It is right to give thanks and blessing when we eat. Food is so important, and so much goes into providing it, that mealtimes are an important time to stop for a moment and give thanks. It is also the easiest of rituals to introduce into our lives, and the importance of ritual is something we’ve lost track of in the modern, Western world. Read the rest of this entry »

I was reading this link from leisureguy’s blog, “11,000 couples later, gay marriage largely a nonevent in Mass.”┬áIt got me thinking about a discussion I had with my grandmother some months back when she asked after my friend who’s “a bit funny.” By that she means “in a committed, homosexual relationship.” I had the honor of being there when he said his vows as he was there when I said mine.

She asks after him often, and she always whispers “your friend” in the same voice she whispers “black” when the race of a person comes up. And as a conservative Christian, she does not approve of homosexuality. But of course, she doesn’t completely approve of black people, either. But still, she asks after him. And she has no malice towards blacks. She is what she has been for a long time now, and what she learned to be from an early age. Loving and racist and homophobic and still loving. Read the rest of this entry »

As promised, I’ve posted my full review of The God Delusion.

I’ve been quiet here for a couple of weeks, but mostly because I’ve been spending my blogging energy chatting elsewhere. For those interested in following along on some of the discussions, or curious about what blogs I find interesting, here are some of the more interesting ones:

Upcoming here: Review of The Black Hole War, a book I didn’t plan to review here but has some interesting religious implications; review of The Art of Reading Scripture; a bit longer discussion of The God Delusion; and some early thoughts on my current reading: What’s So Great about Christianity, one of the better Christian Apoligetics I’ve read (outside his poorly researched critiques of evolution). I’m only a quarter of the way through. I still want to throw it at a wall sometimes, and I think he misinterprets a lot of history, but he brings actual facts to the discussion (which is very unusual) and makes several arguments that are worthy of actual debate. He’s even changed my thinking on some aspects of Christianity’s historic influence on Western society (I think his argument makes a better case that Western society has had a great influence on Protestantism, but I’ll go into that deeper later). If you want a very interesting and comprehensive discussion of this book, see Ken Ponder’s review on Amazon.

And I want to finally get back to some discussions about pantheism itself. I’ve been so distracted with so many interesting books.

In A Biblical Church, I note the commune nature of the Church of Acts, and my position that this is the Biblical example that modern churches should follow if they consider themselves Bible-based. I’ve discussed this with several people, but Polycarp’s comments are the most considered rebuttal I’ve received.

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I’ve spent a few posts talking about Christianity, and it’s somewhat brought me off topic for this blog. My goal isn’t to create negative thoughts about what not to believe in or what not to do. My goal is to talk a bit about positive things and paint some pictures that might be helpful to someone out there.

I was out camping this weekend with family and friends. There must have been a dozen boys with us and we were doing all the usual camping things, swimming in the lake, hiking, and s’mores. Of course, s’mores. And where’s there’s s’mores, there’s fire, right?

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I was reminded again of the modern church’s unbiblical views on marriage. If one were to believe in a Christ-like life, you could look to Jesus as an exemplar, and say that men and women should not marry because Jesus did not marry. But of course this is weak evidence. One might also say that people should not wear polyester because Jesus did not wear polyester. I think there are many places that modern Christians are the opposite of Christ-like, but that’s not the strong Biblical evidence against marriage.

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In my discussion with Ben Simpson on what a Biblical church would look like, I mentioned that the Biblical model would be a theocratic commune. Will asked that I go into more detail on that.

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As I work on a more comprehensive review of the excellent (though occasionally flawed) The God Delusion, I’ll throw out some thoughts on the two books I’m currently reading. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s worth at least skimming over the article in Newsweek on Obama “Finding His Faith.” There are several interesting points to glean:

  • We live in a country where political candidates are raked over the coals to see if they are “Christian enough” while we have American Christians claiming they are the subjects of persecution on the scale of Jews in Nazi Germany. To put this in perspective, try imagining Hitler being grilled by an interviewer on whether he went to Synagogue often enough. Societies generally don’t demand that their leaders be part of the group the society is busy persecuting.
  • Somehow Fox News will quote the above statement in order to compare Obama and Hitler.

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