Tag Archives: Faith

Devotions vs. Study: The False Dichotomy

I have, since I was quite young, spent significant time among many different traditions of Christian faith: first Lutheran, then Methodist, then several Anabaptist varieties from Mennonite to Baptist to Christian Church/Churches of Christ, to Assemblies of God, to several independent churches, to Presbyterian. I’ve spent some time exposed to and working with the Roman Catholic church, and have worshipped with, at some time or another, nearly every variety of protestant faith, including some in which, as a caucasian, I was a very small minority ethnically and culturally. I’ve even worshiped with a Russian Orthodox congregation, twice attended a synagogue, and had significant dialogue with communions that would be considered cultic by most Christians, and with those from other faiths like Jews and Muslims.

All of them seek and claim to be anchored in the word of God written—for Christians, the scriptures of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament.

Bible Coffee.jpgIn virtually every variety of Christian faith, we are taught to revere the word of God written, as the only inspired, authoritative witness to what the Gospel of John calls the Word (Logos) of God, Jesus Christ. And ever since the Protestant Reformation, our own individual responsibility and privilege to read, study, and know it has been emphasized, taught, and vigorously defended.

So, what is our calling and responsibility in relation to our scriptures? Continue reading

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Gospel, Compassion, and Justice: The Central American Crisis

This is going to be long.

That’s because the issue is complex and the times we live in are complex. So allow me to just say up front: if you prefer bumper stickers or sound bites or lots of knock-em-dead pictures with slogans, you aren’t likely to make it to the end of this post. But if you, like me, are thoughtfully wrestling in pursuit of faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I invite you to read on, and wrestle with me. Continue reading

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What’s with the Ships?

“Ships are safe in a harbor… but that’s not what ships are for.” ~Grace Hopper.

Welcome to my rebooted blog! For most of my adulthood I have loved the image of the tall, wind-driven ship as a metaphor for life, especially the Christian life. Both my home and my office feature them prominently. I have a particular love for Hans Skalagard’s work, because he seems to be able to capture the power of the sea, the strength of the wind, the grandeur, and at the same time the smallest details, of the vessels he paints.

All three elements—wind, sea, vessel—are important pieces of the metaphor of the Christian life. But it is the wind that particularly interests me. In both Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew, the word for “wind” is the same as the word for “spirit.” Continue reading

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