Tag Archives: sin

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Christians Blow It

What are we supposed to think when Christians fail to live out their faith? Occasionally, those failures grab headlines—like nationally known pastors who have to step down from their leadership positions for various reasons, or politicians disgraced by morally compromising situations. More often, it’s the everyday sins of average Christians that never seem to be in short supply: being insensitive or selfish in a relationship, failing to carry out responsibilities at work, being harsh and impatient with kids, speaking poorly of others behind their backs, and so on.

Understandably, the gap between what we say we believe and what we actually do can make Christianity less credible to those on the outside looking in, and it can genuinely discourage the faith of others who are trying to follow Christ. Either way, we need to keep a few important truths in mind:

Crossing Explainer: Redemption

This past weekend at The Crossing, someone stopped me before the class I was about to teach and said something to this effect: “Atonement. Redemption. I’ve heard these words a lot. But what do they mean?”

I’m glad he asked the question, because I’m convinced that this is a common experience in Christian contexts. We come across the words often enough, maybe in a worship service or a small group study, or even reading the Bible on our own. And we know they’re important. But we’re just not always sure what they mean.

In fact, this is to be expected. Almost any organization or particular field of study contains specialized language. And that language allows us to convey important concepts in a quick and concise manner. That is, as long as we know what that language means. If we don’t, understanding and appreciating what’s being communicated can be much more difficult.

Enter the Crossing Explainer: a short blog post defining a key term associated with the Christian faith. For the inaugural post, let’s look at one of the terms mentioned above: redemption. (And even if you think you’re familiar with the term, you may find it richer than you realized.)

Thoughts From the 2015 T/F Film Fest

One of the qualities of a good film, whether fiction or documentary, is it’s ability to reflect something of reality—of the world and experiences we all inhabit. And after thinking through the documentaries I was able to catch Columbia’s own True/False Film Fest over the last few days, I’m struck by a couple of common threads that wound their way through much of what I saw.

First, Christian theologians have often made much of the fact that human beings are, fundamentally speaking, worshippers. That is, we have to give our lives to something: if not God, then something or someone else. This reality was on display in some form in every film I attended.

Second, most everyone who has ever looked in a mirror has recognized that humanity is a flawed enterprise. Each one of us in falls short of the best we have to offer, and we do so in ways that range from mundane to astonishing, from humorous to tragic. Again, film after film illustrated the point.

To flesh these things out a bit more, I thought I’d include a few more specific thoughts about a handful of the films (listed in alphabetical order) I was able to see: