Patrick the Slave

From his brief autobiography we learn that…the Irish, then called Scots, began swooping down on the English coast, sailing up the rivers, raiding the settlements, and carrying off plunder and slaves. Among the captives was Patrick. So Ireland’s patron saint was not Irish! He had been reared a Christian. His father was a deacon, but…

An Apology for the True Christian Divinity–Barclay

Last year, I became acquainted with Quakerism. I thought Quakers peddled new age, oatmeal mysticism. I was surprised to learn of their deeply Christian origins. I began to read the writings of George Fox, founder of the Quaker movement. Next, I moved on to An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay (1675)….

The AMEN

“The Messiah” is a piece of music by George Frideric Handel for chorus and orchestra. It is traditionally performed during the Christmas season.  The words all come from scripture. Charles Jennens selected the verses and arranged their order. Beginning with old testament passages, the lyrics tell the story of Christ: from prophecies to His passion,…

Beef and Bourbon

Mahatma Gandhi famously complained that converting to Christianity meant converting to beef and bourbon. Some Indian converts also wore European clothing. This offended Gandhi’s religious and cultural sensibilities. Christianity’s interaction with culture has a complicated history. All of us live Christianity in our particular time, place, and culture. The eternal Word comes in our flesh,…

The Quakers: More than Oatmeal

For awhile now, the Lord has been teaching me about Christ’s indwelling. Knowing that I no longer live but Christ lives in me has become a daily necessity rather than an abstract proposition (Gal. 2:19-20). In the midst of this emphasis, I discovered the writings of George Fox, who started the Quaker movement in the…

Scripture vs. Tradition

Scripture versus tradition…. Most of us have heard something of this debate, which goes like this: Does scripture or tradition hold higher authority for Christians? For some, scripture is the obvious answer. Jesus lambasted the Pharisees because tradition caused them to violate God’s word (Matt. 15:3). Paul also warned the Colossians about the “empty deceit…

Hospice, not a Hospital

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been reading Pope Francis’s Papal Encyclical, “Care for Our Common Home.”  The Pope focuses a lot of attention on curbing human problems–especially climate change and poverty–through public policy shifts.  He is certainly not alone in this.  It is not unusual to hear Christians calling for systemic shifts…

The Commonality of the Indwelling Christ–Mallory Patrick

The following is an excerpt from an essay by Mallory Patrick.  Read the full essay here.  Mallory is my sister-in-law and founder of Gathered Fragments Book Sanctuary.  Gathered Fragments seeks to preserve books of all times and places that present Christ crucified. *** The Commonality of the Indwelling Christ The Need Any believer who hungers…

Celebrating One Solitary Life–Dennis Patrick

Painting by Salvador Dali The following is a piece by my father-in-law, Dennis Patrick.  Dennis writes a weekly column called “The Passing Scene,” which appears in the Mountrail County Promoter.  “Celebrating One Solitary Life” appeared in the March 27 edition of The Promoter. ***  Eastertide is as good a time as any to reflect on the many positive…

The Prayer of St. Francis

St. Francis is a hero of mine.  Below is a prayer attributed to him.  Whether or not he wrote it, the prayer perfectly describes the way we are meant to function by the life of Love Himself. *** Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there…