Category Archives: Theology

Doubt Roots Deeply in a Closed Mind

Faith is one of Christianity’s cardinal virtues. St. Paul ranks it alongside hope and love as something that will survive the end of the age. Christians are taught that they are justified by faith and must learn to live by … Continue reading

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Justice Offers Forgiveness but not Escape

I once called on a mother of two girls who were in our little mission church’s Sunday School. I was nervous about what I had to say. Her daughters were both out of control, disrupting Sunday School classes and even … Continue reading

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“I Have Sinned”: A Study in Repentance

I used to think of repentance as a thing to be avoided. I thought it was all about feeling so bad about what I had done that I would never do it again. Now I think of repentance as a gift and a blessing.

What changed my mind? The Bible.

St. Paul regards repentance as something that God “gives” – it is a gift and it is priceless! That gift impacts the whole person: emotions, mind, and body—or you could say, feelings, thoughts, and actions.
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God-in-the-Box

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Life on Earth: Comedy or Tragedy?

We owe the words “comedy” and “tragedy” to the ancient Greeks, whose stage plays in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. gave rise to the terms. A hundred years of films and about 80 years of commercial television have left us thinking that comedies are comic and tragedies are sad. The Greeks were more nuanced.

Tragedy may contain humorous moments and funny characters, but what makes a tragedy tragic is that it ends badly. The hero fails, the aspiration goes unfulfilled, night falls. Continue reading

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What Does the Author of Hebrews Mean by “Made Perfect”?

I was reading Scot McKnight’s book, Embracing Grace, and was surprised to see how he correlates the author of Hebrews use of the term “made perfect” (τελειωθεὶς) with the resurrection. In Hebrews 5:8-9, we read that the Son “learned obedience … Continue reading

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Learning Theology at the County Fair

I went to my first county fair during the summer between sixth and seventh grade. My friend’s parents took us, and we boys headed immediately to the midway to scope out the rides. The first one we tried was “The … Continue reading

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Going and Coming: Christian Faith in America

From his perspective, religion is like a physical trait. People are born with it. Yes, a person can undergo a kind of spiritual surgery to change her faith, rather like a person can undergo surgery to change her nose. But, apart from such radical intervention, a person’s faith is the faith her parents gave her.

The Bible offers a different and more nuanced perspective. It is the news and entertainment medias and, frankly, uninformed academics, that present oversimplifications. The Bible offers a rich, multi-layered, intelligent exposition of faith. Continue reading

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Bury Your Idols

Idolatry is the root cause of all of the symptoms of sin.  The envy, the deceit, the lust, the anger, the gossip—they all have their source in “the one great sin that all others come from”—idolatry (Idleman).  That is why the very first of the Ten Commandments is “you shall not have any other gods before me.”  As Martin Luther says, “We never break the other commandments without breaking the first one.” Continue reading

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Christian Hope: Does It Differ from Optimism?

He then told me something – and it was hard for him to talk, so I had to listen closely – that I have never forgotten. He told me that the last two months – since he had come over to Jesus’s side – had been the two best months of his life. I looked at him in wonder. Here was a man from whom everything had been taken. His former life was gone. His world was a bed. His body was a prison. And the last two months had been the best time of his life.

How was that possible? What had happened? Continue reading

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