Category Archives: Various Theology

Book Review: Theology from Exile Volume II: The Year of Matthew

There seems to be a major push within modern religion to bring those of faith, no faith, little faith, and other faiths all together under one roof to worship a vague notion of some distant sky God. The book Theology from Exile is an attempt at a liturgy for just this sort of group. It is a commentary based on the Revised Common Lectionary, which is an ecumenical liturgy following the Christian calendar, and is aimed at primarily Protestant consumption. This commentary, on the contrary, is not for protestants, but for Universalist congregations. Continue reading

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Book Review: The Coming Interspiritual Age by Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord

ImageI’ve read quite a few books on New Age ideas and comparative religion, but this is probably one of the most important books on the topic to hit the shelves in a long time. But not for the reasons you may think. Continue reading

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

Book Review: The Shack Revisited by C. Baxter Kruger

ImageA few years back, a little book took the Christian (and non-Christian) world by storm. It was called The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. It recounts the story of a man who is invited by God Himself to visit Him in the place where his young daughter was brutally murdered.

God reveals Himself in some pretty unconventional ways, but, in the end, the man turns to God for salvation from his Great Sadness and finds redemption.

The book set off a fury of responses. Some positive, many negative. The biggest issue for most was the portrayal of God in feminine form. “Papa” (God the Father) is a large black woman and the Holy Spirit is also female.

When  started reading The Shack Revisited, I was expecting some sort of unpacking of these ideas. A Good answer/critique as to why. Simply put, there was one brief mention of these things in passing, and no more. That was my biggest disappointment with the book, actually. But it redeemed itself in what it did address. 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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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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God-breathed: Genesis 2

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 TNIV)

I come back to it a lot, but, yet again, the above passage has been on my mind.  Usually my thoughts tend to rest on what Paul is actually saying in this passage.  What I mean by that is that I ask myself whether he is affirming inerrancy, as is traditionally asserted, or if he is defending Scripture’s authority.  I tend to think the latter more than the former, but I have gone there before and I don’t wanna go there again.  Today my thoughts have been elsewhere; specifically, on one word: God-breathed. Continue reading

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Gays Kill Countries

One of the rallying cries of, particularly, political Conservatives is that the legitimization of the homosexual lifestyle and the legalization of gay marriages ultimately leads to the downfall of a nation.  Or, in the words of Pat Buchanan,

If this country accepts the idea that homosexual liaisons are the same as traditional marriage, which is a God-ordained building block of society, this country is on the road to hell in a handbasket. Continue reading

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