Archives For Christianity

Over my nearly 20 years in pastoral ministry, I fielded many questions about other religions. Generally, I preferred to point people to Jesus rather than discuss what others believe.

Yet the growth of Islam in North America combined with rise of radical Islam in many parts of the world has all of us asking questions about Islam.

The silver dome of Our Lady of the Spasm Armenian Catholic Church and the golden Dome of the Rock rise over the Old City of Jerusalem.

As a consultant for Rose Publishing, I have the opportunity to speak about Christianity and Islam in radio interviews all over the country. I encounter some questions so frequently that it seems nearly all Christians wrestle with them.

Here’s how I respond.

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Every important action you will ever take is based on one of only two human motivations: fear and aspiration.

That’s according to marketing guru Seth Godin, who might as well be talking about the Christian gospel. Over the years Evangelicals have yo-yoed between positive and negative motivations as the basis for our message.

Old Holy Bible

The old gospel, the one ante-millennials cut their teeth on, was based on fear—the fear of hell.

The new gospel, the one we began using sometime in the 1990s, appeals to an aspiration—personal well-being or success.

Is one better or worse?

Actually, both are wrong. It’s time to return to the other gospel, the one Jesus preached.

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I was nearly home after a short bike ride. It was one of the first days pleasant enough to ride outside, and I felt good. It was a warm-up ride, hopefully a prelude to a good season.

Then it happened. A vehicle slipped alongside me on the moderately busy street, the street I live on. There was no shoulder, and he passed me rather close. Nothing unusual about that. But what happened next startled and upset me.

Dangerous City Traffic Situation

The driver slowed a bit, turned toward me, and angrily hollered: “Use the sidewalk!”

Cyclists are perfectly within the law to ride on the road in Indiana, as I thought everyone knew. Riding on sidewalks brings its own dangers and is prohibited in some locales.

Even so, motorists and cyclists are ancient rivals. Like farmers and ranchers, we irk about how to share a limited space. This was not the first unpleasant encounter I’d had with a driver.

But this time was different.

The antagonist here wasn’t an impatient minivan pilot or a macho pickup driver. It was a motorcyclist. A fellow two-wheeler.

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