Quote of Note #30: American Evangelicalism and Tribal Deities

"Something had gone terribly wrong with American evangelicalism, or, perhaps, I thought, it had always been wrong and I was simply seeing the problem only now.  Over the forty-three years I had been a Christian, the orientation of American evangelicals had shifted from what many theologians call the ultimate to the penultimate.  We had descended … Continue reading Quote of Note #30: American Evangelicalism and Tribal Deities

Quote of Note #28: Political Idolatries vs. the Common Good

"Rather than becoming chaplains or enablers of political idolatry, the faith community should confront it.  The idols of politics are legion:  the idol of money over democracy, the idol of winning over governing, the idol of celebrity over leadership, the idol of individualism over community, and the idol of ideology over civility -- just to … Continue reading Quote of Note #28: Political Idolatries vs. the Common Good

Quote of Note #27: Fear-mongering and Christian Engagement

"When peace is the agreed-upon value of a community of believers who are contending for 'on earth as it is in heaven,' they will not use fear to control or influence others.  This is so deeply rooted in our culture that people often seem unaware of using this tool to manipulate others to their need … Continue reading Quote of Note #27: Fear-mongering and Christian Engagement

Quote of Note #26: Politics of Loving My Neighbor

"This most fundamental teaching of faith flies right in the face of all selfish personal and political ethics that put myself always before all others: my concerns first, my rights first, my freedoms first, my interests first, my tribe first, and even my country first -- ahead of everybody else.  Self-concern is the personal and … Continue reading Quote of Note #26: Politics of Loving My Neighbor

Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

In the 1960s it was the Age of Aquarius.  (If you’re much younger than I am, you probably don’t understand that reference.)  We are now in the Age of Offense.  Everybody is offended these days.  Everybody has become touchy.  We all tend to take everything personally.  We have begun to use the things that offend … Continue reading Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

Quotes of Note #25: Political Homelessness

"As the Left adopted such concerns as gay rights and abortion as touchstone issues, those of us with strong religious convictions on these matters found ourselves essentially alienated from the parties to which our allegiance would naturally be given.  The parties of the Right, while representing to an extent, and at least on paper, positions … Continue reading Quotes of Note #25: Political Homelessness

Quote of Note #24: Showing Respect to All

"We should never insult others on account of their faults, for it is our duty to show charity and respect to everyone.  If we pay attention to the honor and reputation of others, whoever they may be, we shall conduct ourselves not only with moderation and good humor, but with politeness and friendship." John Calvin, … Continue reading Quote of Note #24: Showing Respect to All

Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God

Proverbs 21:12-13 [NET] The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and will not be answered. It runs counter, I think, to our stereotypical understanding of the book of Proverbs … Continue reading Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God