The Virtue of Being Fallible

Recently, I posted an article on Facebook about how the Chinese government is treating Islam as mental illness. As Martin Luther King said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. So while I vehemently disagree with Islam about the nature of God and Jesus, I have no desire to see them persecuted. Then someone made one of those comments that betrays itself as nothing more than moral grandstanding. You know the kinds of … Continue reading

Who’s On First … First?: Do We Need a Marriage Amendment?

(Originally printed in the Winter 2006 Issue of the MCOI Journal) Since the time of the Tower of Babel, when God confused the languages of men on Earth, there has been a great language problem to overcome. And, any of you who watch those migraine inducing, political-debating shows on television know that even if people speak the same language, they might not “speak the same language.” There is a human problem of communication that often … Continue reading

Truth-like Substance (Screwtape Letters Part 2)

In the first two letters, Lewis plants in Screwtape’s correspondence some philosophy and some ecclesiology.The philosophy is about the precariousness uses of argument. Screwtape dissuades Wormwood from using reason at all to corrupt his patient. “The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle on to the Enemy’s own ground. He can argue too;” Oh yes he can. And so can his strongest saints. Witness all the times in the book of Acts, … Continue reading

The Emergent Church: Emerging from What?

(Originally printed in the Spring 2005 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning in page 10) By Peter Simpson What should the relationship be between the church and culture? How should the constancy of the church adapt to the fluidity of culture? The church must find some way to communicate God’s message within the cultural contexts in which it finds itself. These concerns provide impetus for thought-provoking conversation in today’s church. The emergent church claims many … Continue reading

Dark Reason

Every now and then a news article comes along that scares me a little. The Washington Post reported on a social science study to test how politicians respond to evidence that contradicts their ideological positions. I bet you can guess how this went. Our research involved a number of “survey experiments” in which we varied the questions that we asked politicians. In our first test, we asked the politicians to evaluate parents’ satisfaction ratings for … Continue reading

The Worst Sermon

Needless to say, I was away from home on a Sunday. We decided to go to a friend’s church we had attended before. I won’t name the church and details have been altered to stave off embarrassment. But I bet you can guess the denomination. The first thing I noticed how the congregation had dwindled. Where once there were a hundred seats, now the chairs had disappeared from the back. I walked across a sea … Continue reading