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)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Scriptures and Prayer for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Genesis 45:1-15 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

Psalter: Psalm 133 or Psalm 67

Epistle: Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Gospel: Matthew 15:10-28
God of the foreigner and outcast, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of Christ so to love the world that your name may be known throughout the earth. Amen.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday at the Cinema: A Courageous Conversation About Life's Biggest Questions

Friday, August 18, 2017

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: It's Not Delivery. It's DiGiorno... All Over the Place

It's not delivery. It's DiGiorno Pizza ... spilled on I-30

From Associated Press
August 10, 2017 6:50 AM EST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas highway officials shut down westbound lanes of a cross-country interstate for four hours so crews could pick up pizza.

An 18-wheeler containing DiGiorno and Tombstone frozen pizzas scraped a bridge support and sliced open its trailer Wednesday, spilling the pies across Interstate 30 in front of the Arkansas Department of Transportation office just south of Little Rock.

Agency spokesman Danny Straessle said the bridge suffered only cosmetic damage. He says "there were some people shaken up" but that no one was hurt.

The westbound section of I-30 was closed for four hours and was closed eastbound for an hour too while crews cleared away the mess.

Straessle says the pizza sauce, the cheese and pepperoni, plus some spilled diesel left a "slippery spot."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Believing Scientists Respond: What Questions Are You Asked About Your Faith?

A third post in the series from Biologos:
Kristine Johnson, aerospace engineer, Honeywell

An idea that continues to surface in conversations is around the nature of explanations. Often people think that if there is a scientific explanation, no other explanation is necessary or even possible. If we understand the natural causes, they think the natural explanation precludes a supernatural explanation. I really love this discussion because on further discourse, people usually see it's a false dichotomy to have to pick only one kind of reason. It's easy to show that water boiling on the stove has a scientific explanation (heat transfer to the molecules) but also has a personal cause (I'm boiling the water to make pasta).
Joel Duff, professor of biology, University of Akron (member of BioLogos Voices)

There is no one-liner response to such inquiries.  Dialogue requires personal relationships in which both parties are able to listen. Effective dialogue with professional colleagues, graduate students and undergraduates begins by first living a life as consistent with my understanding of Scripture as possible.  Being consistent with one's words and actions are the foundation of establishing respect.  Being able to listen, talk about other people's concerns and interacting with their positions respectfully usually provides the opportunity to have a discussion with someone about why one's actions and words as a Christian may differ from those that don't have that Christian worldview.
Denis Alexander, Emeritus Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St. Edmund’s College

I am sometimes asked, "What's the point in believing in God? Why not just believe in science and leave it at that?" In general, I point out that it's intellectually lazy to just accept the universe as a "brute fact" without also considering why it exists. And clearly if there is no God, and therefore no ultimate purpose or meaning to the universe either, then what's the point of doing science in any ultimate sense, because eventually it will all be swallowed up in the second law of thermodynamics anyway?
S. Joshua Swamidass, assistant professor of laboratory and genomic medicine, Washington University in St Louis (member of BioLogos Voices)

A common question I get is, "Why do you believe something without evidence?" I respond by clarifying that my "faith" is not evidence-free. It is more like trust. And this trust is connected to evidence.  First, there is the evidence for the Resurrection: (1) physical and historical evidence, (2) the testimony of people; and (3) my own experience with the Risen One. The faith I find is consistent with evidence and reason, but there is something more. I see something clearly that changes me, and makes sense of everything else.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Day I Changed My Mind About the Confederate Flag

I am a Yankee-- more specifically I am a Yankee from the Great State of Ohio. I have lived most of my life in Ohio, though I spent two years in North Carolina attending graduate school.

Growing up a Yankee I learned about the Civil War from a white northern perspective. We must always remember that when it comes to reading history, perspective is everything. I am thankful that my parents instilled in me a real vision of all persons created as equal in the image of God regardless of their skin color. I am thankful I did not grow up in a racist home. It was from that perspective that I understood the terrible and evil atrocity of slavery in America.

Monday, August 14, 2017

What Is an Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and Liberal Christian?

One of the bloggers I regularly read is Roger Olson. I do so because I find that he is a careful and fair scholar who seeks the truth more than spin. He has written three posts of late that I think are worth anyone's time.

You may not agree with him on everything he says, but you simply cannot dismiss him.

Enjoy these posts:

What Is an "Evangelical" and Does It Matter?

What Is "Fundamentalism?"

What Is "Liberal Christianity?"

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Scriptures and Prayer for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 or 1 Kings 19:9-18

Psalter: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45 or Psalm 85:8-13

Epistle: Romans 10:5-15

Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Through the storms of life, O God, you are with your people in the person of Jesus your Son. Calm our fears and strengthen our faith that we may never doubt his presence among us but proclaim that he is your Son, risen from the dead, living for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, August 11, 2017

God's Grace is Not Equivalent to Getting a Suntan

The Wesley Center Online defines the heart of Wesleyanism:
Wesleyanism or Wesleyan theology is the system of Christian theology of Methodism taught by John Wesley. At its heart, the theology of John Wesley stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one's heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one's neighbour as oneself. Wesley's teaching also stressed experiential religion and moral responsibility.
My observations over the years is that the church in the West, including we Methodists, have been all too often guilty of preaching, what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called, cheap grace, and neglecting what John Wesley referred to as perfecting grace. We are guilty of embracing a passive grace where God does it all and the only response on our part is to accept it without consideration of the consequences such grace should have on our lives.