More on dogfights near cheese farms …

An on-line publication wonders whether a church should be decorated with the fleur-de-lis. A conspiracist sees ominous signs in Pac-Man. Church boards angrily debate carpet color. Those with nothing better to do try to find a new interpretation of Daniel’s 1335 days. Is this what Christianity is about? I minister with soldiers–with men and women…

Reading the Qur’an

Blogger John E. Riütta writes, Why I’m Reading the Qur’an. He says some people were shocked when he mentioned it. The answer seemed pretty obvious to him, as it does to me. You can click on the link to read how he phrased it. I first started reading the Qur’an in college, when I had a…

Spiritual Direction

I’m going to a training tomorrow for spiritual directors. And saying so, I have to acknowledge that some folks view the term, “spiritual direction,” with great suspicion. Somehow my name was added to a list that delivers daily missives condemning “spiritual direction,” “spiritual formation,” and “spirituality.” The basic problem with these jeremiads is that they…

A Strategic Vision for Adventist Campus Ministry

Back in the 1890s Ellen White called for Seventh-day Adventists to embrace the public university and see it as a mission field, sending students to it to evangelize through a ministry of presence and positive witness. Two-thirds of Adventist college students today are at non-Adventist colleges and universities, but Adventist Christian Fellowship says maybe 150…

2014

Well, it’s a new year, and I am home in Houston. The last few weeks of 2013 I was busy with preparing for the return home, and briefing my replacement from the 42d CAB (NYARNG). Then came the journey home, a few days of out processing at Fort Hood, and we were home for Christmas.…

Florida textbooks and religion

There’s been a controversy recently in a Florida school district over the teaching of Islam in a high school social studies text book. Some folks have even encouraged burning of the books. This is a ridiculous situation. Here are the facts of the curriculum: http://vcdec.com/pdf/facts.pdf

Sunni and Shia

I came across an interesting Pew study comparing perspectives of Shia and Sunni Muslims. This led me to reflect on the fact that I have had little experience in dialogue with Shia–a couple visited my World Religion class one year; last week, at the Old Souq in Kuwait City, I chatted with a Shia from Afghanistan…

The Adventist Ordination Debate–Separating the Issues

There’s a debate today in the Seventh-day Adventist Church about whether women should be ordained. At least, that’s how some people portray the issue. I believe, however, that the actual debate is over the meaning of ordination. Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division, tweeted yesterday, “Out of 4,000 pastors in NAD, 107 are…

What the Trinity Is–and Is Not

The doctrine of the Trinity was developed over time as the early church sought to preserve the witness of Scripture in the face of new challenges. The starting point of Scripture is the incarnation. Jesus, the eternal Word, through whom all was made, who was in the bosom of the Father, became flesh. He prayed…

The Covenants Initiative

Interesting initiative from John Andrew Morrow, based on texts of Muhammad calling on Muslims to protect and defend Christians. He’s written a new book, The Covenants  of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

95 Theses for Today

95 Theses for today: challenging evangelical “relevance,” “excess,” and “purpose.” http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/a-new-95-theses-challenging-the-excesses-of-american-evangelicalism.html

Ghosts

Mark Shea believes in ghosts. So does Peter Kreeft. An occult author praised by Hans Urs von Balthasar believes in them. A lot of Catholic authors through the ages cite them as proof of purgatory. But the Bible says “the dead know not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10). For more on the Biblical truth of ghosts,…

Did Jesus Drink Alcohol?

The Muslim world can’t understand how Christians can claim the name of Jesus and yet drink wine. They can’t imagine that any prophet would condone wine. Samuele Bacchiocchi addresses the question of whether Jesus drank fermented wine here, in a chapter from his book, Wine and the Bible.

On the Church’s Mission

Before Jesus ascended, he spoke to the gathered disciples (Matthew 28:18-20): “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I…

Spiritual Gifts

In John’s gospel, after the last supper, Jesus takes his disciples for a walk, and he teaches them about things that are going to come. He’s going to leave them, he says. He will return, he promises. But when I’m gone, you won’t be alone.  John 14:16-18. “And I will pray the Father, and He…

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Sermon at FUSION service, Camp Buehring, Kuwait, 27 OCT 2013. The song we sang at the beginning was “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” by Martin Luther. He wrote it about the year 1527, and it became the anthem of the Protestant Reformation. I have a long history with that song. I fell in love…

Hearts and Minds

Certain folks in the West (egged on by the Islamiphobia industry) say you never hear Muslim leaders condemning terrorism. That’s only because they get their news from FOX (or even CNN–the mainstream media outlets are equally guilty). Here’s a good example of the dialogue taking place in the Middle East: “The Battle for Hearts and…