Archive for April, 2008

American Idols

If God is good, but good isn’t God, how do we avoid making our worst mistakes with some of the best things in life? Seems to me that for openers we might want to say to one another, let’s: Value family, freedom, and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people– […]

Snoopy and God

FOR 50 YEARS, cartoonist Charles Schulz gave us pictures of ourselves wrapped in a smile. One of the last strips I clipped from our Sunday paper showed Snoopy the dog sitting on top of his doghouse with a typewriter, writing about his life. He titled his story . . . The Dog Who Never Did […]

Jimmy Carter and Hamas

The news today includes reports about former Jimmy Carter’s plans to meet with Hamas leaders over objections from the Administration and even his own party. In an article by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press, the former president’s response was, “I think that it’s very important that at least someone meet with the Hamas leaders […]

Holding my Breath

Ok, here’s the deal. I know that many of us sincerely believe that when God said to father Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you,” he once and for all determined who we should be siding with in the Middle East. But over time I’ve become convinced that […]

The Promise

In our ongoing conversation about the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, I’ve noticed that God’s promise– to bless those who bless Abram, and to curse those who curse Abram– is a defining factor in how many of us relate to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The promise is so important that I want to make sure […]

The Roots of a Conflict

I thought twice before posting this picture of a scene I came across just inside Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate. With an armed Israeli Border Patrol in the background, it looked like a human body had been dumped into a garbage wagon. On closer look, I found that a street worker had just crawled into his cart […]

The Jewish Arab Conflict

As tensions rise between Israel and her neighbors, the ancient story of the Bible threatens once again to involve all of us. Conflict in the Middle East flows from generation to generation like a river of tears and bad blood. From the days of Abram there has been an unending current of personal rejection, revenge, […]

The Value of Limited Foresight

Some of us have used prophetic studies of the Bible in a way that has cast us as “the ugly Christian” in the eyes of a watching world. But how can we blame our critics for giving us low marks if they see us trashing the environment and expressing detached fascination with the specter of […]

Applauding Armageddon?

For almost 20 years I have been traveling to the Land of the Bible with our Day of Discovery television team. One of our goals has been to use the historical and geographical backdrop of Israel to talk about the real people, places, and events of the Bible . Another purpose has been to call […]

Is Prophecy Being Fulfilled?

Israel is in her ancestral homeland after almost 2000 years of dispersion. Her presence, however, is a problem not only for displaced Palestinians, but for a whole international community that is trying to come to terms with rising oil prices, global economic instability, China’s ascendancy, Russian resurgence, and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. […]

Bible Ah-Ha! #10

I grew up hearing that one of the strongest reasons for believing in Jesus is that He fulfilled hundreds of predictions in the Jewish Scriptures. Years later I found myself wondering where most of those prophecies were. Sometimes I found clear and compelling predictions. But more often than not, when I checked the sources for […]

Bible Ah-Ha! #9

Over time we all come across ideas that change the way we think about ourselves and one another. For me, one of those thoughts is closely connected with 12 Step programs and the Church that we’ve been thinking about together in my last couple of posts. It’s also one of those perspectives that I think […]

12 Steps and the Church

After reading the responses to my last post, it’s clear that a lot of us agree about the need to be realistic about the predictable downsides and disappointments of church life. But at the same time we don’t think that lowering our expectations of one another is the way to go. We share a vision […]

Why I Don't Go To Church

What happens if we lower our expectations for the church? A few weeks ago I expressed a hunch that disillusionment is a problem for many of us who have been around the church for awhile. Since then a number of friends have taken the occasion to tell their own story. Some have struggled with disappointment […]

Be Still

Today was a full day. Had the anticipated meeting with a group of pastors and church people on the subject of marital abuse. Shared the program with a criminal court judge, an abuse advocate, and a professional counselor. The advocate and counselor had heartbreaking personal stories of their own that they’ve had to deal with. […]

The Unfairness of it All

There are reasons so many of us struggle to “forgive” a God who seems to have wronged us. The life he gave us isn’t fair. Helpless children suffer for their parents’ mistakes. Some who work hard are cut down prematurely by accident or disease. Others who hardly work at all inherit the wealth of someone […]

One Man's Anger

I don’t know of anyone who would say that God has broken his own rules. But neither do I know anyone who hasn’t had issues with God. As a number of us have already acknowledged, when we talk about our struggle to “forgive God” we don’t really mean we think God has sinned against us. […]

The Wisdom of Motives

Is it right to consider not only whether a law was broken, but why? I’ve been wondering about this after reading how a German court handled the ticketing of a motorist caught speeding by a traffic control camera. When the court learned why the driver had broken the speed limit, charges were waived. Instead, officials […]

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