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Most Excellent Thoughts

What would happen between the two of you if you were really trying to understand her instead of change her?

— Ronald Richardson

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Featured Articles

Prophets MUST Improvise, In and For Our Cities – a review of “Resurrection City” by Peter Goodwin Heltzel

The prophet’s task is to “reorder” and “refashion” the urban environment to be more just and peaceable. Yet ... the work of social transformation must be based on a deep inner transformation. That's the burden of this excellent book (quote from p97). Resurrection City...

"THIS IS HOW they made the pleasant land desolate."

The Bible fairly often makes a direct connection between the desolation of a land (and its people - and, obviously, its economic life) and moral corruption in the people's prior social, legal, and economic patterns. Here's an example from Zechariah 7. The residents...

German Christians Sold Out to Power and Glory

[A Review of Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Charles Marsh, 2014] This book is not written to coddle nor to discomfort whatever our self-image is as American Christians today; Marsh is trying to show reality. To me, two eras of Bonhoeffer's life seem...

The Moral Priorities of Jesus – What Did Jesus Teach?

He said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' but do not do what I say?" Maybe he meant it. This short book (40 pages) is available as a free pdf, or as a paperback at LULU.com (see the links below). It treats the following issues.  Here, each chapter title is followed by...
Moral economic behavior stressed by Isaiah

Are Economic Matters a Moral Issue? Isaiah Thinks So.

In spite of Isaiah, and other Bible sources, we’ve all heard this - something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to interfere in economic matters - tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That warps economic...
fish racism

Jesus and Racism – Samaritan Lives Matter – Black Lives Matter

Samaritans in Jesus' day were both religiously and racially despised. The phrase "Samaritan lives matter" would have been very offensive to the Jewish culture in which Jesus was raised and in which he was a teacher and doer of good. But to Jesus, clearly Samaritan...

7 Signs of a Healthy, Christ-Following Christian Faith

Unhealthy, dangerous forms of “Christianity” seem epidemic today. Are there healthy forms? Here, I believe, is a good example, from the church I attend. A summary of priority concerns of a Christ-following, healthy faith. 1. We strongly emphasize the...
100 quotes

100 Quotes

Nerd alert! This is a list that used to be behind the quote widget on the upper right of the page. They are from various places, maybe half from my personal reading (books). I'm not documenting sources because I don't have time or did not record them. There's good...

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. ... the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the...
Jesus - What Does He Want?

Why I Pay Attention to Jesus Christ

WHY? Why should we focus any more on Jesus Christ than on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah? Or on the laws in the Bible, or prophecy, or the end of the world? Is focus on Jesus more needed than pointing out sins – especially other people’s sins? Is Christ actually more...
Advent decorations

Advent: Christ Has Come. So, What Do We Have TO DO?

CHRIST HAS COME. SO WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? 1. STAND ALONE “Peter … asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘… what is that to you? You must follow me.’” John 21:21,22 If Christ is really present to us in this world, we have to personally respond to...
Neighbor

If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See – Can You Love God?

The author of "1 John" makes a simple, blunt, very logical analysis of our emotional attachments - or professed attachments. (1 John 4:20) If you do not love your brother whom you can see, how can you love God whom you cannot see? Well, John, that's easy! We do it all...
Gun on Bible

Fascism Appearing In America (says “The American Conservative” Magazine)

I've written some articles comparing America today to Hitler's Germany; and it seems it's not just me being paranoid and over-reactive. That concern is appearing in a number of places. Now The American Conservative magazine is running an article, "Hunger for...

Why Many Christians Do Not Vote Republican

This was written about 12 years ago (as of today, in February 2017). Wow. And the problems remain, and have grown; which means these things still need thinking and talking about. References and Bible quotations...
Jesus - What Does He Want?

Why I Pay Attention to Jesus Christ

WHY? Why should we focus any more on Jesus Christ than on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah? Or on the laws in the Bible, or prophecy, or the end of the world? Is focus on Jesus more needed than pointing out sins – especially other people’s sins? Is Christ actually more...

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. ... the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the...

Jesus Pushes Us to Judge Our OWN Lives – Not Other People’s

Jesus was a highly respected teacher of morality and of the spiritual life. So, logically enough, a man asked him to take a stand on a moral issue between the man and his brother (Luke 12:13-15) - Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide...

"THIS IS HOW they made the pleasant land desolate."

The Bible fairly often makes a direct connection between the desolation of a land (and its people - and, obviously, its economic life) and moral corruption in the people's prior social, legal, and economic patterns. Here's an example from Zechariah 7. The residents...

Good Practical Life-Examples – from the Bible Book of ACTS

This short list is a result of a number of hours I spent in the New Testament’s “Acts of the Apostles” recently. I believe there is some valuable teaching here. Headline 1 below gives two preliminary safety measures for Bible study. Headline 2 brings six...

Prophets MUST Improvise, In and For Our Cities – a review of “Resurrection City” by Peter Goodwin Heltzel

The prophet’s task is to “reorder” and “refashion” the urban environment to be more just and peaceable. Yet ... the work of social transformation must be based on a deep inner transformation. That's the burden of this excellent book (quote from p97). Resurrection City...

The Civilized Are Responsible

Originally published in 1976. My how times have not changed. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless...
brick-layer at work

The Kingdom of God – that is, God’s New Economy: We Are Called To Seek It.

"Over and against these senseless modern myths ... there is the "myth" of the God of goodness who has chosen people to prepare a kingdom of justice, truth, and love on earth. This myth dies hard. Why should we refuse to admit that Christ taught it to us?" [from Andre...

The Faith is Despised Because of You, Roy Moore (GOP Senate Candidate, AL)

Here are short excerpts from articles from mainstream press sources shaming evangelicals for their blatant power lust and hypocrisy over Roy Moore's run for the US Senate. Wowee kapowee!     The New Republic Not even pedophilia is out of bounds for a...

Stand With Israel? Not When Israel Stands Against God.

We are often told we must love Israel - which is true - we are to love all peoples. We are often told we should “stand with Israel”. Now that’s not so easy. It seems to mean always take Israel’s side in any conflict or disagreement Israel has - or God will...

Forgiveness Requires … (A Quick Personal Check-Up)

“Forgiveness requires acceptance of the fact that the past is not going to change.” - unknown   After all, if we could change the past no forgiveness would be needed. Because the offense would have totally disappeared - from experience and from memory....

The Civilized Are Responsible

Originally published in 1976. My how times have not changed. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless...

We Must Speak Up. “Lift your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their sins.”

God requires it of the prophet.He MUST speak out about what he sees going on. Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins. For day after day they seek me...
brick-layer at work

The Kingdom of God – that is, God’s New Economy: We Are Called To Seek It.

"Over and against these senseless modern myths ... there is the "myth" of the God of goodness who has chosen people to prepare a kingdom of justice, truth, and love on earth. This myth dies hard. Why should we refuse to admit that Christ taught it to us?" [from Andre...
Jesus - What Does He Want?

Is Trump a Christian? What Does It MEAN to Believe in Christ?

There was some excitement among certain Republican Christians when Dobson said Trump had become a "baby" Christian and should be cut some slack on that basis. Two problems with that: A novice at practicing the Christian faith is not someone we should automatically...

Mental Illness PLUS Massive Killing Capacity = NRA’s Deadly America

We hear again, as always, that the problem is not guns, it is mental illness. Weapons designed for war ... are being flooded into American civilian society. It is not surprising that a few find their way to men unstable enough to use them for...
Gun on Bible

The “Sin Problem” in Gun Violence – Us Not Working Together to Reduce It!

"It's not a gun problem; it's a sin problem." Certain Christians respond to any new white male massacre of Americans with some cliche like "It's a sin problem." Of course, there's clearly a sin problem. That's the root of multitudes of problems. So? So...
Advent decorations

Advent: Christ Has Come. So, What Do We Have TO DO?

CHRIST HAS COME. SO WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? 1. STAND ALONE “Peter … asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘… what is that to you? You must follow me.’” John 21:21,22 If Christ is really present to us in this world, we have to personally respond to...
hand writes with a pen in a notebook

The Quiet Places in Our Lives Make Our Public Activity Safer

Contemplation and Public Action The public good is most in danger when the voluntary visits to contemplation are neglected in favor of immediate communitarian action. We don't have to go off and become full-time contemplatives. But times of stepping aside from the...

German Christians Sold Out to Power and Glory

[A Review of Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Charles Marsh, 2014] This book is not written to coddle nor to discomfort whatever our self-image is as American Christians today; Marsh is trying to show reality. To me, two eras of Bonhoeffer's life seem...
100 quotes

100 Quotes

Nerd alert! This is a list that used to be behind the quote widget on the upper right of the page. They are from various places, maybe half from my personal reading (books). I'm not documenting sources because I don't have time or did not record them. There's good...
Neighbor

If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See – Can You Love God?

The author of "1 John" makes a simple, blunt, very logical analysis of our emotional attachments - or professed attachments. (1 John 4:20) If you do not love your brother whom you can see, how can you love God whom you cannot see? Well, John, that's easy! We do it all...