On April 28th, 2018, Alfie Evans died before celebrating his second birthday. He died because the hospital removed life support from him. Why? Because they deemed his condition terminal and further claimed that supporting his life was “unkind and inhumane.” In short, the hospital could have prevented Alfie’s immediate death but decided not to because his life was no longer worth saving. [Read more…] about The Story of Alfie Evans
In our day and in the Western world, 1 Timothy 2 might be the most controversial passage in the Bible. Here, Paul writes, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet” (2:11–12). While Paul certainly seems to limit a woman’s authority and instruct women to be quiet or silent, many are not convinced. They argue that Paul simply did not want certain women in the church to assume authority over a man. And in reality, Paul had a more egalitarian outlook.
But evidence from the first-century writer Clement shows that he sees the instruction for women be quiet as a general pattern of good behaviour. Before looking at Clement, I want to consider two egalitarian arguments that Paul does not forbid women from teaching in the church. [Read more…] about How Did Paul’s Contemporaries Understand His Instructions on Women in the Church?
Memory brings light and darkness. It brings light by evoking images of joy, happiness, and intimacy. But there is a dark side to memory. It accuses, suffocates, and overwhelms us. Between light and darkness floats a murky cloud of unsure or false memory.
The role that memory plays in our lives is nothing less than comprehensive. It guides you in the morning to make breakfast, to drive, to work. It helps you react to life (I remember that heat is hot, so I don’t touch the pan). Memory forms our identity. We are who we remember ourselves to be, whether that is a Father (I have children whom I love) or a business person (I run a business).
Memory must be ours or we have no identity nor could we function normally in life. And yet memory bears a sword. It cuts or protects. It brings light or darkness. It brings clarity or cloudiness.
And this cloudiness or vagary of memory creates a particular problem for us. Can we trust our memory? [Read more…] about On Memory
Storied is a podcast that tells stories about faith and failure. And sometimes it recounts stories that are so ridiculous that they seem more fitted to Monty Python than to real life. So, listen in to learn about the past, to enjoy a good story, and to know more than you did before. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here or Stitcher here.
Some of you have probably seen the video where Pope Francis comforts a young boy (Emanuele) whose father died. Emanuele comes up to Francis and privately asks him if his father is in heaven. With Emanuel permission, Francis answers publicly and gives the young boy comfort. The entire scene is moving.
But it is also seemingly un-catholic. More than that, Francis appears to deny that salvation comes through faith in Christ. [Read more…] about Does the Pope Believe in the Gospel?
One of the trickiest challenges for Christians is how to read the Old Testament. In particular, the stories of the Old Testament challenge believers. Sometimes we read Old Testament stories as inspirational tales. But these narratives often present rather unsavoury elements such as David’s affair with Bathsheba. So the desire to “be like David” comes to a full stop. At other times, we read the Old Testament as fascinating records of history but with little practical value to today. After all, do we really need to build a parapet on the roof as Deuteronomy commands?
So let’s take a moment to look at how the earliest Christian writer (that we know of) read the Old Testament and applied it to his life. And that writer is the apostle Paul. [Read more…] about How to Read Old Testament Narratives