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Tag: church

500 Christians Burned – FAKE IMAGE or STORY or BOTH

Yesterday I posted a story that came to me through a reliable source and my post included this caveat:

Caveat:  one theoretical benefit of having the mass media cover something is that they can validate and document particular claims and such.  Precisely because this incident hasn’t aroused the interest of anyone, it is difficult for me to be absolutely certain of the details.  I trust  my source, and include his comments below, and the link to a site in another language that seems to be talking about it.  God willing, more information will come to light on it.  If clarifications … continue reading...

The Sorry State of the American Church

What I am pasting below is an essay from long ago that I posted elsewhere.  It’s old, but I wanted it on this blog for reference sake.


I have been asked to write this note. I cannot write as long of a note as is required. My thinking here is years in the making. I am beginning with a ‘clean slate’ here, not reacting to previous notes, and picking the starting point without any other baggage.

Put simply, I contend that the missing ingredient in the American Church today is any robust understanding and consequently a lack of application, of … continue reading...

Three words Christians abuse: church, worship, love

The title of this post does not do the matter justice.  The word ‘abuse’ is too mild, and it might be even more accurate to say that in actual fact the sweeping trend within Christendom is that there is outright plain ignorance on what these terms mean.  The charge only matters at all to those Christians who believe that the Scriptures are the final and ultimate authority.  A huge swath of people who call themselves Christians obviously don’t, so this post is not really for them, even though they share in the guilt.   Of course, the term ‘Christian’ itself is … continue reading...

Love and the Incarnation and the Hyper-Defense of God

One of the things that really bothers me in some Christian circles is the hyper-defense of God’s power and sovereignty.  Now, for the record, I am Lutheran in background and emphasis, and Lutherans are not typically known for being big on ‘sovereignty’ type stuff.  We’re supposed to see that sort of thing among Calvinists.  Actually, though, I see it within Lutherans as much as I see it anywhere else so rather than pick on my Calvinist friends allow me to illustrate it from my own home denomination.  (The faithful reader knows that I rarely, rarely, rarely address denominational issues and … continue reading...

I am my child’s advocate; you aren’t.

I am my child’s advocate; you aren’t.

I know my child.  This child is mine.  Mine to protect and mine to cherish.

You are quite convinced that Immunization X will not harm my child.

But then you send my child home.  We live with the consequences.  You don’t.

You say that only this few out of this many will have a reaction.  This few is acceptable to you.  You don’t take them home and live with them.

I may decide this few is too many because I know that if my child is part of the ‘few’ I am the … continue reading...

The Culture War is Over and We Lost? So… guerrilla warfare…

My ministry will be hosting an online apologetics conference this May with the theme of ‘literary apologetics.’  The general idea is to impact the culture in intentional ways to pave the way for better reception of the Gospel of Christ.  So culture is on my mind.

Something I’ve been pondering for awhile is this:  Is the culture war over?  And did we lose it?

I part company with those who seek to Christianize the culture as though this in itself is a noble goal.  It seems to me that this would in effect merely make our culture a ‘white washed … continue reading...

Reflections on culture, evangelism, and apologetics

I’ve been thinking about the culture wars lately.  I have a real problem with Christians who seem to be driving for a change in the culture just for the sake of having a ‘holy’ culture.  I think we’d have to call that a legalistic culture.  I believe that the Christian church should be about something more than creating white-washed tombs.

On the other hand, the nature of ‘culture’ is that it perpetuates itself, feeds itself, fuels itself.   The culture is the air we breathe and the water in which we swim.  It has the ability to mold us into its … continue reading...

Congregations and their Facilities and Love

Today I posted a blog entry at a companion site proposing specific ways in which churches can exhibit love.  These ideas involve setting up the congregation’s property in a way that is designed to do just that.

The two ideas I mentioned are… using ‘spare’ land to grow food to give to the needy and other purposes and build low income housing right on the congregation’s premises.  I discuss and to an extent defend these ideas there, and don’t worry, I’ve got more ideas coming down the pike.  You may comment on those ideas here or there.

What I … continue reading...

A theological basis for rank individualism in society and elsewhere

This essay is long- some 2,000 words.  But I think it is worth reading.  Print it out if you like if that makes it easier.

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‘Individualism’ has a bad rap, even among Christians.  To be fair, there are things in ‘individualism’ that I think are unhealthy or even immoral, too, but the key thing to remember is that any opposite of ‘individualism’ is not necessarily preferable.  If we’re going to raise up ‘inter-connectedness’ (a neutral term, I hope) it must be done thoughtfully, and it cannot obliterate that which is moral or good in ‘individualism.’

The only folks that … continue reading...

The Corporate Church in a Corporate Society

In today’s economy we hear about companies cutting staff and reducing costs, ostensibly on the idea that they are improving the health of the corporation.   A healthy corporation, we assume is a good thing.  Now ‘corporate’ comes out of the Latin for ‘body.’  For the purpose of the law in this country, a business corporation is an entirely separate entity from the people that compose it.  The bottom line is basically the only measurement of ‘health’ that matters.  You can wreck the lives of 5,000 of your workers and strengthen the corporation and it is considered justifiable.

Now, Christians talk … continue reading...

Online Presentation on the Demise of Christianity

Below I have the ‘video’ of my online presentation on the ‘death of Christianity.’   I have been developing a line of thought and the corresponding presentation for about a year.  I adapted by presentation for the uniquness of this format.  My adaptations reflected the fact that it was a virtual presentation, that it was predominantly a ‘professional’ church work Christian audience, and that it was predominantly a Lutheran Christian audience.  Also, the outline of my presentation (unadapted) is about 45 mins, here I only had 30 mins to work with.

I am hosting the video on my ministry’s new Christian continue reading...

Should you care about the question of God’s existence?

Actual conversation from last night:

[having spotted me reading a book titled Introduction to Biblical Interpretation]

Him:  So, are you a religious nut?
Me:  A nut?
Him:  Yea, do you like really believe in God?
Me:  (to myself:  does mere belief in God make you a nut?)
Him:  Do you believe in Jesus?  The holy Mary…
Me:  Well, I’m not a Catholic.  I’m protestant, so I don’t go in for that Mary business…
Him:  I used to be a Catholic.
Me:  And now?
Him:  I’m an agnostic.
Me:  What happened?
Him:  Like I said, I was raised Catholic.
Me:  … continue reading...

Response to Online Presentation and Archive Link: Tradition without Empathy, Contemporary without Foundation

Yesterday I presented at an online conference.  My topic was “Can Christianity Survive the Internet.”  Or, otherwise titled, ‘The Death of Christianity.”

I will at some point obtain a simple mp3 of the presentation but in the meantime if you want to listen and observe the chat conversation you may listen via the archive link.

This morning I woke up to a follow up question.  I thought I would answer it on my blog.  Here was the question:

I often see two groups of people.

One is are involved in a tradition rich church with head knowledge of rules

continue reading...

The Abortion Issue Now that Obama has Won

Any reader of my blog knows that I am a ‘one issue’ voter with abortion being that one issue.  A reader of my blog also knows that even though I see the overturning of Roe vs. Wade as the most significant event to bring about because of the sheer impact, I believe the ultimate solution is at a much smaller level.  For just one example of my thoughts, you can read my post “Abortion and the Pro-Life Movement if Obama Wins

Otherwise the ‘abortion’ category to the left will keep you reading for awhile.

I had just a … continue reading...