There is no question that our Christian faith can become corrupted. And, of course, one of the ways that our faith can become corrupted is when we adopt bad or wrong doctrines. That’s why it’s important for us to learn our theology carefully and well. The base of an abandoned steel-making blast furnace; photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking
photo by GAC "In order to fight racism, we must begin with the fact that race is a socially constructed category that offers certain privileges and advantages to one group, which in the U. S. context is white people, to the detriment of all those who are excluded from that group--that is, 'non-white' people, or … Continue reading Quote of Note #132: What is “race”?
On the morning that I learned of the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine, I was incensed. My sense of justice was offended. It was so simply and plainly and extravagantly wrong that I felt outraged. And so, I found myself hoping that bad things would happen to Vladimir Putin and all his forces attacking the … Continue reading Pastor Note #121: Praying for Justice without Praying for Revenge
photo by GAC "In the past civility was understood in much richer terms. To be civil was to genuinely care about the larger society. It required a heartfelt commitment to your fellow citizens. It was a willingness to promote the well-being of people who were very different, including people who disagreed with you on important … Continue reading Quote of Note #131: The Well-being of All
photo by GAC "I often ask myself the question of when and why we pastors began to believe that our primary calling was to build the church. How did we come to believe that the people we encounter are primarily in the market for a church? How did we forget that they are probably more … Continue reading Quote of Note #130: Hungering for the Living God
Photo by GAC "Love for neighbor requires critiquing and dismantling unjust systems of racial oppression. It is one matter to acknowledge that all people are made equal and have inherent dignity in their very being. It is another matter to identify the ways the image of God is defaced in groups of people through systems … Continue reading Quote of Note #129: Justice and Love for my Neighbors
Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho; photo by GAC Father, it is so hard for me to hold your terrifying holiness and your gentle kindness together in my conception of you. My mind wavers and falls out of balance as I try to keep those true aspects of your character in healthy tension. Then you either become a … Continue reading Prayer Note #62: Holy Kindness/Kind Holiness
My wife and I currently have a four-year-old, ninety-pound golden retriever, Teddy. We’ve had dogs, often more than one, for nearly twenty years. Somewhere along the way, it occurred to us that vinyl flooring with a random pattern of brown dog paw prints on it would be a wonderful thing. Anyone who has ever owned … Continue reading Bible Note #49: James 1:27 & Tolerating Stains
Photo by GAC "A hard heart is a receptacle for Satan. As God has two places he dwells in, heaven and a humble heart, so the devil has two places he dwells in, hell and a hard heart." Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1987, page 62.
[Note: The text below is the script for a video/audio teaching I posted to my Facebook page and my YouTube channel. If you’d like to see the video version, follow the instructions in the material below.] How can human beings live flourishing and authentic lives in this complicated and troubled world? That’s the question that … Continue reading Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life