______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Some Seek A Sign April 28, 2011


OK. Most of you have probably seen a sign somewhere like
the first one below.  But hey,  if you’re going to  go that route,
these other signs may be just as appropriate!







Hell’s Bell April 21, 2011

Below are some quotes from the really good article in Time Magazine:
What If There’s No Hell?”
The article is by Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham.

Check out the quotes, or better yet
read the entire article. CLICK HERE.

Or, go out and buy the magazine. It includes a pictorial “History of Hell.”

OK. Some quotes:
(There are some additional links to related articles after the quotes.)

From the apostle Paul to John Paul II, from Augustine to Calvin, Christians have debated atonement and judgement for nearly 2,000 years.

What many believers in the 21st century accept as immutable doctrine was first formulated in the fog and confusion of the 1st century.

Bell insists he is only raising the possiblilty that theological rigidity – and thus a faith of exclusion – is a dangerous thing.

The dominant view of the righteous in heaven and the damned in hell owes more to the artistic legacy of the West, from Michelangelo to Dante to Blake, than it does to history or to unambiquous biblical teaching.

[Bell is] trying to reach a generation that’s more comfortable with myster, with unsolved questions.

Taken to their logical conclusions, such questions could undermine much of conservative Christianity.  [So?]

Read the entire article. CLICK HERE.

[“Love Wins”] has ignited a new holy war in Christian circles and beyond.

[Concerning a Florida pastor’s burning of the Koran, “which led to the deaths of
innocent U.N. workers in Afghanistan”]  We don’t burn other people’s books.  I think Jesus is fairly pissed off about it as well.

Bell’s creed of conviction and doubt – and his comfort with ambiquity and paradox – comes from an upbringing in which he was immersed in faith but encouraged to ask questions.

Like the Bible – a document that often contradicts itself and from which one can construct sharply different arguments – theology is the product of human hands and hearts.


AND you’ll want to read the very interesting and
informative book, “Love Wins,” by Rob Bell.
CLICK HERE  for a review.

Also read “London, New York, LA and Hell.”

“A Heretic’s Guide To Eternity”

The Last Word and the Word After That

“Rejecting Religion – Embracing Grace”  (Hey!  I’m mentioned in this book!)

“A New Kind of Christianity”

“What Does The Bible Really Say About Hell?”

These and other books: Click Here.


Talking Sheep & Goats: Not An Afterlife Documentary April 19, 2011

Nowhere does the sheep and goats story mention heaven or hell.
It is NOT a story about the afterlife. That approach totally misses the point.

Author Bert Gary has a lot to say about the subject.
Check it out at
Then come back, if you wish, to leave comments.

Also check out my brief post:

And, of course, the recent book, “Love Wins.”


Fall To Grace April 12, 2011

If anyone ever had a reason to leave the Christian faith, Jay Bakker did.

At the age of only 11 his parents’ global PTL ministry was engulfed by scandal and undermined by Christian backbiting -all of which played out in the 24-hour news media.

Disillusioned, Bakker turned to drugs and alcohol and left his childhood beliefs behind. But along the way, an interesting thing happened: Bakker came to understand, through his personal challenges and suffering (as well as the help of some friends), what God’s grace was really all about.

In this book Bakker explores the true nature of grace–what it means for everyday living and the hot-button issues of our day. With disarming humility, poignant observations, and spot-on theology, Bakker both challenges Christians to reassess their understanding of salvation and encourages non-believers to see Jesus with fresh eyes. —

The section above is from the publisher’s product description.  I couldn’t have said it better.  So, I let them say it.

This is a very interesting, insightful read.  I can’t imagine being 11 years old and having your family being hated on a national level.  More unacceptable than anything Jim Bakker ever did, was the horrible way he and his family were treated by prominent “Christian” leaders, and frankly, the evangelical community at large.  We, of course, have no shortage of examples of how quickly the religious community fills with self-righteous venom toward those it deems fallen.

Anyway, there are lots of anecdotes, personal information, and life-lessons in this book.  This is not theory, but the reality of a man who ended up finding the grace of God in spite of the seemingly insurmountable odds against him.
His words concerning his mother makes me wish I could have met her.  She sounds like a remarkable human being.

Jay has gotten a lot of flack for his stand on grace.  But we know by now that’s to be expected.  Grace truly is revolutionary.  “Fall To Grace”  helps re-affirm it’s a revolution worth joining.

— DF

Buy the book.  Click HERE.


Sure, I had heard people talk and sing about grace in church.  But as far as I could tell, the word didn’t mean anything.

Grace offers a message of tolerance and understanding.  It contradicts much of what passes for “Christianity.”

We don’t talk about circumcision or clean foods in the church anymore, but we do make new rules, just as arbitrary, that are used to determining our damnation or salvation.

Jerry Falwell took on the purple Teletubby.  Is there anything more ridiculous than grown men and women of God railing against toys?  More important: Don’t they have anything better to do?

Our desire to appear good enough or righteous enough in front of other Christians can cause us to lose sight of grace and join in the condemnation game.

Buy the book.  Click HERE.

If Paul can stand up to Peter and James, then surely we can stand up to the people who want to undermine grace in our lives and relationships.

Ultimately, the fruit aren’t about us at all.  A tree doesn’t eat it’s own fruit.  The fruit is supposed to be picked and enjoyed by other people.

The way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.  A person living a life of grace and inspiration will be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and in control.

(Quoted from Kris Kristofferson): You really have to get past all that — where you have enough feeling about what’s right and wrong in the world to not give a shit about what kind of names anybody throws at you.

We tend to hide our brokenness from others precisely because we’re afraid of how they will react.  In doing so, we give sin its power.

When we strip away religious law, what’s left is love — for God and neighbor.

Buy the book.  Click HERE.


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