Category: Faith and Reason

Fear and Faith

Fear is the muscular sibling of the current global pandemic. Fear, in fact, is even bigger as it stretches well beyond the actual reach of COVID-19. It can rule our hearts even if it doesn’t touch our health. It stirs our impulses to hide, to hoard, to fixate on media and social news, and to …

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Optimistic or Alive?

A number of scholars have commented on Augustine’s “pessimism.” The label has also been attached to Martin Luther and John Calvin who shared Augustine’s belief in Original Sin. That is, they all affirmed the Bible teaching that humanity died in Adam. So that no one has spiritual life without new birth. Jesus supported this when …

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It’s all OK

“Nothing is too hard” for God. God reminded Jeremiah of this just after he warned his prophet of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, where Jeremiah lived and ministered (see Jer. 32). And with this warning God also promised a time to come when Jerusalem would again be restored. Then everything would be OK. God, after …

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Above and Below

I often watch Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) shows like Nova and American Experience. Or in the UK I’ve turned to BBC Four for similar programming. And in both settings I expect to find droves of programs with one common quality: a view “from below.” It’s also true of public education. We don’t find teachers today …

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The paper mill

I live in a paper mill town. For decades Camas was infamous for the fragrance it shared with its neighbors. No one for miles around could escape us if the wind was blowing their way. But that’s changed—new process scrubbers have made a huge and happy difference. Yet another worse sort of pollution is still …

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His Presence

Do we long for God’s presence? King David wrote in Psalm 27 about the “one thing” he wanted in life. That was “to gaze on the beauty of the LORD …” Later in the same Psalm he wrote, “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.’” …

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Too much of nothing

Over three decades ago, in 1985, Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death predicted a loss of faith among Western Christians. He saw that endless streams of visual entertainment were pushing God to the margins for millions. God, he realized, isn’t a video-screen entertainer, and most people prefer lively entertainment more than the weighty and …

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Abba

Years ago in seminary one of my professors asked me, “Do you see yourself as a mystic?” The question startled me since it didn’t have any context! I had never claimed to be a mystic. In fact the idea had never crossed my mind. But it did alert me to a likely difference in our …

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Trust

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6). What does this call to “trust” God mean? And how does trust shift our “own understanding”? As we face issues do we need to …

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