Is theology arrogance?

“Doing theology” often implies that we understand God better than the apostles or their disciples, and Jesus would really have benefited from a background in textual criticism. But has everything orthodox already been taught? Read the rest of this entry »

Wanting to be noticed

I hadn’t been looking very carefully at the log files of, so I was unaware that my site was mentioned on the discussion boards of the New York Times and Beliefnet this year, as well as on Joe Kissell’s Interesting Thing of the Day. Probably it wasn’t my site that was so interesting — Joe was linking to the Anabaptist classic history Martyrs Mirror which I have been hosting for a couple of years.

As a new blogger, I’ve been submitting my site to the usual blog aggregators, directories, and search engines, such as Feedster and technorati. I have a problem with self-promotion, but I figure that if I have something to say, I shouldn’t make it too hard for people to find it and read it.

Elvaisms #1

My grandmother’s first language is German, and she began speaking English when the world was very different than it is today. Here are some expressions she uses:

Well, I better hyphenate in my room and get out of your hair.

Hand me a bobbing pin, will you?

I think it’s good to be interesting in what’s happening in the world.

There you are, my little fuddy-duddle, my little cat.

Anabaptist Pentecostals

Like early Pentecostals, early Anabaptist Christians got into trouble for believing that believers could be filled with the Holy Spirit, though they didn’t boast about it. But just as most Anabaptists today find themselves far from their roots, so do most Pentecostals. Read the rest of this entry »

Reading is interpreting

Conservative preachers oppose going beyond what the Bible says. But everybody does. Even someone who simply reads the Bible aloud is interpreting the Bible, with his inflection, his volume, his speed, his tone. (People who read the Bible silently are also interpreting the Bible – we just can’t tell how they’re interpreting it). Reading the Bible in ponderous tones means you think that God is ponderous. Reading in casual tones means you think God is casual. Your inner theology determines your reading style, unless you have trouble reading out loud or trouble being honest about your theology. Pick a difficult passage of Scripture, such as one about the wrath of God. Try reading it aloud while incorporating all that you believe about it. I think it will bring you to your knees as you realize the limits of your faith.

Instantly free

“Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. No one can hinder him.”

A.W. Tozer

Non-theistic space

Another in the series of common yet undocumented heresies: let’s call this one “non-theistic space.” Astrophysicists theorize about alternate universes that we can’t touch. Non-theistic space contains the areas which God can’t control. Read the rest of this entry »

Oh, that explains it.

God’s fire only falls on sacrifice. An empty altar receives no fire!

Frank Bartleman