Why I love Pope John Paul

I was nine the first time I heard about the Pope. My family attended the First Church of Hellfire and Damnation and the preacher would often mention the Pope in one of his “Identifying the Antichrist” sermons. The Antichrist was hard to pin down and his identity invariably rotated between one of the select “heathen” groups: Chinese communists, the Russians, secular humanists, Episcopalians.
But then I saw the new Pope, John Paul II, on TV. Since this was the man who would be ushering in Armageddon I figured I’d better pay attention. I watched as he stood in front of thousand of Catholics, waving and smiling and noticed that something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t the charming smile of “The Beast” that Brother Bob had warned his flock against. It was more of a sly grin. In fact, this new John Paul seemed like he was a nice guy Heck, he might even pass for a Christian. Surely this guy, I thought, couldn’t be the Antichrist. After all, he was Polish. The Beast could be Russian or German but not Polish. Poles just aren’t scary.
As I grew up, John Paul continued to intrigue me and I watched him closely. Over the years my admiration grew and I considered him to be one of my heroes. I’m not a Catholic and I have deep-rooted, profound theological differences with Catholicism. Yet I can set that aside long enough to admire one of the greatest men of our time.
So here are a few things this evangelical admires about John Paul:

Continue reading

Why I love Pope John Paul

Torah for (Christian) Dummies

Josh S. is the funniest Lutheran since Garrison Keillor (which makes him the third funniest Lutheran in history). He’s also a raging anti-Calvinist who can write either a thousand word post on modern theonomy or form a classification of Christian denominations based on characters from Star Wars (“Charismatics are R2D2. They live in their own universe, no one understands anything they say, and they hang out with the Arminians a lot.”)
Since I haven’t kept up with every antinomian argument since the time of the Huguenots, I only understand about half of his rants. But sometimes he has moments of clarity, seriousness, and brilliance. His post this week on the Torah, for example, answers questions that you never knew needed asking. It’s must reading for every Christian. Especially for us Han Solo-types.

A God By Any Other Name…

Methodist minister and fellow blogger Richard Hall has taken exception to my claim that Lt. Gen. Boykin’s comments were based on indisputable truth:

The truth of Boykin’s comments are very much beyond question. Do you not understand that Islam comes from the same root as Christianity? They worship the God of Abraham. They know him by a different name and understand him very differently, but that doesn’t mean he is not the same God. Calling Muslim’s “idol worshippers” would also be deeply offensive to them since Muslims are even more strict about images than Christians are.

One of the qualities of Islam I most admire is how its believers are not prone to fall for New Age cliches wrapped in the language of tolerance. Unfortunately, the same can’t always be said for many Christians.

Continue reading

A God By Any Other Name…

Evangelicals and Catholics Together…on contraception?

Can you name the prominent Christian leader who recently wrote the following:
“The church should insist that the biblical formula calls for adulthood to mean marriage and marriage to mean children.”
and
“The shocking reality is that some Christians have bought into this lifestyle and claim childlessness as a legitimate option. The rise of modern contraceptives has made this technologically possible. But the fact remains that though childlessness may be made possible by the contraceptive revolution, it remains a form of rebellion against God’s design and order.”
Pope John Paul? A Catholic Bishop? Nope. This argument against “moral rebellion” comes from…a Baptist?
Seems Southern Baptist seminary president and fellow blogger Dr. Albert Mohler agrees with his Catholic brethern that contraception goes against scriptural principles.
Dr. Mohler joins other Protestant writers and thinkers who have been speaking out against contraceptives.
Maybe the move to bring Catholics and Protestants together is working after all….