Humanitarian Missions

Is There Better Missionary Service?

A week ago our family watched a movie called “The Letters.” It is a fascinating story of the work and life of Mother Teresa. It describes the challenges she faced in her desire to serve the poorest of the poor while simultaneously struggling with a personal spiritual insensitivity. Continue reading “Humanitarian Missions”

The Sacrament of the Blind Boy

In 1985, Krister Stendahl (1921-2008), a Swedish theologian and New Testament scholar, proposed what has become know as Stendahl’s three rules of religious understanding. These are:

  1. When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.
  2. Don’t compare your best to their worst.
  3. Leave room for “holy envy.”

Continue reading “The Sacrament of the Blind Boy”

Stages of Faith – Part Three – Falling Upward

Part One, Part Two

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr is a great complement to Kathy Escobar’s Faith Shift.

Rohr’s book is a meandering description of one’s (potential) journey of faith and is rich with hidden gems. Continue reading “Stages of Faith – Part Three – Falling Upward”

Stages of Faith – Part Two – Faith Shift

Part One, Part Three

Faith Shift Overview

I finished reading Faith Shift by Kathy Escobar and have been struggling about how to present the book and the material.

Kathy Escobar was a dedicated Evangelical Christian that had a desire to serve in a greater capacity than her church allowed for women. She eventually received a counseling degree and involved herself in a large, nondenominational church. She soon realized that what was going on behind the scenes was nothing like the façade presented to the congregation; it was all for show.

Continue reading “Stages of Faith – Part Two – Faith Shift”

A St. John’s Christmas

Wow, in looking over my last posts, it looks like I am jumping ship on Mormonism and joining the Catholic church. That is not the case, but why spoil a good pattern.

Christmas (non-)Traditions

The Mormon church is very efficient. Most new congregational buildings are uniform and optimized. Leadership practices are codified in handbooks. And, worship services are plain and simple. Continue reading “A St. John’s Christmas”

Catholic and Mormon

A few years ago I mentioned to one of my sons that if I were not Mormon I think that I would have to be Catholic. This was a bit of a shock to him at the time, but he is getting used to my “shocks” and they don’t trouble him anymore.

The principle reasons for making this statement are that only two churches, in my mind, have a claim to legitimate authority Continue reading “Catholic and Mormon”

Mining Doctrine – Adivce to Critics and Mormons

To the Critic

One fallacy common to those studying Mormonism (including Mormons themselves) is that of quote mining; digging around through publications and writings of leaders and pulling out some obscure phrase and calling it “doctrine.” Continue reading “Mining Doctrine – Adivce to Critics and Mormons”

Stages of Faith – Part One

Part TwoPart Three

Occasionally, I learn something that is like opening a window to greater understanding. Where a vague notion may have existed before, the drawing aside of the curtains reveals a new world. Such an event occurred a couple of days ago.

Over the last decade or so, I have been going through a faith change which I did not understand. The journey has left me unsettled, with a different perspective on my faith than most of my fellow church members.

Continue reading “Stages of Faith – Part One”