What is evangelicalism?

Scot McKnight and his book Jesus Creed

Scot McKnight wrote over at Jesus Creed about as clear and concise a definition of Evangelicalism as I have ever found. Evangelicalism is a sub-movement in the Protestant church defined by a emphasis on four core beliefs: 1.  –  The centrality of the Bible as the ultimate word of God, 2.  –  The centrality of the atoning death of Christ. 3.  –  The centrality of the need for personal conversion to those two principles 4.  –  The centrality of an active mission to convert others and to do good works…

Read More

A Christian Nation Would Not Agree To Pass Paul Ryan’s Budget.

Jesus Helps the Needy

The current federal budget battle in Washington DC has brought to mind passages from the New Testament that seem relevant in some of the debates. The conservatives such as Paul Ryan are calling for deep cuts to the budget focusing on core welfare benefits that help the poor the most, in favor of giving tax benefits to the richest of Americans. For those that believe America is a Christian Nation, it would be worth taking a read of the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19:   16 Just then a man…

Read More

Heaven and Hell are Two Sides of the Same Coin

Two sides to every coin

To every coin there are two sides. Seems simple right? A couple days ago I criticized all the pastors around the country that have criticized Pastor Bell of Michigan for teaching that there is no hell. But just as a coin has two sides, this issue also has two sides. The existence of hell is necessary for Christianity to have purpose, for if you can’t be damned to hell, neither can you be saved from it. Without hell, there is no need for Jesus and those who criticize Pastor Bell…

Read More

Protecting Families and Marriage | The Gay Marriage Debate

In the debate about same-sex marriage, opponents of gay marriage make the claim they are “protecting traditional marriage.” Yet, divorce is the most common result of the break down of marriage, but where are the throngs of people leading the charge to change divorce law, making it harder to obtain, and only for solid reasons? Yes, the greatest threat to marriage is divorce, and we don’t hear the same protectors of marriage working to modify divorce law. Of course divorce is a necessary option in cases of abuse and infidelity,…

Read More

Hell Does Not Exist

The recent book by Pastor Rob Bell of Mars Church in Grandview Michigan and the controversy surrounding it has reignited one of my biggest criticisms of popular Christianity. I say popular Christianity, because I think this is one of those cases where the popular idea of God, is not what the scriptures actually teach, but what people like to believe, or worse yet, what power seeking church leaders like to promote, to scare people into submission to their religious views and doctrines. When Jesus spoke of his Father in Heaven,…

Read More

Bart Ehrman, Throwing it Down About The Bible

Sacred Texts by candlelight

For anybody that has studied the latest scholarship on the Bible, there is nothing strikingly new about Bart Ehrman’s book Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. In a recent Huffington Post article Mr. Ehrman goes into a little detail about the purposes and content of the book, but as so often is true with works of this sort, those who already doubt the Bible’s claims will love it and those fundamentalists that Believe the Bible as the unvarnished Word…

Read More

A Hellish Schism | The Rob Bell Controversy

Reality Check, Ghandi is in Hell

Pastor Rob Bell of a Michigan church has published a book called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived that denies the existence of hell as it has been popularized over the centuries. I can hear the chants of protest now. Rob Bell says their ain’t no hell! But when he arrives at those pearly gates God will have something to tell, You cannot deny my son, My justice is true, and I shall show you, Mr. Bell your book has…

Read More

Which Sacred Text is Really the Word of God?

Sacred Texts by candlelight

Abraham is said to be the father of three religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It was Abraham that first rejected the pagan gods of his father and became a monotheist that believed in the communication of the “one true God” to his subjects humankind. The Hebrews kept records of their revelations from this God and wrote them in what are now called Sacred Texts. Obviously not all writings about God and His revelations are accepted by all people as the true word of God, and it is from these splits…

Read More

What of eternal life?

The Good Samaritan

In Luke chapter 10 a theologian tested Jesus asking the seminal question: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus, being wise, turned the question around on him, asking him what he already believed. The theologian responded “Love God with all your heart and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” but that wasn’t the full question, the theologian really wanted to know “who is my neighbor?” In a classic legalistic maneuver, the theologian was looking for loopholes, but Jesus being wise to this, told a story upending popular notions of…

Read More

What do Christians Believe | Arminianism

Jacobus Arminius Engraving

Arminianism – Methodists, Free Will Baptists Shortly after John Calvin published his Institutes of the Christian Religion a man by the name of Jacobus Arminius began teaching a competing doctrine, later to be referred to as “Arminianism”. Direct comparison to the doctrines of Calvinism would be such as the following. Natural Inability – the “Natural Man” is an enemy to God, but through the workings of the Holy Spirit, he may be converted to choose good over evil. Election based on knowledge – God chooses those who will be saved…

Read More