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In society and church, our desire to measure and value everything in monetary terms always takes us down the path of dehumanization and idolatry. As people of a gracious God, do we know the most important things in life are free? […] Read More

The evil of idols is clear throughout Scripture. Although we no longer worship golden calves, a new form of idolatry consumes the US. We worship guns, thinking they are the only thing that will protect us. […] Read More

Idolatry and injustice seem to be at the top of the list of violations of covenant faith. The prophets and historians of ancient Israel identified the tendency to claim “godness” for one’s own thinking and behavior as the primary “flaw” in human experience. This manifested itself at both the personal and national level. The foundational […] Read More

The idolatry of shaping God in our own image has been the root of much evil in the world. It has perpetuated systems of oppression. And racism. And hate. It has led to genocide. And apartheid. And rape. Tell me that the church’s hands are clean from the blood of even the past century, and […] Read More

Like Jacob in Genesis 32, I have wrestled recently with God over the politics of my own identity. From a young age, I had attained to what many around me attested to be “profound maturity” in my Christian faith. I could quote Bible verses in the proper context with a sound interpretation for the right […] Read More

We live in a fearful society. I remember going to school after the 1999 Columbine massacre and meeting in the auditorium to learn about our now necessary lock-down procedures. The fear of going to school and dying there became very real. I also remember a time before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was an era […] Read More

I attended a recent lecture by Rabbi Reuven Firestone of Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, who spoke on the history and features of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. His theme was that both have their roots in the broader human phenomenon of “scapegoating” – the ancient Hebrew liturgical atonement practice, which has become a metaphor for […] Read More

Radio show host Rush Limbaugh accused Pope Francis of Marxism after the release of “Evangelli Gaudium” or “The Joy of the Gospel,” a 50,000-word statement on proclaiming the gospel which begins with the pope’s hope for “a new chapter of evangelization marked … by joy.” “[I]t’s sad. It’s actually unbelievable. The pope has written, in […] Read More

Most introductory courses to the New Testament begin with attention to the context of first-century Judaism. A part of that attention notes the “parties” among the Jews of the time. The Sadducees were the well-to-do aristocratic and priestly Jewish upper class. They made peace with the benefits of a secular Greek culture and held to […] Read More

Freedom in Grace

A sermon by Michael Cheuk, Pastor, University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Va., on June 30, 2013. Galatians 5:1, 13-25 Freedom.  Freedom is a word that is almost synonymous with America.  We Americans love freedom, especially during this time of the year so close to Independence Day.  Something deep within us resonates when we hear the word […] Read More