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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fresh Take on Allah and Jehovah

Grace and the Christmas Flick
"Finding grace in holiday movies ... is a field ripe for harvest—it's the stuff of all great stories," writes Stephanie Phillips over at Mockingbird. She finds it hard to cram them all in, especially now that she is a mother. But she is a determined woman and tries to watch them all—or most of them—over the Christmas season. And for good reason:
So I watch the kid who gets lost, and then found, by family. I watch the investment banker who falls in love with the children and wife he never had. I watch another man find what the world would have looked like without him, and that he was never alone. I watch an oversized elf find his place and purpose. Then I behold what they all somehow manage to point to: the baby in a stable, the unlikely becoming true, home becoming a person.
I can't disagree—my wife and I watched A Christmas Story once again last night. But if you don't have time for a full-length feature film, check out this one-and-a-half minute Christmas commercial (with Kleenex at the ready).
Fresh Take on Allah and Jehovah
Commentary continued to bubble up after the Wheaton College controversy last week (see here and here for CT's summaries)—especially on whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Unfortunately, comments about Wheaton College practicing bigotry (versus practicing theology) continued. Yet I hadn't seen anything from the perspective of Karl Barth or Thomas Torrance, until this. I was looking for such a piece because I knew their theology would put the question in a different light altogether.
What Ever Happened to Winter?
Those of us in the northern latitudes (I live in Chicagoland) may be getting a taste of what global warming may be bringing. It's been an unseasonably warm winter so far, and some wonder if various weather patterns might make this is "the year without winter." Whatever your views on global warming, there is no doubt about the year of global cooling: 1816, which is known "the year without summer." This piece summarizes that fascinating story, which comes from a book of the same title.
The Worse Know-It-Alls in Church History
A narrative about critics of the Christian faith goes something like this: Christians are dogmatic about what they believe; heretics are more open to wonder. Not quite, says Steve Wright in this blog post. He says the problem with heretics is that they act like know it all, and that "The orthodox tradition maintains the tension between the knowable and the unknowable." Arius, for example, is certain that the Son is not divine, because it's not logical to be fully man and fully god. The orthodox agree: it does not make sense, but we believe the mystery. (FYI: The blog post begins with a lesser-known heretic named Eunomius; he was a radical Arian.)
Five Mistakes to Avoid in Christmas Sermons
Do you really need anything more to want to read this?
Grace and Peace—and Merry Christmas,
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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