More questions from the teenage theologians at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn.
God these kids are good!
Q: How do we find the strength to keep working to end social injustices when we know that they will never be fully eliminated? Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully answer the questions people send you; as a reader I ...Read more
Welcome to more questions from the theology class at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I invited them to ask me questions and they did! Recently I began to try to provide answers as profound and curious and loving as their questions. This week I chug on.
Q: Hi, I am a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I wanted to say...Read more
I interviewed Billy Graham. I spoke with him privately. I listened to many of his televised sermons. I admired him and learned from him. Had I known him more closely, I think I could have loved him. This is why.
I admired his humility. The first consequence of national fame is the death of humility. Fame is like rocket fuel for the ego, and ...Read more
Welcome to the Mercy High School kidnapped God Squad column ...
I recently received a wonderful question from a student in the junior year theology class at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I was so moved by her innocence, kindness and spiritual curiosity that I invited other members of the class and other students at the school to write ...Read more
Q: My Bible study group has a guy who believes that the Bible is the perfect word of God. It also has a guy who thinks that the Bible is filled with some good stuff but also with lots of contradictions and mistakes. We have just begun Genesis and the two sides are already fighting. Help! -- H, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
A: Dear H, tell the "...Read more
Q: As an Evangelical Protestant Christian who is disabled, I really want to know if there is sex in Heaven. I am prepared to believe that there is no sex in hell, but since there is no disease or suffering in Heaven I want to know if perhaps in Heaven disabled people like myself will be able to have the physical intimacy and love that they could...Read more
Q: You recently wrote, "What Jesus seems to be saying clearly is that there are many ways to God -- many mansions." A mansion is not a means, or a "way," a path, if you will, to get anywhere. A mansion is a place to reside once you have arrived at your destination. There is a huge difference between a destination and the path you must take to ...Read more
Q: My husband and I own three retired, unsound horses, only one of which (a 26-year-old mare) would be accepted at a retirement farm. A 31-year-old gelding has been crippled on all four legs for 19 of the 23 years that he has been with us. The animal now can walk very few consecutive steps without stopping and has no teeth. Although he is given ...Read more
Paths of FearMrs. Connie Kerbs
Fear is a basic emotion everyone knows sometime. Through a wide variety of narratives, from the anecdotal to the extreme, this hearty collection offers a deeper understanding of this universal experience. Like the series it is a part of, this book is a thought-provoking...
Q: This biblical verse (Matthew 24:35) troubles me: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." If heaven, passes away, what happens to souls there? Thank you! -- T
A: Well, let us look more deeply into the verse that gives you such trouble. The first meaning is that Heaven and Earth do not mean Heaven plus Earth. ...Read more
Q: I'm writing about your comment that "Christianity makes room in its conception of Heaven for all those who never encountered Christian teaching and thus never had the opportunity to accept or reject it." I know Hebrews 9:27 states, "Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment," but nowhere does it say they will go...Read more
Q: Here's a quote I read on YouTube in regard to a Christian rock song I was listening to. I found it interesting and intriguing: "I'm a Christian, and if I'm wrong about my beliefs, I have wasted me life. But if atheists are wrong about their beliefs, they have wasted eternity." I found this too philosophical for a YouTube commenter, so I ...Read more
I offer to all of you, dear readers, two small, practical suggestions on how to make resolutions for the new year that you actually have a chance of keeping ...
1) Start small.
This is the wisdom of, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The rabbis of my Jewish tradition taught, "One who tries to grasp too much ends up ...Read more
I miss Tommy every day, but I miss him most on Christmas. Father Tom Hartman was my best friend. We were the God Squad in this column and on TV for almost 30 years. In such a span of time two souls become like two trees grown together and intertwined. It is hard at the end of their growing together to precisely know where one tree stops and the ...Read more
Q: With the recent shooting at a Texas church, I was wondering your opinion on churches having armed security, or having congregants carry their personal weapons. This question has been on the front of many conversations across the U.S. lately. Some people I have spoken with have expressed concern that weapons in a place of worship would be ...Read more
Hanukkah arrives Dec. 12 at sundown.
Jews around the world kindle on that night and every successive night until the eight-branched Hanukkah menorah is fully lit. Actually, the menorah is nine branches but one of them is for the lighting candle -- the shamash.
On the first night of Hanukkah...Read more
Q: I read with much interest your recent column that includes the four kinds of prayers. I have never been a confident pray-er and enjoy some helpful prayers of others. May I ask if you could give me an example of each one of these types of prayer? Thank you very much. -- M, from Harrisburg, Pa.
A: Glad to oblige. Here are some famous examples ...Read more
What if you could enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers all year long?
The turkey and stuffing will go bad in a week. Same for the pie. You might get a month out of the cranberry sauce, but that's pushing it. I know you must be thinking that I added a bit too much bourbon to the pecan pie. Surely nothing from Thanksgiving ...Read more