Byzantine Hymn for the Nativity of Christ

From the Holy Land, sung in Arabic. Merry Christmas to all PowerBlog readers and our blogging crew! St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 4:4-7 Brethren, when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Continue Reading...

The Incarnation and “the foolishness of God”

I love the song, “Mary, did you know?”… Reflect on the words… The Incarnation is at the heart of the Gospel– not just that Jesus came as the GodMan in bodily form, as the ultimate sin-bearer, as the Perfect High Priest offering Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice for our sins. Continue Reading...

Deacons, Secularism, and the Welfare State

A few weeks ago Hunter Baker posted some thoughts on secularism and poverty, in which he wrote of the common notion that since private charity, particularly church-based care, had failed to end poverty, it seems only prudent to let the government have its chance. Continue Reading...

Hell and Capitalism

Contrary to the belief of some, the two realities referred to in the title of this post are not identical. But the discussion around a recent Boston Globe article reminds me of the saying from Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, “Capitalism without the threat of bankruptcy is like Christianity without the threat of hell. Continue Reading...

Sacred Selling

I have been thinking a lot about the way we sell church-related goods and services. I have been thinking about that and about Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers and sacrificial animal sellers in the temple. Continue Reading...

Oaths, Lies and Social Responsibility

The other day I was tracking down a quotation I heard repeated at a local gathering and came across an interesting book published in 1834. On the title page of the “Googled” Oaths; Their Origin, Nature and History someone had scribbled “full of information… a superior work.” The introductory paragraph reads: It is well observed by an ancient writer [Hilarius of Arles] that would men allow Christianity to carry its own designs into full effect; were all the world Christians, and were every Christian habitually under the influence of his Religion in principle and in conduct, no place on earth would be found for Oaths; every person would on all occasions, speak the very truth, and would be believed merely for his word’s sake; every promise would be made in good faith and no additional obligation would be required to ensure its performance.” A few years ago I was asked to help organize a “business ethics conference” for a Catholic diocese. Continue Reading...

Secularism and Poverty

A colleague recently mentioned that a wag had observed the church had failed to solve poverty, so why not let the federal government have a try? I think it is interesting that anyone, such as the wag in question, could think that the federal government can effectively solve the problem of poverty. Continue Reading...

Communism as Religion

From the opening page of Lester DeKoster’s Communism and Christian Faith (1962): For the mysterious dynamic of history resides in man’s choice of gods. In the service of his god — or gods (they may be legion) — a man expends his energies, commits his sacrifices, devotes his life. Continue Reading...

Recommended Post-Reformation Day Reading

In connection with the worldwide celebrations of the quincentenary of John Calvin’s birth in 2009, the Acton Institute BookShoppe recently made available a limited stock of the hard-to-find Light for the City: Calvin’s Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty (Eerdmans, 2004). Continue Reading...

The Hidden Tithe

Recently I got a phone call from an engineering manager I’ve known for over ten years. He informed me that he’d been laid off last spring, but before I could offer condolences he added that he’d been hired by another company in the same industry for a consulting assignment. Continue Reading...