Bible

Reader Comments: Are Christmas Trees Pagan Idols?

Reader Comments: Are Christmas Trees Pagan Idols?

A few years back I published what has turned out to be one of my more popular articles: The True Meaning of Christmas Trees: The Spiritual Abuse Connection. It’s a series of reflections inspired by seeing some well-intended but irate Christians quoting Old Testament scriptures, most commonly Jeremiah 10, to argue that Christmas trees are […]

Oswald Chambers: Job and the Meaning of Suffering

Oswald Chambers: Job and the Meaning of Suffering

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a pastor, author, and WWI military chaplain, best known today for his classic devotional book My Utmost For His Highest. His less familiar books include a study of the book of Job entitled Baffled to Fight Better. Chambers addresses the problem of why God allows tragedy by contrasting Job’s friends’ assured religious platitudes with Job’s […]

The Galatian Road out of Legalism

The Galatian Road out of Legalism

(Originally published in 2010 as a guest post on “The Cult Next Door.“) Legalism. It’s one of those nasty words that everybody points to as an example of religion gone wrong. Everybody knows that you shouldn’t be a legalist. Everybody knows that legalism is unbiblical. Everybody would be affronted if you called them a legalist. […]

Is Christmas Biblical? A Few More Comments

Is Christmas Biblical? A Few More Comments

It’s now officially the time of year — i.e., Christmas —  when people find my website by searching for such unlikely things as “Is Christmas Pagan?” and “The True Meaning of Christmas Trees” and “Tacky Nativity Scenes” and, of course, “Angels We Have Heard on High” (SATB acapella). Ah, the joys of being an unsystematic theology […]

How Does Jesus Love You?

How Does Jesus Love You?

In May 2010, Hillary McFarland invited me to write a guest post for her lovely website Quivering Daughters, which offered healing for victims of Spiritual Abuse within the so-called “Biblical Patriarchy” movement. Not knowing at the time that this would turn into an unlikely recurring ministry for me over the next two years, I decided to get a […]

The Truth about "Effeminate Worship"

The Truth about “Effeminate Worship”

Several popular (though controversial) preachers have taken up a refrain of social commentary I’ve heard a few too many times. They denounce what they see as a trend of “Effeminate Worship.” (Here’s a typical message. Here’s another and another.) Apparently, modern churches have become “feminized,” unlike the old days when men were men. This means […]

The Myth of the Weaker Vessel

The Myth of the Weaker Vessel

In response to a popular pastor’s perplexing pronouncement that “God has given Christianity a masculine feel,” Rachel Held Evans asked Christian men to write a blog post “that celebrates the importance of women in the Church.” Here’s mine. Lately, both from online creepers and respectable preachers, I’ve seen several comments that come back to one […]

Ashamed of the Gospel? <br/> A Case Study of Teen Mania and Works-Based Doctrine

Ashamed of the Gospel?
A Case Study of Teen Mania and Works-Based Doctrine

By Eric Pazdziora Note: This post was written in 2011. Since then, in what one Christian magazine fairly described as “a stunning fall,” Teen Mania Ministries has closed its doors permanently, following a precipitous loss of support amidst allegations of abuse and financial mismanagement. In a discussion with Teen Mania’s communications director a few years prior, she admitted that “enrollment […]

Garments of Salvation

Garments of Salvation

Another in my series for Quivering Daughters “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of […]