The dissonance between what church representatives say and what they do, the crises caused by sexual scandals, tolerating sin, not taking responsibility for mistakes and hiding them, and selling spiritual gifts for money, are just a few of the reasons why people say they’re disappointed in the Church.
Western society has a fascination with cults. The word itself conjures up imagery of a seedy leader sporting dark aviator sunglasses and captivating a group of conservatively dressed people with his every syllable. The word brings a subtext of utter devotion but also absolute brainwashing or mind control.
The book of the Acts of the Apostles presents an encounter, supernaturally mediated by God, between Philip, one of the seven deacons, and an Ethiopian dignitary. When the Christian missionary met him, the Ethiopian eunuch was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah, one of the many Messianic prophecies, and asked Philip a question we often ignore: “Tell me, please, who is...
Christianity is either historical or not. It claims that “God acted decisively in history, revealing Himself in external, specific events attested in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.” The most important of these events was the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, the saving Christ.
Contrary to one's initial impression, vigilance is not the main theme of Jesus' parables of "absence and expectation." Absence is central to these stories, because it is absence which enriches them, rather than impoverishing them. Absence is not a shortage, a gap, or a sign of non-existence—it is a catalyst.
A magical Christmas, a magical evening, magical touch, magical love – people talk about magic when they experience special emotions that they cannot or would rather not explain. "Bring a little magic into your life". This is a saying that resonates extremely well with the expectations of an entire generation.
A good survey of people's thoughts on the end times would not seek to find out whether people believe the world will end or not. Rather, it would seek to know what their thoughts are on when and how the end will come. Regardless of the source of their belief—religious or secular—most people have come to see the idea of the end of...