All Saints, Every Day

The evening of October 31st, or Hallowe’en, marks the beginning of All Saints Day.  All Saints Day is observed by various Christian groups, and is most often a remembrance of canonized saints.  These are believers who meet criteria set by the denomination celebrating them. Generally, these criteria involve especial holiness, the performance of miracles, exceptional…

Crispy Witches and Witchy Christians

Earlier this week, my mind drifted to the witch trials in Salem. Along with the crusades and the inquisitions, the witch trials are something that make most Christians want to crawl under a rock.  But we can’t.  The trials happened. From there, my mind wandered to a comment C.S. Lewis made in Mere Christianity. People today…

Budget Christianity

“And you, in your turn, followed the example set by us and by the Lord; the welcome you gave the message meant grave suffering for you, yet you rejoiced in the Holy Spirit; thus you have become a model for all believers….” (1 Thess. 1:6-7). Today in America, one can become a Christian with relatively…

Patrick of Ireland—Frank Johnson

This post is by Frank Johnson, a friend and Pastor at Chestnut Street Baptist Church. I thought I would share it in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. *** Imagine: You are 16 and walking along the beach with your family. You see about 50 longboats sailing toward shore. Fierce soldiers get out of the boats…

Riu Riu Chiu

Riu Riu Chiu is a 16th century Spanish Christmas carol I have enjoyed over the years. Its syncopated, dance-feel gets hands and feet tapping! Recently, I was reading the lyrics, and was struck afresh by their power. Protestant readers will have to overlook the Marian theology in the first two verses, but I think any…

Blame

Picture from the Whitman Mission Site Last weekend, my wife and I visited Walla Walla in Washington State.  Walla Walla is a cool little town surrounded by rolling prairie, farmland, and hills.  It is named for one of the Indian tribes that are native to the area. During our stay, we visited the Whitman Mission….

Halloween in Context—Dennis Patrick

The following is by Dennis Patrick, my father-in-law.  Dennis writes a weekly column for the Mountrail County Promoter, in which this piece originally appeared. *** It’s that time of year when pumpkins metamorphose into jack-o-lanterns and little imps provoke adults to give them candy. Halloween is here again. ​Is this really a time for celebrating…

The Beauty of Jesus—George Elliot

A few years ago, a family member gave me a book called, The Beauty of Jesus (published in 1904).  It is a compilation of sermons preached by Reverend George Elliott in the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan.  Since receiving the book, it has sat on a bookshelf.  But I found that the title caught my…

A Testament of Devotion

About two years ago I was introduced to Christian Quakerism through the writings of its founder, George Fox.  I found Fox’s focus on the indwelling Christ spiritually rich.  I went on to read An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay.  This was the first systematic presentation of Quaker beliefs. For Christmas, I received…

Fill in the Blank

Jerome (345-420 AD) was an early church father, scholar, and monk.  He is probably best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (known as “The Vulgate” because Latin was the vulgar or common language). When Jerome was about 30 and a rising academic star, he had a dream that brought his star crashing…