Restore My Soul

I call to you with one lung exploded, from breathing the dust of the earth, With my tongue eroded from licking the crust of the Earth, Thus begins one of my favorite songs. The artist is a band big in the 90s called The Choir. It is a modern day Psalm of redemption. The imagery is raw and grotesque. Then again so is our sin. I once heard my Old Testament professor, Thomas Howe ask … Continue reading

Spirit in the Sky

On the way back from speaking at Wheatland Congregational Church in Wheatland, Michigan, the 1969 Norman Greenbaum song, “Spirit in the Sky,” kept popping into my head. As it happens, my friend Fred Slagle (who is the pastor of Wheatland) and I have similar personalities and share some common experiences. We are both part of the cry-baby boomer generation; we were not believers until we were married adults with children; and we both loved  … Continue reading

To Be or Not to Be – That is the Question

“Honest questions deserve honest answers, but dishonest questions don’t deserve any answers” is a bit of advice passed on to us by our friend and co-founder of Jews for Jesus, the late Jahn Moskowitz. It came at the end of a story he was relaying about a conversation he had with a Jewish atheist who raised an objection to Christianity. Would God reject the man’s “good” mother when she died if she didn’t receive the … Continue reading

The Effects of Lawlessness

Hardly a day passes which doesn’t show us the effects of lawlessness in our culture and how it has changed “normal life.” The effects range from mere “inconveniences” to jeopardizing one’s financial or physical safety. We are not talking about the normal dangers of life per se – human beings have lived with danger and mishaps to varying degrees all down through the centuries. There was a time not all that long ago that women … Continue reading

Moral Fluidity

We live in the challenging times of what we might call “moral fluidity.” For nearly two millennia Western culture has been guided by Judeo/Christian moral and ethical values. That doesn’t mean that no one violated them, of course. Every human being has violated them. As we pointed out last week in “The Good, Good News,” we are all moral failures – but at least everyone knew what the moral standards were! Yes, people often tried … Continue reading

Breaking Bad – Real Bad!

The A&E Series, “Breaking Bad,” could aptly be described as “Mr. Rogers becomes Scarface.” It is a morality tale about a milquetoast high school science teacher who is diagnosed with cancer. Out of concern for the finances of his family – the medical expenses associated with his cancer treatment, as well as their financial well-being after his passing – he decides he “must” step over the legal line just a little bit, just for a … Continue reading