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Assorted Links

Some of the many things I’ll never get around to blogging: A picture of the Appian Way, just like Paul walked on. 10 Things First-Time Church Visitors Don’t Want to hear. And, related, Eight Terrible Church Visits. Ed Stetzer is blogging (in tiny installments) about laypeople and the mission of God. Part three: customers to … Continue reading »

Youcef Nadarkhani Update

I’ve written before about Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian whose life is in jeopardy because of a (apparently fictitious) charge of apostasy. In Iran, it is a capital crime for a Muslim to have a change of heart about their faith. (Really!) Which in any event is not the case with Nadarkhani, who was never … Continue reading »

Church Web Site Up

Hey cool! Soon after I got here I asked the people who do that stuff to migrate us from the old web hosting service to the new one. And now, here you go: the new web site of Jewel Lake Parish. Yay! For the technically inclined, here’s why. First, it’s marginally less expensive. That’s not … Continue reading »

Chi Rho

Here’s a symbol you often see in churches: and in cemeteries: The symbol is a sort of monogram or shorthand meaning “Christ,” and is formed from the first two letters of that word in Greek (“ΧΡΙΣΤΟ&#x03A3″). Those first two letters are, respectively, Chi (Χ) and Rho (Ρ). The letter Chi is pronounced “key” or “khee.” … Continue reading »

Communion Table

Take a look at this: it’s a Communion Table! Until today, Desert Hills has had a great wooden box in the front of the sanctuary. I’m sure it looked like a table to the person who built it, but for the rest of us…well, table cloths and squinting were just barely enough to maintain the … Continue reading »

The Catholic Church (Part 1)

I’ve mentioned that “Orthodox” is a word I’d like us Mainline Protestants to reclaim. Another word like that is “Catholic.” The word “catholic” means “universal” or “entire.” It comes from a Greek word that means “according to the whole.” Unlike “orthodox,” this word actually appears in Scripture, where members of the high priest’s party examine … Continue reading »

More smaller churches – but not in a good way

There’s nothing to rejoice over in this report from the PC(USA)’s Research Services unit. Since reunification, the denomination has lost an average of 40,541 members a year (net) and we’re down about a third, from about three million down to a hair over two. The headline (“Fewer members = smaller congregations”) says what might be … Continue reading »

King James Bible at 400

From a couple of weeks ago, a brief article in the New York Times on the importance of the King James Bible. This year is the 400th anniversary of its printing. I’ve been writing short articles about the King James Bible, and I suppose I should upload them here.