Religion Today

Exploring Hope: Why many versions of the Bible?

If you go into a bookstore and make your way to the Bible section, you'll see countless English translations: ESV, NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, CSV, NEB, NLT, etc. But why are there so many versions of the Bible? First, it's important to know that the 66 books of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and koine Greek. Therefore, translations seek to bring ...

 
 

Rabbinic Reflections: The purpose of power

What does the New Year celebrate? The Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, is two weeks away. As part of Judaism’s Days of Awe, it is rich in meaning, and interpreted in many ways throughout the ages. On this 9/11, those interpretations take on additional resonance. Tonight, my neighborhood will place luminaries along our sidewalks to remember the lives lost, the lives ...

 

Exploring Hope: A news consumption challenge

Coronavirus. China and Taiwan. Russia and Ukraine. Inflation and recession.  Headlines in the modern world are scary and cause a lot of fear and anxiety in the human heart. But how many hours a day do you consume news media? How many news podcasts do you listen to? How many hours a day do you find yourself watching cable news? I’m not proposing complete abstinence ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Life is full

Did you see John Moran’s glass olive in episode five of “Blown Away,” season three? It was not just gorgeous, it was immense. Granted the challenge was to make an oversized version of a real-life object, but his glass olive was so full of color and texture, including the pimento stuffed inside, also made of glass. The glass olive seemed to have more life than the ...

 

Exploring Hope: Two biographies on First Great Awakening

I encourage every Christian to read and study church history because it is helpful to see the successes and failures of past generations. This fall, in particular, I would encourage you to pick up two biographies about two men during a remarkable period called the First Great Awakening, which was a revival of true gospel Christianity between 1720 and 1750. The first ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Gaming time

Summertime is a different time. With graduations, step-up days, the shift from school to camp, taking vacations, and so much more, time counts differently. It is not just that there are more hours of the day, something in our mindset changes, too. For me, baseball becomes prominent, and something about the game resonates deeply with Jewish wisdom that speaks to this ...

 

Exploring Hope: Consumer or missionary?

There is a spiritual disease in modern America called “consumer Christianity.” This disease is rampant among evangelical and reformed believers, especially in wealthy suburbs like Garnet Valley and Chadds Ford. But at its root, consumer Christianity is an unbiblical mindset that turns Christians into consumers and churches into businesses. So here’s my question: Are ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: American and

Melting pot or tossed salad? I grew up when American society seemed to shift from thinking about itself as a melting pot where immigrant identities blended together with American culture, adding some flavor by contributing to a relatively homogeneous fondue. The shift was toward what was then called multiculturalism in which racial and ethnic identities were seen as ...

 

Exploring Hope: Why we pray before meals

Why do we pray before meals? Is it simply a valuable practice of mindfulness, as Emily Heil seems to indicate in a recent Washington Post article? Is it merely a quaint ritual or a man-made tradition? And most importantly, what does the Bible teach us? First and foremost, we pray before meals because of the example of Jesus. In Matthew 14:19, Jesus “looked up to ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Stepping back or backward

One step forward, one step backward. Is that the beginning of a total of two steps back? Or is it the beginning of a cha-cha? Robert Brault calls someone who thinks the latter an optimist. In thinking about so much of our world at this moment, especially with regard to the pandemic, I confess that, despite my usual optimism, I am much more in the two-steps-back camp. ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: My Jewish Christmas

It’s been 11 years since Christmas last fell on a Saturday. It is the longest stretch in a cycle of Christmases on Saturday, falling every six years, then five years, then six years, then 11 years. It is little wonder then that this year is throwing me for a loop. Like many American Jews, I have inherited traditions to make the most of Christmas. My family spent ...