Jesus was crucified

From First Thoughts

It’s obvious, I hope, that I’m writing here for people who say to themselves, “There is something irresistible about Jesus.” For some of you, that’s a point which you make into an ideological cathedral — a point of doctrine which lines up in an acronym that summarizes the faith, your faith. For others, it’s a nagging thought — as you work out your faith on your own, you keep coming back to this Jesus, and you can’t make sense of him all the way, but you also can’t accept everything he says because it seems somehow too hard to live that way, or too complex, or too simple, or merely out of your grid of experience. Continue Reading »

We’re just like Oprah

From First Thoughts

Some people have been hurt in the local church. For some people it’s just a rote activity, as Oprah admits, which she learned as a child. Some of us are much smarter than our local church can bear, and some cannot stand how smart the church thinks it is. Worse still for others: it will simply be completely useless. Continue Reading »

Life-like

From First Thoughts

This is actually a post about the Gospel, but it may do one of these things to you:— it may offend you (it ought to offend you a little at least)— it may confuse you— it may cause you to take the rest of the day off because you are utterly bewilderedI’m almost too squeemish . . . . Continue Reading »

An interesting summary

From First Thoughts

While the top 20 for each list is pending to post sometime on Friday, The Telegraph UK is publishing its Top 100 list of US Conservatives, and also of Liberals.The list is interesting as it is an outsider’s perspective on the state of US politics — and I’m a fan of people who try . . . . Continue Reading »

New Year, Old News

From First Thoughts

I’m doing some research on the local church and what causes people to leave it, and I ran into this study from April 2009 about Changes in religious Affiliation in the U.S.From that report:Catholicism has suffered the greatest net loss in the process of religious change. Many people who leave . . . . Continue Reading »

6-Part Harmony

From First Thoughts

It’s a Christmas tradition in many homes to read the Christmas story before the festivities begin, which is of course a good thing. Most of us open up Luke 2, read down to through the Shepherds, pray a brief prayer, and then we begin with the wrapping paper and the mixture of joy and . . . . Continue Reading »

A Different Kind of Party

From First Thoughts

It’s funny because Linus makes the grave reading of Luke 2 for Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown,” and we feel like something really important® has been said by Dollie Madison cakes and Coca-Cola. But Luke 2 isn’t in a vacuum. The matter of what happened on the night in question in the city of David when there was no room in the inn is not really about anything – unless there is something more to this child than a birth in poverty into an indifferent world. Continue Reading »

The Other Gospel this Christmas

From First Thoughts

Given what’s been said about me here after declining to sign the MD, I’m fearful to post anything that’s not a robust affirmation of the Gospel of jesus Christ which also includes all people at all time who have ever walked in the shadow of any post-Nicene tradition, but brave men . . . . Continue Reading »