Religion Today

Exploring Hope: How to be more adventurous

This month’s Exploring Hope column is a guest submission by Jonathan Hatt, a pastoral intern at Hope Presbyterian Church where regular columnist Will Stern is the pastor. I was never an adventurous kid. I didn’t learn to swim until I was ten, which really isn’t shocking until I add that I lived on a resort island in Florida. Furthermore, I still refuse to step foot ...

 
 

Rabbinic Reflections: It’s your call

Let’s reschedule Rosh HaShanah. I know the calendars all say that it begins tonight and will stretch through Tuesday; after all, it is also known as yoma arichta (the long day). Rosh HaShanah is too early this year; it is too hot still, and school has barely started. We should reschedule it. To be clear, the ancient rabbis said we can. In fact, in one infamous case, ...

 

Exploring Hope: ‘Fruit of the Spirit’

At the church I pastor in Garnet Valley, we preached through books of the Bible section by section (you can hear sermon audio on our website). Currently, we’re at the end of the apostle Paul's letter to the Galatians. It's a fascinating work that was written only 15 years after the events of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. Today, I have the privilege of ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Mirror of return

Today, the alarm starts ringing. It is time again to awaken, not for a particular day but for a life. The alarm clamors, sounding not just in our ears but in our souls. Today, we must begin to return not just to the Creator but to our best selves, our purpose as unique creations. The Hebrew month of Elul begins today. With it come the 30 days of preparation for the ...

 

Exploring Hope: Flattery versus truth

Scientific America, Business Insider, and the Harvard Business Review, all confirm that flattery works. Through extensive research, it has been proved that people respond to flattery even when they know it's insincere. For example, a car salesman might tell the customer that she looks fantastic in a new sports car and that it makes her look 10 years younger. The ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Religious freedom

With the recent announcement that Justice Kennedy is resigning from the Supreme Court, much of the media has rightly focused on Roe v Wade. What strikes me in the coverage is the place given to religion. If religion is mentioned at all, it is thrown in as a monolithic characteristic of either President Trump’s base or the Republican base. In my experience, religions, ...

 

Exploring Hope: Pessimism or optimism

In the second book of the Bible, called Exodus, the people of Israel are fleeing Pharaoh. God is doing the "impossible-according-man" so that "[his] name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16). Despite God's display of power and love, the people are facing two terrifying prospects. In one direction, they see the menacing horde of Pharaoh bearing down on ...

 

Former Eagle talks about fatherhood

With Father’s Day on the calendar, many dads and sons will reflect on the things that bonded them over the years—perhaps shared hobbies or a love of football. Some memories will be positive and perhaps bittersweet, while others may not have many memories of their dads at all. Some of the stories contained in the new book by premier sportswriter Joshua Cooley ...

 

Exploring Hope: Freedom in Christianity

If you are skeptical about the truth claims of Christianity, I wonder if you associate Christianity with freedom. Probably not. You may associate Christianity with giving up freedom. You believe that Christians only want to tell you who you can sleep with or what you should do with your wallet. So, what does Christianity teach about freedom? In Galatians chapter 2, ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: A quiet gift

I am supposed to know better. I should know from experience, and I should know from faith. And when it came to my daughter’s bat mitzvah, I should not have forgotten the Jewish wisdom of Shabbat when trying to make Shabbat fit into the party instead of the other way around. My daughter celebrated that Jewish rite of passage known as becoming bat mitzvah (literally, ...

 

Exploring Hope: Humanity’s dream

Have you ever noticed that history classes seem to focus almost exclusively on war? Yet we could never list every war in human history because there are simply too many. Violence and conflict have characterized humanity since the beginning. For this reason, peace has been called “humanity’s eternal, elusive dream.” We see this “eternal, elusive dream” in the Bible’s ...