It seems to me that one of the major concerns people have regarding Christianity is the range of doctrinal standpoints and interpretations of biblical passages. Baptists say one thing, Pentecostals say another thing, Methodists say still another thing, and so on. How do we know who is orthodox and who isn’t? Do I have a… Continue reading An Ancient Strategy for Rooting Out Bad Theology
Within evangelical Protestantism there is a general consensus about Jesus’ siblings: after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph went on to have a number of other children together, most notably James and Jude (see, e.g., Matt 13:55–56; Mark 6:3). But as straightforward as it might seem, a chorus of voices from the past urges us… Continue reading Did Mary Have Kids Besides Jesus?
The pope is, without question, one of the most important people in the contemporary world. As the head of the Roman Catholic Church, he exerts significant influence over millions upon millions of people through his messages, actions, and spirituality. Today's pope, the media sensation Pope Francis, has seemingly increased the visibility of the papacy (the… Continue reading What’s the Deal with Popes?
The name of Augustine gets tossed around a lot. “Augustine said . . . ” “It was Augustine who came with the idea that . . . ” “Luther borrowed from Augustine . . . ” But as familiar as his name might be, it seems to me that few Christians know much about him… Continue reading Who is Augustine, Anyway?
At some point or another, most Protestants have come across the Old Testament Apocrypha (also called the deuterocanonicals), perhaps in a Roman Catholic Bible or in a reading at a Roman Catholic funeral. For many, these books are mysterious and troubling. Where do they come from? What are they about? Why do some consider them… Continue reading What Are the Apocrypha?
One of the exciting things about reading the writings of the early church (after the New Testament) is finding similarities between ourselves and these ancient believers. It can be fascinating to see how people who lived around two thousand years ago were shaped by the same realities as us and, taking into account differences in… Continue reading 3 Aspects of Early Christianity That Many Evangelicals Will Find Weird
For the Christians of Britain, the fifth century was a dark time. Their homeland was invaded by non-Christians from Continental Europe, Germanic people called Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, and these warlike people did not take kindly to the existing Christians in Britain. They killed innocent people mercilessly, even slaughtering Christian priests at the altar, and… Continue reading The Pun That Saved England