Israel and the Church: Why Does It Matter?

There is an effort among many Christian scholars today to revise the traditional approach to the question of Israel’s identity. These scholars argue that the Church must be subtly distinguished from the ‘actual Israel’ in order to do justice to the voice of the Old Testament. But I will argue that this position must be rejected, not simply because it is our tradition, but also because the identity of Israel and the Church undergirds the very messianic claims of…

Canned Food, Mama, and Me

Our family left the Mormon religion in 1983 after my mom had spent three decades as a member (and of my ancestry, nearly a century and-a-half). As a faithful Mormon family, we did all the things we were supposed to do: Sacrament Meeting, Family Home Evening, and even Family Home Storage. For the uninitiated, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches that all Mormon families should keep emergency food stored…

Muhammad’s Covenant to Protect All Christians

It is a little known fact of history that Muhammad—the founder of the Muslim religion—once sent a letter to the Orthodox Christian monastery of Saint Catherine’s at the foot of Mount Sinai, vowing to protect its inhabitants as well as all Christians (Achtiname of Muhammad, A.D. 628). This decree was to be in effect forever, and was “signed” with an imprint of Muhammad’s hand. A portion of that letter, translated into English: This is a…