“A key issue is that we’re a more unequal society than all of the countries we looked at, and that creates a different work environment where people feel they may be penalized for taking time off,” Schmitt said in an interview. In the states, that fear at least partly reflects the widening gap between what top corporate managers earn and what rank-and-file workers bring home, … Continue reading When it comes to vacations, the U.S. stinks…
This is the conclusion of a post over at RedLetter Christians by Stephen Mattson that I want to feature. (Click here to see the original post in it entirety). As I said before it puts the major problems with our current version of American Christianity into an almost perfect shell. Today we will look at the last four things and next time I will give some personal thoughts … Continue reading The Worst Things About American Christianity (part 2)
Instead, three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis…. “The only real outcome I see in the next 5 to 10 years is a series of cantons that agree to tactical cease-fires … Continue reading Sectarian Violence…. Cantons
To the U.S. technology industry, there’s a dramatic shortfall in the number of Americans skilled in computer programming and engineering that is hampering business. To unions and some Democrats, it’s more sinister: The push by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to expand the number of visas for high-tech foreign workers is an attempt to dilute a lucrative job market with cheap, indentured labor. The answer is somewhere … Continue reading On Both Sides of the Fence….
My friends over at RedLetter Christians have done it again. They have put the major problems with our current version of American Christianity into an almost perfect shell. The words below were some of the thoughts penned by Stephen Mattson. See all the complete text by clicking here. I see no reason to add any additional words. I will be using the next two posts … Continue reading The Six Worst Things About American Christianiy
From my friends at FCNL. This program is entirely for political purposes only. We don’t need such an expensive boondoggle. Continue reading Insanely Too Much!!!!
Abelard rejected the idea that Christ died as a result of God’s vengeance for human disobedience. Abelard was horrified by the novel teaching of his fellow theologian, Anselm (1033–1109), who proposed that Jesus died to satisfy the divine justice of his Father, as a payment of a legal debt required as recompense for sin and to restore God’s honor. Abelard exclaimed: Indeed, how cruel and … Continue reading Dying For God’s Vengeance….
When faced with a challenge, whether you deny the problems it poses or dive in to solve them in a positive way may determine how much anxiety you feel overall. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million Americans ages 18 and older are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder every year. To dig deeper into who may be at greatest risk, investigators … Continue reading How To Deal With Anxiety….
A Senate panel late Monday accused Apple (AAPL) of using what it called a “complex web of offshore entities” to dodge billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes. Source: Lawmakers say Apple dodged billions in taxes – CBS News. If we could just manage to get a Centrist party in control of those folks in Washington one of the first things I would want them to … Continue reading Lawmakers say Apple dodged billions in taxes…
This “new” Christianity is sick of culture wars, political agendas, hypocrisy and legalistic doctrines. They prefer inclusion over restriction, dialogue over debate, practice over preaching, and love over judgment. Authentic communities are preferred over institutionalized organizations, and grassroots groups gain wisdom and knowledge from relational interaction, social media, the web, and an array of other sources—there is no monopoly controlling leadership or sources of information… … Continue reading The Times, They Are A-Changin….
“Hunt out and talk about the good that is in the other fellow’s church, not the bad, and you will do away with all this religious hatred you hear so much nowadays.” – Will Rogers, 11 March 1923 This quote from Will definitely applies to the churches in the U.S. but it equally applies to many other things that are problematic in our country today. … Continue reading Hunt Out The Good….
While Tertullian emphasized the negative aspects of the military to Christian discipleship, Origen pointed out the positive vision of a life of Christian peacemaking. He criticized the army as a society of “professional violence,” pointing out that Jesus forbids any kind of violence or vengeance against another. “We will not raise arms against any other nation, we will not practice the art of war,” he … Continue reading Early Christians and War….
Before I start on my study of the history of the church I want to do an “aside” post here on another topic. I just read a very thoughtful post over at Rachel Held Evan’s blog about mysticism and evangelicalism. In it she was commenting on a book by Tim Challis about how mysticism, which he defined at any experiences with God outside of the … Continue reading Replacing One Mediator With Another….
I had my first and only visit to Niagara Falls in the Summer of 1999. The falls were impressive and yes I did put on the rain coat and toured them close up via the little boats shown below. Continue reading Niagara Falls
“This country is a thousand times bigger than any two men in it, or any two parties in it.” – Will Rogers, 2 November 1932 I seem to often get ground down by the politics of the day. Especially with all the gridlock and bickering that is always there. Thanks Will for reminding me that the country is a thousand times bigger than all … Continue reading Bigger Than….
I have been studying the history of the church to try an understand how we got to where we are today. An important book in that investigation is entitled “A People’s History of Christianity, The Other Side of the Story” by Diana Butler Bass. This is not the first book I have read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. With this … Continue reading A People’s History of Christianity….
I know I am getting burned out on all this constant bickering in the U.S. I watch little or no news on TV now. All the news channels seem to be about inciting a riot among us. My internet news sites which I visit first thing every morning are now for the most part briefly scanned. I am just tired of all this stuff. It … Continue reading Burnout…..
When I was a kid in the Catholic church I remember that the priests and nuns took a vow of poverty. That is they put their obedience to God above monetary gain. That seemed like a noble thing to me. Of course I have come to realize that this vow of poverty did not mean that the Catholic clergy lived a lifestyle of the poor … Continue reading A Vow Of Poverty…
Take an essay in The Daily Beast last week, in which Bronx-born culture critic Lee Siegel used the gun rights fight as one reason for the South to “Go ahead, secede already!” With secession, a “red-state nation, giddy with new mobility, could make the 1958 Chevy its official car … [and] it could arm all of its citizens, and thus relieve itself of the financial … Continue reading Secession…..
“The bottom line is, this lack of insurance coverage is just consistent with the overall lack of responsibility we’ve seen from the fertilizer plant, starting from the fact that from day one they have yet to acknowledge responsibility,” Roberts said. Roberts said he expects the plant’s owner to ask a judge to divide the $1 million in insurance money among the plaintiffs, several of whom … Continue reading Fertilizer plant that exploded in Texas carried $1M policy
Long before I became familiar with the academic debates concerning calling God “Mother,” debates that I am now currently a part of as a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, I was being raised in a household where I instinctively understood that the divine presence was manifest in the loving hands and arms of mothers, and most especially in the life of my grandmother who … Continue reading Why God Is a ‘Mother,’ Too….
Let’s continue on with our brief study of the Gospel of Mark. This time it will be about people’s faith and the Bread. I know that seems like two different things but let me try to tie them together. During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these … Continue reading About The Bread…
This is a rather simple picture but a meaningful one to me. It is of the grandfather oak tree on our property. I’m pretty sure it pre-dates our 1925 farm house. In our part of the country oaks are about the last trees to finally leaf out so this must finally be Spring. Continue reading Blooming Oaks
As defense secretary, Robert Gates withheld $614 million from Lockheed Martin in 2010 for its lackluster work on the $400 billion F-35 fighter program, the most costly weapon system ever bought. Source: F-35 Bookkeeping | TIME.com. A few hundred million here a few hundred million there and before long you are talking about real money. It is totally unfathomable to me how we could spend $400 … Continue reading F-35 Bookkeeping…
Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked.“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not … Continue reading A Maturing Jesus??
ob⋅ses⋅sion /əbseʃən/ — noun an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone syn: fixation Storyline: The gun was small and light, the training wheels of firearms. The .22-caliber, single-shot Crickett rifle turned deadly on Tuesday, officials in Kentucky said, when a 5-year-old Cumberland County boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in what the coroner described to a local paper as “just one of … Continue reading Just Another Obsession???
As mentioned a few posts ago Jesus had some very stinging words about the religiously powerful of his day. The Gospel of Mark 7 is one of those places. Lets study some of those words. He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship … Continue reading Religiously Powerful…
With evidence indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons in Syria, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that “there’s a growing consensus in the U.S. Senate that the United States should get involved.” Source: Graham: “Growing consensus” in Senate for U.S. action in Syria – CBS News. It is interesting that Senator Graham is able to find a … Continue reading Growing consensus” in Senate for U.S. action in Syria
Those are astronomical numbers. I’m floored,” said Dr. William Graf, a pediatric neurologist in New Haven and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He added, “Mild symptoms are being diagnosed so readily, which goes well beyond the disorder and beyond the zone of ambiguity to pure enhancement of children who are otherwise healthy.” And even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed … Continue reading More Diagnoses of Hyperactivity…
I just read a news article about a woman who says she is going to convert to Islam. Her family shouts that she has been brainwashed and needs an intervention to prevent that from happening. Just what does it really mean to be brainwashed? Brainwashing like many other words and conditions has a myriad of definitions depending on the speaker. Here is what Wikipedia says … Continue reading Brainwashed???
Let’s get back to a study of the Red Letter to learn how we are to live. He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the … Continue reading Hiding The Light….
I have chosen the crabapple tree in the front yard as my inspiration theme for this Sunday. I just love watching things come back to life after a dormant cold season. The horses across the street are wintered someplace else. This was the first week they were back. Continue reading An Inspiring Spring Day
October 2007 – Milwaukee Art Museum. This crazy looking piece of glass art is in the crazy looking museum. We very much enjoyed our visit there… Continue reading Crazy Glass…
This is the true purpose of satire: to mock power. It is, truly, the language of the powerless. From the biblical prophets, to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, to Swift, to Twain, to Orwell to our beloved Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, satire works best when the targets are the powerful and elite—be they institutions or people. Jesus’ sharpest comments were always directed toward the politically or … Continue reading Christians and Humor….
“The Republican Party is not really a party. It doesn’t stand for anything except re-electing itself,” Stockman, who directed the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, tells Newsmax. “The neocons are only oriented to an aggressive, imperialistic foreign policy of big defense establishment and suppression of our civil liberties. That’s bad. “The tax cons want to just cut taxes — any time, … Continue reading A Reagan Apostle On The GOP
One of the underlying assumptions is that money from the offering or tithe belongs to the church. But the Scriptures consistently teach that the offering is God’s instrument of redistribution and that it belongs to the poor. Giving to the poor should not make its way into the budget; it is the budget. One could argue that small portions of the Israelite offering (no more … Continue reading Embezzling God….