FREEDOM BEFORE VIRTUE
on August 9th, 2022
God values freedom before He values virtue.If He valued virtue before freedom, God could have created a robot without the capacity to dissent, disagree, or disobey – or even think – that would have no choice but to do His will, to do good, to perform virtuous deeds.  Instead, God made humanity with the capacity to choose obedience or disobedience.  He made us free.This is the world Moses depicts i...  Read More
NAVIGATING DIVISION
on August 1st, 2022
“We struggle with the idea that Christians could find themselves on opposite sides, each side certain that his side is God’s side. Christians, we say, should be able to compromise, to agree and be at peace with one another. That may be true in an ideal world. Apparently, we aren’t in an ideal world.”Let me be right up front as to why I wrote those words last month.  There are times that ideologica...  Read More
GOING FORWARD IN TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS
on July 25th, 2022
We are accustomed to believing that peace can be achieved through compromise.America was founded on compromise.  Most in the northern states had abandoned the practice of slavery and saw it as contrary to principles of liberty.  The southern states maintained the practice and saw it as a necessity for their economic survival.But the American people, both north and south, needed each other on the g...  Read More
DESIGNED TO BE LEFT BEHIND
on July 20th, 2022
The final “end times” peculiarity I’ll mention is my view of the state of Israel and the Temple.  This is a complex subject; limited space means my explanation must be greatly simplified.I was first taught in evangelicalism that God’s main program was the nation of Israel and when the Jews rejected Jesus, God suspended that plan and took a sort of detour to save a few Gentiles (the Christian churc...  Read More
PREDICTING THE PAST
on July 12th, 2022
An earth-shaking event took place in AD 70.  After a brutal war and siege of three-and-a-half years, Jerusalem fell to the Roman armies led by Titus.  The Romans dismantled the Temple so thoroughly that its exact position was uncertain until recent years.Most Christians know little of the fall of Jerusalem because it happened after the New Testament was written and so the event itself isn’t descri...  Read More
WITHOUT THE ROSE COLORED GLASSES
on July 5th, 2022
If you’re new to evangelicalism and its teaching on the end times, you need to understand some jargon to understand what I’m talking about in these blogs.First is the term “Antichrist”.  He’s the bad guy of the future who will rule the world for seven years, hating and persecuting believers in Christ.Second is the term “tribulation”.  That’s the name given to the seven years of the Antichrist’s ru...  Read More
EVANGELICAL JARGON: THE RAPTURE
on June 27th, 2022
You may have heard that I have “weird ideas” about the end times.  Let me explain some of my “weird ideas”.  Let’s talk about “the rapture”.If you’re new to evangelicalism, ‘the rapture’ is evangelical jargon describing a future event, an aspect of the second coming of Christ, mentioned explicitly in only one passage.  Jesus and the apostles usually associated the second coming with the resurrecti...  Read More
CURED OF END TIMES SPECULATION
on June 23rd, 2022
I’ve been seeing a lot of end times hubbub among Christians again, especially on social media.People certain that the end is fast approaching.People certain that the antichrist is somewhere now among us.People certain that the ugly things in the book of Revelation will begin any day now, or Jesus will return to “rapture” the church away any day now.I sometimes have people ask why I don’t preach th...  Read More
WHEN YOU GET COFFEE AT REDNER'S INSTEAD OF WAWA
on June 7th, 2022
Evangelicals have developed a notion that we must “seek God’s perfect will”, i.e. that in every choice there is only one perfectly right decision to make that is “God’s perfect will” and if we make the wrong decision, we are “out of God’s will”.I find that notion patently absurd and practically impossible to live by.  Must I seek God’s “perfect will” about which foot to put on the floor first when...  Read More
DO THIS AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN GOD'S WILL
on May 31st, 2022
I noticed that evangelicals felt they had to “find God’s perfect will”.  They had to find exactly the right college or exactly the right spouse or exactly the right car or home to buy, and if they made the wrong decision, they would miss “God’s perfect will” and not be in “God’s will.”During my college years I learned the theology behind this.  It was so complex and confusing that I felt it border...  Read More
GODZWILLA
on May 24th, 2022
I had a buddy in college who was very confidently aggressive with women.  When he saw a girl he wanted to ask out, one of his pick-up lines was “Well, HELLOOOO ‘God’s will’!” When one of his relationships got ugly and went south, I asked him if we should now refer to the girl as “Godzwilla”.  He wasn’t amused.Evangelicals, I discovered, have a whole category of jargon related to “God’s will”.  The...  Read More
RANDOM MUSINGS
on May 16th, 2022
-- Duty to humanity is easy compared to duty to your neighbor.-- Ron Swanson, the caricature of a conservative on "Parks & Rec" once said, "History began on July 4, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake."  The more I hear progressives on the left, the more I am convinced that they would say same thing -- except their date would be March 4, 1933 – FDR’s inauguration.-- What kind of memories wi...  Read More
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