Serving Self and Serving God

The video of Victoria Osteen saying that we should focus on our self and our own happiness when we worship and serve because our happiness is what makes God happy has been getting hammered pretty hard by Evangelicals this last month. The coverage of her has been biting enough that I don’t need to pile …

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It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘from’ is

Proper manners include refraining from talking religion at work. But at my recent jobs it’s been known that I used to be a pastor, so manners be damned. People come to me with the strangest religious questions, conversations, and controversies. Most recently, a colleague asked about a fringe heretical group who believes in the destruction …

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You Will Be Assimilated. Resistance Is Futile.

Part 2: A critique of the Orthodox Church. Of course reality isn't quite as simple as I made it sound in the previous essay. Orthodoxy has an internally consistent, scripturally based, theologically sound, empirically verifiable claim: The unity Christians seek is a God-given unity which has never been lost, and, as a Divine gift and …

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You Will Be Assimilated. Resistance Is Futile.

Part 1: A critique of George Hunsinger I recently finished reading George Hunsinger's book, Eucharist and Ministry: Let Us Keep the Feast, as part of a discussion group of Lutheran and Orthodox clergy, pre-clergy, and post-clergy folk (the last category being me, of course). Hunsinger brings a handful of specific proposals to the discussion table; …

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Caveats, 4 of 6

In the previous essays of this series I made the following parallel: Early Gentile Christianity's relationship to Judaism and Jewish believers is parallel to Protestantism's relationship to contemporary Orthodoxy. Allow me to make clear that this parallel is far from exact and is also problematic. Where Orthodoxy and Protestantism are the same (both Christian), Judaism …

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The Law (Torah) and the Gospel, 2 of 6

In the previous essay I observed that, according to N.T. Wright, the significance of the doctrine of justification by faith has to do with the basic requirements for Christian table fellowship. Wright's claim is based on a particular understanding of the Judaism of Jesus' and St. Paul's day. Within Protestant circles Judaism was historically considered …

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