The Book: Traditions of man

That left me with a huge stumbling block: Just as the seven sacraments do not appear in a Biblical bullet list, the canon of the New and Old Testaments did not appear within the scriptures. Therefore, I was forced to rely on tradition – the inspired teaching of Spirit-guided church leaders – to accept the canon of the New Testament. I could not be Bible-believing and reject tradition.

It became apparent that, as an Evangelical, I had fully embraced the tradition of the Bible while rejecting the source of that tradition. I also failed to recognize the Protestant embracing of traditions that firmly guided the religious practices and affiliations of the churches I attended.

Was there any chance that the Reformation had thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater? Was it a reformation alone, or was it a schism?

Is religion dying in America?

Perhaps the growth in the number of those professing to be spiritual but not religious is a refreshing blooming of personal honesty. Maybe it marks a break from the last generation’s social pressure to wear the Christian label, regardless of secretly-held beliefs. While I would not I would find it encouraging if there were fewer Christians in the world, I do believe non-believers should never feel social pressure to fake it.

The Book: Why not me, God?

Like a line of dominoes, each child tumbled backward – except for me. I was startled and confused as I gaped at the children sprawled on the floor before me. Later, I was told these youngsters were “slain in the Spirit.” They were so overcome with the power of the Holy Spirit that they fell to the floor. I was certain this must have been something God had done – to everyone but me. As I stood, awkward and embarrassed, in front of the packed living room, I had my first encounter with a fear that God does not know me. Why would every child in that line experience God, except me?

The Book: Thomas wasn’t the only doubter

I’ve met Christians who never seem to experience doubt. We can call them blessed. However, God used Thomas’ doubt as a lesson for the rest of us, generations of sometimes doubting faithful who have never touched the physical wounds of Jesus, yet place our eternal hope in their efficacy.

Playing Dodgeball with Dylan

As a young news reporter I learned to dodge labels and categorization for the simple reason that it got in the way of my job. To be taken seriously, I wanted the information below my byline to be considered by readers on its own merits. And, I wanted sources who were – while not always happy with the information disclosed – at least confident that I was scrupulous in presenting complete, accurate facts and not taking sides.

Hubris and the self-made man

In my mind, hubris is the opposite of gratitude. And it is hubris that leads us to believe all our strengths – a slender physique, financial success, or public recognition – are due exclusively to our own hard work and merit. And, others’ weaknesses or setbacks are due to their slothfulness, intellectual feebleness, or gluttony.

Gratitude: Join me for the journey?

I’ve learned a thing or two about pain in the last couple of years. First, I find it surprising just how much physical pain some people can endure without much complaint. Second, it is clear to me that I’m a pain wimp.