Quote of Note #32: Bearing with Each Other in our Differences

"We ought to endeavor to live in peace with those who are of different opinions from us.  'Tis a most unreasonable thing to take the liberty of contending with men because they cannot see with our eyes.  If this were granted, we would be at war with the greatest part of the world.  'Tis as … Continue reading Quote of Note #32: Bearing with Each Other in our Differences

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Quote of Note #31: Overcoming Earthly Powers Through Heavenly Means

"Whatever our calling, we know this: We are not serving wicked kings, but the King of kings who fulfills all types and shadows of the Old Covenant Israel.  His coronation did not come by earthly decree, but through his resurrection and ascension.  Therefore, his way of conquering the world's kingdoms is also revolutionary.  He doesn't … Continue reading Quote of Note #31: Overcoming Earthly Powers Through Heavenly Means

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

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