If the U.S. fails to act, ancient Christian communities dating back to the Book of Acts might soon be deserted. Since the first mission movements of the Early Church, Assyrian (Syriac) churches have never failed to maintain a confessional Christian presence in or near their original lands. If the current crisis facing northeastern Syria worsens, … Continue reading In Syria, this may be the last Christmas for Christian communities who’ve been there since the first century.
One of the things often overlooked in many people’s understanding of Scripture is the difference between Christ and Jesus. Christ is not Jesus’ last name, as if His name could’ve just as easily been Jesus Smith, or Jesus Johnson. (If we're actually looking for His last name, it was likely ben Yosef.) The word Christ … Continue reading How is Jesus, God with us?
How might you handle a minor disagreement with someone if you knew it would be remembered and talked about two thousand years later? As Paul closed out the letter to the Church at Philippi, a church that we could argue was as healthy and effective as any we find in the New Testament, he mentioned … Continue reading A Word about Conflict in Church
I must confess I have struggled with some significant prejudices during my life. I am so thankful for God's grace that has broken through and continues to break through the hard shell of my presuppositions about others. Yet I know that even now I hold some opinions about others, both individuals and groups, that are … Continue reading Our opinions say more about us than about “them.”
I overheard this recently: “There was nothing special about Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She was simply the vessel God chose to surrogate his son. He could have chosen any woman for his purposes, she just happened to be the one he chose. She was a young, imperfect girl who could not possibly have understood all … Continue reading The Demeaning of Mary Full of Grace
Evangelicals have grown fond of using the term "worldview," which we typically define as something like, "the lens through which we view God, creation, religion, culture, tribe, family, ourselves, and others." Worldview is definitely a real factor in every facet of life, but it is by definition subjective. Our lenses are shaped by many uncontrollable … Continue reading An Incomplete Worldview and Advent
The Church and culture are usually at odds. For followers of Jesus, this should be neither surprising nor upsetting. Jesus warned us that our faith and obedience would often bring us into conflict with those around us, and that sometimes we would even be hated because of Him. Yet even if we find ourselves in … Continue reading Social Justice and the Art of Listening