A Decline in U. S. Christianity?

On September 13, 2022, the Pew Research Center and the General Social Survey released some alarming statistics.  In the early 1960s, approximately 90% of the U S population identified as Christian (this percentage included children). In 2020, only 64% identified as Christian. The number of people who identify as religiously… Continue reading

The “So What” of the Last Things: Part Two

For most people the word “evangelism” conjures up images of tent revivals, pleading evangelists, threats of hell, promises of heaven, and “getting saved.” Evangelism is all some churches and Christians want to talk about while in other churches it is one of the most uncomfortable topics imaginable.  One of the… 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

Paul and the Gospel, Part Six (Accompaniment, Incarnation, Solidarity)

Within the Jewish and Christian faiths, creation and redemption are intimately related. Creation is ultimately the product of the will of its Creator. Such a creation is cherished and sustained by God. God, who is omnipresent, is present through each part of creation from the intricacies of the atom to… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Four

The use of metaphors is a very important way for humans to express themselves and abstract or complex concepts and actions. Here is a useful definition of metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true, but helps… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Three

The royal proclamation is not simply the conveying of true information about the kingship of Jesus. It is the putting into effect of that kingship, the decisive and authoritative summoning to allegiance. Paul discovered, at the heart of his missionary practice, that when he announced the lordship of Jesus Christ,… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Two

The Greek word translated “gospel/glad tidings/good news” in the New Testament is euangelion. “Eu” in that word means “good.” That meaning continues in English words like euthanasia (good death) and eulogy (good word spoken at funerals and memorial services for someone who has died). “Angelion” means “message.” (The Greek word… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part One

Many Christians in North America would define the gospel in this way: Humans were lost in sin. We were all headed for everlasting hell. God sent His (and the God of this version of the gospel is always a He) Son to take our deserved punishment. Since Jesus was innocent… Continue reading

The Kingdom of God and the Gospel

Intro: New Testament scholars unanimously agree that Jesus’ message and ministry were all about what he called “the Kingdom of God.” But what did Jesus mean by the Kingdom of God? As Christians we choose to be followers of Christ. How can we be his followers if we have little… Continue reading

Proclamation for Advent

Our term “gospel” comes from the Anglo-Saxon words for “glad tidings.” The Greek term in the New Testament for gospel literally means the “good news” which comes to people announcing a significant and most happy event. Roman emperors used the term in their imperial propaganda to announce all the good… Continue reading