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Showing items for 'Pastoral reflections'

The Why of War.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

What is a Christian to make of war? Throughout the history of the church there have been times when war was embraced as God’s work. Other groups in other times rejected war and participation in it on moral grounds. Still, war remains with us with all of its loss, violence, and...

Only two kinds of people.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

Rashad Hussain is the new U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. He was confirmed by a Senate vote of 85 to 5. Hussain was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday (Dec. 16) by an overwhelming vote of 85 to 5. Hussain has degrees in philosophy, political science, and...

Religion that nearly drove Luther mad.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

It nearly drove him mad.  As a monk, Martin Luther agonized over the state of his soul. A particular strand of late Medieval theology had taught him that his relationship to God depended on him “doing his best.” The gospel that Luther was taught depended on him, not God. One of...

On Endurance.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

“For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.”    As Bill and I were talking in his kitchen it occurred to me that I had known him since the 1970s. We...

A spirit of wisdom.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

I think the word “revelation” in Paul’s phase “a spirit of wisdom and revelation” trips us up. If I just say that he prayed God would give the churches a “spirit of wisdom” we understand it easier. As I mentioned on Sunday, the idea of...

Not Just About Us.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

A common criticism around the world of Americans is that they do not see the global picture. I was told a joke once while visiting another country about a local complaining to an American tourist that American’s are generally unaware of suffering in other countries. The American tourist...

Coming Back.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

It has been good to see some of our friends returning to church. During the whole Covid ordeal there has been a lot of discussion about “doing church” without “going to church.” Frankly, those are both strange phrases. Biblically speaking, “church” is what we...

All People.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

     I enjoyed Sunday’s study in Psalm 66. If you were with us on Sunday you remember that the writer calls for the earth and all its inhabitants to praise God. It is appropriate to do so because of who he is and because of his “awe-inspiring works” (3, 5). Of...

The New Absolutists.

Posted by Gary Pauley on

This is an interesting time. I grew up in a Fundamentalist church. Without going into a lot of historical detail, Fundamentalists were Bible believing evangelicals who were almost militant in their commitment to fight against a corrupt culture. They were driven to identify the evils of their...

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