Category Archives: Growing Together

Can We Trust Scientists?

Science is fascinating but how thorough is the process of testing and how trustworthy are the results? What do we do with dissenting voices and scientific claims that don’t agree?

These are some of the questions Layton Friesen asks of Dr. Henry Janzen, researcher in the field of soil science at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | AAFC · Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Dr. Janzen talks about the process his own research goes through before publishing, the role that skeptics have, and how scientists need the rest of the society when value judgements are required. He also talks about the parallels between his search for truth in science and in faith. Continue reading Can We Trust Scientists?

Can We Trust the News?

Bias in news media is not new. “When popular newspapers began to be published… most of them were pretty clearly slanted and were there to promote a particular political view.”

Layton Friesen interviews John G. Stackhouse, Christian scholar and journalist, about the news – its trustworthiness in the face of bias, Stackhouse’s personal habits and sources as he reads the news, and how Christians can both influence the way news is reported and be a witness in the midst of a cynical and skeptical culture.

Resources mentioned in the interview are linked after the transcript. Continue reading Can We Trust the News?

COVID conflict in the church

“We’re doing quite well” was the initial response we received most often from pastors, youth leaders and a school principal regarding conflict in their setting. There were differences of opinion and tension they said, but these didn’t seem to affect the operations of the church or the atmosphere during services.

At the same time there is a sense of fragility in the churches. Continue reading COVID conflict in the church

Vaccines and Christian Ethics

by Layton Friesen

This pandemic never fails to give us the next dilemma. Just when we begin to sort out mask-wearing, distancing, and size-restrictions, vaccine mandates come along and give us what feels like a more profoundly dividing question.

Would you allow me to weigh in on this question? I am not giving you the “EMC Position”, nor am I giving any final answer. This is more like thinking out loud. To some degree pastors have a calling to work as public theologians, wrestling with these issues in public. At the very least we need to demonstrate that these are not slam-dunk issues, solvable with sound-bite answers. Issues around vaccines give us a chance to develop our muscles in moral discernment. Those muscles will be used in many other places. Continue reading Vaccines and Christian Ethics

Old Testament Violence Condensed Show Notes

Editor’s Note: This is the condensed version of an interview with Dr. Lissa Wray Beal for the full video and text transcript click the link here

Have you also had to wrestle through these questions or even wrestle with your faith in God as a result of some of these things that the Old Testament bears witness to?

I would say yes and no to that. I mean because I was so captivated by the love of God and that has always been a pretty firm bedrock for me out of which I have been able to question. So, when I see things that are hard to understand or troubling in the text, I’ve felt I’ve been allowed to question. I think God invites us to question and to wrestle with that. Continue reading Old Testament Violence Condensed Show Notes

Palestinians and their history

by Alan M. Guenther,
Assistant Professor of History,
Briercrest College and Seminary

Christian opinions about the Middle East tend to be polarized. Some see Israel as the homeland for God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the Palestinians as the enemy committed to terrorism and the annihilation of the Israeli state. Others see the Palestinians as refugees who have lost their homes and lands, and the Israelis as the primary oppressors, encroaching on Palestinian territories with illegal settlements and attacking regularly with superior military force. As often happens in cases of such polarized opinions, many other Christians end up in a confused middle space, wondering if there might not be some truth in both positions. Continue reading Palestinians and their history

The Legacy of Supersessionism and Christian Theology Today

by Zacharie Klassen

I am a student of historic Christian theologies of Israel and Judaism and the ways those theologies have informed and continue to inform views of the land of Israel, Jewish people, and the practices of Judaism in Christian thought. I am also a member of a long-standing Jewish-Christian text discussion group that meets monthly to discuss texts of importance to the Jewish and Christian traditions. What I offer below is, I hope, a small bit of insight that I have garnered over the last 7 years of study into how Christians should think about our relationships with Jews today given the complicated history of our relationship over the last 2000 years. Given my reflections, I then end with a very brief suggestion for how we might begin to approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Continue reading The Legacy of Supersessionism and Christian Theology Today