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)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does Belief in God Lead to More Self-Control?

A clip from one of my favorite shows-- Through the Wormhole, hosted by Morgan Freeman.

Why Churchless Christianity Does Not Work

Good words from Steve Harper:
When we begin to live in the light of faith, we see that our salvation incorporates us into the Church.  We come to Life as one member of the larger Body of Christ.  We cannot live apart from the Church any more than one part can live separated from the body.

Trinity Tuesday: Trinitarian Faith and a Theory of Everything

As a quantum physicist, I have been concerned with how that subject's veiled account of created reality might influence theology's understanding of God's relationship to the physical universe. Yet I have also wanted to make clear, as opportunity offered, that the central source of my own belief in God does not lie in such matters. Rather, it is to be found in my encounter with the figure of Jesus Christ, as I meet him in Scripture, in the Church and in the sacraments. For me, it is Trinitarian belief that is truly persuasive belief. Of course, that belief is much more complex than the simple recognition of the Mind of God behind the order of nature, just as modern quantum theory is more complex than Max Planck's original idea that energy comes in packets. Yet, Trinitarian belief is complex in ways that seem to me to be necessary to match the depth of experience and insight recorded in the Bible, and continued in the ongoing life of the Church.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hallelujah Is Our Song!

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."--Pope John Paul II

"Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about."--N.T. Wright

"If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus' fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him."--A.W. Tozer

The Social Justice Issue the UMC Continues to Ignore

David Watson has written an excellent post on abortion as it particularly relates to children with Down Syndrome. Watson has a son with Down. He writes,
Imagine that there was a pre-natal test, commonly recommended by medical personnel, to identify children who would experience depression throughout their lives. Upon receiving a positive test, parents were counseled: You know, you might not want to go through with this pregnancy.  You're headed down a very difficult path. You may very well see your son or daughter descend into misery. His or her quality of life will likely suffer greatly. This could lead to all kinds of other problems, including various forms of self-medication. Plus, this nation spends billions of dollars every  year on mental health costs. Think of all the good we could do with that much money! Therefore, terminating this pregnancy is a reasonable option. It may be best for you and for all involved.
This would never happen, right? Don't be so sure. 

Blogging as Public Therapy

One of the things I have become conscious of as a preacher is how much of myself gets poured into a sermon. That, of course, is understandable. It is impossible for preachers to separate themselves from who they are, their interests, and what's important to them.

At the same time, preachers also need to be mindful that the sermon is not about themselves. They must preach on, as John Wesley said, the whole tenor of Scripture, the entire counsel of God, which also means dealing with issues that are not particularly of personal interest. Preaching is a discipline that requires preachers to move beyond themselves, to grow as they preach, and to speak above and beyond our individual interests.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jerusalem, Lift Up Your Gates and Sing!

Easter: The Stone Table Has Cracked!

... and even death itself will turn backwards!

Scriptures and Prayer for Easter Sunday

Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:1-6

Epistle: Colossians 3:1-4

Gospel: Matthew 28:1-10
Resurrecting God, you conquered death and opened the gates of life everlasting. In the power of the Holy Spirit, raise us with Christ that we, too, may proclaim healing and peace to the nations. Amen