The whole matter of finding the true foundation is made all the more difficult because these defiant weeds which have sprung upon it are called the true foundation by many; they, pulling to themselves the growth on top of the house ruins, declare, “This is the foundation and the way, all should follow it.” And with many of them we see that their new foundation sinks into soft ground, the floor settling at
different levels. This shows the difficulty of finding the true foundation…
– Peter Chelčický, The Net of Faith, 1440-1443
Have you heard of something called American civil religion? It says that if you don’t do anything real bad, or if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to heaven. We’re all familiar with its teachings, yet no church officially teaches them. Yet if you deny its teachings, people look at you funny, as if you’re being uncharitable or heretical. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the clearest depictions I’ve ever read of my Christian liberal arts college, ca. 1980, is Joseph Bayly’s story “Ceiling Zero.” It’s the sequel to “I Saw Gooley Fly,” which can be found in a compilation called A Voice in the Wilderness. In these stories, Herb Gooley can’t do much of anything right – but he’s the only one on campus who flies. Read the rest of this entry »
Announcing the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game for Amish, Mennonites, and other historic peace churches:
Practical universalism isn’t very practical. It doesn’t help people become godly, anymore than hiring blind umpires makes baseball more exciting. The umpire can’t grade on a curve. He has to decide if the runner arrived before the ball, or the ball before the runner. But if the runner never arrives, he doesn’t have to decide anything. The answer is obvious. It doesn’t matter how fast a baseball player ran from second to third, it doesn’t matter how sincerely. If he doesn’t make it to home plate, he doesn’t score. It doesn’t count. If you never become the kind of person who wants to spend eternity praising God, it doesn’t matter how close you got to it. You won’t be forced to spend eternity praising God.
People talk about revelation, and say it has ceased; but what ignorance it bespeaks, when man knows not the least thing on earth without revelation.
– Elias Hicks
At a conference, Graham Old was told, “The vast majority of people decide to become Christians because of a crisis in their lives.” His initial reaction: that’s a “big over-statement”. I’m not so sure.
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The originator of “Method acting,” Russian theatrical director Constantin Stanislavsky (1863–1938), taught his actors not to ask, “How should I position my eyebrows, hands, and mouth to express this line?” but rather, “If I had a domineering father, an ambitious wife, and coarse underwear, how would I express this line?” Read the rest of this entry »