I often hear in recent discussion about the Bible and homosexuality: “Since homosexuality as a sexual category was unknown to Paul, he could not have critiqued it.” The implication is that when Paul talks about same-sex activity in Romans 1 and elsewhere, he must have had something more specific, something...
Earlier this week, a group of 21 Egyptian Christians, members of the Coptic Church, were beheaded. The accusation against them: they were "people of the cross, members of the hostile Egyptian Church." This unfathomable act was carried out by ISIS—an act of barely veiled evil, supposedly done in service...
If we simply follow what Jesus said about same-sex relationships, we’re going to be a bit disappointed. In all of His commands about how we should live or not live, many of which included sexual behavior, one thing is unambiguously clear: Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. He neither condemned it...
It's easy to be grumpy about all of the denominations in the church. If we're supposed to be united as the body of Christ, then why do we have Baptists and Presbyterians and Methodists and Lutherans and Episcopalians and Evangelical Free Churches and Assemblies of God a host of...
A student once asked his Rabbi, “Teacher, why does the Lord allow evil in the world?” The Rabbi responded, “With such a good question, my son, why would you want to ruin it with an answer?” Despite the Rabbi’s clever response, the question “Why does God allow his children...
I was reading The Epistle of Barnabas (a letter by one of the early Church Fathers) this week and came across this curious argument. According to Barnabas, Israel misunderstood the food laws given at Mt. Sinai. Moses wasn’t referring to actual food. He was speaking “spiritually.” God’s intention wasn’t to forbid...
Charles Darwin saw glory in this world. He couldn’t help it. His vocation as a scientist forced him to stare at all of the crazy and beautiful things in the world on a regular basis. You can’t look at this world for any length of time without seeing the...
Despite what is ubiquitously portrayed in nativity scenes, Christian folklore, and every English translation that I’m aware of, there’s a good chance that Jesus’ parents never visited an inn in Bethlehem to give birth to the Christ-child. Here are three reasons why. First, Bethlehem was a very small rural village at...
Take a brief look at Church History and you'll realize that the Church is kind of an icky place. Or at least, it often has been. I love my church, and you probably love yours too. But historically speaking, the church has a tendency to be really really messed...
I came across an interesting bit of church history today. John Calvin insisted that the churches in Geneva remain locked outside of regularly scheduled worship times. In part, this was meant to discourage “superstitious” activity. The reformers were understandably sensitive to religious objects being used idolatrously (think relics), and...
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