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Showing posts from July, 2012

Comfort All Who Mourn

In March of 2007, in the aftermath of several human-made and natural disasters, I preached a sermon called, “To Comfort All Who Mourn.” In light of the Colorado massacre that is on so many minds today, I offer it here again, in hope that it helps: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- · A bus with Bluffton University’s baseball team plunges off an overpass near Atlanta, killing seven people. · An unseasonable tornado rips through a high school in Alabama, killing at least eight. · A house fire rips through a Bronx apartment, killing ten, including a man’s wife and all four of his children. We hear about these things and they tear us up. And there’s a part of us that wonders, “Why?” Why do innocent people suffer and die? And there’s at least part of us that looks up and asks another question: “How?” “How can a God of love allow so much tragedy and

A Thank You (and Rebuttal) to Mr. Douthat

Ross Douthat of the New York Times writes a provocative article “ Can Liberal Christianity be Saved?” Especially when compared to a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal that has already been roundly dismissed as a pure-and-simple hatchet job , Douthat’s NYT article raises good, valid questions. For example, he is right on target when he writes: What should be wished for…is that liberal Christianity [recover] a religious reason for its own existence. As the liberal Protestant scholar Gary Dorrien has pointed out , the Christianity that animated causes such as the Social Gospel and the civil rights movement was much more dogmatic than present-day liberal faith. Its leaders had a “deep grounding in Bible study, family devotions, personal prayer and worship.” They argued for progressive reform in the context of “a personal transcendent God ... the divinity of Christ, the need of personal redemption and the importance of Christian missions.” Today, by contrast, the leaders