Category: The Christian Spirit

Reflections on living as a disciple of Christ.

Phrases in Need of Context

I’ve never been one to jump on bandwagons of trendy phrases and slogans. I’m not going to start now. I don’t care if they emanate from political Left field or political Right field. I avoid them all. Instead, I think it’s important to explain matters cogently and with the proper context, tossing aside phrases that create certain images in people’s minds that may not be accurate. As much as possible, I always want to provide both theological and historical context… Read more »

Transitions

April 27 of this year marked a change of direction in my life. That was the day the president of my university where I’ve taught for the past fourteen years shared a video with the faculty and informed us that due to COVID-19, thirty-four full-time faculty would not be returning in the fall. That was shocking, to be sure. I felt bad for those thirty-four, whoever they were. I surely couldn’t be one of them, I reasoned, because I had… Read more »

Let’s Be Mature

I’ve appreciated using the Book of Common Prayer for my morning devotions the past few months. There are always readings from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Gospels and Psalms specifically each day. The readings don’t take you through the entire Bible in a year, but they cover some of the most significant passages. Today, though, I discovered an omission in the readings that was rather blatant. Yesterday’s New Testament reading was Romans 1:16-25. Today’s reading started with… Read more »

Healing Divisions By Being Real Christians

In the midst of protests and chants of black lives matter, what can I say that has any significance at all? After all, I’m a white guy (actually, kind of light beige) who grew up in a small town in northern Indiana that had no racial diversity. The closest we came to it was the Amish farming community east of town. Their lifestyle was different but they were of the same Germanic background as many of us town-dwellers. But when… Read more »

The Descent to Hell Is Easy

One of the most difficult of C. S. Lewis’s books to read—at least for me—was The Allegory of Love. He referred to so many works of literature with which I am unfamiliar (and written in an early English that was hard to translate) that I almost failed to finish it. Yet, even in so difficult a work, I discovered passages that I’m glad I didn’t miss. At one point, in the midst of a long commentary on one of those… Read more »

When Loss of Liberty Was Real

I love liberty, properly understood as something that also entails personal responsibility. I’m also alert to attempts to undermine genuine liberty and have been so most of my adult life. Yet I want to clearly differentiate what is a real threat to liberty and what is not. One conservative commentator recently posted this on Twitter: Dropped by a department store to buy a toaster oven. Mandatory hand sanitizer squirt and mask. One way aisles and if you deviate from the… Read more »

The Wisdom of the Ages

I had a rather modern education throughout my early years. Some of the “classics” broke through now and then, but not many. Of course, what one defines as a classic book may depend on where one stands. In this twenty-first century, I think it’s fine to look back to the last half of the twentieth and call some writings “classic.” I’ve tried, in spurts, to fill in some of the gaps in my reading. The last few years have been… Read more »