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Category: Ethics

Sin

Sin

Gary Anderson says sin has a history.  He’s not talking about the history of our personal sin — why we did it or what it’s enduring effects were.  He’s talking about the history of the way we talk about sin.  He says this is evident by the change of metaphors that are used to describe/define sin in the Old Testament. He explains why this is significant by employing the philosophical thought of Riccouer, who argues that the meaning of words…

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Is Voting Our Christian Duty?

Is Voting Our Christian Duty?

Throughout the day, I’ve had countless Christians and particularly Christian leaders urging me and all their other social network connections to vote.  It’s left me wondering, is voting our Christian duty? Surprisingly, theologians differ.  Some, characterized by the hard religious right (e.g. Dobson) and the progressive Christian left (e.g. Wallis) believe so.  They see voting, and political involvement more generally, to be one of the primary ways that Christians are called to transform the world.  Whether it be abortion legislation,…

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Glenn Beck, What Would Jesus Do?

Glenn Beck, What Would Jesus Do?

Glenn Beck is a polarizing figure. People seem to land in one of two camps — they either love him or loathe him.  He’s either the savior of our democratic state or a catalyst to toxic political debates around the country.  Just a week ago, he held a rally that drew thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, to Wasington D.C. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  It’s clear that a large percentage of the country loves Beck’s message. What…

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A Seminary Student is a Sinner, Gasp!

A Seminary Student is a Sinner, Gasp!

I just came across an article about a male Gordon-Conwell student (the seminary I attended) who allegedly broke into a female student’s dorm room and setup a video camera with the intent of filming her.  You can read about it on the Boston Herald or the Salem News sites.  I feel badly for this young woman.  I can’t imagine the feeling of invasion of privacy and the lingering effects of this incident.  I also feel badly for the student that broke…

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Happy Families Are all Alike

Happy Families Are all Alike

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina This, the opening line to Tolstoy’s novel, Anna Karenina, is packed full of meaning, and the rest of the book expounds in story form what he means.   We read of one miserable family owing its pain to the self-absorption of the husband.  In another, it’s because of the internal angst of a middle-aged wife that drives her into the arms…

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Hate, on film and in community

Hate, on film and in community

A new movie documentary, The Anatomy of Hate, is coming out that explores the origins and reasons for hate.  The film documents hate in the lives of people from white supremacists in the south, Christians who define themselves as anti-gay, to the Arab-Israeli conflict.  It looks fascinating.  As a pastor who believes deeply in community, hatred and conflict are the primary hindrances to accomplishing this vision.  People will walk out on the church because of a judgmental comment made by…

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Was Iraq God’s War?

Was Iraq God’s War?

These are possibly the most disturbing images I’ve seen regarding the Iraq war.  They aren’t grotesque.  They aren’t gory.  They aren’t gruesome.  But they are some of the most ridiculous appropriations of Bible texts I’ve ever seen.  Below is some of the article text, and here is the link to the slide show, which shows the images that were used.  The slide show is a collection of images of the Bible verses that were used to validate the Iraq war as God’s…

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Torture and the Church

Torture and the Church

A sadly revealing survey has just been released that found evangelical Christians are the most likely group to support torture.   White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did. How ironic?  Christianity was founded on the person and work of Jesus Christ who showed…

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Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

This book is written to challenge churches to avoid become places filled with nice people, pastors, and purposes.  Too often in the American church landscape, the church co-opts the language and issues of the day and then simply rephrases them in Christian speak.  They don’t say anything too controversial or counter-cultural.  Willimon and Hauerwas challenge the church to be a community of resident aliens—a colony or outpost of heaven here on earth—not in a way that withdraws from the world,…

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Worst Job in America: CEO

Worst Job in America: CEO

Norm MacDonald, former SNL weekend Update man, used to joke about which job was the worst in America. Every year the results would come in and the worst job would be something like: Assistant Crack Whore. Everyone would laugh because it’s the superlative of worst-ness in the vocational world. Joking aside, I believe this year’s ‘the worst job in America’ honor goes to the Chief Executive Officer. The populist hostility toward the CEO continues to mount in inverse proportion the…

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