Monday, October 27, 2014

Why Christians Should Celebrate Halloween:

has written a very thoughtful and helpful post,"Why Christians Should Celebrate Halloween," which explores the history of the Church's interaction with the ancient European autumn harvest/death festivals. For both the Romans and the Celts, autumn marked a time to celebrate the harvest, and prepare for the oncoming long darkness of winter; the former by enjoying the abundance of food, the latter by offering sacrifices, performing incantations and, in some cases, dressing up to appease or ward off the evil spirits of death and darkness.

The Church stepped into this milieu with a message of hope: the God who had created all, and was therefore the source of all good things, had come into the world and defeated death! The darkness no longer need be feared for Christ's light had conquered it!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A Microcosm of American religion in one small town map:

In a recent post, Microcosm of American religion in one small town map, SIU:C political science professor Tobin Grant has made a study of the geography and demographics of Carbondale's churches. It is insightful, helpful, and convicting. Dr. Grant notes,
The membership of churches in green on the map [which are almost all located in the north east quadrant of the downtown, an area with 95% African American residence] are almost exclusively black; other churches in town are nearly all white. The town and community are integrated, but Sunday remains segregated.
This is a convicting call to our church communities to make real the call of Galatians 3:28, that in Christ ethnic divisions are done away with. Scripture doesn't deny ethnic differences, in fact it values them: as Tim Keller writes,

Sunday, October 05, 2014

bundin er båtlaus madur

-- viking proverb ("bound is boatless man")