few thoughts on Christian faith...
the times when I have failed to recognize
How many chairs are gathered there around the feast.
To break the bread and break these boundaries
That have kept us from our only common ground,
The invitation to sit down if we will come...
- Nichole Nordeman
In recent years, diversity within the church has become especially important
to me. I'm discovering how enriching it is to discuss experiences and
shared beliefs with people of different races and cultures and economic
backgrounds. You discover how much bigger God can be than just what you
have experienced. Currently, I'm involved with a great church called Cellebration Fellowship
made up of people from all over the world---Sudan, Burma, Sierra Leone, the
US, and elsewhere. Since many of the people come from backgrounds where
they were persecuted, it's especially amazing to hear how their faith carried
them through it. The chance to share music, stories, and ideas amongst
ourselves means a lot to me.
|I may not see in
front of me,
But I can see for miles when I look over my shoulder.
Lord, it's clear You've brought me here
So faithful every step of the
- Steven Curtis Chapman
Growing up in the "Bible-Belt", I've seen both the negatives and positives of the Christian faith. It is indeed true that it can
become rather hollow, something followed out of tradition or even intimidation. I've also seen, however, how much the limits and biases we tend to put on our faith can
be overcome by a simple willingness to recognize and deal with them. If there is one thing that I have discovered (and am still discovering), it's that the Christian life
has to be a daily learning and re-commitment, not a blind acceptance of what we were told in the past. As the lyrics quoted
at left point out, however, though
we are constantly stepping into the unknown, we also have the assurance of what we have experienced in the past to comfort us in the journey.
I have always enjoyed reading articles that situate faith and
practice in the real world, that give thoughtful responses to questions
and doubts which arise,
that recognize that there might be many ways of looking at an
issue. Here are links to a few magazines and websites that I
have come across over time that somewhat reflect this approach to faith and life.
Magazine is an online magazine providing information about "God, Life,
and Progressive Culture". It serves as storehouse for general online
articles from a variety of religious and secular publications as well as a
commentary on trends and ideas in the Christian world. It is very youth
and college-oriented in its style and subject matter.
Books and Culture is a scholarly Christian magazine which claims to represent an integration of faith and learning. That translates into some really good articles containing
debates and cultural studies with a subtle but definite Christian perspective. You can access a whole backlog of past issues at their site, so be prepared to do a lot of reading. The articles are generally very well done and draw on a wide variety of sources.
from a background of linguistics, anthropology, missions, and education, Orville
Jenkins maintains a site of Thoughts
and Resources with a lot of personal comments and professional articles on
Christianity and other religions, language, and culture. Having stumbled
across Mr. Jenkin's site while looking at cultural information, I've also
appreciated the interests and perspectives he offers in his faith outlook as it
parallels much of my own.
I don't know anything about the school itself, but
if you're looking for Bible references for study or presentations, I suggest using
The Unbound Bible from Biola University. It's a very good search engine which can find words or verses in a large number of translations/languages in the Bible and the Apocrypha. Definitely the best that I've seen as far as format and ease of use.
be sure and see my music page for some Christian music links
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