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How Many Times Do I Have to Repent?
Posted by Clare
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A few weeks ago, I met with a passionate young Christian man, on fire for God but still unsure of his salvation. He was raised Catholic but hadn’t gone to confession in years and that guilt was starting to get to him.

“How many times do I have to repent to be truly forgiven?” was near the top of his list of questions. “Once,” I told him. “But then why are we commanded to confess to God and ask forgiveness when we sin,” was his wonderful follow-up question. Here’s how I answered him;
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What Kind of Catholic is She?
Posted by Clare
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A man I’d never met called last month and asked for an appointment about an urgent matter. So we did.

“My son is dating a Catholic girl and my wife and I are sick about it! What should we do?”

As they say, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been asked this question dozens of times over the years, so I’ve learned to ask this question;

“What kind of Catholic is she (or he)?”

Invariably the reaction is always the same. “What do you mean by that? She’s Catholic. How many kinds of Catholics are there?” Here’s how I answered.
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The Upside Down Gospel
Posted by Clare
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Almost everything Jesus taught is counter-intuitive to human wisdom. If you’re looking for logic, go to math. But if you’re searching for truth, come to Jesus.

That’s the way I began my mentoring of several post college young men a few years ago. These men were raised Christian, but at best were secular Christians. What’s a secular Christian? A person who believes what the Bible says, and has an outward veneer of spirituality, but has little spiritual depth, or a worldview that actually governs their day to day decisions.

Signs of a secular Christian?
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Red Letter Christians
Posted by Clare
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Last week’s blog was on the authority of the Bible. If you’re a parent, grandparent or mentor, there’s a second alarming trend coming your way – “red letter Christians”.

A few years ago, two hugely influential writers, Tony Campollo and Shane Claiborne, wrote a book entitled, The Red Letter Revolution. In the author’s own words, the basic premise of their book is this;

“Not only do we say that the red letters (the actual words of Jesus in red letters in the four gospels) are superior to the black letters of the Bible, but Jesus said they were! Jesus over and over again in the Sermon on the Mount, declared that some of the things that Moses taught about such things as divorce, adultery, killing, getting even with those who hurt you and the use of money, had to be transcended to a higher morality.”

In all fairness, I agree, as do most theologians, that the last part of this quote is true. Jesus did “toughen up” and raised the bar of Moses’ teaching in almost all of these areas. But that’s exactly why this book and this red letter revolution idea is so dangerous. It mixes, “let’s just live like Jesus” (and who’s going to argue with that!) with making commands in the rest of the Bible, including the balance of the New Testament books a virtual footnote.

But, this blog isn’t a personal assault on Tony, or Shane, two men I’ve not always agreed with theologically, but who clearly are trying to be serious followers of Jesus and are courageously calling others to do the same. But, it is a warning about red letter Christianity. My concern is that these views will only further undermine the confidence of younger Christians in the reliability and authority of all scripture for their lives. So, why would these authors do that? Here’s my theory;
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