Archive for the ‘ History ’ Category

Happy Holidays

“Happy Palm Sunday,” I told a friend on Facebook chat as I greeted her. It had been a long time since I’d spoken with her, so I was pleased to see her name pop up. But I was more pleased about the day.

“Happy Passover!” she responded cheerfully, surprising me slightly and making me think. It wasn’t that Passover had slipped my mind, though it’s true that I don’t pay much attention to the Jewish calendar. It was more that it made me start wondering why some people celebrate some holidays, but not others. This past month, for example, I have had to explain what Lent is to some new person at least once every two days.

Christianity is a religion with a lot of holidays. A lot. At the very least, every Sunday is Lord’s Day, and on higher church calendars one can generally count on there being something else being observed, besides. Which is why I’ve always been confused by Christians who get offended by being told “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in December. Continue reading

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Christian Bale and the Nature of Sin

Is Christian Bale a sinner? Listen to the rant below, but be warned: it’s very vulgar!
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Fernando Reads Calvin: Book I, Chapter 1

Of the Knowledge of God the Creator: The Knowledge of God and of Ourselves Mutually Connected

 

I’m going to go out on a limb here — I don’t think there’s a single line in Chapter 1 of Calvin’s work I disagree with. If anything, it’s far more true than I realized when I first read it years ago. Part of that may be due to a changed position: I first read Calvin as a seeker, not sure which branch of Christianity I belonged in and, in that position, the new (and often confusing) options Calvin brought that I had never considered were bewildering and hard. In the years since, however, I like to think I’m a modicum wiser: I have lived more, sinned more, confessed more, and been forgiven for more. I am home in the Anglican church, and so I have a ground to stand on as I read. And, I find Calvin’s opening chapter not only acceptable, but tested and proven. Continue reading

When the Whole Truth is Too Much: A Response to Christopher Hitchens

In the last month or so, Christopher Hitchens has written several articles about The King’s Speech, which, this last weekend, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.  In the first, Hitchens states that while he thinks the film well made, it has several historical errors he wishes had been addressed, primarily dealing with the film’s portrayal of Winston Churchill.  The second, written in response to an interview with the screenwriter David Seidler, makes the same points more vitriolically.  A more serious accusation receives more attention in this article as well: that George VI (known in the film as Bertie) and his government actively pursued an appeasement policy towards Hitler in the late 1930s.  I do not intend to find fault with Hitchens’ history; I am not a 20th century historian and know far more about the dynastic alliances of 15th century Habsburgs than Churchill’s foreign policy.  However, I do believe his articles do both the movie and the general public a disservice by insisting that the entire truth be told. Continue reading

A Wesleyan Reads Calvin: a Preface

Once upon a time there were two were Christians, Anabelle and Bart. Anabelle and Bart both loved Jesus very much, and had ever since they were children. However, both were from very different traditions of Christianity.

Anabelle had been taught in a paradigm some call “Calvinism.” She had been told that God had elected all Christians before the world began, and that Christ had died for the elect. The salvation of the elect was assured and could not be lost, but only God knew who the elect were. There were some who claimed to be Christians, but continued living lives of sin. Those “Christians” were not part of the elect — they were either lying, or had deceived themselves.

Anabelle served God as best as she could, but of course, she often sinned… leaving her with almost unbearable guilt. Continue reading

Why Atheists Follow Christ Better than Christians, and What to do About it.

Western culture is permeated by Christian values. That is to say, though the culture is not submitted to God, it mostly behaves as if it is. Continue reading

The Importance of Tradition

I recently argued for the Importance of History over at my blog. I was trying to figure out what to write here, and decided that I should expand my argument there into one that I have been known to make: an argument for the importance of tradition, especially in the Christian context.
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