Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

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Last weekend I had one of those fantastic moments when you find an almost brand new book from your Amazon wishlist at a second hand bookstore.  The book was “Bad Religion” by New York Times Columnist Ross Douthat.  In this work the author seeks to tell the story of where Christianity is in America and how it got there.  After a week I’m about half-way through so I’ll have more to write later, but for now I just want to share some of my highlights so far. Continue reading

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Naked Christianity

“Losing our illusions is painful because illusions are the stuff we live by.  The Spirit of God is the great unmasker of illusions, the great destroyer of icons and idols.  God’s love for us is so great that He does not permit us to harbor false images, no matter how attached we are to them.  God strips those falsehoods from us no matter how naked it may make us, because it is better to live naked in the truth than clothed in fantasy” (13)

Brennan Manning “Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus”

Luther Quote

“The saints (believers) are at the same time sinners while they are righteous.  They are righteous, because they believe in Christ, whose righteous covers them and is imputed to them.  But they are sinners, inasmuch as they do not fulfill the Law, and still have sinful lusts.  They are like sick people who are being treated by a physician.  They are really sick, but hope and are beginning to get, or be made, well.”

Martin Luther’s Commentary on Romans

Being Connected with the Church

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“To be connected with the church is to be associated with scoundrels, warmongers, fakes, child-molesters, murderers, adulterers, and hypocrites of every description.  It also, at the same time, identifies you with saints and the finest persons of heroic soul within every-time, country, race, and gender.  To be a member of the church is to carry the mantle of both the worst sin and the finest heroism of the soul…  because the church always looks exactly as it looked at the crucifixion.  God hung among thieves.”

Ronald Rolheiser, “The Holy Longing” quoted in Steve Brown’s “Three Free Sins.”

Christless Christianity & Atheist Mega-Churches

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This morning a friend of mine emailed me a news article from the Associated Press entitled, “Atheist ‘Mega-Churches’ Take Root Across US, World.”  Needless to say the headlined grabbed my attention.  As the title suggests, this article chronicles the rise of “Atheist Mega-Churches.”  Yes… That’s not a typo.  Author Gillian Flaccus writes:

“Nearly three dozen gatherings dubbed “atheist mega-churches” by supporters and detractors have sprung up around the U.S. and Australia – with more to come – after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year.” Continue reading