Why Do We Christians Get It So Wrong? Part Five

LITERALISM: With the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment which occurred in Europe between the 15th and 18th centuries, humans (at least, some of them) began to emphasize reason and science in their interpretation of the world. Superstition gave way to a more objective pursuit of knowledge and truth…. Continue reading

Why Do We Christians Get It So Wrong? Part Four

THE LEGACY OF AUGUSTINE: Perhaps the theologian who has most influenced Western Christianity is Augustine (354-430 CE) who became the Bishop if Hippo in North Africa. Augustine was a genius whose thought often focused on the inner life of individuals. He was the church father who emphasized Original Sin and… Continue reading

Why Do We Christians Get It So Wrong? Part Three

In part one of this series, I focused on the disconnect between the teachings and example of Jesus and the practice and theology of the church throughout history. In part two, we looked at two of the reasons for this historical disconnect: the abandonment of Christianity’s Jewish heritage and the… Continue reading

Why Do We Christians Get It So Wrong? Part Two

In part one of this series, I wrote about a fundamental disconnect between the life and message of Jesus and Christianity as it has been practiced over the centuries. Of course, there have been times when the church and individual Christians have been faithful to the revelation of God revealed… Continue reading

Why Do We Christians Get it So Wrong? Part One

Consider this remarkable fact: in the Sermon on the Mount, there is not a single word about what to believe, only words about what to do and how to be. By the time the Nicene Creed is written, only three centuries later, there is not a single word in it… Continue reading

The “So What?” about the Last things: Part One

I have written many articles on this blog on the topic of eschatology. In this article and its companion to follow, I want us to consider why eschatology is important in the Christian faith and, more importantly, in following Jesus. In other articles, I have dealt with the sick distortions… Continue reading

Country and God, Part Three

(In part one of this series we looked at the prophetic criticism of Israel’s national religion which viewed God as the defender and justifier of a blasphemous and idolatrous arrangement. The priests served the king and not God. They propped up the royal regime by claiming that YHWH was on… Continue reading

Country and God, Part Two

As citizens of a supposed democracy, we may think we are exempt from the mistake of confusing God with country. We have no anointed kings (although #45 would love to assume such a title). But we do have a system where many of the same dynamics are at work which characterized kingdoms and empires. As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (or in this case as rotten). Kings and emperors have been replaced by oligarchs, corporations, and ruthless politicians. Continue reading

Country and God, Part One (Amos 7:10-27)

Read the Scripture Sometime around 760-750 BCE a man from the kingdom of Judah was called by God to become a prophet. This call marked the beginning of Israelite Classical Prophecy, one of the most amazing and influential religious movements in the history of the world. The prophet was a… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Seven

Two useful words when considering the role of Scripture in formulating our individual and corporate theologies in our unique time and place are exegesis and hermeneutics. Exegesis comes from the Greek word exthegeisthai meaning “to lead out/to explain/to interpret”. Exegesis is a critical investigation of a text within its various… Continue reading