God & Christianity

Miracles & Healing

Miracles are news. You go on the internet, you get assaulted with clickbait about miraculous healings, the Shroud of Turin, airplane landings that almost went wrong, and the like. Do Christians really believe in all these things? Are they just gullible? What do they believe about miracles, anyway, and why? First of all let’s get it straight and say: Christians believe in miracles, but not necessar...

Who is God?

This is a tough article to write. It’s a portrait of the God Christians know—the God portrayed in the Bible and known down through the ages through what he does. And trying to describe such an overwhelming personality feels like being a mouse drawing an elephant, or a cricket describing the Milky Way. *Gulp* Here goes. The Basics Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is...

God Became Human

A great teacher, a historical figure, a wise man, a revolutionary… the descriptions of Jesus go on and on. But if you ask Christians to describe him, there’s one thing that comes to the forefront: Jesus is God himself, come as a human being. That’s what we really believe. And when we say human, we mean completely and totally human—with a human body, mind, and soul. Jesus wasn’t faking it.  He is G...

Church

Have you ever asked a Christian, or wanted to ask a Christian, “why do you even bother going to church?” I bother going to church, and I’m hoping I can answer in a way that makes sense. Speak up in the comments if it doesn’t. What the Church Is To answer your question, I need to start somewhere else—with what Christians think the church really is. You already know it means more than a building to ...

Being the Bible Instead of Quoting the Bible

I have read the Bible many times. Certain books and chapters received more re-readings than others, but I have read the whole thing through 3 or 4 times. At one time in my life, reading the Bible was very important. I wanted to talk to others about what I was reading, as you do when you get excited about anything in your life. I wanted to share. I was so excited I didn’t notice when others became ...

The Bible for Grown-Ups

What do Americans really think about the Bible? It’s tempting to think of it as a collection of stories not very relevant to our contemporary lives. But if we do think that way, we’d be missing a lot. Every year the Barna Group, a polling organization that has an interest in religion, comes out with some fascinating facts about the Hebrew and Christian scriptures (otherwise known as the Old and Ne...

Why the Bible?

If you’ve spent any time with Christians at all, you know that the Bible holds a pretty central place in our world. But maybe you haven’t read it—most people haven’t. And so you might be wondering what the point of it is. What the Bible Is Not For Here are some of the things that are not the main purpose of the Bible. People may use it for these purposes on occasion, and most of them are valid, bu...

Forgiveness

In 2006, a gunman went into a small Amish school in Pennsylvania. Within minutes he killed 5 young girls and critically wounded another 5. The shooter then killed himself before police could intervene. What happened next stunned the nation: The Amish community immediately forgave the shooter. That very day they went to the shooter’s wife and parents to be with them, to mourn with them, and to say ...

Sin

Are human beings just fine the way they are? What do you think? Is it OK that people starve because dictators purposely withhold food to maintain power? Is child abuse “just the way it is”? Is slavery fine? Is it all right for judges to take bribes from wealthy defendants to reduce or eliminate their sentences? Is child abuse all right, since it’s so widespread? Trying saying to your friends (or t...

“Mommy, why didn’t Jesus stop the flooding?”

On August 25, 2017, the world stood still for those in Southeast Texas. After an August of news media turmoil, we were not unified in watching riots grow on television and we were not watching an eclipse. We were watching an increasingly dangerous hurricane—the first of several in the coming weeks, it turns out—prepare for landfall. We watched the eye to determine who would be hit by the winds and...

Terrible World, Good God?

Pick any time of the day and turn on a news channel or check in with your favorite news website. It doesn’t matter which one. It won’t take long before you stumble across a story about something terrible: earthquakes, war, drought, epidemics, tsunamis, nuclear disasters, starving children, terrorist attacks, and the list goes on. At other times, bad things touch our own lives: cancer, miscarriages...

Explaining evil isn’t simple.

“The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it,” the first man, Adam, tells God in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. Possibly that’s got to be one of the most creative excuses for the beginning of evil in the world since, well, the beginning of time. Be that as it may, the Genesis story—with its serpent, forbidden fruit, and lovely garden—i...