I remember several years ago I asked my Bible Study teacher "please explain The Holy Spirit to me as best you can." She pointed me in the direction of the Book of Acts in the Bible, which I read and she said "The Holy Spirit is the voice that talks within you, our Counselor and our Comforter.
To be sure, the recent rise in the popularity of dystopian entertainment is not unprecedented, with such stories appearing in many mediums across the centuries. However, the recent resurgence of interest is somewhat unique.
A couple from Mississippi were arrested several weeks ago. They were trying to fly to Istanbul and spend their honeymoon joining the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Having recently returned from an interfaith trip to Turkey, I wish this couple could talk with some Muslims I met there.
Church leaders need to be able to admit that we are not perfect people and that our lives are a journey and that none of us has reached perfection. We need to be humble and to embrace our flawed humanity as we seek through our faith and experience to better ourselves.
I've noticed a deep and disturbing trend: a massive confusion in U.S. culture over the word love. The truth is, we toss the word around in many different ways. Most of them are unhelpful. Some are downright destructive.
You do not love your neighbors as yourself when you deny them equal dignity, equal access or equal protection. And you do not love your neighbors as yourself when you use language, take actions or support policies that offend or disadvantage them.
In response to this unfolding scandal, I submit to you that joining the shame parade is an unhelpful response that misses an important opportunity. The opportunity for the church, for followers of Jesus, for all of us, is to divorce this Monster God once and for all.
A decade ago, when I settled in Astoria, there was a saint squatting in my front yard. She was standing right next to the pink flamingo and the one-eared Lamb of God, which non-religious folks call a sheep.
I find there is a Jesus who everybody loves, the Jesus who modeled what it means to show compassion to the stranger, care for the widow, bind up the wounds of the hurting, and heal the sick. This Jesus continues to attract admirers and followers.
"I love you." That's what Jesus says. So that's what I say. I see a homeless guy, and I love him. I'm going to help him if I can. That's being Jesus. The movement to love our neighbor as ourselves is stirring in this world. It is awesome to see.
While my Christian faith leads me to view abortion through the lenses of sadness, indignity, compassion, anger, hospitality, and generosity, I am equally disturbed by the willingness of Christians to so easily trade one moral value for another.
"What first got my attention was Sanders similarity to Jesus, it's so obvious, I don't know how anyone could miss it," said Rev. Hardy. "Sanders is a Jew trying to overturn the tables of the money lenders on Wall Street!
Scholars are aware of the rich and diverse ways in which the term "Son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible, in subsequent Jewish literature, and in the New Testament writings themselves, not to mention various non-Jewish texts of the Greco-Roman period.
Where Mr. Carter comes from and lives, and his race, make little difference when one considers that this Southern white man has always stood up and fought for the rights and dignity of "the least of these. He has been steadfast and immovable, as the Bible describes we should be.
As the US faces a vote to restore full diplomatic relations with Iran, I fear that my Christian brothers and sisters will oppose these decisive and historic steps toward peace out of devotion to Israel.
I don't think it is diminishing Christ's power for anyone to use whatever other possibilities exist to improve themselves physically or mentally. I don't think that it means a lack of faith or a lack of understanding in the bounty of the Atonement to try to lift yourself up to receive it.
It's a strange encounter, one that I have never heard discussed in a sermon. Christian doctrine professes that Jesus is fully God and fully human, but getting into the messy implications of the Messiah's human side can make for an uncomfortable Bible study
I'm a big fan of architecture and all things beautiful. I'm also a big fan of the religions of the world. So naturally, during a recent trip to Europe, I wanted to get up close and personal with as many Old World cathedrals and churches as my three-week itinerary would allow.
It's not surprising that artworks mirrored propaganda, since the paintings were commissioned by the Church, the biggest patron, and the wealthy, who sought to impress the Church with their devotion to Jesus and the teachings of the Church. Jesus the Jew did not fit into this illusory world.
Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist and a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She's the author of the bestselling series featuring Temperance Brennan, who is also a forensic anthropologist. Kathy's the producer of the hit TV series Bones.