Category Archives: The Teachings of Jesus

Book review: What We Talk About When We Talk about God by Rob Bell

ImageRob Bell is not an author to shy away from controversial subjects, as his last book clearly shows. And in this regard, his new book is no different. What We Talk About when We Talk About God is Rob Bell’s latest attempt to re-articulate the tenants of the Christian faith for a generation of believers (and non-believers) who may have been turned off to a more traditional approach to the faith. In his characteristic manner involving seemingly disconnected stories and ideas, he takes the reader on a journey through what he believes about God.

But, the book is not about God, or even about how we are supposed to talk about Him, so to speak. It is more about what we are saying with the words we use to talk about God. Yes, he is defending his vision of God, but he is more concerned with the reader’s connection to this God.  Continue reading

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Even At Chic-Fil-A, Dead Works Are Still Dead

ImageUnless you have been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks, you are well aware of the controversy that Chic-fil-A has been generating in response to their owner’s comments in support of traditional marriage and Christian family values. Mike Huckabee even created an event in the fast food chain’s honor, asking supporters to flock to their local venues and literally “eat mor chikn.”  Continue reading

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Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood?

I did a four-part piece over at Examiner.com on Indiana’s bill that would restrict abortion access and eliminate federal funding for groups such as Planned Parenthood.  Here are links to that series for those of you who are interested in my take on those volatile issues.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

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Blame It On God

I am a frequent lurker over at Rainn Wilson‘s brainchild Soul Pancake.  I find the discussions thought provoking.  And I like that all religions are allowed to present their views and that, with a few exceptions, all of those views, even the views of the atheists, are respected and the discussions remain fairly civil…at least as far as internet discussions go.

Not a website for the squeemish regarding theological matters, Monday’s big issue is deffinitely a big one.  In a most provocative tweet, Mr. Wilson linked to the discussion, which was a simple one: list 3 things you’re really pissed off with God about.  Like I said: it’s not for the squeemish, and unless you have a strong stomach for controversy (the title of the post alone, which I didn’t quote here, will get your blood boiling), I highly recommend you not click that link. Continue reading

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Book Review: Love Wins

Despite what Other reviewers have said, Love Wins is not a typical Rob Bell Book.  Yes, it is written in typical Rob Bell style, moving from one chapter to the next nearly seamlessly, filled with stories (both from the Bible and his personal experiences) to prove his points, and

plenty

of

his signature stylization
to drive home

his point.

And, yes, there are plenty of questions.  But these are where the similarities to Rob Bell’s four other books ends. Continue reading

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Egypt, Islam, and Nonviolence

I am taking a pause in the Romans series to make a couple comments about the events that have recently transpired in Egypt.  In just a matter of a couple of weeks, a country went from being under the oppressive rule of a totalitarian regime to being free of that leadership and on the road toward a new era in her history.  I am going to say it right now: I am proud of the Egyptian people.  They have stood against tyranny and won.  We don’t know where things are headed, only God does, but we can say with certainty that Egypt, and, for that matter, the rest of the Arab world, will never be the same.

I am also proud of Mubarak.  Despite being a dictator and a tyrant and guilty of stifling freedom, he has shown, I believe, his true colors.  At first, he was going to stand his ground and keep his word.  But, in the face of overwhelming opposition to his continued presence, even after he relinquished all power to his vice president, he was wise enough to admit that this was one promise not worth keeping.  When it comes down to it, despite everything, he left with his dignity somewhat intact and, I think, even gained some respect from the people of Egypt.  He is to be commended for that.

In all of this, though, there is one thing that the talking heads seem to be ignoring.  It is something that I am surprised that even the American Islamic community is not being more vocal about.  And it is that that I want to spend a couple moments talking about. Continue reading

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Social Justice or Spiritual Regeneration

The web is abuzz with the recent comments made by Glenn beck in regards to churches that preach “social justice” and “economic justice.”  His assertion that these are “code words” for communism and Nazism have ignited a debate on a topic that the modern church has been mired in for at least 100 years.  The debate became in vogue again when the Emergent Church flashed on the scene and called Christians to show that they were Christians by not only what they believed but also by what they did.  Brian McLaren championed the call to couple “orthopraxy” with our orthodoxy.

The debate as a whole is one that, as Albert Mohler states, all “serious-minded” Christians need to consider.  I agree wholeheartedly.  If we really want to understand our faith and really want to see ourselves as a part of historical Christianity, we must come to terms with where we stand in the debate.  Historically, sadly, these are the sorts of things that have divided the church.  And they are threatening to again, thanks to Glenn Beck, Jim Wallis, and the Christian community as a whole. Continue reading

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Fleeing Youthful Passions

Growing up in church, I heard message after message on the verse where Paul tells Timothy not to let the church look down on him because he is young.  He tells Timothy, rather, to set an example of Godliness before the church.  But no real explanation was made as to how he was to do this.  In fact, the part about setting an example was treated as second rate to the part about not letting old people look down on the youth group cuz they do stuff that the old people may not completely agree with cuz it looks different from the way they do things and have done things for a really long time.

Then, on Sunday, when Pastor Darin was speaking on some stuff in 2 Timothy, I came across this little verse:

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22 TNIV)

This is the stuff that I rarely, if ever, heard preached on in youth group.  How to set an example of Godliness for those of older generations.  Continue reading

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Global Warming and Human Responsibility

It’s all over the news again: that super-divisive topic of Global Warming.  This week, evidence was presented that showed that there had been no warming since 1895.  And the Snowpocalypse has not helped prove Global warming either.  Then again, there are those claiming large snowfalls DO prove Global Warming.  So, the deniers are in full swing and, as a result, Scientists and pundits and lobbyists are fighting again about whether or not humans are responsible. Continue reading

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