If you can control your anger, you're greater than being able to control a city. That's a paraphrase from Solomon the Wise, about a thousand years before Christ.
I like to write sometimes on the Seven Deadly Sins, of which Anger is one---even though a person can be angry without sinning. In one form or another, anger is in the headlines.
A report came out this month on the subject of nagging, which is often a muted, frustrated form of anger. more >>
A historian has argued in a new book that the religious aspects of World War I have been largely ignored by scholars.
Philip Jenkins, author, distinguished professor and member of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, believes that people living and fighting in World War I held strong spiritual convictions of various kinds.
Jenkins documents these many examples in his newest book, The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade. more >>
Christians should intentionally and intelligently do more to engage current culture through the arts, says Anthony Horvath, the executive director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, an apologetics ministry.
"If you want to understand the power of culture, look at how gay 'marriage' went from being unfathomable to unstoppable in less than ten years. That doesn't happen by accident," Horvath recently said. "It certainly didn't happen through legislative efforts, which up until recently were all lined up against it. How then did it happen? Answer: intentional manipulation of the culture."
He makes the argument that during this same period of time, the Church has become more aware of the need for Christian apologetics, and Christian apologists in turn have become more aware of the need for cultural engagement through the arts and literature. more >>
This week I write upon returning from a nine-day trip with friends to England, where much of my visit centered on an examination the English Reformation. I was fortunate to be exposed to the lessons of history through two groups, Christian Heritage Cambridge and its spinoff, Christian Heritage London. These groups focus on reminding Britons and their guests of the influence of Christianity on Western civilization and inspiring and equipping Christians to demonstrate the reasonableness and transforming power of their faith. Since my wife and I worship in an Anglican Church here in the States, I was particularly interested to learn more about the history of our "mother church," the Church of England. What I found was an incredibly rich history that testifies to the breadth and depth of Christian influence upon the British Isles and upon western civilization as a whole.
We spent most of our time exploring Cambridge, Oxford and London, where Christianity's influence and impact is abundantly evident. Cambridge and Oxford are homes to centers of learning with names like Jesus College, Christ's College, Emmanuel College, Magdalene College, All Souls College, and Corpus Christi College. These colleges were inspired by the Christian notion that since a rational being created the universe, it would be worthwhile to investigate the principles underlying its order. Sir Isaac Newton's life and career is a testament to the power of this belief. A devout but unorthodox Christian, Newton studied at Trinity College in Cambridge and became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. A renowned physicist and mathematician, he formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation and put to rest the mistaken notion that the earth was the center of the universe.
Then there are the churches and cathedrals that dominate the landscape. The most prominent of those houses of worship is St. Paul's Cathedral, the architectural masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren, which sits atop London's highest point, Ludgate Hill. It was designed to glorify God and to draw the gaze of worshippers to the Transcendent. St. Paul's is to London as St. Peter's Basilica is to Rome. Recognizing its central importance in English History, Hitler sought, and failed, to bomb it into powder during World War II. In so doing, he only reinforced the will of Britons to resist the Nazi menace. more >>
In this last year there have been many books and movies that draw from the Bible for inspiration. From "Noah" to "Son of God" to the upcoming "Exodus" inspired by the story of Moses, many are calling this "the year of the Bible movie." However, drawing on Biblical material is not new. We enjoy a long tradition of films, TV series and books that draw heavily on the Bible for inspiration.
As a writer who sometimes draws on Biblical material for inspiration, I'm well aware that there is a difference in opinion between some Christians about whether or not we should take "creative license" with the stories of the Bible. The argument is that the stories should be able to stand on their own – they are, after all, The Word of God – and that adding anything to them is unnecessary at best, and heretical at worst.
In my experience, the criticism against creative interpretations of the Bible frequently comes from people with a didactic motivation: bible teachers, preachers, etc. (although there are many more teachers and preachers who don't have a problem with it at all). There is obviously nothing wrong with having a didactic motivation – the world needs teachers! But I would just like to draw attention to the fact that the artistic and didactic motivation employ different methods to communicate truth, but we both have the same goal in mind – sharing God's love. more >>
Award-winning journalist Lisa Ling visits with Christians who believe in deliverance, or the practice of casting out demons in an upcoming episode of her Oprah Winfrey Network program, "Our America With Lisa Ling."
In the premiere episode of her final season of "Our America" on OWN, Ling visits charismatic churches in Georgia and Florida to observe first-hand how some Christians practice deliverance — "where faith and the power of Christ are called upon to cast Satan's demons from the emotionally tormented," according to a press release.
Similar to those who practice exorcisms, Christians who practice deliverance ministry believe that demonic forces not only can possess people, but inflict them with various physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional ailments. more >>