Archives For Faith

People of faith find themselves in an odd situation these days. For most of our lives, we have been surrounded by people who believe in God also, so explanations of faith were unnecessary. Yet as our culture more deeply embraces rationalism as the sole arbiter of truth, many wonder why any thoughtful person would believe in God—or even what that means.

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What we once took for granted—the meaning of faith—now calls for an explanation, even to ourselves.

So here goes. When I say I believe in God, this is what I mean.

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Actor John Cusack made a splash recently with this statement about Christianity, which appeared in Vanity Fair:

Let’s go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful.

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I love that.

We are beyond weary of seeing Jesus used as a hammer to bash others. We are heartsick at this other thing Christ has become. It’s time to get back to Jesus. Just Jesus. The real Jesus.

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Do you have to believe in miracles in order to be a Christian? Can you be a follower of Jesus without believing that he literally rose from the dead?

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As the cultural influence of Christianity continues to wane, people are more often skeptical of the Christian story.

If you haven’t encountered a skeptic lately, you will soon. And there’s a lot riding on your response to their questions.

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An overwhelming majority of American adults (78.4 percent) would identify themselves as Christians, according to a Pew Forum study. But their level of belief varies widely. So when people say the word faith, they may mean a variety of things.

That shouldn’t be surprising, because the word itself has several shades of meaning. Not all people who claim to have “faith” are describing the same experience.

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In fact, my own life has been a journey through various stages of faith.

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How to Deal with Doubt

May 22, 2012

“Thank you for your sermon on doubt,” the hand-written card read. “I have struggled with this my whole life, and it is especially hard now that my husband is gone. I’m glad to know I’m not alone.”

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I am convinced the experience of this elderly widow and long-standing believer in my congregation is more typical that we know. While we generally hide it, especially around other believers, many, perhaps most, Christians experience doubt. Continue Reading ⇒