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 »

All of us are artists

It is impossible to see how good work might be accomplished by people who think that our life in this world either signifies nothing or has only a negative significance…. If it is true that we are living souls and morally free, then all of us are artists. All of us makers, within mortal terms and limits, of our lives, of one another’s lives, of things we need and use.

— Wendell Berry, Christianity and The Survival of Creation

Run to the light.

“God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason. He is the light.”

Abraham Joseph Heschel

Cheap grace and false conversion

If I had cancer, I’d want to know in time. It wouldn’t be a kindness to wait until nothing could be done. Particularly when my soul is at stake. Nowadays few people think about their soul. As Jesus says, “What does it profit a man if he gain the world and lose his soul,” the world yawns. But the word “soul” means “mind, emotions and will.” As your “harmless sins” grind away at your unkept conscience, can you see that you lose your ability to think clearly, to feel deeply and to force yourself out of your rut into a decision?

The case against politeness

When I say something, my goal should be to communicate. I should try to understand how my message will be received by the person I’m communicating with. The fact that they may not understand it should affect how I communicate my message. The fact that they do not receive it might affect how I communicate my message. But the fact that they may not like it should not affect my message itself. 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

Practical Universalism

Universalism is the heretical teaching that everybody will go to heaven, even if they don’t want to. Practical universalism (a heresy I invented one night when I was bored) is stricter. It means that if you want to go to heaven, you have to be sincere or you have to be religious. But that’s okay because everybody is sincere or religious, aren’t we? Read the rest of this entry »

Amateur prayer

“Some prayers are like a fire escape, used only in times of critical emergency — never very enjoyable, but used as a way of terrified escape from disaster. They do not represent the regular life of the one who offers them; rather are the unusual and uncommon acts of the spiritual amateur.”

A.W. Tozer