This is part of a post by Diana Butler Bass, “Is Western Christianity Suffering From Spiritual Amnesia?” In the 1990s, I taught history and theology at an evangelical college, a place where the students were serious young Christians. One day, lecturing on the medieval church and the Crusades, I explained how in 1095 Pope Urban II launched a holy war against Muslims. Most of the students took notes. One young woman, looking very worried by the idea of Christians starting a war, shot up her hand. “Professor,” she began, clearly wanting to blame Roman Catholics for the affair, “what did the Protestants say about this?” “Well,” I answered slowly, “there
For some reason recently, while typing my Friday posts, I have a song in my head. Two weeks ago, I blogged about Bruce Springsteen. Today, I thinking about Jimmy Buffett and a great song he wrote in 1977 that still gets radio play and is a popular song at his concerts: “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” Over the years, I have learned a lot from Buffett’s music concerning life, success, disappointment, happiness, and hard times. During the moments where I am too serious or too uptight, I often return to Buffett’s music when I need a change of perspective. “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” is the perfect song
With so many Americans calling themselves “spiritual” rather than religious, many in the Christian community have asked, “How can we make Christianity more spiritual?” That is a laughable question because Christianity is inherently spiritual. Prayer, baptism, worship, singing, communion, fellowship, reading scripture, and the list can go on. Sure, Christianity does not have rocks, stones, and other “new age” objects or artifacts, but there is a steady diet of spiritual things in Christianity. For hundreds of years mystic, monastic, and ascetic Christians have sought to have a deeper connection with God. St. John of the Cross, Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Merton are a few names that
With the “fall of Christianity” threatening to end the faith as we know it (yeah right), The Barna Group conducted a study of 1,002 U.S. adults, discovered: Two out of every three adults (67%) claimed to have a “personal relationship” with Jesus that is currently active and that influences their life. While a majority of most demographic segments said they had such an active and personal relationship with Jesus, some segments were more likely than others to claim such a connection. Women (72%) were more likely than men (62%) to do so. Protestants were more likely than Catholics to cite such a relationship (82% versus 72%). People who describe themselves
Sunday, April 25 we will have an online video web conference with Wayne and Katherine Niles. The Niles are missionaries with International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. Katherine and Wayne serve as seconded missionaries to Interchurch Medical Assistance in Democratic Republic of Congo. They are involved in full-time service with IMA/ECC affiliated health and development activities in Congo. They both serve as liaison officers for IMA in matters related to HIV/AIDS and Maternal Health projects throughout the Africa continent. Wayne serves as the in-country liaison officer with IMA for financial and accounting matters. Additionally, Wayne has been helping Congolese people through a development project to grow more food.
On the Bema just received a new look! The new look is geared towards making tags, categories, and posts more accessible with a sleeker look. What do you think
An unedited version was accidentally published. This is the updated post. I will never forget working at a popular clothing store in college (okay, it was Abercrombie and Fitch, I admit it) and constantly hearing a song playing over and over. The song’s refrain or chorus went, “Blinded by the light…” The next part of the song could never be understood fully because the singer had horrible articulation. Since we had one CD playing constantly in the store, I heard that song about 50-60 times a month for two months. I never got the song lyric out of my head. To this day you might hear me singing it doing
Check out my Times Union Blog Post, “Lady Gaga makes chastity cool? Pop singer Lady Gaga, known for her racy lyrics, suggestive dress, and public sexuality has dropped some surprising news: ‘and I can’t believe I’m saying this – don’t have sex. I’m single right now and I’ve chosen to be single because I don’t have the time to get to know anybody. So it’s OK not to have sex, it’s OK to get to know people. I’m celibate, celibacy’s fine.’ Read the rest here
The 1970′s rapper, Big Bank Hank from the Sugar Hill Gang, encouraged everyone to join with him in the song 8th Wonder: “Clap your hands everybody. And everybody just clap your hands.” Sometimes, in church. Christians do not want to join in with clapping. Here at First Baptist Church, we are blessed with many talented musicians, singers, liturgists, and worship leaders. Often, when one of these types of people, most often singers or musicians, gives worshipful God given talent (a solo for instance) many people want to applaud. Sometimes, when I speak to congregants about a particular musical performance, a few are weary of the practice of clapping for people.
The Barna Group, an evangelical research organization has yielded some surprising findings about America’s Christian and spiritual beliefs: Half of all adults firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches. That proportion includes the four-fifths of born again adults (79%) who concur. Just one-quarter of adults (27%) are convinced that Satan is a real force. Even a minority of born again adults (40%) adopt that perspective. Similarly, only one-quarter of adults (28%) believe that it is impossible for someone to earn their way into Heaven through good behavior. Not quite half of all born again Christians (47%) strongly reject the notion of earning salvation through
Larger poster click here. Performing: Lyrycust http://myspace.com/lyrycyst The Music Room www.entertheroom.com Adam Cappa www.adamcappa.com
If a tree falls during a “twitter storm” and no one is around, does it make a sound? That is what I asked myself when I stumbled upon this morning’s Washington Post “On Faith” section that caught my attention: Protests on Twitter against Glenn Beck. That’s right, cyberspace protesting using Twitter: a Twitter storm. Apparently, this is the first such known protest on Twitter. You may remember Glenn Beck pleading his listeners to flee their churches if their priest or pastor preached “social justice” because those are code words for “socialism.” You can read my blog post about this at my Times Union Newspaper blog here and here. These protests