American Jesus: Pawn or King?

Unknown-2In Stephen Prothero’s book American Jesus, the Boston University Professor of Religion details how Jesus became a national iconoclast and icon. The purpose of Prothero’s book is to discern the “cultural Jesus:” the Jesus understood by Americans both historically and today.

Two Purposes for the Miraculous

imagesModern man is quick to deny the miraculous. “Miracles are impossible”—says the Bultmannian—since Nature is the whole story. “Miracles are improbable”—says the Humean—since laws of nature are exceptionless and miracles are violations of these exceptionless laws. “Miracles are not necessary”—says the scientists—since science is quickly closing all gaps in knowledge, gaps that pre-moderns used to plug by invoking God.

Five things I learned on my literary tour of England

imagesThis summer I had the opportunity to teach on C. S. Lewis and his apologetics for our seminary while at Oxford University. To teach on one of my favorite authors, in Oxford where he lived and taught most of his adult life, is a dream come true. To say I am a fan of Lewis is a bit of an understatement. I visited all the sites connected to Lewis—the Kilns where he lived, Magdalen college where he taught, The Eagle and Child where he so often ate, Holy Trinity Church where he worshipped and is now buried.

Was Jesus just a Great Moral Teacher?

imagesThe question of Jesus’ identity has perplexed and fascinated us since he arrived on the scene 2,000 years ago. In our own day we seem to have a Jesus for everyone: Super-hero Jesus, Common Guy Jesus, Homosexual Jesus, Traditional Marriage Jesus, Democrat Jesus, Republican Jesus, Mormon Jesus, Oriental Jesus, and so on. Pick a cause or an agenda, and there is a Jesus waiting in the wings, ready to offer his support.[1] Why does everyone want a piece of Jesus, yet so often, not the whole? That is, why are we so ready to ascribe to Jesus the status of a great moral teacher, a teacher who we can use for our own personal or political agenda, yet we hesitate to call him Lord?

Soul Cravings

UnknownIt is a datum of human experience that we crave. We want, long, yearn, desire. Some things are petty—tickets to the Packer game, a box of Raisinets©, a new fountain pen—other things are more central to our well-being—staying healthy, material possessions—and some are essential to our well-being—intimacy, meaning, purpose.