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 »

How to be jolted

New perspectives help us to see our faith more clearly, and they are desperately needed. I find new perspectives from two sources. One is historical: people used to act like us and it didn’t work out, or people used to not act like us and it worked better. The other is cultural: Christians in China don’t do that/have that/need that and they do better than us.

I no longer feel the least pain in my flesh.

“Ask me, and I shall answer you: for I no longer feel the least pain in my flesh, as I did before.”

– Elizabeth, during torture, AD 1549, Martyrs Mirror, p. 481-482

Only now do I feel within me…

“…For him that commits himself to the Lord, and is possessed of love, nothing is difficult; had I not experienced this myself, it would be impossible for me to know that it is so easy… Only now do I feel within me the inexpressible grace and mercy of God, and His love, and how we therefore ought to love Him in return.”

– Claesken, Martyrs Mirror, p. 615

Why I don’t vote

Traditionally my fellow Anabaptists made a clear distinction between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of the Lord. In fact, historians believe the Anabaptists originated the concepts of separation of church and state, and of freedom of religious conscience.
Read the rest of this entry »

Being held by entertainment

Entertainment comes from the Latin words meaning “to hold between.” Do you really want someone to hold you between? No, you say, it’s not entertainment, it’s recreation. Then when will you be recreated and what will you do when you are? Or is it that God really has a purpose for only part of your time and you need to kill the rest, killing yourself as well? Did God give you too much time to keep your interest without artificial assistance? Do you want him to give you less time? Are you afraid that if you decide to serve him with your whole life, he won’t allow you enough rest to keep healthy and happy? Do you believe you need to steal breaks from him, as from an unreasonable boss who expects you to keep going until you collapse?

Spiritual neutrality

Another unstated but commonly believed heresy could be called spiritual neutrality. This doctrine says that the devil hates believers but rarely attacks them. Read the rest of this entry »

If God doesn’t exist, he should have told us before now.

Agnostics and others tell me that I need to be more open-minded about religion. Okay. Will this prayer help?

“O God, I praise you. Show me if you’re not there. Make your nonexistence real to me. Thank you, God. I love you.”