The sun beats fiercely down in Castile in August and at siesta time every road is deserted: not a man, not even a dog. I am wrong, however. In the distance a dark blob shows up against the light which is so brilliant that every speck of dust is separately visible. A friar. A pilgrim perhaps? His brown habit which is all in rags sweeps the dust, the Franciscan hood is well down over his eyes. Not that he is afraid of being blinded by the dazzling light — the brilliance of his interior vision is more intense than any sunlight — but he despises the world which he treads beneath his bare feet. Vagabond that he is, he has never consented to travel otherwise than as the very poor do, begging his bread; he has been all over Spain and Italy with his regular, measured tread. Moreover, he asks for alms but seldom: with a hunch of bread every three days, he has as much as he wants. “It’s a matter of habit,” he says. Witnesses affirm that he has sometimes remained a whole week forgetting to take any earthly nourishment. 1
Continue reading “DOES GOD WANT US TO BE POOR?”
I had to think about how to frame this without coming across as pretentious. I don’t know if it’s really possible, so I’m just going to say it anyway and hope you perceive my intentions correctly. I have been growing increasingly concerned with regurgitated, derivative Christian literature that’s being mass produced. I think this is particularly true amongst evangelicals, of which I would consider myself. By derivative, I simply mean imitative; imitative to the extent that I think we, collectively, should reject it. Disapprove by refusing to purchase another catchy but ultimately empty book. Here for a moment, then gone. Trending momentarily, but ultimately unmemorable. I’ve read entire books only to reflect that I couldn’t recall a single coherent theme or progression. Many of these titles are simply collections of anecdotes and lack spiritual depth.
Continue reading “Too Derivative: A Growing Problem With Christian Literature”
It’s not uncommon to hear criticism concerning the manner in which God reveals himself, or, rather, does not reveal himself. Specifically, one may ask, why doesn’t God reveal himself directly to every single person? Why doesn’t God provide irrefutable proof? Why can’t everyone experience a burning bush type of moment like Moses (Exodus 3:2)?
Continue reading “Why Doesn’t God Reveal Himself?”
PURE AND UNDEFILED RELIGION
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:26 (emphasis added)
The other week I was driving with our three daughters. My wife was absent, but we pulled up to an intersection where a homeless gentleman was panhandling. Bypassing my usual excuses, I rolled down the window and passed him a few dollars. Really, just a few dollars. I wasn’t thinking too much about it, and I don’t usually give to panhandlers, telling myself they will use it to fuel addiction. While that very well may be true, for some reason I felt bad and gave the guy a few bucks.
Continue reading “PURE AND UNDEFILED RELIGION”
“If our culture is to be transformed, it will happen from the bottom up – from ordinary believers practicing apologetics over the backyard fence or around the barbecue grill.”
Most of you are probably familiar with the phrase “separation of church and state.”
This idea was drafted into the Constitution in order to prevent the government from forcing any religious preference on any segment of the population. Continue reading “FAITH IN A BOX”