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 »

O Father God we glorify You

O Father God we glorify You
And praise Your goodness
That You have graciously manifested
Yourself to us anew,
And has led us together, Lord,
To admonish us through Your Word
Give us grace for this.

From the Ausbund, First Hymn

Why the U.S. has no more civil wars

When I read about other countries destroying their own infrastructure, I ask myself why the United States doesn’t do the same thing. Well, we did once, in the 1860’s. And since then, maybe we just haven’t had a domestic cause important enough to die for.

Or have we? Read the rest of this entry »

The fire is not big enough.

“I am ready any way, to put off this flesh, whether in the fire or in the water, before the hall of justice or here in this fire (the fire on the hearth); it is not big enough, make it bigger.”

– Joos Kindt, Martyrs Mirror, p. 545

Wielding force in love

I’ve heard Christians defend war a lot, since San Antonio, where I come from, is such a military city (six bases). They might say they’re motivated by love for country or family or justice, things they interpret as being equivalent to God’s love. But other Christians would question whether, for the sake of God’s love for a man, someone could put a bullet into his head . They would hold to be the real criteria of legitimate Christian force: can you do it in love? I suppose that’s applies to any kind of compulsion: when is it the love of God that compells us to coerce someone else? Maybe parents experience God’s love in that way, sometimes. I know that many American soldiers returned to Asia as missionaries after World War II. But I don’t know how many of them felt they were acting in love as soldiers before they returned as missionaries, or whether they felt their Christian testimony was lacking as soldiers and now wanted to make up for it.

Compassionate Christianity

Somehow we decided that we don’t need to be like Jesus if we’re right. Or that if we’re right, we’re like Jesus. Or that if we’re right, we don’t need to be righteous. We got confused.

Safer to separate the sinners from us nice people

Now that my former boss Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, it’s become easier to think of him as a ruthless criminal instead of a Baptist Sunday School teacher. It’s more comforting that way. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiness for its own sake

“The true convert prefers obedience for its own sake; he actually chooses it, and does it. The other purposes to be holy, because he knows that is the only way to be happy. The true saint chooses holiness for its own sake, and he is holy.”

— Charles Spurgeon, True and False Conversion