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Gospel

Poor in spirit

The Poverty Gospel

Let’s face it, the prosperity preachers have an appealing shtick: “God wants you to drive the best car, live in lavish luxury, and be independently wealthy.” Unsurprisingly, that message coincides very conveniently with my own innate self- indulgence, covetousness, and vanity. Nevertheless, the most formidable opponent of this prosperity gospel is the Bible. In the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12), Jesus preached a contrary message. His gospel involves poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger, purity, peacemaking, and persecution. The primary characteristic of the blessed… Read More »The Poverty Gospel

colosseum

The Paradox of Peace

Peace officers carry guns. As a child of the sixties, that still strikes me as ironic. The word peace conjures up images of flowers, certainly not guns. Nevertheless, having survived the sixties and the decades since, I am convinced that arming the police with flowers instead of guns would be disastrous. The paradox of peace is we must fight for peace. Fighting Words This is a contentious day when disagreeing with someone could get us ‘canceled.’ We are accused of… Read More »The Paradox of Peace

sugar and a salt shaker

The Problem with Tolerance

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Aiming for mere human exceptionalism is a sure path to spiritual floundering (Matt. 5:20). A case in point is the call for tolerance. Tolerance, though a singular virtue in secular society, is destructive to the power and purity of the church. The root meaning of tolerance is enduring pain. It implies no change or progress. It is live and let live. You do your thing, and I will do mine. The problem with tolerance is it settles for mediocrity and… Read More »The Problem with Tolerance

A child's responsive prayer

If I Should Die Before I Wake

Next to a chainsaw, the most dangerous tool you could find in my hand is a rhyming dictionary. The good news is I have not touched a chainsaw for months. The bad news is I recently dusted off New Rhyming Dictionary and Poetry Handbook. My subject is prayer so maybe, with much prayer, I can do more good than harm. A Child’s Prayer Writing Back To God made me reflect on the people and events God used in preserving my… Read More »If I Should Die Before I Wake