Why the Evangelical Church is Declining

Candy bar with Jesus name

Outlining how the superficiality and the anti-intellectualism of the Evangelical movement are causing a major decline in membership and the remedy for it.

Churches from numerous types of backgrounds see that their numbers are dropping and are quickly upgrading their style of worship, renovating the church foyer into coffee shops, pressing people into the weekly small groups, producing bigger or better special dramas or shows, or spending on new personnel and equipment to better communicate through the web, apps, video and other burgeoning technologies. These technologies help but there is something far more profound going on.

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Hebrew and the First Language of Mankind

The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Law at the Synagogue in Leghorn, by Solomon Hart. Italy. 1850.
The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Law at the Synagogue in Leghorn, by Solomon Hart. Italy. 1850.

The history of Hebrew as the first language is a fascinating story that travels through Patristic, Rabbinic, and the Greek worlds. The sacredness of this language has cycled through over 2,000 years of Jewish and Christian literature.

The perception of the Hebrew language in Western literature, especially by the ecclesiastical writers is an interesting theological exploration that seldom is talked or written about. Since it is the language of the Old Testament Bible, it obviously has some kind of reverent status among Judaism and Christianity. How this sacred language is viewed and applied varies. One of them forwards Hebrew as the first language of mankind, another promotes Hebrew as the language which God personally used, and there is an allusion by some to the use of Hebrew with the first Pentecostal tongues outburst recorded in the Book of Acts. It then begs the question, was Hebrew the first language of mankind?

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Thoughts on the Bible

How the Bible should be revered but not worshiped.

As a young child and at the point of first questioning matters of life, death, God, and everything in-between, I discovered the Bible.

It was first thought that this book possessed a magical quality, so I slept with the Book underneath my head, and expected spiritual wonders to happen. Waking up the next morning, my head hurt, and my ear was sore from rubbing against it. This approach was immediately abandoned.

As a young adult, the Bible expanded my mind about the world around me. It gave a framework of how to live. The joy of connecting with a greater power, the freedom of conscience, and knowing what true love is, are by-products that I am always thankful for.

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Aquinas on Imagination Part 2

A detailed look into translating imaginarius, imaginatio, and imaginativus Aquinas’ Latin into an equivalent English expression

A portion of this was previously discussed in Thomas Aquinas on the Prophet and Imaginary Visions, but new instances have arisen since then that have required further investigation.

The word imagination in the English language has very much evolved since the time of Aquinas and translating it simply as imaginary is not a good word choice.

There is much more to these words than previously thought.

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Thomas Aquinas on the Prophet and Imaginary Visions

How to understand Aquinas’ use of imaginarius and imaginarias visiones in the office of prophecy.

The English translation of the Latin Imaginarius is typically imaginary, and imaginarius visiones as imaginary visions. However, this is not satisfactory. The use of the English word imaginary may mislead the reader. To many it means a personal fantasy, a child-like hallucination, an imaginary friend, or something that is totally cognatively disassociated. This is not what Aquinas intended.

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The Last Name of Christ

A look at the historic family name of Jesus, Panthera, and the modern debate that surrounds it.

The modern exploration of the historical Jesus has had its moments. The results are mixed: the tortured image in the movie The Passion of Christ, the sexually angst Messiah in the controversial Last Temptation of Christ, the married Jesus portrayed in the ABC television special, Jesus, Mary and Davinci, and the illegitimate son of a foreign soldier in the film Jesus of Montreal.

The last name of Jesus is an important factor in many of these conclusions. These results place the name into the realm of uncertainty that requires clarification.

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The Genealogy of Christ and Other Problems

Two Manuscripts attributed to Epiphanius on the family of Christ compared.

The fourth century Church father, Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, wrote an account on the family of Christ that has important information. It contains backgrounds of His mother, Father, family last name, siblings, intermarriage and more. Although it is brief, containing only a few paragraphs, it is an important source of history. However, it is controversial, especially in light of the fact that the text that Epiphanius is quoted from, Adversus Hæreses, which has many later editorial insertions. Another text, Quæstiones first written around the seventh century, contains portions of Epiphanius account, and follows closer to the original edition.

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