy posts from the Methoblogosphere:

Kim Matthews: "Self-examination"

Andy Bryan: "Gay Marriage Will Neither Kill Nor Save the Church"

Joel Watts: "Of the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' and Matthew 6"

Rick Mang: "Singing at a bedside . . ."

Sally Coleman: "Is this what you were expecting? ( pondering John the Baptist)"

Scriptures and Prayer for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 3:1-15

Epistle: Romans 12:9-21

Gospel: Matthew 16:21-28
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Faithful God, you are the hope of all the oppressed, and the source of freedom for those held captive. Make us strong to witness to your liberating power, in generosity of life and in humility of spirit, that all the world may delight in your goodness. Amen.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ten Rejected Sects of Christianity

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While there are a number of different sects of Christianity today, from Roman Catholic to Seventh-day Adventist, there are even more that were put down by mainstream Christianity. Many of them can be classified as Gnostic, which is normally characterized by the rejection of the material world and embrace of the spiritual world, often in direct conflict with the established religions of the time.

The ten are listed with commentary here.

Saturday at the Cinema: How to Write a Theological Sentence


Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, How to Write a Theological Sentence from School of Theology on Vimeo.

Some Randomly Not Necessarily Connected Thoughts

August is almost over and we are now in another Labor Day weekend, the official end of summer. I find the end of summer to be somewhat depressing. I love summer! However, I do find autumn to be a pleasant time of year. The changing seasons are a reminder to me that time marches on and we can no more lengthen time than we can summer. In the Book of Daniel we read, "God changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding: (2:21). As time marches on we must not mourn its passing; rather we need to rejoice in knowing that God is in all our time. We must look upon the past with gratitude, enjoy the present moment, and anticipate the future.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Jesus, What Big Teeth You Have!

christ of patience x-rayReal Chompers! Jesus Statue Has Human Teeth

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer
August 18, 2014 08:03am ET

A Jesus statue that has lived an unassuming life in a small town in Mexico for the last 300 years has been hiding a strange secret: real human teeth.

Exactly how the statue of Jesus awaiting punishment prior to his crucifixion got its set of choppers is a mystery.

But the statue may be an example of a tradition in which human body parts were donated to churches for religious purposes, said Fanny Unikel Santoncini, a restorer at the Escuela Nacional de Restauración, Conservación y Museografía at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología E Historia (INAH) in Mexico, who first discovered the statue's teeth.
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The story is here.