The Glory in the Temple

By Edward Thal / Many Christians go to church on Sunday with entirely the wrong attitude: they drag all of their burdens in with them, looking for some relief from God. But Old Testament worship provides a hint as to what God requires: When His people approached the Temple in Jerusalem it was always with a sacrifice in their hands. The …

Let’s Talk About Hell

By Edward Thal / It’s not a very popular subject. The mere mention of the word in preaching or witnessing often draws a strong reaction from unbelievers along the lines of, “You Christians are so negative—always talking about hell!” The truth is, we probably don’t talk about it enough. Seeker-sensitive churches virtually ban the word and it is an infrequent …

Why All Your Excuses Won’t Help On Judgment Day

By Edward Thal / Enjoying a relationship with God is not difficult. The difficult part is deciding that you want a relationship with God. Most people don’t. It’s not that they are unbelievers; there’s overwhelming acknowledgement, everywhere, of some form of deity who is sought for help and favors. But this begs the question: if most people believe in the …

Punk Thrash and Jesus?

By Edward Thal / A recent online report from a major newspaper about “the Christian hard rock and metal scene” leaves me groping for the correct response, so at the outset I will simply provide extracts that speak for themselves. For those who may be concerned about the spiritual temperature of contemporary evangelical Christianity, no further explanation is necessary. For …

I Don’t Have Much Faith

By Edward Thal / I don’t have much faith. Not if we’re talking about the kind of faith that squinches its eyes, holds thumbs, takes a deep breath, empties the mind and waits for results.  Mark Twain described this faith as “believing what you know ain’t so.” Some call it “blind faith” and I’m not very good at doing that. …

Our National Character

by Edward Thal / For the past 100 years America has been the world’s dominant military power. Twice it has emerged from devastating world wars in a position of undisputed strength. In numerous regional wars the only question ever in doubt has been the political resolve of its leaders, never the unmatched superiority of its weaponry or the fighting skill …