Theology

Connecting to Jesus by strawmanning Judaism

I understand the appeal of Messianic Judaism to Protestant Christians: it seems like a way to connect with the Jewish roots of Jesus. It helps provide context for Jesus’ parables. It also functions like an insider’s guide to evangelizing the Jewish people. Unfortunately, MJ theology not only misrepresents ancient Judaism – it’s offensive to traditional… Continue reading Connecting to Jesus by strawmanning Judaism

Social Issues, Theology

American Christians and “Persecution Envy”

Some Christians complain about having to experience any discomfort at all. Others seem unable to get enough of it – or they’ve experienced so little genuine suffering that they have to create it. I can’t help but think of Kim Davis: the county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, who in 2015 refused to issue marriage… Continue reading American Christians and “Persecution Envy”

Theology, Writing & Publishing

For the Christian whose testimony is “different”

There are a lot of articles out there for Christians whose testimonies are too "bland." For the person who grew up in a Christian home and answered an altar call at the age of four, who can't remember a time in their lives when they weren't Christian, they often wonder: how can I make an… Continue reading For the Christian whose testimony is “different”

Theology

Why the Episcopal Church? Part 2

See also: Why the Episcopal Church? Part 1 Episcopalians are just one denomination in the liturgical strands of Christianity that recite the Nicene Creed every week during their Sunday services. This creed, if you're unfamiliar with it, is basically a summation of the central doctrines of the Christian faith. It was composed in the 4th… Continue reading Why the Episcopal Church? Part 2

Theology

The inherent deception of Messianic Judaism

My phone pinged with an email notification from my freelance editor at Patheos, regarding the news of Mike Pence honoring the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims by inviting a Messianic rabbi to say a prayer at a rally. Naturally, that prayer invoked mentions of Jesus -- or rather, as he is known in Messianic circles, Yeshua… Continue reading The inherent deception of Messianic Judaism

Theology

Why targeted evangelism is a bad idea

For every post I write that encourages Christians to stop targeting Jews with evangelism, someone always comments, But don't you want the Jews to be saved? I understand what the comment is asking -- supposedly it's a Christian's duty to make sure that everyone hears the Gospel, so they can have fire insurance before they… Continue reading Why targeted evangelism is a bad idea

Theology

Christians: let the Jews speak

Being misunderstood sucks. I'm not a big people-pleaser by nature, but it does bother me when I'm disliked for the wrong reasons. This doesn't happen too often, but the following scenario has happened to me more than once: New Jewish acquaintance: "So you grew up Reform, but then converted?" Me: "Basically, yeah." Them: "So you're… Continue reading Christians: let the Jews speak