Writing that seeks to engage current events, culture and the Christian faith.
In June 2000 at my 20-year high school reunion I asked my good friend, Steve Moroney, who was instrumental in my baptism into Christ in 1983 and who went on to become a professor of theology, if he was working on any books. I knew that professors are expected to write books as part of their work and I knew he was due for one. He told me that he was interested in the subject of God’s judgment. As part of his research he was reading through the Bible and carefully making notes on every scripture that mentioned God’s judgment. He felt, and still does as do I, that contemporary American Christians pay far more attention to God’s grace, mercy and love than to his righteousness and holiness, from which judgment issues.
I like to keep a supply of meal-replacement bars in the pantry so I can grab one on the way out in the morning as my breakfast. As I sat in the drive-thru at the bank this morning waiting for the teller to process my transaction, I decided to read the promotional blurb on the wrapper of the bar. Here it is:
“Less than ten years ago a large Church of Christ with a great preacher and a great youth minister called our campus minister and told him we would have twenty-two of their high school graduates join our campus ministry that fall. Our campus minister worked hard to contact them. He held summer events to introduce them to the ministry. But out of twenty-two students who enrolled at Alabama, not one was active in our church. Not one. And none was active in any student ministry of any church of any denomination. They had a great youth program, loved their youth minister, had Christian parents – and not a one attended a church of any kind while in college. And this is no isolated example.”
Years ago I was working with a woman on a church project. She was intelligent, attractive and charming. She and her husband were good friends with Angela and me. One Sunday afternoon I was talking to her on the phone about our project and Angela was in the room with me. She caught an extra little note of excitement in my voice, a tiny little bit of flirtatiousness, an added trace of affection. After I hung up Angela said, “You need to watch yourself. You two are getting too close.”