Jesus for Muslims

Professor Zeki Saritoprak’s book Islam’s Jesus is summarized most insightfully in this brief article in Christian Century. It turns out that Muslims and Christians have more in common than I had believed.

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Pentecostal sharing

Our very challenging sermon yesterday from our minister Robert Steiner quoted Acts 4:34-35 “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.” Continue reading

Exiting the Paris agreement

What a sadly un-American speech was delivered by President Trump yesterday. His mantra of America First sounds to my ears not just un-American but also un-Christian. Our country has always been marked for me by its leadership in the world, by its willingness to help the less fortunate, by the light that shone on the hill for others to see. Continue reading

Capitalist ethics

The market often gets a bad knock for being ethically neutral – or worse. Then one reads how chicken producers like Perdue and Tyson have dropped the use of antibiotics because of market pressures. The newspaper showed a picture of chickens strutting free – because one can’t prevent infection among closely caged birds. No sermons were preached; no calls to love one’s neighbor were made. Instead, the market exercised its force and these companies fell into ethical line.

Liberal church decline?

I find myself wondering how the decline of church-going among liberals is possibly shaping American politics. My sense is that the Democratic Party has become the party of the more affluent, those who have benefited from the information economy.  In the old days, this tilt was softened by the church’s call to love one another.  That call has been stilled. Instead, to my eyes at least, America is dividing into a relatively small affluent group of secular liberals and a larger group of blue collar workers who are being made redundant by the computers that have made the liberals rich. Trump promised on the campaign trail to remedy their very real plight. Many switched from the Democratic Party, which no longer appeared to care about them, to Trump, nominally a Republican, who seemed to care about them. The problem that I see is that there is no way back. The computer has changed our lives forever. There is no sign that Trump realizes this or that any of his billionaire appointees has given any thought to the challenges that lie ahead. The Republican Party itself merely talks about a return to the 1950’s and is clearly irrelevant. In short, those who voted for him are in for a huge disappointment. Which brings me back to the church. How, I wonder, can the church recover the loyalty of the secular liberal? And turn them into Christians devoted to the concerns of others? And willing, out of love and compassion, to do some serious thinking about the new economy

The penitent thief

We tend to ignore the penitent thief over Easter. Our Sunday sermon brought him to my mind. Continue reading

Where is the church?

Almost daily, I read in the press about the devastation that new technologies are causing in the lives of many people. Of course, those same technologies are bringing hope – and wealth – to many others. But what about those whose lives have been disrupted? Don’t we as Christians have a responsibility to reach out to them? Rephrasing that question, how can we Christians who have benefited help those whose lives have been turned upside down? How can the church assist in that effort?