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Category: Asking the Hard Questions

Do I Stay or Do I Go Now?

by guest blogger Ashley Schneider There he is. That guy. The employee I lied to about not having a YMCA membership, so I could test out the facilities for free. Why is he always working when I want to sweat it out? He knows I lied, too. Shortly after my tale of being new to the neighborhood, I found out that I could actually afford the fee to join due to my work discount and reactivated my membership. So now, every time he scans my ID it pops up that I’ve been a long time member; a lying long…

I do believe, but I’d like to be more certain

by guest blogger Dylan Malloch There’s a great moment in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where, close to reaching the fabled Holy Grail, Indiana has to take a leap of faith.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwMdb9YZkcw&feature=related) He’s on one side of an enormous cavern and needs to reach the other side.  The only problem is, there’s no path… that he can see. After a moment or two’s hesitation, Indie steps boldly out in faith and miraculously lands on an invisible path. The fact the path existed was, scientifically…

Why Do I Have So Much While They Have So Little?

I remember the most malnourished children I’ve ever seen. I was 19 years old in Zimbabwe somewhere between Victoria Falls and Bulaweyo, the second largest city in the country. Our bus had broken down so we were hanging out with the natives on the side of the road, as you do, as someone repaired it. Most of the kids we met there weren’t wearing shoes (Zimbabwean kids don’t like shoes) but they had clothes and looked relatively healthy and energetic until two small kids, one girl and one boy, arrived. They were acting odd…

Is Christianity Merely Comforting?

I just don’t know how non-Christians do it. Live, that is. You would have to be a very strong person within yourself to not simply give up after your first heart break or death of someone close to you. So many difficulties I face I can only face because of the belief of God inside of me. Take the below image as an example. The same street photographed soon after the March 11 earthquake in Japan and then again in June after major clean-up: If this destruction had hit my street, and I did not believe…

What, Exactly, Is the Holy Spirit?

Aren’t car conversations the worst and the best? There you are, trapped. No escape unless you’re prepared to die diving onto the freeway. And you know the feeling when an impending conversation–the one you know has to and will happen no matter how much you will it away, “forget” it or “not care” about it–is almost less appealing than tucking and rolling onto the  steaming asphalt zooming beneath you. Some of the best and worst conversations of my life have happened between me and my passenger/driver. My…

Is "Patriotic" a Bad Word?

I don’t know if it’s just me, my entire generation or maybe just the others who took that world lit class with me in college, but the word “patriotic” seems to be losing its positive connotation. At least in my own head, I often equate it with “obnoxious,” “prideful,” “quick to defend and/or fight.” But thinking about this July 4th and this blog and my recent experiences, I’ve realized I’m probably more patriotic than I think. And that’s ok with me…

How Are Christians Weakening the Argument for Faith?

Sometimes I forget my New Year’s resolution is to post a blog every Monday at 10:00 a.m. Like this week. I forgot/didn’t have time to blog over the weekend, so I find myself pounding out a post very early on Monday morning. I carry a list in my mind of difficult questions that I’ve had for years but I don’t like to tackle those when my deadline is tight. So they remain on reserve while I google “difficult faith questions.” And what do I find? This blog post from beliefnet: http://blog.beliefnet…

What Steals Your Joy? And Why Do You Let It?

While we’re on the broad topic of contentment and joy and happiness, I would like to ask what robs you of these things? While I argued in my last post that we will never feel full contentment in this lifetime, a few posted comments reminding me of the importance of joy. One even said she would doubt the Christian faith if we all walked around ungrateful all the time. Great point. We need–and have huge reason–to be joyful. Yet what percentage of my day is actually spent in a joyful state of mind. Being…

Can We Ever Be Content?

I know the purpose of life is not to be happy. In fact, the question “does that make you happy?” really irks me because the answer doesn’t matter. The New Testament clearly tells us Christians won’t be happy. We’ll be persecuted and knocked down and put in prison and that’s how it’s supposed to be. But in the midst, I’ve always comforted myself—not that I’ve ever been in the midst of prison or a beating, but metaphorically speaking—in the thought that contentment could be attained no matter your circumstances. Contentment is…

Would I Still Be a Christian if…

I had not been born into a Christian family? My parents are Christians. My dad is a preacher. Both sets of my parents’ parents were/are also Christians, as well as my great-grandparents. One of my great-grandfathers was a preacher. My grandfather is, or at least has been, an elder at his church. Does Christianity eventually start to run in the blood? Even further back into my ancestry are French Huguenots that came to what is now the U.S. in order to escape persecution against their protestant beliefs. I don’t know the exact year they arrived…