Category: Theology & The Church

The hardest person to forgive

Say the word forgiveness and the minds of many may drift to images of a spatting couple on a couch mending their words with an embrace. Perhaps for others it conjures up images of bullies, bosses or vindictive ex-lovers. But for some of us the hard work of forgiveness runs much deeper than playground banter or office politics, because the ones who ultimately need forgiveness the most are, in fact, ourselves.  …  [more]

Rob Bell and Oprah aside, marriage wasn’t designed to solve loneliness

In a recent appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday to promote his latest book, The Zimzum of Love,  Rob Bell made remarks on marriage that are causing consternation among some and receiving applause from others. In the interview, the Pastor Emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church expressed his sentiments that the church is “moments away” from affirming same-sex marriage, following the broader…  [more]

The spiritual disconnect in Imagine Dragons’ Smoke + Mirrors

Credit Imagine Dragons and front man Dan Reynolds for truth in advertising with Smoke + Mirrors. Behind its bombastic hooks and designed-for-arenas lyricism is … who knows what. Like Oz’s great and powerful wizard, the truth behind this multi-platinum act’s vaguely spiritual angst is hard to ascertain. The smoke is cool, though. The mirrors are definitely working. This is arena rock at its bloated…  [more]

Why Christians are called to immigration reform

Editor’s note: This is the first installment in A More Welcoming Way, a series of TC articles on the immigration experience, attempts at reform and the church’s role in the process. The reform of immigration policy should be of vital concern to every Christian who is a United States citizen. The Old Testament teachings about care for the foreigner among us, Jesus’ teaching on the subject and His…  [more]

Lent devotionals offered by TC sister ministry

Some of you are aware that TC has a sister ministry of daily devotionals called Today. If this is news to you, now is a good time to get to know the program, as Today is offering a special series of devotions to guide you through the season of Lent. Called Focus on the Cross and beginning on Ash Wednesday, the series is designed to help you concentrate on the depth, beauty and mystery of the death and…  [more]

40 years of Saturday Night Live religious sketches

I grew up on the Church Lady, the Dana Carvey character whose “Church Chat” sketch was a staple of Saturday Night Live in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Most of the grownups around me would have considered it “sputton” (Dutch-American slang for sacrilegious), but revisiting “Church Chat” now, in advance of SNL’s 40th anniversary show, I was struck by how often the…  [more]

The problem with Obama’s Crusades comment

Last week, President Barack Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast remarks about religious violence were not well-received. Noting the relationship between violence and religion in various times and places, he referenced Christianity’s connection with the Crusades, the Inquisition and American slavery and segregation. It’s true that Christians and the church have been complicit in violence –…  [more]

Why every Christian should care about nuclear disarmament

The Cold War ended decades ago, but since then the global conversation on nuclear weapons has been heating up. Yet the issue of nuclear arms is so complex and its stakes so high that most ordinary citizens are at a loss to formulate reasonably informed opinions. In fact, few outside a small number of specialists are knowledgeable about the topic. This is why the Nuclear Threat Initiative sponsored the attendance of…  [more]

A theology of sleep

Editor’s note: In his continual search for God’s presence in the everyday, TC’s John Van Sloten recently preached about the providential gift of sleep. Perhaps a risky topic for a pastor speaking to a morning crowd – especially one who keeps the sanctuary lights down low during the sermon – but John managed nonetheless. “Sleep is where God proves that He is holding your…  [more]

Turning pistols into plowshares

Present-day Christians wrestle with the issue of violence just like our forefathers in faith did. We disagree on whether violence is permissible in instances of self-defense and whether Christians should support acts of war on a national scale - even if conducted in the name of justice, democracy or some greater good. A new study out of Yale University, summarized in The Atlantic, suggests a way forward which…  [more]

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